Audience First SEO – Improving Search Performance

It’s no secret that SEO is the backbone of a successful website. However, it can be difficult to figure out how to improve your SEO and achieve top rankings. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available for businesses to help them learn more about improving their SEO performance. 

Nathaniel Schooler and Rory Hope had a good conversation about social media and SEO correlation. Do not miss this episode!

In this interview, we take a look at some secrets of audience intelligence that have helped propel many companies into the ranks of Google’s number one spot. We’ll also discuss what you can do if you’re looking for a little additional help with your marketing efforts! 

In the podcast Secrets of Audience Intelligence – Improving SEO Performance Rory Hope shared massive value!

A summary of what Rory Hope and Nathaniel Schooler spoke about assuming you have the right domain name.

• Nathaniel Schooler interviews Rory Hope, who is head of inbound marketing at Symmetrical and has a lot of experience formulating SEO strategies that deliver clear ROI
• SEO has changed significantly over the years, moving away from spamming search engines to delivering quality content that is relevant to audiences
• When developing an SEO strategy, 96% of people use keyword data, but only 16% use social media data
• Integrating social media data into an SEO strategy can give a better understanding of who the audience is that is searching for your product or service

•63% of SEOs and digital marketers don’t believe that search engine keyword data gives them enough insights into fully understanding the interests and behaviours of their target audience
• Only 16% use social media data when developing their SEO strategy
• 80% of people want to be able to find websites that are relevant to the topic they’re interested in, or the service they provide, faster than they currently do
• 93% use keyword data with their strategy development

•Rory Hope recommends using audience intelligence solutions like Audiense and Pulsar in order to generate content ideas for websites.
• By understanding what themes are being talked about within a certain keyword segment, it is possible to come up with content ideas that are hyper-relevant and have a higher chance of being included in relevant publications.
• Cybersecurity is one example of a topic where keyword research can be used to identify relevant keywords, websites that rank well for those terms, and potential content ideas.

audience first seo

•Most SEOs and digital marketers have access to tools that allow them to identify which keywords cybersecurity websites rank for.
• Segmenting these keywords allows you to better understand the topic of cybersecurity as it pertains to your business.
• Using a keyword ranking tool, you can pull back data on the top 20 websites ranked for each keyword relevant to your business.
• Taking this data, you can create a pivot table in Excel that shows which websites rank for the most keywords within your branch of cybersecurity.
• From here, using social media audience intelligence software, you can upload the social media profiles of your best-performing SEO competitors and see who their followers are.
• Doing all this will give you a comprehensive understanding of who is active within the cyber security community and what they are interested in.

•Rory Hope discussed how to use social media data and audience intelligence analysis to improve your SEO.
• By understanding the social media behaviours of groups and clusters of people (e.g. digital entrepreneurs), businesses can better understand their target audiences and create more effective content and marketing campaigns.
• Keyword intelligence data should be used to direct all analysis, in order to make sure that it is aligned with your overall keyword targeting strategy.

•Rory Hope recommends using niche blogs, legal blogs, and entrepreneurial blogs as sources of information for the audience first SEO.
• By monitoring Twitter for real-time engagement data, businesses can stay agile in their content and PR strategies.
• Content should be written in line with what is being talked about by the people that influence the target audience.
• Pages that are relevant to conversions (e.g., newsletter signups or sales) should rank for keywords with transactional intent.

•Audience first SEO takes social data and uses it to enrich the ideation process for creating content that is relevant to a topic.
• This approach works in all industries and for businesses of all sizes.
• It is important to follow a framework when implementing audience first SEO in order to ensure success.

Audience first SEO

When it comes to SEO, a lot of people think about the latest techniques and tactics for getting their website to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). While technical know-how is certainly important when optimizing a website, it’s not the only factor that contributes to good search performance. In order to create an effective SEO strategy that delivers results, you need to put your audience first. That means understanding who they are and what they want, and then tailor your content and optimization efforts accordingly. By taking an audience-first approach to SEO, you can improve your website’s visibility and drive more qualified traffic to your pages. So if you’re looking for ways to boost your search engine rankings, consider putting your audience first!

Why social listening and audience intelligence matters?

If you do not use Social media listening and audience intelligence your data will leave plenty of valuable insights on your desk. Then maybe you miss out on a very valuable part of your brand that will be actively discussed by people. Your customers tell you their wishes for their brand. You really have to listen to social listening and take a look at the insights you may gain by doing it. How can social learning help you to hear people’s perspectives?

For the audience first SEO, we discussed who the audience is typing in the keyword and audience intelligence tools.

Rory Hope is Head of Inbound Marketing at Semetrical.

Rory has experience formulating successful SEO strategies designed to deliver a clear ROI, SEO growth, and multi-million-pound revenues for global organisations.

We discussed: –

  • What are the benefits of an audience-first SEO strategy?
  • How do you integrate keyword intelligence and audience intelligence to formulate an SEO strategy?
  • What do I optimise towards an audience-first SEO strategy to improve performance?

These are just a few elements that people need to consider when putting their SEO and Social Media efforts in check these are some of the elements that need to be considered:

  • Keyword research
  • Page tags and descriptions
  • Website optimization
  • Social media marketing 
  • Content creation 
  • Link building

Secrets of Audience Intelligence – Improving SEO Performance

It’s no secret that SEO is the backbone of a successful website. However, it can be difficult to figure out how to improve your SEO and achieve top rankings. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available for businesses to help them learn more about improving their SEO performance.

Social listening definition

Social listening is the tracking of messages posted across social media that are related to a company’s brand. And it’s not just about how often the brand is mentioned. This is also known as social media sentiment. What do people think about your company and brand? It also allows you to respond to immediately negative messages. It’s important to understand that social listening is forward and back. You need to analyze what you have collected using it to inform your strategy and make your daily activities. It’s most important to know to socially listen to what goes on behind the data.

What is social media listening?

Social media listening is about tracking conversations on social media about your organisation or brand name. When your organisation knows what customers like and trust you can begin to use these free resources to help you answer questions about your services and also get constructive feedback. Free tools include free social media listening apps to track conversations if e.g. your peer organisation, social media users.

Best social listening tools

There are many social listening tools out there that you can use. These are just a few of the best ones that we have found available out there:

Audiense is just one of the tools that we use to understand more about our audience and to begin to build an audience first SEO strategy.

Social media monitoring tools

understanding what tools are available is a good place to start. They can help you stay on top of what is going on and keep track of the topics that your audience is interested in.

These tools will all have different features, so it’s important to evaluate them all against each other when making your choice.

To get in touch with Rory to set up a session to discuss how to integrate keyword
intelligence with audience intelligence research and formulate an ‘audience-first SEO’ strategy for your business.

Full transcript is below for Audience First SEO

Nathaniel Schooler


So today I’m joined by joined by Rory hope, and you are head of inbound marketing it Symmetrical. So, yeah, and you’ve got lots of experience in formulating SEO strategies that deliver clear ROI. Because I mean, that’s really important. And also for delivering multi-million pound revenues for global organizations. Yeah cause there’s a lot of fluff around SEO. There has been for 10 years, right. Or however long it’s been going on for 10 plus years, right?

Rory Hope


Yeah. I mean that SEO itself is been going for, for a long, long time. I think it’s changed significantly over the years, very much from sorts of Black Hat, Grey hat SEO, where, you know, companies, spam search engines and, you know, generate lots of links from low quality sites to a certain page that’s then that, that then boosts the ranking of that page for a target keyword. Whereas nowadays, you know, it’s become very much more around delivering quality content.

That’s hyper relevant to what your audience or prospective audiences want to consume, read and learn from both from an informational perspective.

Also making sure that you get the right content for the full stages of the funnel, you know, all the way from awareness consideration through the decision. And so, it’s really become, it’s really evolved. SEO has really evolved over the last five to 10 years, very much towards what we’re talking about here and have been going on about some time it’s, it’s evolved towards audience first SEO. That’s the term that I’m aiming to coin to talk about because you really have to invest that time and resource into fully understanding the audiences behind the keywords that you’re identifying as being relevant to your business.

Nathaniel Schooler


That makes a lot of sense because they’re going to type it in, in a certain way with a certain, certain question that’s going to really resonate with them. Right. And would you say like that’s, that’s where this sort of buying intent kind of comes in?

Rory Hope


Well that’s a really interesting point because one of the seminar that I gave recently at social data summit and, and a webinar, we partnered with Audiense to deliver a few weeks ago. You know, that that was very much on improving performance with audience first SEO.

And the specifics of that would be around identifying the keywords that you believe are relevant to your business but making sure that you analyse the search results to see exactly which type of websites and pages are appearing for that given keyword or keyword segment, let’s say you’re targeting luxury properties, and you’re trying, and you’re trying to rank for luxury property keywords. And you’re going to want to review what’s ranking for luxury property, because that’s the best indicator of the type of audience or what the audience want from how they’re searching at that given moment of that journey.

Rory Hope


So you might see a lot of transactional pages ranking that list, various luxury properties, or you might start to see sort of pages that explain more about the different types of properties that you would pass as luxury in a certain location. So you have to really take the time to focus on what data you can gather that gives you an indication of what the audience wants when they search for a given keyword, but also exactly who, who they are. I think on that layer of who are they, who is this audience that are searching for this, this keyword segment or within this keyword segment is really where you’ll start to add that, that extra layer of value, and you can craft and optimize your content, not just for the keyword, but for the audiences around that keyword, if you see what I mean.

Nathaniel Schooler


Yeah. Can we, can we go to a bit more of a simple explanation? Like, can you, can you simplify it a bit more because they’re not, not everyone that’s sort of going to listen to this. It’s going to be top level SEO people, you know, or even social media people. And I struggled with that, and I’ve been understanding it almost as long as you maybe not in detail. But I think, I think it’s sort of bridging the gap between listening and understanding that audience and understanding the kind of words that they would use when they were searching. Is that, is that, is that it?

Rory Hope


I think the best way to sort of explain it is we actually held a survey for the SEO community. So, when I say the SEO community, it was, it’s sort of their SEO and the digital marketing community, which nowadays is sort of marketers overall. And, you know, SEO is an important part of developing a strategy for most businesses, specifically with Google, but also looking at SEO is just people who are driving organic traffic without paying for it minus their time and any technology they use. Now, the results of that survey, when we asked which data sources the people use to develop their SEO strategy, 96% use keyword data. So, SEOs and digital marketers are quite used to analysing keywords and understanding sort of the way in which you see from Google’s research technologies and platforms like Google keyword planner, exactly, to what keywords people are using to find your product or service.

Rory Hope


And the number of times they search that per month on average. So that data is readily available. That’s been there for quite some time, SEOs and digital marketers with often menus backlink data and content analytics. Data is a good understanding or indicator of the other topics that are most relevant or most engaging to their audience by looking at their competitors or publications that are prevalent around a keyword topic that they’re trying to target that might be relevant to your business. But what’s interesting is only 16% use social media data when they develop their SEO strategy.

And now social media data we believe is the best data source for really understanding the person or the audiences details around their interests, their behaviours, and their affinities. So, to really get an understanding of who the audiences are that are searching for your products or services in line with the keywords, you’ve found, you really need to think about how you can integrate social media data, but only 16% do.

Rory Hope


So when we’re sort of looking at SEO and talking about audience first SEO, what we’re saying here is we’ve got we’ve where we’ve got a process now where we use audience intelligence technology, which essentially uses social media data and analyses it at scale, but using audience intelligence technology, and overlaying that enriching, that original sort of approach towards keyword research and keyword intelligence, which a lot of companies and SEOs have done and are familiar with.

But interestingly, in that same survey, we found that 63% of SEOs and digital marketers don’t believe that search engine keyword data gives them enough insights into fully understanding the interests and behaviours of that target audience, that 63% who say that the tried and tested traditional methods of keyword research for SEO, for you to then build pages and content and improve your rankings. They still don’t give you enough information about your target audiences that they’re interested in by 63% and only 16%, one six use social media data.

Rory Hope


So all of this is about improving performance with audience first SEO. And this survey really gave us some insights into where the problems lie.

And then one of the other questions we asked was, do you find it difficult to generate content and digital PR campaign ideas? Because with SEO, once you know which keywords you want to rank for, you also need to have a steady stream of relevant content being published that supports that topic, right? It’s relevant to that topic. Google likes that search engines like finding that content, it helps you improve your rankings overall for that keyword topic. That’s a strategy that people companies will use, you know, but at the same time, you need to be generating backlinks, right, as a core part of SEO PR, but you need to be generating back links on websites that are relevant to the keyword topic you’re going after.

Rory Hope


So let’s use say the keyword topic of new homes, new homes in London, new homes in Edinburgh, you would probably, well, you would want to be generating back links from websites that talk about new homes, topics, you know, housing planning, construction websites, property sites, estate, agent groups, et cetera. But to do that, you need to come up with good ideas, right? You need to come up with continuous good ideas that are relevant to the keyword topic you’re going after. And if the 3% of people over half of the SEO community surveyed said, they find it difficult to generate a content digital PR campaign on an ongoing basis. Now, that sort of starts to make sense because 93% use keyword data with their strategy development. Only 16% even consider social media data from audience intelligence platforms. So they’re not getting that level of interest and behavioural data about their audiences that search around a keyword topic to, to, to basically devise those creative campaigns that are going to generate good digital PR results and do stress you performance. So, you know, what we’re talking about here with audience first SEO is a new approach and a way of integrating social media data into your tried and tested sort of approach for keyword research, understanding how people search on Google for your products or services or relevant topics.

Rory Hope


And, you know, finally, one of the other key aspects of that survey that we, that we drill down into is 88% of people surveyed want to increase the speed and efficiency of their link opportunity prospecting. So what that means is 80% of people want to be able to find websites that are relevant to the topic they’re interested in, or the service that they provide. Let’s say new homes, 88% people will want to find websites that are relevant to new homes as a keyword group better than they currently do. And because that’s a very manual process of going through backlinks from competitor websites and other websites that rank for new homes as a keyword segment, it takes time. And that’s what you need to do to find opportunities, right? To build backlinks, improve your performance for keyword group that you care about. So ultimately, what was, what we found here are the gaps. You know, what the SEO community are struggling with the pain points. And what we’re trying to do is, show how with an integration of social media data from audience intelligence platforms, we use Audiense at Symmetrical, how can you go about integrating that together to craft a better SEO strategy? Where you find link opportunities quicker, you create better content ideas, and ultimately that’s based upon understanding your audiences better, their affinities, their interest and behaviours, whereas you wouldn’t normally have that with keyword data alone. Does that make sense?

Nathaniel Schooler


Yeah, basically, you’re creating more content relevance, and you’re creating it. You’re creating that content faster because you’re more in tune with what the market wants to talk about and what the market is talking about. Right? So then your chances are, if you can do that quickly enough, you’re going to manage to get backlinks that are going to be more powerful because you’re probably one of the only 5 or 10 people talking about that because it’s so recent to what’s actually happening in the market versus SEO, which is, oh, well, in a year’s time, I’m going to write for this keyword. It’s like, yeah, but I want to short term ROI guys, like I’m not going to do any SEO. I’m going to do PPC!

Rory Hope


Exactly, exactly. You know that’s it. And ultimately, you know to get back links for SEO, for a keyword topic that you want to sort of build back links around, you know, those backlinks are going to help you rank for keywords you’ve identified in the short time. Yes. They can have impact nowadays very quickly. So you could see an important page start ranking very quickly around a topic that’s important to your business, but also, you know, they’ll support your business long term. So only backlinks generated. It’s like another brick in the foundation of the house that you’re building. And I know from personal experience publications, I mean very few would know this is a big part of SEO. Publications and influencers are going to be so much more receptive to what to use sharing like your new insights or new data or new perspectives from experts around a topic that’s currently very culturally relevant.

Rory Hope


You know, that’s currently being talked about here and now by the other influences and affinity influence entities, applications, you know, thought leaders around a given topic, but they’re much more likely to pick up on that. And you’re much more likely to get a backlink then if you just looked at traditionally SEO’s would look at backlink data, which is quite slow. You know, you’re looking at backlinks generated two years ago and going, oh, that’s a good campaign idea. Why don’t we do that two and a half years down the line? And yeah, there might be some aspects of that word, but if you’re not, you’re not on the pulse of what’s being talked about by the influences of your audience that are relevant to a keyword. You care about like new homes, then you’re not, you’re not going to generate the backlinks. So I’ll give you an example.

Rory Hope


So if you were to look at the using new homes, keyword segment in UK property, as an example, cause that’s what we focused on in our seminar talk. But if you, if you took the new homes, keyword segment and looked at the top 15 influenced the entities. So the top 15 websites that rank well on average for that keyword segment, and you uploaded them into an audience intelligence solution like audience, and then you transferred them across to a socialist and platform like Pulsar and you tracked day-to-day that what was being to talked about, you would see that the sort of themes that you need to be focusing on within the new homes, new homes give at segment are themes like sustainability, politics, business, and leadership design and architecture, property, investment, and insurance, and risk. And then you start to come up with ideas around how COVID-19 will reshape the property development investment. How might gen Z reshaped real estate in the next 30 years comparisons between Scotland and England and new band, new homes, comparison tables, where the new, where the greenest new homes across the UK, those types of ideas that will then be teed up. So these publications and have a much greater chance of being included, and you would get a back link that’s relevant to new homes because you’ve come up with, you know, with a content idea that’s hyper relevant to what’s being discussed at this moment in time. Yeah.

Nathaniel Schooler


Yeah. I agree. It is very difficult to come up with topics all the time around certain topics. It’s tough. Yeah. I mean, I mean, you’re talking to someone I’ve been writing blogs for quite a long time. Right. I’ve probably got like nearly 165 blogs on my site. Right. And I’ve done loads of podcasts and I even struggle to come up with relevant ideas. I think that goes back, that goes back to the strategy. Right. It goes back to what you want to be known for. So, let’s take away take a website. Right. And let’s just say, it’s a WordPress site for simplicity. And let’s say we’ve got like five topics, five key topics that we want to have our tree. Yeah. Is that what you would call it? A tree? Yeah.

Rory Hope


Yeah. Like, well, so we, if you call it tree on a, so you’re talking about the topics that we would want to make our WordPress site relevant for. Yeah. So let’s, let’s say we call it a topical modelling in SEO often. So, but if you think of the tree analogy, that’s a nice way of thinking about it. You know, you’ve got your core route, you’ve got your homepage and then you’ve got your other category pages that are probably relevant to different services, products, or topics right there. Your branch is.

Nathaniel Schooler


Yeah. So within the blog, right. We’ve got five different topics. Yeah. Let’s just say we’ve got like, I dunno technology, would technology be like the main topic you want to get known for? I mean, it depends on like what you want to get known for. Right. Because that would be like the major topic, wouldn’t it. And then underneath that you would have SEO or you’d have security or internet service or, yeah. Right. So, let’s say that you want to be known for that one keyword, which is technology. Right. That’s the big, the big thing you were technology futurists. Let’s just say that underneath that you’ve got these five topics, you’ve got your, your security, you’ve got your internet of things. You’ve got 5g. You’ve got, you know, whatever cloud software as a service. Yeah. So how do you integrate keyword intelligence and audience intelligence to formulate this off the back of that?

Rory Hope


Brilliant. Okay. Yes. So this is a great way of explaining it. So let’s take cyber security, right? Not the most exciting topics, but let’s very important. So let’s say cybersecurity. So now what you would want to do initially is undertake your keyword intelligence research, which is basically identifying all of the keywords that people search on Google that are relevant to cybersecurity, or, you know, an aspect of cybersecurity that you’re interested in. So with that you would go out and you would type in a couple of cybersecurity terms, you would identify which websites rank well, for those terms, maybe you have some competitors that you know of, you know, some other influencers and websites. You can plug them into a keyword allegiance tool like SEM rush, or there are other tools like Moz can get them for quite a low amount of investment.

Rory Hope


Most SEOs digital marketers will have access to these tools, identify which keywords cybersecurity websites rank for, and then take those keywords. You use Google keyword planner, find all of the relevant keywords that you believe are, you know, relevant to cybersecurity. And then you must go through the process of segmenting them. So you might have cybersecurity plus services. You might have cybersecurity plus statistics and information and break them down within your cybersecurity branch of your tree. If you will use Excel, gather all the data, all the keyword data there. And then what you’re going to need to do is you’re going to need to use a keyword, ranking tracking technology. We use get Stat and Symmetrical, but there are other ones out there. And what you do is you upload those keywords that you’ve tagged as relevant to cybersecurity, and you can pull back all scalable, all of the top 20 websites or web pages that rank for every single keyword that you may have identified as being relevant to cybersecurity.

Rory Hope


And then what happens? You get, you got a good amount of data, and then you can filter down to just the domain, just the website, and create a pivot table in Excel and, and identify which websites rank for the most amount of keywords within your cybersecurity branch. Or we call them, you know, keyword segments, the best average rank. So you’re looking at that data and you’re going, okay, so Google that has algorithms like RankBrain and that really know what is the authoritative and relevant to a given topic on the web. You know, they’ve come up with these algorithms. So you’re using Google’s algorithms to understand what it’s ranking, where for cybersecurity, which websites, which businesses, and you’re then going to take the best performing ones that we class as your SEO competitors. You know, they might not be direct competitors to your business all the time, but they are websites that rank well on Google, they take up real estate within cybersecurity, as a keyword topic, or a specific part of cyber security like services or, or information statistics.

Rory Hope


And now what you’re going to do, that’s the keyword intelligence part. You’re going to take those websites. And you’re going to find that Twitter profiles, Twitter accounts, social profiles, that are associated with sites, you’ll find them generally on their website. You know, most people have them. Then what you’re going to do is you’re going to take them and you’re going to, you’re going to, you’ve got your list of your SEO competitors, cyber security. You’ve got their social accounts. Twitter is what Audiense use and you’re going to take them and you’re going to upload them again. You’re going to open your audience intelligence solution. You’re going to upload them into if you’re using Audiense, which is our preferred tool, then you know, you can, you can open up an audience insights report and you can upload the social accounts of all of those SEO competitors, but inside security again, they’re the websites that rank best for those keywords as seen by Google, as determined by Google.

Rory Hope


And you’re going to upload them into your audience insights report and click analyse the followers of those. Say, I don’t know, 10 or 15 different SEO competitors for cybersecurity. You’re going to want to make sure that they are hyper-relevant cybersecurity. Cause you might get like Wikipedia and things in there. Just make sure they go away because the followers of Wikipedia are not relevant. So you just want to focus on the really hyper-relevant cybersecurity websites you’ve found. And then you’re going to create that rapport. And what you’re going to get back is a, is a comprehensive overview of all of the social consumer segments that are active within your cybersecurity community or keyword segment, if you will. And then from that, you’ll start to break down. You might see that there’s a whole pocket of Java developers. You might see that there are digital entrepreneurs.

Rory Hope


You might see that there are lawyers, legal, you know, GDPR legal lawyers and, and, and what this technology does is it analyses the social media behaviours of groups, of people, the interconnected profile analysis analyses what the behaviours are of all these different Twitter accounts on the web. And it clusters them on Twitter. So, any clusters them into these segments, and then the brilliance of this is that then you can click in to say, you know, your let’s say, we find that there’s the digital entrepreneur social consumer segment within your cybersecurity keyword audience, right? Your, your overall, our report on the cybersecurity branch of your tree, your keyword topic. And we drill down into that digital entrepreneur, social consumer segment. And suddenly we get a list of a thousand different influence entities, which are entities that have a noted affinity to this group of, you know, digital entrepreneurs.

Rory Hope


So you might see a Search engine journal yet you might see Mashable, you might see Entrepreneur, you might see Ted, but that’s obviously the bigger example, but you’ve got these hidden gems. So you start to mine that data. And then you can literally build a SIG, a profile of a community that are active within the cybersecurity, keyword topic and space and, and wider ecosystem. And then from that, you create a list of websites that you can go after for backlinks, for PR for, for content partnerships, for partnerships that are commercial, because you know that one it’s relevant such cybersecurity because you educate analysis, and you use that to determine what you uploaded into your audience intelligence solution. But secondly, the, you know, it’s really important because you know, now to craft creative campaigns from cybersecurity towards the entrepreneur digital entrepreneur types, because you know that they’re active and that the influence of publications or entities that are also active within the cybersecurity community will want to write to engage their audience of digital entrepreneurs.

Rory Hope


So you’re kind of taking your core service and specialism, and you need to know how you’re going to position it to really resonate with those audiences that are active within your keyword group, cyber security, because that will mean that ultimately your brand becomes more relevant. You’re likely to get more Batman, small coverage, more shares on social, although not directly related to the Google search results, social media data, it still has an impact indirectly. And that’s just one example. You know, if you want you to then pivot and your position at the job of developers, you pivot, and you might target the sort of data legal side of cybersecurity. And then you’ll find all of the influence entities relevant to these different niche communities within your overall keyword topic or tree branch and cybersecurity. And then you feed that into your content plans and your digital PR plans.

Rory Hope


You’ve used keyword intelligence to direct all your analysis. You know, so everything is in line with your keyword targeting strategy, which ultimately is going to be the evergreen content on your website, right? That has it’s going to the Google is going to like and see as relevant to the ways, the patterns in which people search for cybersecurity services or information. And if you get those bases covered and the fuel that with the content digital PR ideas and campaigns targeting these different niche communities that are relevant cybersecurity, I guarantee you you’ll see significantly stronger results than if you didn’t adopt and enrich your keyword data with this audience intelligence analysis and social media data, right? So it’s extremely powerful. And to take it one step further, if you have social listening platform you can take the influencer entities that are relevant to each social consumer segment, to entrepreneurs, Java developers, and legal sort of digital law, cyber cybersecurity, et cetera, law, then upload the top 15 affinities influence entities.

Rory Hope


You identify for each, they might be by niche blogs about Java or development blogs. They might be law, legal blogs, but specific to like GDPR or specific to certain aspects of cybersecurity. And they might be, you know, entrepreneurial blogs or small business startup blogs, et cetera, upload the publications, the Twitter profiles that you’ve seen have high affinity scores with these audience groups that are relevant cybersecurity, put them into a social listing platform like pulse site, put them on a track search. What that then does is it monitors. Every tweet that these influence entities, these Twitter accounts are publishing in real time with engagement data so that, you know, you’re talking about making sure you’re staying relevant. And this is where suddenly you’re much more agile than your competitors, because you’re not, you’re not looking at link data from two years ago and trying to create a campaign around that.

Rory Hope


You’re looking at what is being talked about by the people that influence the audiences within the word you want to target or keyword group. And you’re being very agile. You’re writing content, that’s in line with what they’re talking about. You’re doing PR campaigns in line with what’s being discussed day-to-day and get the dashboards in front of your content and your PR teams within your SEO department, or however you structure it though in your organization and suddenly your creative sessions on a Monday morning, or whenever it is Friday afternoon with a couple of beers, suddenly become so much more informed. And because you’ve adopted this process too, for audience first SEO, as opposed to if you just relied on keyword data, backlink data and analyzing content after it’s been published on the blog, which is like BuzzSumo, does that make sense?

Nathaniel Schooler


You, are going to be able to keep up in real time with the, the market and actually what’s happening in the market. Right. And what people are talking about. Cause you might miss it. And also, the popularity of certain articles, because like, for example, like piggybacking is huge. Yeah. Like piggybacking a news article to get to get traffic is huge, right? Like, you know, if you find a popular video, for example, take that, put it on your website and embed it on, you know, YouTube, right. You embed the embed, the video and you write a little blog and it says, this is what, blah, blah blah said about such and such. And then boom, you publish it. And it goes crazy. So you get all that extra traffic, then it always goes back to, is your website set up for traffic? Right? Like it’s all very well getting all this traffic, but then if you get the traffic and your website, isn’t optimized for conversion, then you know, that’s a whole other interview in a whole different series. Right? Yeah.

Rory Hope


I mean, that’s so interesting because you mentioned about intent earlier, you know, and you’ve got to think about things as you be almost pincer in your you’re doing a pencil strategy to build conversations, traffic engagement, shares, backlinks around blog articles, informational articles, hub pages that are relevant to what’s being discussed at a given time because you’ve adopted this process. You’re generating battle on those pages because they’re more interesting. You can be more agile. You can talk about things, you can add videos, et cetera, et cetera. And then what you do, which is crucial to making this audience first SEO rather than just, you know, PR and content strategy is you’re going to know which pages are going to drive conversions, right? That are relevant to whatever you want to achieve. Newsletter signups or actual sales or lead gen. And those pages are going to rank for the transactional keywords that have transactional intent that you identified during the keyword intelligence process.

Rory Hope


But they’re not really going to get backlinks because it’s, you can do some stuff to get them back links, but they’re not really going to, it’s really difficult. They’re boring generally, but these pages are relevant and they’re getting lots of links, lots of coverage, lots of traffic. What you do is you, you make sure that you get good internal links across to your transactional page. That’s evergreen, that’s updated every so often, but it is geared towards branching for the terms that can drive your money or sign ups or whatever conversions and Google or other search engines are going to see all this like link equity, this, this topical authority on these hub pages, these blog posts, you’ve created a hyper relevance what’s being discussed as you’ve gone through the process and they’re going to, they’re going to follow those links across to your transactional page. We call them SEO pillar pages sometimes, right?

Rory Hope


And then you’ll see their rankings increase for the month for the keywords that are going to drive your revenue. And they’re going to drive your new audience, a new signup, which ultimately is the lifeblood of the business that you’d be employing these strategies for. Right. So that’s a crucial part that, and a very good point to bring up of how to take this approach of audience first SEO, make it so that it works towards your, the parts of your site that need to do what the sites intended to do to drive the conversions, pride, the revenue, et cetera. So, yeah,

Nathaniel Schooler


So super I learned masses about SEO just now that that’s brilliant. Like all that knowledge that I spent picking up over the last 10 years or whatever, it just came into a like enlightenment moment, you know, like a light bulb goes off in your mind. Right. So basically, linking all of these blog articles to buyer intent to that page and putting a link to that page on all of those blog articles is what’s going to basically drive you the savings yeah. Providing, providing the blog articles relevant to that.

Rory Hope


Exactly. Exactly. And, and, you know, that’s SEO, topical clustering or SEO, topical muddling. And it’s an approach that’s just quite advanced SEO, but you know, generally what would happen is you would, you would quickly dry up in terms of ideation for creating all of these, informational blog posts that are relevant to a topic that you want to rank for. That’s supporting the, you know, the money page, the transactional page very quickly dry up ideas because keyword data alone is stagnant. It’s quite slow. You know, it’s 12 months of average keyword data. It’s, it’s not hyper relevant to real time what’s being discussed. That’s where audience first SEO take social data, but that makes sure that you’re using it in line with the keywords that are going to drive you the money, the conversions, the revenue, and just enriches that ideation process. You know, what’s being discussed, you’re much more likely to get back links, social shares, traffic, and in view those pages and to transfer that equity across to the, to the, to the page is going to drive you, you know, the value and keep doing that rinse, repeat, stay on the ball, culturally relevant to relevant topics to your business and you’ll succeed.

Rory Hope


And I think to do this, you know, this is where at Symmetrical, this is where we have specialists who can come in and help businesses to implement this audience first SEO strategy. And, you know, we we’d love obviously what, where are we at? Where are the moments where we’re in conversations with, with lots of different people around this approach and consultation, and I’m just passionate about, and I’d love to talk to anyone who does want to hear about it and try and implement it for their business of all sizes, really. And it works in all industries and it’s just, it’s a framework that you should follow and believe me, your content and PR teams will thank you for it. And then at the end of the day, those responsible for SEO results will thank them for being more relevant and getting more back links and establishing better content architectures around your key three branches, which I love the analogy that are relevant to your business. Yeah.

Nathaniel Schooler


Yeah. And also, it makes it a lot more interesting for these people doing these well, in essence, so very mundane jobs. I mean like, you know, if you give me a good content idea or I go and I find a good content idea myself, I find it a lot more interesting than writing something that’s just absolute, you know, just, or here’s a key word you need to rank for it. So well, okay. You’ve given me a keyword. You want me to rank something for, so now I’ve got to go and I’ve got to use my brainpower. Yeah. And that’s what a computer is for. Right. That’s what all this stuff is for. It’s like, well, you know, here’s, here’s some information what insights you’re going to gather from it. And that’s why I love looking in the back of these platforms because it just gives, it gives so much information. Like, I mean, you know when you were talking about like these clusters yeah. And how, you know, you’re even going to know the sorts of words that these people like to use. You could know the magazines, they, they, they read the kind of video platforms they watch. You can, you know, you get to know so much about these people, that it makes everything so much more relevant instead of, oh, well, I’ve just developed seven personas. Okay. You’ve got seven personas. That’s interesting.

Rory Hope



Nathaniel Schooler


These seven personas are like five years out of date. Oh. But it’s like, well, yeah, but what, what’s a tech buyer, right?

Rory Hope


Yeah. Yeah. As far as he brought. And I think one of the things to point out is a lot of people don’t tweet. Like a lot of people are quite quiet and there’s a significant majority of people that aren’t screaming and shots from using the techno the language, sorry, that, that you, that, that will indicate that they are of X type person. But what happens is that they’re influenced entities, the publications, or speak for them because they see the engagement data of these audiences at scale, they know what the audience is they’re interested in. So if you measure, analyse and listen to the influence empties of a given social consumer segment within a keyword topic, like cyber security that you care about, you’re getting a good idea of what language should be used, what niche topics, and being discussed any one time. And then as you said, you get that data. That’s what the needs is. That’s what they, you to the platforms. And then it’s up to you to go out and be creative around it and drive coverage links, shares for those supporting articles. And then you leave your keyword focus, transactional pages once they’re optimized to do their thing. You don’t just need to only think about keyword data alone. You can suddenly start to be creative around that overall keyword topic, just making sure you’re very disciplined regards to his family link back that transactional page.

Nathaniel Schooler


Yeah, very much so. And I think, you know, the wins really are when you combine, when you combine all of this with say, people who’ve had decades of experience within industries, then that becomes quite magical because then those insights and those personas, you do all the work and, and, and you come out of a tangible outcome, right? Like you were to engage some influencers within a certain space as well. It all makes everything so much more relevant, you know, and I know, you know, we do like software as a service influence, basically there that’s, that’s really, our focus is the clouds and everything. That’s really within the software as a service yeah. Of as a service and infrastructure as a service and, you know, security and stuff. But but I think we should definitely talk. I’ve got something. So, it’s so interesting to talk to you about after. So, if people want to get you, they, they basically just go to the link at the bottom of the podcast, which is Symmetrical, which is S E M E T R I C a And you can, you can discuss how to integrate the keyword intelligence with audience Intel research, obviously to come up with one of these audience first SEO strategies for your business.

Rory Hope


Exactly. And that that’s sort of what we, what I really want to help lots of businesses now take their SEO into this audience first approach. And yeah, I’d love to speak to as many people as possible and get us moving towards audiences over keywords, but obviously making sure that you are aware of your keywords, but making sure that you look beyond them wherever possible, and it will deliver better results. We’ve won multiple awards over the years, and we’ve adopted this strategy pretty much all instances when, when budget permits and when, you know, the time allows them, it’s it generates the results that, that, that when, when the awards and it’s fascinating, you know, approach to, towards SEO that I hope to share with lots of different businesses. Yeah.

Nathaniel Schooler


It’s exciting. Very exciting. So if people want to get you, they can find Rory hope on Twitter, all the, you know, R O R Y hope and Rory hope on LinkedIn. Surprisingly enough.

Rory Hope



Nathaniel Schooler


Well, that’s brilliant. Thanks so much, Rory. It’s been, it’s been exciting.

Rory Hope


Fantastic. Thank you so much for having me and, and yeah. Love talking to you today. And yeah, I look forward to speaking to you again and on everything audience first SEO.