Blue Ocean search engine optimization Technique — Whiteboard Friday


The creator’s views are fully his or her personal (excluding the unlikely occasion of hypnosis) and should not all the time mirror the views of Moz.

If you happen to’re acquainted with the blue ocean advertising technique, that search engine optimization is inherently a “crimson ocean” business. With fierce competitors to achieve rankings, hyperlinks, and authority, SEOs are consistently making an attempt to one-up their rivals. On this setting, is there any hope for making a “blue ocean” — innovating to keep away from the uneven waters of the present market? 

In in the present day’s Whiteboard Friday, PJ Howland of suggests {that a} blue ocean search engine optimization technique is achievable by creating lifelike content material on your clients. Watch to be taught extra! 

whiteboard with outline of blue ocean strategy for SEO

Click on on the whiteboard picture above to open a excessive decision model in a brand new tab!

Video Transcription

Hey, Moz followers. Welcome again to a different Whiteboard Friday. I’m PJ Howland. I’m the Head of search engine optimization and Evergreen Content material at So my background is form of that candy spot proper in between in case you’ve acquired search engine optimization over right here and content material and editorial over right here, that center floor the place search engine optimization and editorial and content material collide.

If you happen to’re acquainted with that world, that we’re coping with thinner margins, now we have fewer assets, and now we have much less clear course. So that is the world we function in. It is a spot the place we’re making an attempt to only get a little bit little bit of a bonus over our rivals, and it is form of created this fastened mindset of simply making an attempt to scrape by to only get a little bit little bit of a bonus.

Nevertheless, I feel that there is a mindset that may actually assist break this mildew to guarantee that each single month is definitely your greatest month ever. So it is the blue ocean search engine optimization technique. 

What’s blue ocean technique?

So what’s blue ocean search engine optimization technique? Effectively, begin with what blue ocean technique is. 

Perhaps you’ve got learn the ebook “Blue Ocean Technique.” Perhaps you’ve got heard the time period thrown round. Perhaps you have not heard of it in any respect. Give me only one minute and I am going to form of clarify this with a narrative. 

So again within the days when circuses had been touring the countryside, there have been two predominant circuses, Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey, and they’d spend a number of time, vitality, and assets making an attempt to at least one up one another.

They had been producing who can have crazier stunts, who can have weirder clowns, who can have extra eccentric animal tips or no matter. It acquired to the purpose to the place they had been competing so laborious with one another that they forgot what their clients actually cared about. The feelings of the day had been that, hey, we do not need to see a number of rings. We do not like trying all over the place. Put it again down to at least one ring. We do not just like the animal tips. They’re merciless. They’re outdated. However these circuses had been so fastened on competing with one another that each of them ended up dropping out. 

Then who ought to come alongside? This new participant, Cirque du Soleil. Now, in case you’ve been to a Cirque du Soleil present, you most likely know the place I am going with this. It is not like a conventional circus. In actual fact, it is not like anything on the market. However what they did do is that they took what labored and excluded what did not work from a conventional circus. So that they reduce out the merciless animal acts. Additionally they stored within the clowns and the acrobats, as a result of these had been working within the conventional circus, and so they introduced in this sort of third warmth of this theater ingredient, this superb theater expertise.

If you happen to’ve been to a Cirque present, what I am speaking about. There’s undoubtedly a story there. So what they’ve finished is that they’ve created a blue ocean. They’ve created a world the place there actually is not any direct apples-to-apples rivals. 

Now, Cirque du Soleil is not the one participant on the market who’s finished this. We may discuss iTunes. What had been your choices earlier than iTunes? Netflix, similar factor. Earlier than Netflix was on the scene, the place had been you watching your stuff? Airbnb. You see the place I am going with this, that each one three of those companies or merchandise launch, there actually wasn’t something on the market. It was a real blue ocean. 

Blue ocean search engine optimization

Whiteboard illustration of a blue ocean (no competition) and red ocean (lots of competition).

So how will we get that from an search engine optimization perspective?

Effectively, we have to begin by realizing the place search engine optimization is correct now. So search engine optimization is a set mindset sport. Inherently it’s a crimson ocean technique. If you happen to do not consider me, let me illustrate it this manner. You’ve gotten this example the place you’ve got acquired a key phrase.

You take a look at your competitor and also you see, hey, they have 100 hyperlinks. You say, “Huge deal. I am going to get 200 hyperlinks.” Their website pace rating is 80. I’ll make it 90. We will have 90. They write 1,500 phrases. You see the place I am going with this. We write 2,500 phrases. That is not blue ocean pondering. That’s fastened, crimson ocean, fierce competitors mindset pondering, nevertheless it’s the place a variety of SEOs discover themselves. Heck, I have been there. That’s primarily skyscraper content material.

It is skyscraper article constructing. Hey, there’s been a spot for that, however at its core it truly is crimson ocean, fastened mindset pondering. So how will we recover from that? How will we as SEOs, digital entrepreneurs, content material entrepreneurs, how will we recover from the truth that we’re enjoying a crimson ocean sport? 

Begin with the client

Whiteboard illustration of a customer interview.

Effectively, it begins with the client.

So image this. Image you are sitting down with a buyer, besides you are not a marketer anymore. You perhaps work on the achievement or service or product facet. You sit down with them and also you say, “Hey, we’re enhancing our product, our service, our achievement. What will make it a greater answer for you?” Simply image an incredible dialog the place they are going backwards and forwards with you.

You acquire helpful perception, and on the finish, you produce a greater product and that buyer is grateful for it. Now image that very same buyer besides swap out your self as a product marketer and now you are a marketer marketer. You are speaking about your search engine optimization technique and also you say, “Hey, so what we do is we take a look at the rivals and we add extra phrases. We see the hyperlinks that they construct and we add extra hyperlinks. What do you consider that? How does that profit you?”

The client goes to have a look at you and say, “That does not assist me in any respect. That is not what I requested for. That is not what I need. That is not the deal of how companies work. You are right here to make my world simpler.” Fact be instructed, once we add extra phrases to a web page, generally we’re simply making extra phrases on the market. Are you aware what I imply? It is one thing that the purchasers do not need to cope with.

Set your writers up for fulfillment

So we stay on this actuality although, the place as SEOs, as editorial professionals, as content material entrepreneurs, we’re on this place the place we’re tasked with nearly an unimaginable process. How will we ship distinctive content material when the individuals producing that, perhaps it is an search engine optimization, perhaps it is a author, aren’t essentially the subject material specialists?

So it begins with what you give the author or the search engine optimization to truly start this mission. So I’ve discovered so many individuals begin with they only say, “Hey, this is the key phrase. Go for it. We’re making an attempt to rank for this. Simply get that piece of content material out.” Inevitably, you’ll produce a skyscraper piece of content material with that. That units everybody up for failure.

No person wins when all you do is begin off with a key phrase. As a substitute what I’ve discovered is it actually takes detailed write-ups that start with interviews with material specialists. My outlines that I produce with my group, I’ve by no means seen one below two pages. Most of them are between three to 5 pages that we produce for these particular person matters. That each one has to return from your personal perception with like your group. I can not actually produce what your buyer desires. That is one thing I invite you to determine by yourself. Nevertheless, I’ve discovered that clients, it doesn’t matter what business you are in, I do not care if it is B2B, B2C, I do not care in case you’re promoting SaaS, or in case you’ve acquired an e-commerce platform, no matter, the person who says, “Sure, I need to purchase that,” is all the time an individual.

Individuals need actuality

Ten instances out of ten you are coping with individuals. So what do individuals need? Individuals need actuality. They need authenticity. So there are three issues that I feel can assist anybody, whatever the business that you just’re in, enhance up your content material. After I’m speaking about content material, that might be articles. It may weblog posts. It might be touchdown pages. It might be white papers, no matter. The purpose is that folks need actuality. 

1. Tales

So this is how I have been capable of finding actually good supply strategies for this. Tales. My world is much more article targeted, however we attempt to begin each article with a narrative. Individuals love that.

I discover a a lot increased time on web page once we lead out with tales. I do know what you are pondering. It is like, “Effectively, Wikipedia is somebody we’re competing towards, and so they do not begin with a narrative. No person begins with a narrative.” Okay, resolve if you wish to be a crimson ocean participant or a blue ocean participant. 

2. Recommendation

The subsequent factor is recommendation. Now, once more, going again to the fact of it’s that we’re coping with conditions the place we have got writers who aren’t material specialists.

That is okay. No person is in hassle for that actuality of the scenario. But it surely does matter that you just search that recommendation out. So schedule interviews with material specialists. Purchase your group a ebook. Have a ebook membership inside your group. Just remember to’re constructing experience inside your group.

3. Examples

Lastly, examples. Individuals need actuality. They need authenticity. When you’ve got buyer information, you probably have case research, I do not suppose try to be gating all of that essentially. There’s an incredible use case to be made for simply letting that stuff on the market. Individuals need to see actual examples taking place within the wild. 

Methods to measure success

So that you give you this blue ocean technique that solely you possibly can produce, since you ought to know your buyer higher than me, and also you need to determine methods to measure it.

Effectively, in case you’ve been doing content material advertising for greater than, I do not know, the final half-hour, that there is a huge hole between the primary piece of content material produced and the {dollars} within the pocket of the group. There’s so much that occurs in between there. So how do you truly just be sure you can come by on this with correct measurement? I’ve discovered that point on web page is the very first thing that goes up.

So earlier than we form of rolled out this with, we had been seeing common time on web page between 3.5 to 4 minutes. Not good, not dangerous. High quality, no matter. However after rolling this out, we’re seeing common time on web page of between 5.5 to six.5 minutes. I’ve pages which can be nearly 3,000 phrases in size that truly get learn.

We’ve articles which have common time on web page of eight minutes or increased, and that is a extremely validating factor. I consider that after time on web page goes up, then you can begin seeing in case your rankings and visitors go up. Now you possibly can see proper right here there isn’t any tinfoil hat. I am not making a direct insinuation that there’s a correlation between time on web page and the rankings that Google goes handy out to you.

What I’m saying is that good content material will get seen, and when it will get seen, you are going to see these hyperlinks are available. You see how this works. We’re beginning backwards. Like a variety of the instances we lead off with saying, “I need extra hyperlinks.” However in actuality, is that actually going to serve us? I might reasonably play a sport the place hyperlinks come as a byproduct of fine content material. So what’s actually the takeaway right here?

I feel it is a mindset takeaway. In my group, we have buried skyscraper content material. It is lifeless. It is within the floor. Now it does not imply we do not take a look at rivals. Clearly, that will be foolish to not do. We’re in search engine optimization.

Nevertheless, I feel that if you wish to actually transition to a blue ocean, limitless mindset, there needs to be some form of actuality verify the place you say, “Hey, sooner or later I am not going to be listening to the rivals for each little phrase that I write on my net web page.” Thanks for watching the video in the present day. I look ahead to listening to your feedback. For anybody that is finished the sort of shift within the group, look ahead to participating with you in a superb dialogue within the feedback beneath.

Thanks for stopping by in the present day. See you on the following Whiteboard Friday.

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