Why your keyword-led SEO strategy isn’t working (and what to do instead) with Eli Schwartz

14C7608F_24 - Camille Trent - Content Logistics - Eli Schwartz - Quotecard 3

Episode Summary

Product-led SEO is a next-level SEO strategy that can help companies attract a larger audience and add more visibility to their products. And it is a pretty efficient technique that focuses more on revenue instead of rankings. After all, that’s what SEO is all about.

But product-led SEO doesn’t work for everyone. So, instead of investing in product-led SEO, local businesses should stick with Google My Business profiles and Yelp pages since these channels can help owners attract the right audience more efficiently.

In this episode of Content Logistics, Camille Trent welcomes Eli Schwartz, a best-selling author and an SEO expert and consultant with long-standing experience at various companies. They chat about the essence of product-led SEO, companies that can benefit from it, and when companies should bet on product-led SEO to foster their growth.

Guest Profile


Key Insights

Episode Highlights

A Message to Early-Stage Companies: Don’t Focus on SEO; Go for Paid Media

“What I tell a lot of early-stage companies is, ‘Don’t focus on SEO. Focus on paid media.’ […] If you focus on paid media, depending on the vertical and the type of product, you get almost instant gratification. Say it’s e-commerce, and you’re focused on paid media — either people buy, or they don’t buy. In SaaS, it depends on how expensive it is and what they’re selling, but they [people] will either fill out a lead and become part of the demand-gen stream, the MQL and SQL, or they will not. And you’ll know.

And once you’ve nailed what your performance strategy is, how you’re converting, and what your buyer journey is, then you can take that and say, ‘That is what we should build SEO around.'”

It’s Hard to Track Where the Customer Came From

“The longer it takes to convert a customer from search, the harder it really is going to be to prove that it came from search. My favorite kind of business is e-commerce. They convert, or they don’t. It depends on the product. If it’s expensive, it’ll take a little bit longer.

Now, think about the automotive industry. I’m interested in buying a new Tesla. I do a search, and I read about it, and then I go to the dealership, and I test drive a Tesla, and then maybe Tesla gets lucky, and they can retarget me, but there are so many touchpoints. I can go to my neighbor’s to check out their car, and then I can think about it. And then I go to another dealer, and I decide to buy from that dealer. So, how do you ever prove that it came from a Google search? It’s almost impossible. The same could happen with SaaS. And I think it’s even more interesting when you involve salespeople in the process where everyone starts taking credit for [the sale].”

If You Do Product-Led SEO, You’re Building a Brand and Authority Slower but Better

“Zillow is one of my favorite examples of product-led SEO because Zillow drives so much of their traffic from individual addresses in America. They have a page for every address in America. They cannot do marketing for every single address in America, other than through SEO. So, for a company like that, if they neglected SEO, it would be all about brand and TV advertising, podcast advertising, and media. The way they created and will continue to create visibility is by being visible on every single address.

If you do product-led SEO, you’re creating the product that you know users are looking for, what they’re going to be searching for, and then finding your product. And you will be building a brand and the authority the slower but better way. […] If you have this kind of product, I think this is the only way to build a brand and develop marketing in 2022 and well beyond.”

SEO Newbies, Start By Understanding What’s Working, What’s Not Working, and What Should Be Working

“Most people start SEO by digging into the Google Search Console. They go into Google Analytics, and they start looking for competitors. I start by understanding the users. Whenever I onboard a new client, I talk to them about who they want to be when they grow up, who their ideal client is and how they are driving business right now. And I get some remarkable insights.

As you’re starting a new role, whether you’ve been doing SEO in the past or whether you’re new at SEO, understand who the customer is, understand what their needs and desires are, and start building towards that.

Ahrefs is only $99 a month. And anyone with $99 a month can go find that exact keyword. Everyone can copy the exact strategy. Whereas if you understand your users and their unmet needs, and you create for them, that can’t be bought.”

Final Words of Wisdom

“Give yourself as much license to be creative as possible. That’s where you find the white spaces within the search. […] Deep dive into your market and your customers, and start looking for those white spaces as a content and SEO person, and give yourself freedom and space to be creative. That’s where your success will lie.”