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Monday, June 20, 2022


Internet Explorer – 1995-2022. Gone but never forgotten.


P.S. Read to the end for CROSSNET’s very own Chris Meade sharing the 10 things he wish he knew sooner when building his company. ⏰💡


In this newsletter, you’ll find: 👇

📦 Building a simple SEO strategy for your DTC brand

📦 Black Crow AI, the solution to growing and scaling your business

📦 The source of lead generation truth and Zapier

📦 Produce beautiful, authentic user-generated content with Minisocial


Read till the end to access exclusive DTC swag. 😎


👉 If a pal forwarded this to you, subscribe , so you never miss out.

LEAD GENERATION

The Platforms Have Been Lying To You


If you’re in the world of lead generation, you’re going to want to get comfy for this one.


Your future go-to marketing team has cracked the code for a client and are going to tell you how to do the same.


The tool to rule them all? Zapier. 🏆


The team uses Zapier’s integration features to push all leads from landing page forms (and their UTM values) to a Google Sheet.


What urged the team to look for an alternate solution to in-platform reporting? 🤔 A discrepancy in reported leads from Facebook vs. what was being seen in their email capture platform.


Using Zapier as an integration allowed the team to see that their higher lead prices were inaccurate. A creative that was about to be pulled for high cost-per-signup was actually found to be the TOP PERFORMING LEAD GENERATOR.


Facebook’s cost per lead? $25. Zapier’s? $2.70.


The discovery lead to a data deep-dive, where the team found that Facebook was consistently underreporting leads. This means that spend and optimization was being put behind the wrong campaigns and creatives.


Discovering the on-platform and Zapier discrepancies has allowed the Pilothouse team to lower cost-per-lead by 33%.


If you’re looking to work with a team who takes data and optimization to the next level and questions the source of all truths, reach out to Pilothouse today. 🚀

SPONSOR

How Bearaby 120x’d their ROAS


During Covid, Bearaby’s weighted blankets became a must-have comfort in many homes.


But after iOS 14.5, their paid performance was anything but comforting. 😬 Bearaby was faced with having to manually re-target audiences, which was proving inefficient due to limited insights.


Continuing to grow and scale their business without accurately understanding their customer behavior seemed like an impossible task…


Until they found the perfect AI solution. Black Crow AI ✔️


In just 30 days, they saw results that would have any marketer sleeping like a baby at night.


👉 Click here to discover how Bearaby was able to 100x conversions on retargeting ads and boost their ROAS by 120%.

SEO

How To Build A Simple DTC SEO Strategy Process That Works


DTC brands often depend on the powerful combination of paid advertising and search engine optimization (SEO) to reach the ultimate goal: s ales and profit.


Ads kickstart growth, while SEO (and the organic traffic it generates) provides long-term, stable revenue. 🤑


Sometimes, the SEO part can seem vague. What should you do to get more traffic? Which keywords should you target? What is a realistic expectation?


To help answer these questions, develop a simple SEO strategy-building process. 👇


📈 SEO strategy


An SEO strategy is a long-term plan to help your DTC brand rank higher in Google, Bing, or other search engine result pages (SERP).


Your SEO strategy should focus on methods that increase the visibility of your website in the SERP and help you own a share of searches that relate to your product.


As you develop your company's SEO strategy, consider:

  • The search landscape
  • The competitive environment/where your competitors are ranking for organic search
  • Your brands’ business objectives

Remember, this process is repeatable, so use it to iterate and grow over time!


👀 Assess the search landscape


Start by understanding the current search landscape and your company’s SEO setup.. Here are a few things to check.


1️⃣ Use Google Search Console (GSC) and Google Analytics (GA) to identify how much organic search traffic your online store receives. If you have conversion tracking in place, explore how well organic traffic converts.


2️⃣ Check your site's core web vitals. When you’re in Google Search Console, be sure to check for page experience and learn how well your site is performing for Google's core web vitals.


Core web vitals measure user experience and specifically identify how well a page loads, how soon it’s interactive, and whether or not it’s visually stable.


According to Google, the specific core web vital metrics are:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
  • First Input Delay (FID) measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have a FID of 100 milliseconds or less.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of 0.1. or less.



Resist the urge to jump to immediate action if you're not happy with your site's core web vitals performance.


Complete the situational analysis first, then use your SEO strategy to identify what to prioritize.



3️⃣ Score your site on common SEO KPIs. Using a tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush, Google Search Console, and your ecommerce platform to explore how well your online store is performing for these key performance indicators (KPIs).

  • Return on investment. You want to know how much profit the SEO channel produces for your business relative to how much you invest in organic search. Be sure to include soft costs like salary.
  • Organic search traffic. Look in GSC and GA to understand how much traffic your store receives. Know which pages earn the most visits.
  • Backlinks. Analyze the total number of links from other websites that point to your online store.
  • Search rankings. How well is your online store ranking for important keyword phrases?
  • Total search impressions. In GSC, an impression describes how many times a person saw a link to your site in search results.


  • Organic click-through rate (CTR). While CTR is not necessarily a ranking factor (or at least not a confirmed factor) getting more clicks to your online shop is kinda the whole point.
  • Branded vs. non-branded traffic. It’s important to understand what percentage of your organic site traffic comes from your brand's name vs. how much comes from topics or product categories. Branded traffic is often the result of other marketing efforts, while non-branded traffic may represent new prospective customers.
  • Crawl error count. Search Console and other tools will identify crawl errors, including 5xx errors, 4xx errors, robot.txt problems, and similar.

Collect the information about your current SEO situation into a spreadsheet or similar document. You want to be able to compare your business with the competition.


Keep scrolling for information on your SEO competitive environment, how to name your objectives, and implementing the strategy for success! 👇

SPONSOR

Are you properly leveraging your UGC?


Thanks to minisocial you can produce beautiful, authentic user-generated content featuring your products that are fully licensed to your brand.


Campaigns are fully managed and start at just $1.7k (after your special DTC reader discount).


👀 Here's some UGC-spiration


Haven’s Kitchen


Ready-to-serve sauce brand, Haven’s Kitchen uses minisocial to support retail partners with on-demand user-generated content on TikTok and Instagram.


Imperfect Foods


Imperfect Foods uses minisocial to create ad-ready content at scale, featuring real customers unboxing their grocery delivery!


Wander Beauty


Effortless beauty essentials brand, Wander uses minisocial to amplify product launches on Instagram and TikTok with timely UGC & micro-influencer activations to boost their community and tagged photos, while generating repost-worthy content.


Give it a try and get 15% off your first campaign by mentioning "DTC"!


👉Elevate your UGC and be our next success story.

SEO – PART 2

🏆 The competitive environment


This is not a business strategy, this is an SEO strategy. No need to analyze Porter’s 5 forces. Instead, simply follow the below to discover how your site compares to the competition.


1️⃣ Identify your SEO competitors


To get an eye on your competitors, perform an incognito search for a group of your primary keywords and note down the top 5 competitors in the SERP. These are the people you want to beat. Also, check out Ahrefs and SEMRush for more detailed information on the competition.



Tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs can help to identify your brand's SEO competition.


2️⃣ Audit competitive sites


Take each competitive site through the same situational analysis you did for your own online store.


Circle back to the steps in ‘assess the search landscape’ above for each competitor. You won't have access to their Search Console info, put you can check core web vitals via PageSpeed Insights and deep-dive with SEMRush or Ahrefs to gain insights into backlinks, rankings, search presence, etc.



3️⃣ Identify keyword gaps


Next, look for keyword gaps between your site and your competitors' sites. You’re looking for commercial-intent keyword phrases for which a competitor ranks well. These should be keyword phrases that are likely to lead to product sales.


It’s simpler than it sounds! Most SEO tools have a keyword gap product that will surface these query phrases and provide traffic estimates.


4️⃣ Review backlinks


Similar to identifying keyword gaps, you also want to identify backlink gaps. Look for authoritative, relevant sites that link from organic content to one of your competitors, but don't link to your shop.


Later, when you develop your SEO plan, you can choose to target these referring sites with off-page SEO.


⭐️ Name your objectives


Establishing an SEO strategy without goal setting is like firing a rocket into space with no destination. You need to craft SMART goals to keep your SEO mission on track.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound

Here is an example of a SMART goal: 👇


Goal: Close the keyword gap.

Rank in the top ten on Google SERPs for five commercial intent keywords from the competition's keyword gap list by the end of Q4 2022.


This will be accomplished by resolving our top three core web vital issues (technical SEO), developing content clusters around the target keywords (on-page SEO), and using outreach and public relations to earn at least 100 in-bound links to each topic cluster (off-page SEO).


Closing this gap should increase site traffic by 12,500 visitors per month and result in $25,000 in new monthly revenue.


🚀 The strategy


If you’re very lucky, identifying objectives will practically write your SEO strategy for you.


For example, in the sample SMART goal above, we said that we would work on core web vitals, content, and outreach.

  • Improving web vitals is part of your brand's SEO strategy.
  • Producing guides and supporting articles is part of your brand's SEO strategy. Reaching out to get links from blogs and news organizations is part of your brand's SEO strategy.

Ta da! You have a list of areas to work on that will form the basis of your strat’.

  1. Technical SEO improvements should be done as soon as possible.
  2. On-page SEO in the form of new content will take time to create.
  3. Outreach only makes sense once the new content is published.

Your SEO strategy should always lead to a list of actions 🎯


♲ Iterate


SEO strategies are never one and done. If your goals extend into the fourth quarter of this year, you need to check back at that time.


Did you achieve your objectives? Why or why not?


Take what you learned, and start the SEO planning process anew.

QUICK TIPS

Here’s Crossnet’s Chris Meade’s 10 things he wish he knew sooner when building his company 👇




🔊 HAVE YOU HEARD OUR LATEST PODCASTS?

🍪 AdRoll Bakes Up A Solution to the 3rd Party Cookie-pocalypse.

🧴 Growing 20-30% Month Over Month with Stem Cell Skincare Brand CLEARSTEM.

🤑 Aviator Nation Drives Over $10 Million in Apparel Sales with their Tapcart App with Curtis Ulrich and Eric Netsch.

🦴 Greasy Affiliate SEO with Connor Meakin rom Bluebird Provisions Bone Broth.

🤖 Put Machine Learning and AI to work for your brand with Black Crow AI.

Don’t forget to rate the DTC Podcast on Apple (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

DTC Newsletter is written by Rebecca Knight and Jordan Gillis. Edited by Claire Beveridge and Eric Dyck.

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