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Decoded: Content Marketing and SEO with Brian Dean – Part 1

Anyone involved in content marketing knows that the World Wide Web is full of concentrated knowledge, expert tips and training on SEO and SEM, social media marketing, content strategies, link building and much more. But in everyday life there is often no time to follow all these digital experts and platforms. That’s why we created our blog series “Decoded”. Each post is dedicated to a different specialist and their input on a topic from online marketing. In this and the next article, we’ll be looking at the “SEO genius” and content marketing expert Brian Dean from Backlinko.

Brian Dean Backlinko Crispy Content
Brian Dean Backlinko Crispy Content 1

SEO and Content Marketing: These are Brian Dean’s recommendations

Content marketing and SEO will continue to play a big role as the Corona pandemic has sped up digitization in many areas., it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to stand out from the crowd. It is a matter of providing highly specialized content for the respective target groups, developing new creative formats such as video clips, podcasts or tools and enabling their consumption by optimal navigation and information structures.

Learning from mistakes

Large companies such as Amazon, Disney, Forbes or IBM trust one digital expert in particular for content marketing and SEO: Brian Dean. We consider him an “SEO genius” and one of the world’s greatest link building experts. He has worked hard to achieve this success: He failed with five companies before he had his big breakthrough with Backlinko. Today, his blog is one of the most popular online marketing blogs in the world with about 478,000 monthly visitors.

Compact knowledge, exciting analyses and practical trainings

On backlinko.com, Brian regularly publishes his findings from comprehensive online studies, SEO trainings and analyses of current trends in content marketing. In his newsletter, he shares more practical content marketing strategies only for subscribers. He also regularly publishes videos on his YouTube channel.

In this way, he wants to support digital marketers in their daily work. He believes that today’s online marketers MUST master the art of link building, user experience and content promotion to be successful.

By the way, if you want to learn even more about content marketing, check out the #Decoded blog posts on Neil Patel (SEO), Michael A. Stelzner (social media marketing), Noah Kagan (email marketing) and Gary Vaynerchuk (content marketing).

Strategy #1: What you can learn for content marketing from the analysis of 502 B2B companies

We know Brian Dean for his extensive studies on SEO and content marketing. In the latest analysis, he and his team examined 502 B2B companies. These are the key findings:

A corporate blog is a given

Around three-quarters of B2B companies have a blog. 38% publish articles there that offer readers solutions and give them the opportunity to educate themselves in a particular area. 8% use the blog only for business-oriented content. The vast majority take a mixed approach.

From these numbers, Brian concludes: Companies that invest in a blog realize they get much better results with solution and audience-focused content.

More topic diversity = more keywords = more traffic.

Companies that publish posts on their blog to educate readers generate about 50 percent more organic traffic than blogs with purely business-related content.

One reason for this is the wider range of keywords incorporated into the posts. The top 10% of blogs rank for around 35,000 keywords, while the bottom 10% rank for only two keywords on average.

It also reflects this discrepancy in the visitor numbers: for the most popular blogs, the figures average 22,000 visitors per month. Around 20% of the B2B blogs analyzed receive zero to a maximum of 10 visitors per month through SEO. On average, this results in 282 visitors per month through organic search queries.

New call-to-action

How B2B companies increase the engagement of their blog readers.

Bounce rates for B2B blogs are around 50 percent. To increase interaction with readers, companies rely on various strategies. One of them is calls-to-action (CTA). The most popular CTAs include “Similar posts” or “Similar content” (about 39% of the analyzed companies) and “Sign up for our newsletter” (about 35%).

In addition, Brian and his team identified CTAs to download additional content, register for a demo, or begin a product trial. Most B2B companies understand the importance of user engagement. Interestingly, 23% of corporate blogs don’t use CTAs at all.

For more exciting insights from this study, check out the post “The B2B Content Marketing Report” on Backlinko.

Strategy #2: How successful public relations works today

When Brian started doing public relations a few years ago, he wanted to use it to attract more attention in a highly competitive digital environment while increasing his monthly traffic. His goal: to get links to his blog on reputable websites. In doing so, he initially followed the industry’s “best practices.”

  • he built relationships with journalists,
  • he used the platform HARO (Help a reporter out), which brings journalists and bloggers together,
  • he hired a PR agency.

It crowned none of it with success.

How data leads to more media exposure

Brian analyzed how other small businesses got more media exposure and realized that data was the most important element. So he published a first-of-its-kind data-driven study that was picked up by leading industry media outlets, including Techcrunch, Entrepreneur and The Next Web.

Not only that, but traffic to his website increased 33 percent from the previous month, forming the new baseline for future developments. Because of this data-driven approach, monthly traffic to Backlinko increased from 163,697 to its current 477,248.

How to attract journalists with curated reports

For his first analytics report, Brian hired a team of freelancers who analyzed X amount of data and came up with Y results. Not only was that time-consuming, it was also very expensive. So he took a slightly novel approach and gathered data that already existed on the web. From this, he created a curated report. With the first study of its kind, he received an equally high level of media exposure and attracted over 13,000 visitors to his website in the first week. By the way, the “B2B Report on Content Marketing” mentioned above is an example of this.

How you can easily create curated reports yourself

  1. You need a topic: This can be a trending topic or an evergreen.
  2. You need to find the relevant data. Google Scholar, SimilarWeb, Data.gov, Wikipedia, Statista or tools like Google Keyword Planner are suitable for this.
  3. You should present the data appealingly and in bite-sized chunks, for example, with a list of the most important findings at the beginning of the article, meaningful subheadings, short conclusions at the end of sections, and tables and graphics.

Crispy Content Newsletter

Strategy #3: What the perfect landing page should look like.

Landing pages have the advantage of targeting a specific audience AND focusing on a single call-to-action. That’s how they’re supposed to increase conversion rates. The good news is that, according to HubSpot, more landing pages lead to more conversion across the site. Brian therefore analyzed what the perfect landing page should look like.

Example: A landing page for email registration.

A landing page for downloading an e-book, signing up for a webinar, or signing up for a newsletter is a great way to generate new leads. To make it work, Brian recommends the following structure:

  • A clearly worded headline, such as “Get trending topics delivered directly to your inbox every week”
  • A detailed sub-headline that describes the offer in more detail and explains the benefits to the subscriber
  • An appropriate hero image that illustrates the offer
  • An initial CTA that encourages sign-up

If your headline and sub-headline are powerful enough, this CTA will get you the most conversions. You can also add other content:

  • A list of features, e.g. the content of the newsletter, the learnings of the webinar or the strategies covered in the e-book.
  • Social proof: the number of existing newsletter subscribers or selected customer testimonials
  • A second CTA that encourages registration.

Brian Dean explains three more landing page templates in the accompanying guide, including one for selling online training or live tickets, one for signing up for a software trial, and landing pages for qualitative lead generation.

[FREE Ebook] Content Marketing Tools Essentials

Strategy #4: Advanced landing pages

If you already have plenty of experience with landing pages and your conversion rates are high, then maybe Brian’s recommendations for advanced users can help you:

Any part of the website can be turned into a landing page

Brian shows it with the example of his “About us” page. With the two integrated forms for newsletter registration, this page achieves a conversion rate of 4.49 percent – a low value, but better than nothing.

With the right keyword, you can get your landing page to the top of Google’s rankings

First, choose a keyword that already refers to one or two other landing pages in the Google search results. Brian discovered the keyword “SEO Training” and created a landing page for the SEO training offered only on Backlinko. He then optimized this page around the keyword and created additional content as a blog post. Based on the content, the search engine understands what the landing page is about and prospects learn more about the training itself.

Simplify the navigation on your landing page

An easy-to-implement recommendation: to minimize distractions on your landing page, reduce the navigation to the essential components. Even a simplified footer – with only links to the imprint and privacy policy – support the central goal of this page: a single call-to-action.

Create landing pages for different target groups and traffic sources

By customizing your landing pages according to origin and target audience, you can further increase conversion rates. For example, one part of your target group is on Facebook, another on Instagram and a third group reaches you via search queries. Personalized content on the respective landing pages is more likely to appeal to users and lead to more conversions.

Get in touch

This is what you can expect in part 2 of the #Decoded series about Brian Dean

If you haven’t had enough of Brian Dean yet, then look forward to the second part of the series. Here we take a look at the trends for 2021 in SEO and content marketing. You’ll learn how to develop new content ideas and what the analysis of 306 million keywords via Google Search reveals. Be excited!

For those who can’t wait: The other parts of the #Decoded series also contain exciting insights. Discover the best SEO hacks from Neil Patel, successful strategies for social media marketing from Michael A. Stelzner, practical tips for email marketing from Noah Kagan and some of the most effective measures in content marketing from Gary Vaynerchuk.


Crispy Content® Team Editorial Team Crispy Content® Team

Creative, smart and talkative. Analytical, tech-savvy and hands-on. These are the ingredients for a content marketer at Crispy Content® - whether he or she is a content strategist, content creator, SEO expert, performance marketer or topic expert. Our content marketers are "T-Shaped Marketers". They have a broad range of knowledge paired with in-depth knowledge and skills in a single area.

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