A standard piece of advice that both software salespeople and marketers provide when it comes to lead generation is to apply SEO. In fact, the use of SEO is expected nowadays because of how much impact it can have in increasing your close rate. But are you actually executing your SEO correctly?
B2B SaaS Sales Coach and Host Matt Wolach and Growth Sprints Founder Brendan Hufford get to the bottom of what not to do when it comes to SEO. Hufford also shares many of his personal content techniques like the 3S and the 5-Step Framework. Watch and find out what pitfalls to avoid to keep accelerating your SaaS!
Podcast: SaaS-Story in the Making
Episode: Episode No. 233, “SEO Mistakes to Avoid – with Brendan Hufford”
Host: Matt Wolach, a B2B SaaS sales coach, Entrepreneur, and Investor
Guest: Brendan Hufford, Founder at Growth Sprints
TOP TIPS FROM THIS EPISODE
Don’t Mind SEO Before Figuring Yourself Out
Be it SEO or marketing, hammering out your brand should always come first. And while it’s true that tactics like SEO are helpful for your sales, it would only be worthwhile if you’re getting the right customers. Why? Because it would either lead to a failed close or attrition and maybe even a bad review.
You might wonder, “Matt, how do I get the right customers?” A good starting point would be to figure out the Product Market Fit (PMF). You have to ensure that your product is truly solving a problem with enough demand. After that comes figuring out your Ideal Client Profile (ICP). And then, through either feedback or retention, you confirm if the product fits the ICP.
Of course, you should pay attention to your marketing. In fact, Hufford advises against that as marketing is incredibly helpful in lead generation. But you have to get your priorities in the correct order to prevent wasted efforts, especially since that would be counterproductive to our goal of scaling as fast as possible.
Don’t Post Blogs Beyond Your Niche
One of the most critical mistakes you can make is publishing blogs that aren’t what your company is all about. Just because a topic has a really high amount of clicks does not require posting it on your website. You can keep writing about marketing on your website for example but it would be pointless if you’re a SaaS company and you have yet to publish sales-centric content.
If you are unsure where to start in planning your content, Hufford has generously shared his 5-Step Framework:
- Identify a Problem (that your product can solve)
- Identify the first roadblock in solving the problem
- Provide a free template that solves the problem
- Cite a success story of your customers that used the template
- Provide a high-level overview that links to feature pages
Hufford also used outdated content as an example of what to avoid. He says nobody cares about company slogans anymore, so if you have published that before, it’s likely that you are currently losing website traffic. And losing website traffic would be a great way to hurt your SEO. So make sure to plan your content accordingly and make sure it’s related to the services and identity of your business.
Don’t Base Content on Keyword Search Results
When people think of SEO tools, they usually think that it’s just to select keywords for blogs. But a lot of content planning nowadays actually relies on SEO tools. What this means is that marketers tend to search the top keywords and check which months they spike. They then plot out the content of the blog based on that.
Hufford disagrees with the use of SEO tools as the content source. Instead, he stresses that your content source should be your own customers. You do this by either talking to your customers directly to get their feedback or interviewing people that transact with customers directly like your salespeople or customer service representatives.
If the company is big enough, Hufford advises utilizing the 3S, which stands for sales, success, and support. What this means is that the company must communicate with all the teams that handle your customers. Doing this would lead to being ahead of the curve in content generation.
SEO Tools are Outdated
Yet another reason as to why SEO tools shouldn’t be relied upon for content, Hufford states that SEO tools are actually 6-12 months behind at best. So the only way to actually talk about what’s relevant is to extract it directly from your own customers. Apart from being outdated, SEO tools can also be unethical. Hufford shared that he found out that SEO tools rely on click streams which are third-party data, harvested by antivirus software, that is sold without the user’s knowledge.
[7:40] “But one thing companies shouldn’t do is completely ignore marketing. I think marketing makes a lot of other things easier. Whether you’re, you know, having like a product lead motion or a sales lead motion or both.”
[16:34] “I call it the 3S strategy: Sales, Success, and Support. Talk to your sales team, your success team, and your support team. You will understand very quickly, if you ask the right questions, what people need to know to either make a buying decision or be retained as a customer; things like that. You’ll figure that stuff out really fast.”
[9:00] “I think that you gotta be smart in how you do it. You have got to make sure you’re doing it at the right pace. Obviously, we all want to grow quickly and you’ve got to get there but if you’re doing the wrong things at the wrong time, it’s not going to work.”
[9:39] “If you encounter somebody who is not a fit for what you are doing and what you can do to help them, do not try and force a close. Do not try and force sell them. And it’s so hard, especially in the early days when you really need sales, need sales, need sales. You try to force people into it. It doesn’t work.”
To learn more about Brendan Hufford and Growth Sprints, visit: https://growthsprints.co/
You can also find Brendan Hufford on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brendanhufford/
For more about how host Matt Wolach helps software companies achieve maximum growth, visit https://mattwolach.com/