240 Seconds to Google’s Page 1
Typeform asks millions of people across the internet questions every single day, so when I interviewed Typeform’s former Head of Acquisition, Jake Stainer, it was my turn.
In this episode, Jake talks through how CRO, SEO, and PPC combine in his department to build the perfect demand gen machine. Key concepts he’ll discuss? How cohorts ace B2B PPC, one SEO trick that pushed them up from position 19 to 4 in just minutes, and an exit-intent popup strategy that doesn’t suck.
You can also learn more about Jake and how he helps SaaS companies grow here.
Some important links and Jake’s favorite marketing tools
- typeform.com. Cause, it works well.
- ahrefs’ youtube channel (and what might be my favorite link-building intro)
- Ahrefs (you’ll remember the CMO from my last podcast)
- Supermetrics, basically steroids for marketing tracking
- Unbounce for landing page software
- Google Optimise for A/B testing
- KWFinder for finding long-tail keywords
When you have a higher domain authority than the US Senate and over 63 million backlinks, the world smiles at you. My name is Eytan Buchman and today, on Two Minute Marketing, I question the internet’s chief questions askers – Typeform. Pop open your browser, and search survey. Or quiz maker. They’re top 3 every time and here’s one of the guys making it happen.
My name is Jake, originally from Englan, currently living in BCN where Typeform’ HQ is and I’m currently leading the acquisition marketing at Typeform. So acquisition marketing at Typeform currently looks over three strategic disciplines:
The first one is SEO – we have a big domain authority The second is paid marketing – so we’re currently icnevesting in paid search, paid social, GDN< etc. and the the last one is looking over conversion rate optimization to improve the conversion from visit to signup Eytan
Fair warning, there’s a lot of knowledge here so this is more of a ten minute thing than a two minute thing. Sue me. On the SEO front, Typeform has something really unique going for them, doubled their number of referring domains every year for half a decade.
But it’s not a walk in the park.
We were looking at the competition, looking at different websites doing a lot of keyword research, and we put a lot of longer form content and then this content didn’t rank. We built links to it. Even though we had a 91 domain authority, we built links this content through different link building tactics. And this piece of content still didn’t rank in Google after six months.
If you’ve been listening to this podcast you know that Google’s doing a better job at finding what users want and this is no different.
We looked at the top 10 in Google and we saw that the content that we’ve produced wasn’t really much in the search intent of the user. The user was looking for information like in a compact way. This piece of content was on different savvy tips and they wanted the savvy tips in literally one paragraph, where we had the savvy tips throughout the whole article and we literally made the change by pinning a summary to the top of this article. We asked Google to record it through a search console. And literally within a few minutes, we refresh the SERPs and we were in position four.
When before we were like position 19. And then literally from one day to next, we went from like 200 visitors per month to 2,000 visitors per month just by reoptimizing existing content
Position 19 to 4 in a few minutes? I’ll take two please. Here’s how you can do the same. @
I would go back through your past content and think, “Can I add a summary of this blog post in the first paragraph and answer that search query a lot faster?” Because people nowadays they want things faster rate. They want things now. Think back to like 10 years where you could wait a whole week to get something from Amazon. But now you only want to wait one day. Now translate this thinking into the content you’re putting out there. People want to get answer as fast as possible and then navigate to different places of your website.
Great. So then you get more users to your website. But how do you convert them? Typeform used …Typeform.
So, I guess you’ve made landing pages before, and one thing most people do when they’re making landing pages is they try to get data on how people are using that landing page. So some tools might be heatmaps, where if you’re using for example Crazy Egg or your Hotjar, pople are now looking at clickmaps, where do people click, scrollmaps, even mouse tracking tools … So, right now I feel like the marketing world is almost data obsessed in the sense that we’re always looking for tools to get quantifiable insights.
Instead, what we did is we embedded a typeform on that exit intent pop-up, and we asked people “oh hey there, why didn’t you decide to sign up to Typeform?” And we have various different options such as “I don’t have the time”, “I didn’t understand the product”, “I couldn’t find the pricing”, and then when you click on this option then it gives you a text area where the user can type in more of an answer to give more qualitative feedback So, for example, some people are saying “Hey, I had to ask my mum”, “I had to run to my maths class”, “I’ve got many tabs opened, and I haven’t decided yet. I’m looking at your competitor”. Some people said, for example, “I’m an agency looking on behalf of my client”. So just think, using these different heatmaps, clickmaps, you would never have known that there was an agency looking for a tool for their client. So how would you optimize around this? How would you modify the copy on your page, and quick different hypotheses, if you hadn’t actually spoken to people?
I love turning the Hail Mary exit intent popup into research, not a poor last ditch converter. So this brings us to the gravy – the paid ads. See, there’s two big problems that B2B businesses frequently run into on paid – well, like at least two. The first is that conversions can take weeks, months or years, which makes agile testing is really hard. The second is that it’s hard to balance between stable ROI and the fun experimental channels that makers work well. For Jake, the answer to both is cohorts, measuring a specific audience – say, based on month they signed up, and tracking how their performance changes over time.
Look at your cohorts. For example, if you’ve been investing in paid marketing, let’s just say paid search for example, over the past, say, one year, 12 months, go back to that first month of investment, look at how many people signed up for your product or gave over an email address, and see, month for month, how those sign-ups convert into revenue. Okay? And you might find, that in month one, 60% of all the revenue occurred in that first month; and then the remaining 40% happened over the span of the remaining year.
And then what you can do, is you can build a model, so you can look at multiplier. So you take the 60% and then you add on that 40% of the total revenue that you get in your first month
By looking at this cohort over time, we can recalibrate this growth multiplier, like this customer prediction multiplier, and we increase our confidence in the money we are investing.
It’s not just for projecting though. Jake pulls out cohorts when experimenting with new channels, like Quora ads.
So at Typeform we’re experimenting with other pay channels out there. We don’t just have one pay channel, because we understand that that’s probably other opportunities out there for growth, right? So we look at other channels that we’ve invested in, and we take our best assumptions, and then we set a budget. We commit to a budget. So, for example, you could commit to $5000, and then we invest this budget in that channel, and we invest that in a 30 day window. So a whole month, so let’s just say, we invest it in the month of November, we get a ton of traffic, as many product sign-ups as possible. From then, it could be a waiting game. We’re looking at that cohort because, as I said, the money is in the cohort.
This is actually really important. To compare apples to apples, you need to experiment, lock down a cohort, and wait. You might spot the immediate success or flops but for everything else in the middle, you’ll need to projectable cohorts…and lots of patience.
So don’t stop at your first month if you’re experimenting with new channels. Definitely keep investigating, experimenting, hypothesizing how you could improve those different funnel metrics. Map them out in spreadsheet, and really have in mind the cohort, because some people said the money is in the list; however, I would say, the money is definitely in that cohort. If you don’t have the cohort in your minds and have it all mapped out, and you’re investing in paid ads, especially in b2b with long conversion windows, then you’re throwing growth completely down the drain.
So, if you’re still with us, my beautiful December 2018 cohort, remember that I shun corporate sponsors and have never done a Two Minute Marketing ICO. Which means that they only love I get…is when you share this with another marketer or if you tell my mom you heard this. Thanks for listening, again, my name is Eytan Buchman and you just heard some Typeform-magnitude wisdom on Two Minute Marketing.