07 Dec 2016

How To Get Top Content Rankings (And Translate Them Into Sales)

How To Get Top Content Rankings (And Translate Them Into Sales)

Most established B2B companies engage in some form of content marketing

As I have said in the past, unless the competition in your industry is fierce, even modest attempts at content marketing will pay off.

The results might come in various forms such as people getting to know your brand, unaffiliated leads and customers, more people searching for your brand instead of generic keywords (i.e. Searching “Salesforce” instead of “CRM“) organic traffic and more.

In this post I want to focus on the latter (organic traffic), how to get it with your content and some ways you can easily translate that into sales, by building an automated system.

It might sound impossible or like a silver bullet, but it isn’t either one. It needs some work to set it up , but after that it works on its own with minimal monthly monitoring.

Everyone is focusing on getting traffic, but here we will take it a step further, by looking at the big picture, how to increase your content’s organic traffic and closing the other end of the loop. That is, what do you do after you get the traffic?

Let’s start with some fundamentals, so we all start from the same base..


It’s important to see the big picture here, which is easy.

You write some informative content pieces talking about a topic, they rank for specific keywords, people who might not know your brand end up on these pages and consume the content.

But, if you offer a specific complementary lead magnet on these pages, you end up with pages which receive new visitors on a regular basis, whom you convert into top of the funnel leads by having them opt in for a highly relevant lead magnet and all of this for free!

Once you have their email, you can send them automated emails to further educate them and convert the interested ones into customers. You know already what they are interested in, so you won’t even have to do further segmentation!

That’s pretty much the concept and we will see how to do it below.

Start By Auditing Yourself

First of all, you need to be getting some organic traffic, otherwise the tactics below won’t have such an impact.

Ideally you should be getting over 2,000 organic visitors per month to your blog or other informative pages.

(If you are not already there you should read and implement this guide on how to hit the ground running fast and in the right direction..)

First of all, you need to identify the pages that are getting the most organic traffic. This can easily be done through Search Console (previously Webmaster Tools).

You simply log in here and go at the page as shown in the screenshot:

search console google webmaster tools

You short your pages per clicks and there you have it.

Under “Queries”, you can also see *some* search terms people are typing before they land on your pages. These are not all the search terms that drive you traffic, but it’s better than nothing.

You can start small by taking the top 10-20 pages from your search console that get the most organic traffic and group them under themes if possible (i.e. Content marketing, PPC, etc). This is for later use.

For these 10-20 pages you will also need to find which ones are ranking at or below position #3 and from those pages, the search terms that have a good mix of impressions and clicks. This can easily be done by clicking each page and then clicking “Queries” to see its queries.

Now, we need to make these pages rank as high as possible for maximum traffic.

Make Your Existing Content Rank Higher

As you know, there are 2 ways to make your existing content rank higher: Onsite and Offsite SEO.

Both are needed, but we will start with the Onsite SEO because it’s faster to implement and if you have good Domain Authority you can quickly see results just from that.

Onsite SEO

Since we have already found for each page some search terms that they rank for and they are below the 3rd position and get some impressions, we want to further optimize around those keywords/search terms for that particular page.

This usually includes one or more of the following:

1. Add a paragraph including the search term and variations

2. Add an H2 with the search term

3. Edit the meta description to include more search terms

4. If your blog’s title targets another keyword, you can edit only the meta title to target additional keywords

5. Search your blog for relevant keywords and add links with an appropriate anchor text if possible in those articles, pointing to the pages you are optimizing

6. Edit the alt of the images of your ranking page to include more search terms

Usually these actions can be done in a short period of time. Offsite SEO can be more effective, but it usually takes a little bit longer.

Let’s see what we can do with Offsite SEO.

Offsite SEO

Offsite SEO’s big picture is pretty straightforward: get editorial, dofollow links from authoritative sites.

The key part in our case is that we don’t want links pointing to our homepage to increase a little bit our overall rankings.

We want links that point to the specific pages we are optimizing for, in order for them to rank from #9 to #2. These links are also part of a healthy site’s link profile.

The tactics of getting them is out of the scope of this blog post, but the most suitable way to get them would be through guest posting or infographics promotion or PR. If you need more details about those, just drop me an email and I will guide you further.

Ok we are increasing our organic traffic, now what?

Capture More Of Your Traffic

Remember the Search Console (ex-Webmaster Tools) that I mentioned at the start of the article?

Well, that’s where you can see what people typed on Google to reach your content pages by clicking a page and then going to “Queries”. With this qualitative data in mind, you can find queries that are not already answered in your pages or queries that can be expanded upon.

Now that you know what people are looking for and since you have grouped your pages under themes, you can go and create a lead magnet for each theme.

This can be a complementary template, a checklist or simply more information on a relevant topic.

Now, people who are landing on those pages will find your lead magnet much more compelling and personalized.

This will lead to much higher opt in rates. Matthew Barby got Hubspot’s conversion rate from 1.15% to 3.92% for one of their pages!

Also, you want to have those people into different email marketing lists, so we can set up a highly targeted email nurturing campaign for each one.

Translate Opt Ins Into Sales With Marketing Automation

Now, these people probably have no clue who you are and what your business is doing. They were just searching for something on Google, landed on your blog post, wanted the lead magnet that you offered and opted in to get it.

That’s still pretty far from buying whatever it is that you are selling. To bridge that gap you want an automated email marketing series that will nurture your newly acquired subscribers and educate them on the theme/topic they signed up for.

For example, if they opted in at a page talking about Social Media platforms, you want to send them your top articles (1 article per email) on social media and getting the most out of them. Don’t send those emails every day, span them out every 3 days or so.

You can do much more like lead scoring, etc, but for the purposes of this blog post I will keep it simple.

Then once you have sent them these articles you can have your sales team contact the ones with good open rates or if you are a self-served SaaS you can send a promotional email for every 3 regular emails.

You can learn more about marketing automation and how to get the most out of it from this article I wrote some months ago.


To sum up this long post, you can find pages that are ranking at mid to low 1st or 2nd page positions and push them up with some onsite and offsite optimization. This will get you more organic traffic, but it’s not enough to translate that into B2B SaaS sales.

By offering a highly tailored lead magnet you get higher opt in rates and with an automated email nurturing process you educate and convert more of them into sales without lifting a finger, besides setting it up and monitoring it.

If you want to learn more about the PIE framework and website SEO optimization, check out this post from Matthew Barby.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this piece in the comments below. See you in a month!

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