Hi, Maeva. It's so nice to have you okay. Let's jump in. So Maeva is here. She's the CEO of Flying Cat Marketing. First, before I even ask you what Flying Cat Marketing is, tell me about the name.
It's actually a great story. And I'm happy that you asked. So before I started Flying Cat right around the same time before I knew what I was gonna call it, my cat real life cat jumped off of my building. I used to let him go roam around. It was about seven stories. He fell, broke many bones. He's okay. He's still around. And when I took him to the vet, the vet said that he has actually a mental disease called parachuting cat syndrome. And it means that they always jump if they see something high. So after he healed and he was perfectly fine, I allowed myself to find it hilarious. And that's where the name of the company came from.
Parachuting cat. Sure. Why not? I mean, yikes. Okay. Well that's brilliant. Thank you for telling me, okay. Now tell me what Flying Cat Marketing does.
Yes. So we are a full service SEO agency. We are very content focused because content is essential to SEO, but just full service, technical off page, everything that we need to help B2B SaaS companies really scale and make an impact on revenue with organic growth. So we help them build content operations, create the content, do the keyword research, strategy, and everything from a to Z. And we help. Yeah. We work with companies like Hotjar, Active Campaign and then also some other ones in the hospitality space, which we're gonna be talking about today. So hospitality technology, and yeah, we act as the extension of their marketing team as their SEO department, basically.
As a non-SEO person, that just sounds awesome. Okay, so you are gonna talk to us specifically about a very specific case study. So start at the very beginning. Tell me a little bit about who this company is and why they contacted you. What was the thing they were trying to solve for?
So this company is a property automation software for short term rental operators. So people who run Airbnbs, even hoteliers, anybody who's running some kind of vacation, rental or hotel space. And what they do is create the software that helps connect the smart locks to the booking software. It's very particular, it's extremely niche. And they came to us because we have experience in the sector. About half of our portfolio in is in vacation rental technology. And the other half is like MarTech and sales tech. So they came to us just for that word. The word around the grapevine is that we are the SEO agency for that space. And their goals were to triple revenue in 2021. They were, they're not that new, but they had a new CEO. They're not that old either, but they had a new CEO. They changed the brand name. They were just basically starting from scratch and said, okay, let's do this. Let's triple revenue in 2021. It seems pretty ambitious, but we did end up quadrupling revenue in 2021 so.
In one year.
So the fact that they came to you and said, Hey, I wanna triple revenue in one year. Did that freak you out at all? Did, did, did you enter into that conversation with like a, Ooh, just wanna, just wanna kinda just wanna like set expectations a little bit or were you like, yeah, that's no problem.
Well, I obviously knew it was gonna be a challenge and it is a little bit freaky. I think it's a little easier because it was a younger company as well. So tripling revenue for a younger company is not the same as going to, you know, a series D company and saying, now we're gonna triple revenue. That's a whole other story. But there was a lot of opportunity, a lot of untapped opportunity for this company. And I knew that within this plan of tripling revenue, you know, they also are doing things on their side. It's not a hundred percent the responsibility of an SEO agency.
Right. There's a partnership.
Yeah, it's a partnership. Yeah. I mean, I obviously was a little bit scared by that, but we had a good plan and there was a lot of untapped potential to tap into. And there is, again, this year, we have a lot of very cool ideas to try to do it again.
So, so they contacted you, they were like, we wanna triple revenue. And you're like, okay, sounds great. Just like another Tuesday. And my guess is you probably start with some kind of audit, right? Like where you, you wanna kind of take a look probably under the hood and figure out what's going on in order for you to make that plan. So what can you share with us about what you found as part of that audit that really stuck out to you where you were like, Ooh, this is low hanging fruit. We could fix this pretty fast. Or what did you find?
Well, the first thing that I found is we needed to rewrite the website. It wasn't clear. It wasn't. I said, even if we start getting traffic to this website, if I get here, I don't know what this tool is. It's very confusing. So we really had to focus on rewriting that website to make sure that the messaging was clear. So that was a big project of ours at first. When it comes to SEO, it's not, I'm not always so concerned about the main homepages features, homepage to do SEO. Sometimes the feature page is yes, but it's what you're building around it to drive the traffic. And I want the homepage to just be really, really clear messaging about how we help you, whether there's a keyword in it or not. That doesn't matter as much. It's more, how is this actually serving somebody?
So that was the first thing to look at. Then if you looked at the actual content that they had published, all they had was, new CEO, new partnership with this other company, look, we've been mentioned in the media. So I said, OK. So yeah, there's nothing here at all to attract people through SEO. So then I started just auditing. What are the untapped potentials? What's pretty interesting about this company was that it's a software, it's like a middle software. So there's the booking software that property managers use just to manage the bookings basically to take payment, to make sure that the rooms are available and those kind of things. And then there's the hardware. So there's the smart locks, there's the smart thermostats. And then this is a software in between both of them. So there's just a lot of opportunity to target keywords around all of the locks, smart home technology, around all of this software, and then a lot of keyword opportunities for the software itself, that it is. And there was also a lot of opportunity that we found in building comparison pages. So there's just so many other software out there that has some feature of what this one does and now it's an opportunity to create a page for each one of them, which we're still working on doing more of them.
So after the audit, what's the ultimate plan that you sort of came up with here and presented in partnership? Where you were like, we're gonna do X, Y, Z, we're gonna do it in this order. And, and this is the outcome and maybe timeline that we think it will take. What did that look like?
So the way that I built out the plan was we wanna look at different things. So, like I mentioned, there's all the different types of tools, and we always want to start with some of the bottom of the funnel, just foundational pages to address those keywords. So that's always first priority for me. Always get the foundational. It's always gonna be really low volume, but we need to get those first because those have the highest intent. And I want them to start building accruing that, that traffic already. So that's always first priority for me. Then I looked at the different sectors. We have hotel management, and vacation rentals, which to an outsider might sound like it's kind of the same thing, but it's completely different. Hoteliers, the industry is very traditional, there's structure, there is regulation. Vacation rentals is the wild, wild west.
It can be anybody. I could just be like, I have a room I'm gonna open a vacation rental right now. You know, you don't go to vacation rental school. It's just a totally different kind of person. So, and it also has different regulations. So there was these two different audiences which could kind of cover the same topics, but with the different angles across each of them. So what I thought was the biggest opportunity first was actually hotels because in this weird sector that we're in, this tool competes mostly actually with all the vacation rental tools. And it's very, very saturated. There's a big technological ecosystem. It's very fragmented. They're consolidating this tool does that. Nobody knows what's going on. Like I said, it's the wild west. And in the hotel industry, there was fewer software like this one that was trying to target that space.
So I said, okay, first we're gonna build out a cluster around the hotel industry, touching every part of the funnel. We ended up staying closer to the bottom and the middle of the funnel because there was so much opportunity there. And top of the funnel we still haven't gotten to yet because there's still so much to get through. So that was the plan. We planned out about three to six months initially. And then we kind of started, there was just been a lot of changes in the software that was hard to keep up with to plan so far ahead because they acquired another company that added some new functionalities to the tool. And they also created a completely different product within the same space. So we had to stay agile in terms of planning, but it's always that kind of structure.
We start with the bottom of the funnel. When it comes to forecasting. It's hard. I haven't found the secret sauce yet about how to accurately forecast what we have going on. What I tend to look at is not search. So I do sort of look at search volume. I hate search volume as a metric for deciding what keywords to choose. But actually what I do look for is low search volume, oddly enough because to me it doesn't, the search volume has nothing to do with how much traffic you're actually gonna get. What it does is indicate sort of how competitive it might be, because fewer people are gonna try to go after what says has low search volume. So when I look at that, then I see what the actual traffic to those pages that rank for those keywords are.
So we had one of the pages that was optimized for very bottom of the funnel. It was like hotel door locks, I think. And I think on Ahrefs, it says that that gets maybe 50 searches a month. And that article, just that page on its own is getting over 2000 new users per month because you know, the search volume is just totally wrong. So what you do is just look for the search volume and then see what's actually ranking for that click and see what the traffic is. And that's how you can kind of estimate how much traffic is the number one position, getting for this keyword. And that's how likely how much traffic you, the most you could get probably if you're able to get into that position and also rank for other keywords.
You talked about search volume a little bit. Can you, can you round out for us, like the key KPIs that you look at when implementing an SEO project to help identify what progress looks like against this revenue goal in particular?
So key KPIs, well, okay. Traffic is a vanity metric, but it's still important to track traffic growth. If that traffic is converting, so qualified traffic growth. Qualified traffic growth. And then we also look at some engagement metrics, which are gonna be the time spent on page pages per session. So you see how many people are clicking around and actually looking at the page. We do track rankings. Again, I think it's a vanity metric and I think it's secondary, but the majority of clicks go to what's in the top 5%. It needs to be on page one, or it's really not worth it. With this client we have 72% of the keywords that we optimized for are on page one. And the remaining percentages are just new pages that we have just recently published. So almost everything is getting on page one. And this has to do also with the way that you're selecting, we're selecting keywords and not really caring about the high search volume.
So those are some important metrics, other metrics. So this is a project that we have currently is our goal is to actually just track revenue as a metric, SEO sourced revenue. We're not quite there yet. That's a attribution challenge that we are trying to figure out right now. So right now we're working on some, some smaller wins like demo requests. So we're saying which one of these pages are getting the most demo requests, and then we're going to the CRM and trying to see how we can see which one of those were, when closed one. So trying to work our way backwards from there, but definitely some of the most important metrics are how many, what's the conversion rate of the content that we're creating and how many demos are we getting? And then come back to me in a couple of months and we'll be able to report directly just on ARR generated.
That would be amazing. Okay. So you talked a little bit about like, CRO, let's talk about that. Let's talk about in this case study, what were the main conversion points across the website and how did they change if at all?
Yeah. So most of the pages that are converting the most are some of the ones that we created at the beginning because we focused on all of the bottom funnel content. So anything that's like hotel door lock, Airbnb smart, lock, smart home technology, those kind of keywords where people are specifically looking for solution to this. Those are the ones that brought the most demo requests. And I think the most revenue. The data's not accurate yet on that, but that's what it looks like. As we started building that out. So we started going higher up in the funnel and as you can expect, the conversion rates start to go down on those kind of pieces, but traffic goes up way more. Yeah, traffic grew a lot over the last year. It grew about the same amount as the business grew.
So I think it was about 387% total growth in traffic in 2021. But as the traffic gets more and more and more, it means you're also going higher up in the funnel. So the conversion rate should stay around, I don't know, one to 5% or something like that on the website, depending on the page that it's on. And what we do is actually on every single page, the CTA is different. We don't have a standard book a demo, but it's always related to the topic of the page. So on hotel door lock it's do you want a hotel door lock that automatically changes its code every time somebody is scheduled to check out, for example, book a demo. Airbnb smart locks. Do you want a software that automatically integrates your smart lock to Airbnb without any hassle, book a demo? So we make sure there's no CTA that's not very specific to the search intent of the website of the, of the search query I mean.
Okay, so 347% of traffic growth over the course of the year
Is that common? I mean, would you expect to see that level of increase just over the course of,
So it depends on several things. So I would say some benchmarks, it depends on the size of the website. So if it's kind of a new newer website that doesn't have much content on it, if you're doing SEO correctly, you can expect from, from 10 to 30% month on month growth. If you have a huge website with hundreds of thousands of visitors per month already, that's not realistic. It would be something more like 5% month on month growth could be a good target. So newer websites always have way faster growth. It's the same way as if you're on a fitness journey, for example, and you're like really not fit and you start exercising really hard. You lose weight a lot faster. You get fit way faster than an athlete who's already, it just takes way more training for them to get there. It's the same thing with, with websites. So for that, there was nothing, there was no content, no marketing getting done on this website. So this is, is not super surprising, but in the next few years, as we keep going, it's gonna, like, we're not gonna be able to maintain that level of growth because that's just not, I mean, it is exponential with SEO. All the work that we did is gonna keep growing and keep bringing more. But that level of year on year growth or month on month growth, it's not gonna continue as the website grows.
So going back up to kind of your project plan, we talked a little bit about fixing the messaging on the website. We talked about optimizing the call to action book a demos. What else did this plan kind of entail from the nitty gritty? Like what else, what other kinds of work happened here? Oh, you mentioned building new pages, you know, building actual new content. Is there anything else you wanna add about what your team did here?
Yeah, I mean, the majority of what we did was build a bunch of new pages. One part of our process that we're quite proud of, and I think makes a big difference in the kind of content that we're creating is almost every piece of content that we create is paired with a subject matter expert interview. So we're always in touch with subject matter experts, even though we do specialize in this space we're not heads heads down. We're not in the day to day nitty gritty of what the users are going through. So we are constantly interviewing people. We are constantly talking to people and we put that into all of the content. So it becomes, it starts to add a lot more value than most of the things you find on Google. And that's a part of our process that I think adds a lot of value and helps things rank a lot faster.
What else did we do? That we do it as a... We were also partnering with a Google ads agency. So we were running some PPC at the beginning and that started getting the traffic up and then eventually SEO overtook it. And what was interesting there is we would use the search terms report to see what kind of pages and keywords are converting the most. And we would then build those pages organically so that. I remember it was the Airbnb smart lock page that was getting a lot of conversions in PPC. And we built that out. And now that's one of the highest performing organic pages and we're saving them thousands of dollars a month on that they would've been spending on Google ads for that.
That's amazing. So if, if a newbie SEO person comes to you and says, Hey, triple revenue in one year doesn't sound bad. I would take some of that. What are like the five things you're gonna tell them to go do right now to get even an incremental bump up from where they are? A little closer to triple revenue would be good, but you know, a little, a little bump.
Well, it of course depends on where they're starting from. So let's say I'm just gonna assume that this person already has some content on their page. They may be beginner SEOs, but they've already been doing a little bit of SEO. So the first place you wanna look for quick wins is what's ranking in position five to 15, which means it's at the bottom of page one, top of page two. That's where your biggest opportunities are. Because if you get those, those are gonna be the easiest to move up a few spots, first of all. And if you move them up, you're gonna get a huge bump in clicks because the majority of clicks go to the top five. So if you're in number six, moving it up one position, that's gonna be a double digit percentage increase in clicks. So I would analyze what are all the keywords that are in that position.
And you can look that look that up easily. You can add the the Chrome extension search analytics for Google sheets. You connect it to your Google search console, and then you can sort it from there. You can see what has the highest impressions, lowest clicks. You can sort it from average position and you can filter for the positions that are bottom of page one, top page two. And there you see all of your opportunities. When you look at that to decide how you reoptimize, that's gonna be up to you. But a lot of the times it's gonna be either changing the title tag, checking the search intent. Does my search intent match? Is there anything I can add? Maybe you can add it to the subheadings. There's a whole checklist of things that you could do, but those would be your quickest wins.
Number two, change the way that you think about SEO. Stop focusing only on, remember that SEO is not the goal. SEO is a channel to get to the goal. So find out what the real goal is. Not just doing SEO. It's not just getting traffic. I know a lot of people who work with SEOs who say, they're like I'm frustrated my SEO's doing a good job. They're doing a great job. But, but I'm frustrated. I don't know if SEO's the right channel, cuz we just get traffic and we don't get any money from it. There's no ROI. So well, maybe it's the SEO's fault, but what's really the fault is that you didn't give them the right KPIs. If you, if the KPI is traffic, then they're gonna try to get you that. And it doesn't matter what they create.
So the goal needs to be a next step. After they get to the traffic. It needs to be the demo converted. It needs to be closed on opportunities and needs to be that because then it completely changes the way you think about SEO. That's why you're not gonna be looking at search volume anymore because you say, I don't care about search volume. We need this to generate revenue. And you're gonna select keywords that are gonna rank fast. You're gonna select keywords that are easier to rank for. You're gonna select keywords that have super high intent. You're just gonna completely change the way that that you're looking at it. So look for KPIs that are related to the end business goal and not the vanity goal. Number three, work really hard on creating excellent content. I know this is so cliché and it is, I can't believe we're still saying it, but we have to say it because it's still, it's still, there's still bad stuff getting pushed out there.
You're not gonna ever be able to get a good blog post that generates revenue from a $50 writer per article. You need to invest in it and needs to be somebody who not only does good research, but can connect the dots, can come up with insights from data points that they found beyond the obvious. They need to be able to go out and talk to people, put themselves in their shoes. They really need to spend the time and invest the time to make sure that this piece of content is relatable to the person who's reading it, that it shows them that you understand what they're going through and that allows them to take a next step. Fourth thing I would tell 'em is, go check all of the content you have on your website right now to make sure that there is a CTA.
Surprisingly, a lot of websites will publish a ton of blog content. And then there's no nothing, nothing on there, not even subscribe to our newsletter. And they're like, why is not SEO working? Well, you're not allowing it to work. There's nothing to do here. Go back and check. Make sure everything has a CTA that's relevant to the blog post. Ideally each CTA is gonna be custom written to match the actual topic of the blog post. Last go talk to the product marketer and get to know them and act, think like a product marketer. Start talking to customers, start talking to everybody in product, get to know the product really, really deeply. If you are outsourcing this, put whoever's in charge of it in touch with customers and product marketers do not hide them away because that's, what's going to lead to success. I mean, connecting them is gonna lead to the success. So those are my five tips.
I love that. That's such a great, I love that so much. Thank you. Thank you so much for doing that. Okay. We're gonna move into lightning questions. These are totally random questions and you need to answer with the first thing that comes to your mind. Don't censor yourself on these.
Are you ready?
I guess, I need to be,
All right. You're gonna be great. Number one. What's one thing you did this week to support your team?
One thing I did this week to support, oh, I had a very tough conversation with the client and I let them know that whatever happens I'm gonna put my team first before the client.
Mm. That is a hard conversation. Good for you. Good for you. Okay. Number two. What is your most embarrassing webinar moment?
Oh, my most embarrassing webinar moment was me hosting a webinar only halfway through realizing that it, my bathroom door was open and it was like really messy.
Yes. Oh, I thought you were gonna say the bathroom door was open and someone was in there.
Speaker 5 (28:15):
Oh God, no, that would be so much worse.
Okay. Third one. What is your favorite tool that you can't live without?
ClickUp? Yes. Tell the folks at home about Clip Up.
ClickUp is a project management tool that we use. It's very, very sophisticated. I was very apprehensive of using it at first cuz I hate learning new technology, but now our business couldn't live without it. And we run everything on there. The everything from my own to do, to running huge projects, building timelines, keeping everything in check. There's no way that we could publish so much content without having our content operations set up on there.
That's how we are with Notion.
Yeah. I'm obsessed with Notion. I don't know what I would do if, it's. I feel more attached to Notion that I do Slack. Like if Notion went down, I actually don't know what I would do. Like in my day, if Slack went down it would just be so much quieter. Like in my head. Yeah. I would just do my work. That's amazing. Well Maeva what else, is there anything else that you have to tell us about this project and if not, where we can learn more about you and more about Flying Cat?
Sure. So I will just say we're working on something really exciting for this current project, which has to do with Python and templates. And we're gonna about to create about 3000 pages in the, in the next like month or two. So I'm very excited about that. I will keep you all updated on it. Where to learn more about me and Flying Cat? Actually I would say connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm super active on LinkedIn. And then we also have the podcast which you are gonna be on pretty soon on FlyingCatMarketing.com. And that's where I would recommend connecting with me LinkedIn or the website. You can email me.
Amazing. Thank you so much for being here. It was great to talk with you.
Yes, same. Thanks so much, Ashley.