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Now that we know top-funnel SEO produces unique metrics that we can evaluate, how do we leverage it for optimal results?

Top-funnel content continues to surprise us through strong value and versatile analysis. In this video, I break down how to ideally analyze top-funnel SEO metrics and how it can direct and prioritize the best content possible (for any industry).

Video Transcription

Hey everyone, welcome to another episode of Content & Links. Today I’m gonna build upon our last episode and tell you how to use high-leverage analysis to do better content marketing.

In our last episode, we talked about why top-funnel content has more value than many people describe, especially in search. And the reason for that is the value of links.

Links are an important part of the equation to also power the bottom funnel so the pure value of that top-funnel content actually makes it more like bottom-funnel in terms of its total value to the business. We can use this knowledge to get smarter about prioritization and the content we build based on that.

We looked at Credible last time, and this is a business that’s doing quite well from an SEO standpoint – probably doing some link acquisition and is thinking about things well. So what I did was I exported all their top pages in Ahrefs, and included in that is the link URL domain. It’s a perfect way to think about the value of links.

So, what you would want to do is export this into this document, and with our analysis we did last time, determine what your monthly link value is. And again, to recap how you calculate your monthly link value is to look at the total value of your traffic, and then divide it by the number of links to your business.

In the Credible example, their traffic value is $1.8 million, we divide it by 3.34 thousand, and you then get the number of $525, approximately.

This gives you a directional value for a link and what that’s worth to you and your company. It depends on the industry, how large or small that value is, the more competitive it is, the more it’s worth, obviously, the higher the number becomes, the harder it is to generate links.

This is something we should understand as part of our conceptualization of what the value of a piece of content or link acquisition campaign might be. In thinking about that, what we would do is then add this to the equation, to give more value to content, and also ideas that we might have.

If we’ve done keyword research, we’re starting from a strong base. We can just use our competitors’ other content as well (we personally prefer content that has top-funnel passive link acquisition opportunity plus some link acquisition possibility).

And then the other side of the equation is maybe a big concept that is link bait, has top-funnel value, all those things that can factor into the equation of what it’s worth for you, for your business. But in putting those all together, we can now create an equation of what the true value of a page is from a link acquisition standpoint.

Let’s look at Credible, you can see their top pages almost can be excluded by default. They are pretty clearly bottom-funnel pages that they just, over time, generated links to.

I’m very, very confident that these are things over time that have occurred, and maybe they’ve done link-building through other activities that have generated those links. But for this analysis, it’s not quite as valuable, but in general, it wouldn’t have made changes to the equation anyway.

We know we need a student loans page, a personal loans page, and a refinancing loans page simply because of what those are worth to a business like this. But when we get past that equation, we can now start factoring in, hey, what is the value of what people are bidding on that same traffic, and also what is the value of link to our business?

If we think something has some top-funnel value, we can put a dollar value to how much time we should spend in creating that. On the other side, if we think there’s high link acquisition potential, we can now put a dollar value to that as well. In looking at this math equation, what you’ll notice is that the numbers shift a bit.

Let’s say you’re specifically looking for outliers. We can see the monthly link value for this average student loans statistics page is actually quite high relative to its traffic value.

It’s only $4,000 as of now, and what that means is that it has a ton of links to it, so the value to Credible in this situation is actually quite high. It’s $57,000 dollar number per month means it warrants doing early in the equation. Because this page, this topic is so valuable to them from the value it drives to the other bottom-funnel pages it has.

By creating a spreadsheet like this, we can now put math against what we should do, what we should prioritize based on the total value it might have. We have to be aware of all things here and make adjustments appropriately, given the kind of variables that we talked about.

So the variables in terms of the bottom-funnel pages probably, might be acquiring links just through deliberate effort over time. Other pages might not actually have conversion value, like, I doubt this student loan debt statistics piece actually is going to drive $4,000 in direct revenue for them, I could be wrong.

That’s a factor to consider when thinking about this concept overall. But, if we’re thinking about ideas we have for linkbait as well, we can now use this equation and weigh it against stuff in our queue.

If we’ve done these top seven or eight pieces, we now can kind of check them off as being knocked out, we can now think about other content as well.

One of the things that is in that equation is, if you go further down, you’ll see a survey on millennial credit cards that Credible did. And this was a quite successful piece, 38 links, likely high-authority sites, which is another piece to this equation, but really has no traffic value. But you can see comparatively, it’s still a good idea, they executed it well, it was effective.

If we compare that to something a little further down that might be kind of mid-funnel-ish, for them, maybe not even directionally, it’s like “how to buy a house.” This one might have higher value once it starts ranking, but you can see right now, it’s not super-high relatively.

On the other hand, if we come up with this millennial credit card survey idea, but we still have this other stuff in the queue, and we’re confident that the variability for that concept is around 30 to 50 links, we probably should prioritize that based on this new high-leverage equation that is pushing for the thing that is going to do more for us faster.

You can see how that goes past that as well, it could be average medical school debt, could be other surveys that they’ve executed, you see they’ve done some data insight pieces, calculators, all these equations can be kind of combined to understand the value of what we do.

In a perfect world, as a content marketer and a strategist, you’d be able to build a keyword research document that puts all this data together, and then you’d actively brainstorm top-funnel content against it as well from not just a link acquisition standpoint, but also sometimes just a PR-driven standpoint that you think a concept can generate 20 to 40 links.

But, if you’re less confident and it’s a 10-link equation, obviously that number shrinks a lot further down and now, if you had a concept that you believe has the potential to have 15 thousand or so in monthly direct value for the business, and you already have ranking potential, maybe you should prioritize that in terms of your equation.

Overall, my suggested action item to you is to build a spreadsheet like this and then use it as your ideation hub for your content marketing decisions and to think about it from a dollar and cents standpoint to validate creating concepts, and also how much effort you should put into a concept relative to its upside, and then continuing to have your eyes on what it actually can be worth to you.

It’s going to allow you to be more efficient and valuable and have a higher ROI campaign.

Hopefully this was of value to you. If you liked it, please give it a thumbs up, subscribe, and let us know what you thought in the comments. Thanks for watching.

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