Join host Eric Schwartzman (who ran RevOps at $1B company) for a weekly audio masterclass on how B2B marketers use the latest tech to generate, qualify and convert leads to revenue.
Enterprise SEO with Nick Wilsdon
In this episode. of the B2B Lead Gen Podcast, digital marketer and strategist Nick Wilsdon talks about the enterprise SEO strategies of major brands, working with SEO specialists, why big changes at Google could make or break your search engine visibility, and more.
Nick is the co-founder and CEO of TorquePartnership, a company that provides digital consultancy and search engine optimization advisory programs to enterprise clients. A speaker, blogger and contributor to industry publications such as The Drum, Reuters and The Moscow Times, Nick is passionate about digital performance, integrated digital marketing campaigns and joining up the dots.
Enterprise SEO vs Small Business SEO
According to Nick, there are major differences in the ways enterprises and small businesses approach SEO. Small businesses, for instance, are more focused on link building, whereas enterprises are more focused on the technical side of SEO, since they deal with considerably larger websites. Enterprise SEO is B2C SEO. Small businesses serve consumers and other businesses, but it's fair to say that most SEO B2B campaigns are launched on behalf of small business. “Link acquisition isn't really as important for them,” Nick reveals. “They've got the authority. Usually, the thing that's holding them back is tech, SEO, and implementing that.”
Nick also mentioned that in order to get a decent SEO strategy up and running for an enterprise, there’s a complex process that involves a lot of tweaking, fixing, and approvals. “There's a lot of process and politics behind that, to get those things fixed. That takes a huge amount of strategy and thinking to kind of push that through those organizations.”
Another key difference is the sheer scale of enterprise SEO, which is the kind of problem that small business SEO strategies don’t have to deal with. Even the seemingly simple act of making SEO changes must take the different teams and interests of the organization into consideration; Nick says that this often requires a “very strong business case” to justify those changes. “It involves [the specialist] having an understanding of the commercial nature of the business, far more than most of the technical SEOs. So you have to have a balance between your technical knowledge, but also an understanding of what the business is trying to do and what the objectives are through the business.”
Value of Soft Skills in Enterprise SEO
That’s why soft skills are important for people working in SEO: Being an expert on the nitty-gritty of SEO can only take you so far. “If you can't convey the value of what you're trying to do to senior stakeholders, then you're never going to move up in your career, and you're never going to make these kinds of projects land.”
Nick also took the time to emphasize the importance of internal linking, whether for enterprise sites, small business sites, or any other type of online business site. “Those internal links are absolutely fundamental,” stresses Nick, “and you should be always thinking, ‘If [I] have highly linked pages, and [I’m] going out with something that does attract links, where am I linking to internally from from that page?”
Ironically, this is the aspect of SEO that’s often overlooked, according to Nick. One example is how when an internal link goes dead and goes to a 404 page, it no longer transfers any equity to your site. “As a small business owner, what are you doing to recover those links that are coming into your site?
SEO for Everyone with Yoast for WordPress
With 30% marketshare, WordPress is the world's most popular content management system (CMS) on the Internet today. Unsurprisingly, plugins designed to work with it, especially those that use the freemium business model to convert free to premium subscribers, also enjoy tremendous popularity and loyalty from their users.
In this episode of the B2B Lead Gen Podcast, sociologist and digital maven Marieke van de Rakt PhD talks about the intricacies of running an SEO company, technical aspects of SEO, how the pandemic has affected businesses, and more.
Full Video Interview
Marieke is the CEO of Yoast, a popular WordPress plugin used by more than 11 million people to make their website easier for Google to index. Armed with a PhD in Social Sciences, she is focused not just on Yoast’s growth, but also the company’s online SEO training academy, which offers free and premium subscriptions.
Yoast’s business growth (and keeping up with Google)
Yoast offers both a free version and a paid (premium) version with added features for site maintenance, site structure, and other SEO essentials. And for a plugin such as Yoast that works with WordPress — a content management system built on open source, public domain software — the premium version serves as the support system that allows the free version to keep being operational. “If you have an SEO plugin for 11 million sites, and you're not making any money off of it, that's not possible anymore,” Marieke explains. “So I think it's in the best interest of the whole WordPress community that we make money from it, so that we can give back to the people.”
In order to keep up with Google’s changes, Yoast maintains a close relationship with the internet giant. This involves maintaining constant communication with Google, or at least its relevant departments. “I don't see Google as one company,” shares Marieke. “They're so big that they don't know everything.”
There are certain limitations, though. A major algorithm change, for instance, is not something Yoast can immediately address until the team fully understands the extent of the changes. “So it's a lot of conversation and a lot of testing. And that keeps us up to speed.”
Full Video Interview
Reinventing the idea of small business
With approximately 400 million small- and medium-sized businesses in the global economy, Yoast has only really penetrated less than one percent of that ever-growing community. According to Marieke, their focus on WordPress is likely the biggest deterrent toward growing their market share.
Marieke says that Yoast is currently in the process of tweaking Yoast SEO for other platforms aside from WordPress. However, she also notes that such ventures are unlikely to scale as big as WordPress, which holds the lion’s share of the CMS market. However, she still thinks that there’s plenty of room for Yoast to grow, even if it’s just within WordPress. “There are a lot of challenges — and a lot of people who can build a website start with WordPress, which is good.”
Many small businesses have yet to take the leap towards the digital business game, which Marieke attributes to the inherent difficulty in putting together a WordPress site, as opposed to how easy it is to just create a Facebook page or an Instagram account. “On a website, you own your own stuff, and you have everything on your own domain. WordPress makes it the easiest part to get; the thing going on that it's yours, and you can do with it what you want. But that takes a little bit of training.”
Despite these challenges,
Optimizing Your Site for Search with Juliette van Rooyen
In this episode of the B2B Lead Gen Podcast, search optimization expert Juliette van Rooyen talks about how to get internal linking right, how to deal with keyword cannibalization, the easiest way to crawl one’s own site, some pointers in hiring the best developers for your website, and more.
Juliette is the founder and head of SEO at VR Squared, and has worked within client-side and agency environments in London and Cape Town for the past 15 years.
As part of her work in extremely competitive industries, she creates global SEO strategies that cover over 50 regions and more than ten languages, and also solves technical site issues that affect key page performance.
While Juliette didn’t initially plan to get into SEO, she found herself naturally gravitating toward that path. Originally a developer, she felt that trying something different would be a breath of fresh air. “Given that I was used to working with code, over time, I've kind of naturally transitioned towards the more technical side of SEO, where being able to utilize code and understanding how it all works is a massive asset,” she shares.
Full Video Interview
On the topic of internal or contextual linking, Juliette mentions that it begins with your main navigation section. According to her, it can go both ways. Some businesses only link to their top-level pages, which doesn’t really help people who want to navigate to more valuable content on the site. On the other hand, it’s also possible to overwhelm your audience with too many links.
“One of the big things that really helps to make sure that you're getting it right on an ongoing basis,” says Juliette, “is to crawl your own sites.” The easiest way to do this is by using a site crawler like Screaming Frog, which Juliette has been using for over a decade. A deep crawl would be particularly useful for enterprise-level sites.
In terms of finding and hiring the right developer for a website project, Juliette had this piece of advice: “Honestly, the best way to find someone good is to reach out to other people who are your connections in the industry; everybody knows someone else who's doing what they do.”
She added that word-of-mouth recommendations have been particularly effective for her whenever she’s looking for a developer or an SEO specialist. And while the really high-end developers may be out of reach for small businesses with limited budgets, there are still plenty of excellent developers working specifically with WordPress. ”Having professionals to do what they do best frees you up to do what you do best — and to actually sell your products.”
Keyword Cannibalization and Web Page Quality
Juliette also talks about how to deal with keyword cannibalization on your website. Keyword cannibalization is what happens when there are multiple pages on your website trying to rank for the same keyword.
With resources such as SEO Tools for Excel, Juliette and her team are able to discover and manage keyword cannibalization with ease. “It doesn't matter how big or small your site is; there are often ways for you to consolidate that you've not considered,” she says. “Keyword cannibalization is a great signpost to say, ‘Guys, you've got a lot here.”
Blitzscaling, Bigotry, and Bezos with Chris Yeh
In this episode, writer, investor and entrepreneur Chris Yeh talks about Blitzscaling: The Lightning Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies, a book he wrote with Linkedin CEO Reid Hoffman, which explains how companies like Amazon, AirBNB, and Uber use a very specific set of offensive, competitive strategies that prioritize speed over profitability to achieve massive scale at incredible speed.
We also discuss how Bezos is blitzscaling at Amazon, Uber's growth scaling strategy and racism in the venture capital community.
In This Podcast
What is BlitzscalingSignificance of network effects in BlitzscalingHow network effects create winner-take-all markets
Full video interview: https://youtu.be/QOJFEnvUduQ
The difference between fastscaling and BlitzscalingDifference between B2B growth marketing and B2B marketing
Full video interview: https://youtu.be/QOJFEnvUduQ
Which startups can afford to ignore efficiencyDangers of out-of-control growthUber Blitzscaling growth marketing strategyRacism in the venture capital community
Full video interview: https://youtu.be/QOJFEnvUduQ
Amazon founder and CEO Jeff BezosIndustry vs. Growth Marketing Experience How Yeh decides which startups to invest in
Listen to the full interview with Chris Yeh of Blitzscaling Ventures, and if you’d like to support this podcast, rate and review us on Apple Podcasts here.
Meghan Markle, Clubhouse and Alternate Realities with Katie Kern
In this episode Katie (Ekaette) Kern, COO of Media Frenzy Global, a PR and marketing agency with offices in Atlanta, and London, discuss Clubhouse, the Meghan Markle Oprah Winfrey interview, the #BlackWomenatWork hashtag, Billie Holiday, alternate realities, and much, much more. She’s an expert at getting press coverage for her clients.
Kern started as a retail coordinator at Reebok, and after that she started her own PR agency specializing in fashion and lifestyle brands. Next, she became a partner at Media Frenzy. Reebok was her first job after graduating from college, “and it was a great, great launching pad for me, I got to work with many global brands. I couldn’t ask for any more from a learning standpoint. I was managing millions of dollars in retail marketing budget.”
Kern says she’s bullish on the potential of Clubhouse as a B2B content marketing tool, having recently hosted a mixer on the nascent audio service for a client involved with SXSW. “I’m more of a listener than I am a host. I like to go and just kind of listen to what people has to say”, she explains. Clubhouse can be used as a virtual event platform, which is especially useful these days. “People can go in and invite speakers to come in and speak on various topics,” Kern says.
regarding the Meghan Markle-Prince Harry interview, Kern thought, “It was done really well, and it was done by the right person.” But with respect to the Crown, she said they handled the situation poorly. “They should have been advocating for Megan, apologizing for how they made her feel,” Kerns says. She also explains why the hashtag #BlackWomenAtWork went viral during the interview.
Full Video Interview
There's a different sense of what’s real in the black community than what’s real in the White community, she pointed out. “It really took the murder of George Floyd to awaken people”, she emphasizes. “I have gone to HR on numerous occasions, saying that I had been mistreated, microaggressions, and I’m not an oversensitive person”. In many of those instances, she was told she was overacting. Her message to White America is that racism still festers and inhibits African Americans, particularly in the workplace. Rather than roll your eyes, “Believe black people,” she says.
Regarding the film United States vs. Billie Holiday, Kern says she enjoyed the music, but remarked that what Holiday went through is not really that surprising for her perspective. “I didn’t find her story to be unique, because when I look back at a lot of other black performers in that day, their situation is not any different.” But she said that in addition to standing her ground, she was struck by Holiday’s self-confidence in the value of her artistry. “It’s so important to know that you’re valued, and there’s so many people who want to bring you down, who don’t think very much of you, but I felt in that moment, watching, that she knew what her worth was.”
To hear the full interview, scroll up and use the audio player at the top of this blog post to play the podcast. And subscribe to future episodes here.
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How To Stack Marketing Technology with Scott Brinker
In this episode of the B2B Lead Gen Podcast, Scott Brinker, vice president of platform ecosystem at HubSpot and editor at Chief MarTech talks about stack business value with marketing technology.
Brinker is also chair of the MarTech Conference and a graduate of the MIT Sloan School of Management.
He launched Chiefmartec.com 13 years ago to explore the intermingling of marketing and technology, before B2B customer journeys were well understood, and before the concept of content marketing funnels or B2B lead generation had really evolved.
The site, whose name is an abbreviation of the “Chief Marketing Technologist” job title, covers the latest digital marketing news, vertically integrated vs. best-of-breed marketing stacks, and produces its own trade show.
Though he’s still very invested in Chiefmartec, Scott spends the majority of his time at Hubspot, which came to prominence a few years ago by making a huge investment in B2B content marketing.
“We really found that pivot point where people were going more and more to the internet to actually make decisions about who they wanted to do business with, the whole shift from outbound sales and heavy advertising budgets to a model that would attract customers by publishing content that was useful to them, would show up in Google and social networks,” Brinker says.
Although they do have enterprise clients, Hubspot is currently seeing the most growth in the midmarket, so they’re not just marketing to a CTO persona. They’re marketing directly to founders and entrepreneurs as well.
Since then, Hubspot has become a full stack digital marketing, sale and service platform with around third-party 700 app partners marketing SaaS applications to inetgrate with their platform. Scott celebrates the explosion of the Hubspot ecosystem, but he also sees it as a big challenge.
“Sure, I can buy all these specialized tools, but do I get them to work together? My mission at Hubspot is to help solve that problem by saying ‘Ok, Hubspot is at the center of your stack, we’d like to work with all those companies that have out-of-the-box integration, so you just don’t have to think about that, you just plug them in and they work,” he says.
One of the big changes brought about by Hubspot is giving many small businesses the chance to use advanced digital marketing tools. But how can a small start-up spec its stack, get a scope study going and minimize risk?
“A small business that is new to this should not read my blog, it will only distract them and freak them out”, Scott says with a smile. Not surprisingly, he suggests resorting to Hubspot instead. “It does so much out of the box and it provides such good educational materials. It’s just the way to go,” says Brinker.
He says that while much of the digital marketing tech is cool, when you’re doing things like optimizing the web experience, B2B search engine marketing, email marketing best practices, and finding a B2B keyword topic cluster you can compete in, the real work is the actual content creation and lead qualification.
Brinker says Hubspot minimizes the risk of winding up with a Frankenstack, but like anything else in the software world, successful deployments rely on how well you gather data across different functions, fine-tune the customer experience and how well you customize your workflows.
But for the right customers, Hubspot’s integrated sales, service,
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