Updating Our SEO Strategy: Money Keywords
Getting your SEO strategy right can be the difference between projecting your audience reach into the thousands (or if you’re lucky, millions!), or being virtually invisible.
SEO can make a big impact on driving pipeline and inbound requests - when done right…
We recently implemented a new SEO strategy at Cognism, after our growth advisor Gaetano DiNardi introduced us to the idea. We call it ‘the money keywords strategy’.
Don’t worry, we’re going to explain - just keep reading! 👇
Our SEO strategy before money keywords
Before January 2023, our SEO strategy was very traditional. The priority was to increase brand awareness by attracting relevant traffic, so we focused on developing keyword clusters.
We’d do research and find keywords that had either high search volume (brand awareness and traffic volume) or high intent (for conversions, e.g. inbound requests). And create content clusters for relevant keywords around these.
Monika Kisielewska, Cognism’s SEO and Content Manager, said:
“While we had some transactional keywords in our clusters, we never really focused on them. At the time, we weren’t looking at conversions.”
“We would usually just build topical clusters around big keywords like prospecting or lead generation. Things that were relevant to the business.”
This SEO strategy was successful for a while; we saw our page rankings shoot to the top positions and we generated a lot of traffic.
So what was the problem?
People weren’t often taking actions once they landed on our pages. Consequently, our conversions were low.
“Most software companies fall into the trap of targeting high volume keywords because it aligns with the company’s product category. But rarely does this produce new customer acquisition.”
“It reached a point where we had too many pages to manage. It was hard to prioritise updating decaying content and producing new content.”
“And we felt we were missing out on valuable competitor traffic - by not optimising competitor pages for search engines.”
Because we’re in a well-established industry, luckily, we don’t need to focus as much on educational content, e.g. ‘what is lead generation’.
Instead, we decided to focus on the terms that would bring more in-market people to the site and create content that converted.
In comes our ✨ money keywords strategy ✨
What is the money keyword strategy?
Fundamentally, the money keyword strategy is about targeting keywords that high-intent buyers use to find solutions to their problems.
"If we had a roulette wheel in front of us and we were betting on the board, which keyword do we think represents the most traffic that is the most likely to be in-market?"
In other words, it’s about focusing on the quality of the traffic, rather than the volume.
It’s better to spend more time and money to drive the right, high-intent people to your website who are more likely to convert, versus driving as much traffic as possible and having next to zero people take any action.
So what is a money keyword exactly, and how do you decide which keywords to use?
It’s about finding keywords that balance:
- What in-market buyers are searching for.
- The business potential of the topic.
Our money keywords had to fit in that score 3 category.
These were the keywords that positioned Cognism as a critical solution to the problem, for example: ‘how to gather high-quality data to run email campaigns and fuel sales teams for outbound’ or ‘’B2B data contact provider’.
Because there’s a high likelihood that someone searching for information like this is in-market or considering a solution like ours.
This is in contrast to the old way of SEO. Before, we focused on search terms like ‘how to do demand generation’ or ‘how to calculate your TAM’. People will find your website that way, which isn’t a bad thing. But they’re not likely to convert off the back of that search.
"Think of it as a growth strategy. Once you have the money keywords list and you rank for your target keywords, you need to think about what you’re doing with this traffic."
"Do you give users a chance to convert? Can you optimise your page for that?"
"We’re now looking at our blog template, live chat messaging, CTA placement and things like that which don’t impact SEO rankings but can impact that page’s success."
How to implement a money keyword strategy
What are the steps for implementing a strategy like this?
Here are the steps we took 👇
1. Deeply understand the product
We had to answer the following questions:
- What does our product do?
- What is it good/bad at?
- What are the benefits of using it?
- How does it compare to what our competitors offer?
“Money keywords belong to the category in the table where you have to position your product as a solution to the customer’s problem.”
“This means you need to understand the product really well to provide the right information. So that we can help them realise that this is the solution they’ve been looking for.”
We used the information we learned about our product and our competitors’ products to create and update our competitor pages. Including listicle content that mentions our competitors, such as this page on ZoomInfo alternatives.
We also capitalised on traffic searching for our competitors. For example, when a prospective buyer searches Lusha or Zoominfo as a solution to their data needs, we can piggyback off those search terms.
Here’s a page we published based on the Lusha vs ZoomInfo keyword. It’s a page that compares our competitors’ features, pricing, data and more. But ultimately positioning Cognism as the solution they could consider.
This technique is known as ‘crash the party’ SEO.
2. Analyse our existing keywords and identify new opportunities
For this, we used GSC and Ahrefs. Where did we rank for which keywords, and how far off were we from the desired end state?
Armed with this information, we got to work filling in the gaps with the new money keywords we had identified. For example:
- Cold calling list.
- Prospecting tools.
- Compliant B2B data list.
What are our rules for publishing money keyword pages?
Our money keyword pages are a mix of newly published and updated content.
Here, we gave ourselves some more rules to follow 👇
- If the existing content generates high traffic but few conversions, then we optimise for conversions.
- If the existing content generates lots of conversions but little traffic, then we optimise for search.
- To optimise for conversions, our goal is to make better use of case studies in our content - they have above-average conversion rates but generate relatively little traffic.
“The hardest part of implementing this strategy is to learn and deeply understand your product and understand how it’s better or different to competitors. This knowledge helps you produce relevant content.”
“You need to really understand what prospects might be looking for, the specific language they use when searching.”
“Equally tricky is to talk about Cognism and its competitors, positioning it as the right purchasing decision without making any statements that unintentionally bash our competitors or mislead prospective buyers.”
“To ensure we don’t overstep the mark, we have our pages reviewed by our product and legal teams.”
How to track a money keywords strategy
Traditionally, we tracked SEO metrics like:
- Traffic growth.
- Number of keywords in top positions.
But under this new strategy, our tracking looks a little more sophisticated.
Traditional SEO metrics are included, but joined by a new emphasis on measuring conversions.
We’re currently tracking:
- Direct conversions.
- Assisted conversions.
- Traffic growth.
- Number of keywords in top positions.
We set up a dashboard using HockeyStack, allowing us to tie organic traffic to revenue.
While this strategy is in its early days - we only started working on money keywords at the beginning of Q1 2023 - we’ve already seen very promising results.
Such as a record-high number of conversions from blog pages - 16% higher in Q1 versus Q4 last year!
Plus, our organic traffic increased by 22.38% from January 2023 to now. Our traffic value rose by a similar amount, 22.12%.
We also registered record blog views in Q1 as we rolled out the money keyword strategy.
Money keywords: the last word
To bring this SEO strategy deep dive to a close, we’ll leave you with some parting advice from Monika:
“Learn about your product. Speak to stakeholders about it. Listen to customer calls and understand the language they use. And just get started - you can always iterate and fine-tune later.”
“If you’re in a well-established category where your competitors have well-known brands, don’t be afraid to use their branded traffic for your benefit.”
“If there's something you know customers don't like about your competitor, and you solve that pain point, add it to your money keyword list.”
“For example, '[competitor name] pricing' - describe their pricing to fulfil organic search intent but show how yours provides a better value.”