Ep. 1 Brooklin Nash – The Proof is in the Content Audit

Ep. 1 Brooklin Nash – The Proof is in the Content Audit

Show Me The Proof, Get to The Point’s debut episode kicks off with Brooklin Nash, Head of Content at SalesHacker, the leading community for the next generation of salespeople. Brooklin is a content marketer, and content is what we focused on in this episode—specifically content that drives organic search traffic. We discussed how to update existing content to increase organic traffic—a 43% increase in just 6 weeks, in Brooklin’s case study! 

What you’ll learn in this episode: 

  • How to perform an SEO audit—*spoiler alert*—you don’t need to be a technical SEO expert to create good content that drives organic traffic.
  • How to identify existing content that can benefit from a refresh/update.
  • How to execute large scale content optimization (think 100 pages in Brooklin’s case) in a short period of time.
  • What are the optimization opportunities on existing content.
  • The importance of a good content brief, especially when working with outsourced writers.


Here’s the audit method Brooklin implemented:

  1. Identify the pages that are already ranking either bottom of page 1 or top of page 2 for some target terms. In both cases, some slight tweaks can help them get to either top of page 1 or from page 2 to page 1, which in both cases creates major improvements in click-through rate and in turn traffic.
  2. Do a quick scan of each identified page (Brooklin says no more than 15 minutes per page) and write down a note or two about what is missing or could be improved.
  3. Take a second pass and in more detail create content briefs based on what top ranking competitors have included and also what gaps they have that your content can fill. You can find an example of a content brief that Brooklin used here.
  4. Evaluate the SERPs (top ranking results and “people also ask” section) to identify the search intent which the content needs to focus on.
  5. Cross-reference each page against Google Analytics and/or Search Console to identify things like CTR issues.

 
Here are the types of optimizations implemented to improve the content pages:

  1. Going more in depth on topics to get broader coverage
  2. Explain WHY the topic is important to get people interested in reading further
  3. Ensuring that headers and titles are optimized for target keywords
  4. Make the layout and content structure more reader friendly with shorter paragraphs, sub-sections, bullets, etc.
  5. Update statistics and internal links for recency
  6. Update images to reflect the modern aesthetic

 Last but not least, here is an example of what one of SalesHacker’s old pages looked like before Brooklin got his hands on it (thank you, Way Back Machine!) And here is what the updated page looks like after Brooklin’s team worked their magic. The difference is pretty clear. You’ll need to listen to the full episode if you want to hear the Lightning Round, but here are a few highlights:

  • Brooklin’s favorite content marketing tool is SEMRush
  • Brooklin isn’t sure whether he likes the phrase “Let’s double click on that.” Thankfully he didn’t use the phrase during the episode. Otherwise we’d have to reevaluate our friendship status! (jk).

Proofpoint’s POV:

SEO is a very established practice, even though the algorithms keep changing and tactics keep evolving, but it can be daunting especially for smaller marketing teams. We have definitely been brought in on numerous occasions to do in-depth content audits, and they do take a lot of time and resources. We have also often employed a similar “quick and dirty” method to what Brooklin describes, especially for clients who have a lot of already existing content. We believe that most companies can simplify SEO to 3 core concepts:

  1. Content quality – the search engines have gotten pretty good at identifying it, so focus on that
  2. Site speed – people don’t have patience and the search engines know that, so make sure your site is fast.
  3. User experience – again, people don’t have patience, so make sure your site is easy to navigate and that your content is easy to consume

Unless you’re in the content distribution game like SalesHacker, traffic and conversion rates alone aren’t enough. You need to focus on which content is actually driving pipeline activity and revenue. It’s also important to map your content to various stages in the customer journey so you can better optimize and understand how it’s performing—but that’s a topic for another time.

A bit more about Brooklin:

Brooklin has over 8 years of content marketing experience. Currently he is at SalesHacker as well as working on a number of marketing related side hustles. At SalesHacker he’s responsible for organic traffic, a weekly newsletter, contributor relationships, and a team of contractors who make the magic happen. Brooklin currently lives in Guatemala and will always (ALWAYS) respond to an email with a GIF. He strives to help his clients “tell better stories.”

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