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Thesis and Adobe prove SEO content doesn’t have to be boring to be useful

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30-second summary:

  • To make Adobe findable via non-Adobe keywords, Thesis created over 100 helpful, entertaining, professionally informed, SEO-rich articles to draw people closer to the brand.
  • Thesis’ writing director, Tyler Stenson describes a very interesting process of how they worked with Adobe to create valuable, engaging, and unique SEO content.
  • This article serves as a great focal point on how to create helpful, entertaining, professionally informed articles that actually build relations and help people reach their goals.  

Adobe is the industry standard for creative software. Most makers know this, but what about the rest of the internet? To make Adobe findable via non-Adobe keywords, Thesis, a digital agency in Portland, Oregon, created over 100 helpful, entertaining, professionally informed, SEO content to draw people closer to the brand. 

Adobe recognized that they were findable in search engines through all of the expected product names and branded phrases—search well-known products like Photoshop or InDesign and Adobe dominates search results. But seek out unexpected subjects like food photography or vector illustration and the company with the industry-leading products for these types of creative outlets were falling short.  

A modern editorial approach 

Tasked by Adobe with increasing search traffic to Adobe.com to attract new audiences with new interests, Thesis took a modern editorial approach. They wielded data—strategically researched keyword opportunities—in concert with rich editorial articles and tutorials to orchestrate a seismic SEO effort that aimed to pull people closer to the Adobe brand. 

To be truly helpful, these SEO articles required more than desk research. They required a unique point of view that comes with experience and talent. So Thesis built a database of more than 100 subject matter experts (SMEs)—professional photographers, designers, illustrators, videographers, editors, colorists, sound engineers, and even ASMRtists—and Thesis’s writers interviewed them.

The writer made sure they made nailed every detail in every article by using recorded phone calls and video chats, live demonstrations, close study of interview transcripts, and exchanges of fact-checking emails. It was more than simple SEO, this process created a library of diverse expertise that added depth to topics covering dozens of creative disciplines. 

Smooth sailing requires ship-shape operations 

In over 100 SME interviews, Thesis collected more than 5,200 minutes of expert advice. You can watch the entire ‘Game of Thrones’ series and the first season of ‘The Wire’ in less time than that. Keeping to a newsroom-like schedule, Thesis built, managed, and fine-tuned a workflow that gave writers enough time to conduct interviews and write articles, editors enough time to edit them, and designers enough time to make the pages beautiful.  

Working in month-long sprints, the Writing and Design teams paired tens of thousands of words (actually 101,639 words—longer than ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’) with hundreds of images, coming together in 108 new, entertaining editorial pages with real value to the reader and real SEO impact to the brand. A massive information resource on topics and disciplines that Adobe products can help creatives pursue, from landscape and pet photography to children’s book illustration, audio editing, storyboarding, film effects, and more. 

SEO content - Adobe and Thesis

More than just pretty words and pictures

This is not your average snooze-inducing, keyword-salad SEO content. These are well-considered editorial pages with the user’s experience top of mind—always relevant, entertaining, and educational.

Adobe products are top-of-the-line creative software, but what the product can do isn’t always as inspiring as what you can do with it. Each page has SEO content that translates the expertise of professionals into digestible bits of wisdom, offering step-by-step guidance or linking to helpful tutorials at Adobe.com, giving readers guidance in new creative endeavors and showcasing how Adobe products can help them achieve those goals. 

And more than that, each page is primed for SEO publishing—optimized copy, customized metadata, and intentional HTML structures that maximize SEO scoring.  

Before finalizing each article, Thesis ensured it earned an A-grade or better in the Clearscope optimization tool, and that attention to detail paid off. First-page rankings grew 26% quarter over quarter. In the first six months, organic traffic to Adobe Creative Cloud SEO content pages increased by 88%.

Even though it wasn’t an expected or requested KPI, Adobe also experienced a 139% increase in revenue driven by these same pages through organic search—proof that this Herculean editorial effort made their products more accessible than ever before. 

SEO content - Interactive and more than just a keyword-salad

Increased visibility for broader search terms

Now when someone searches the internet for tips on shooting night photography, taking great portraits, using shallow depth of field, creating comic book art, drawing anything from roses to feet, mixing music, recording a podcast, creating a shot list, editing video, and so much more, they can find the answers they need in clear language that’s informed by expert advice, alongside beautiful images. And it just makes sense that these articles live on Adobe.com, a hub for creativity and design—a resource that now has dozens of articles that provide budding creators with next-step guidance to pursue their creative dreams. 

In what may be the ultimate marker of success, now when you ask Google if black is a color, the information card at the top of the search results pulls from the article Thesis created for Adobe. And the work continues by expanding the encyclopedic creative knowledge and experience available on Adobe.com.

Thesis and Adobe keep generating new articles, doing their part to make this corner of the internet a little more helpful, a little more beautiful, every day (while also increasing organic search traffic to the website).

Tyler Stenson is writing director at Thesis, a digital agency based in Portland, Oregon.



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How Gael Breton Escaped Client SEO & Built a Full-Time Income Through Affiliate Marketing

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Who Gael Breton and why should you listen to him? Well, first Gael is a tremendously talented affiliate marketer who specializes in building “authority” websites. Gael got his start in the SEO agency world and transitioned into owning his own properties. In this discussion, you’ll learn: How Gael started and grew his first SEO agency …

Read moreHow Gael Breton Escaped Client SEO & Built a Full-Time Income Through Affiliate Marketing



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Defining value stream management for SEO agencies business owners

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30-second summary:

  • Value stream management is the practice that helps businesses to determine the value of the software development process. 
  • By managing value streams, you can improve the flow of value to your SEO agency and monitor the software delivery lifecycle.
  • Mapping value streams will help you improve visibility throughout the whole software development cycle.
  • You can enable value stream management by defining real-time metrics, creating a value stream map, enabling cross-team collaboration, connecting different processes, and automating the workflows.

With the scope of the competition on the market, the delivery of SEO options is becoming harder than ever. To stay competitive, all processes within the software development cycle must be optimized to their best.

If you’re looking to improve the workflows in your SEO agency, consider implementing value stream management. To help you get started, we’ve created this ultimate guide to value stream management. After reading, you’ll get a better idea of what is a value stream and how you can start managing your value streams by creating maps. 

What is value stream management (VSM)?

To define the concept of value stream management, it’s important to understand the fundamentals. Let’s cover the basics and define key terms before moving further to discuss value stream management for SEO businesses. 

A value stream refers to every step of the software delivery lifecycle (SDLC), from the product idea to the production and tools required to deliver your software to the customers. To help you visualize the concept, here’s an example of a value stream for product (not software) development.

value stream management process

Source: Dragon1

In other words, a value stream is a series of activities that build up the value of your SEO software. Value is defined by something a customer gets, like high-quality software, in a fair period of time for a fair price. 

Value stream management flow

Source: Maaw info

Value stream management (VSM) refers to the process of optimizing processes from the very point when you conceptualize an idea to the time when this idea is in production and generating revenue. To put it simply, VSM allows you to manage your SEO software development process from idea to cash. 

The benefits of value stream management for your SEO agency

Value stream management enables SEO software companies to deliver higher quality products faster and more efficiently than their competitors while significantly reducing risks. Besides, proper implementation of VSM enables the following benefits. 

  • VSM helps you find and address the limitations of your workflows. By mapping out all stages of the software development process, you can identify potential limitations and blunders. 
  • VSM enables you to deliver higher quality SEO solutions. By optimizing development processes, you can deliver better quality products. 
  • VSM allows the continuous development of your agency. By investing in optimization and VSM, you can guarantee the success of your business in the long run. 
  • VSM helps you to make the overall flow of information across the entire process visible to people who normally manage separate functions, processes, and departments. 

How does value stream mapping work?

By now you should understand that value stream management allows optimization of all development processes, from the first time an idea of a product is conceptualized to the moment when the product is produced and launched in the marketplace. 

Within value stream management, many capabilities feed that process. Value stream mapping one of these capabilities. 

A value stream map refers to the visualization of all critical steps in the SEO software development process. Value stream maps include a description of each stage and information, like the time, the volume of work, and spendings dedicated to each of the stages. 

By creating value stream maps, you can analyze the current state of your processes and improve your product based on the series of events that take your SEO solution from the initial concept to the finished product your customers receive. To put it simply, value stream mapping allows you to identify where you’re adding value and where you’re wasting it. 

Besides, creating value streams allows you to categorize activities into high priority vs. low priority items. This way, you can prioritize and triage some processes in favor of others. 

How can you enable VSM?

In order to optimize your SEO software development practices and tools, you need total visibility throughout the whole development cycle. Likely, you can achieve this by mapping value streams. 

Not particularly sure where to start? Follow these five steps to enable value stream management for your SEO agency. 

1. Defining real-time metrics and objectives

Defining real-time metrics is the first step toward enabling value stream management. Unfortunately, many businesses fail to define metrics which leads to misleading results and inability to assess the effectiveness of their VSM efforts. 

Choosing the right objectives allows you to understand what’s happening in the development and identify where value is “leaking” in the process. 

Here’s a list of metrics to help you get started: 

  • The development cycle time 
  • The overall volume of change (before and after VSM)
  • Lead time (LT)
  • Process time (PT)
  • Percent complete & accurate (percept of time when the software is received by users in the correct and ready-to-use form)

Collecting these metrics is paramount for the successful evaluation of your VSM efforts. 

2. Creating a value stream map

After you’ve defined the key metrics and objectives, you can start studying your workflows. Create a map (either physical or digital) that explains each step of the software development process, from conceptualizing an idea to delivering the final product to customers. This way, you can see the distribution of resources within your software development cycle. 

Here’s a great example of a value stream map. 

Value stream management map example

Source: ipinimg 

3. Enabling cross-team collaboration

Value stream management requires you to enable cross-team collaboration. Rather than testing business analysts separately from developers and other teams, you want to optimize the workflow across all of these teams. 

4. Connecting multiple processes, teams, and tools 

Now, as you’ve created opportunities for all teams to work together, you should find a way to answer the following question. How do you make sure that all of the work that your employees are doing, the value streams of their development, map to your priorities? 

To answer this question, you have to evaluate the workflows and roles of each team regarding your objectives and priorities. 

5. Coordinating and automating workflows 

VSM tools allow you to embed governance into existing system development cycles. In other words, some platforms allow you to automate the value stream management processes. 

Tom Hayes, a VSM advisor at the Guerrilla Agency shares his expertise,

“By coordinating and automating workflows, you can continually improve your SEO solution and ultimately achieve better results.”

The bottom line

Value stream management is different from other approaches because it’s focused on the idea that everything that happens to your customers, from the idea to the delivery, is important and needs to be managed in a holistic manner. 

By implementing VSM in your SEO agency, you can better understand your system development cycles and workflows. 

Implementing value stream management is easier than it may seem. You can start by mapping value streams and defining your main objectives. Moreover, there are many platforms that will make the VSM process easy and personalized for your SEO agency.

Connie Benton is a chief content writer, guest contributor, and enthusiastic blogger who helps B2B companies reach their audiences more effectively. You can find her on Twitter at @ConnieB34412379.





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How to Get 4,000 Watch Hours on YouTube (FAST!)

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Gotch SEO Academy is now open! Learn how to get more consistent first page rankings and free traffic from Google (step-by-step).

In this guide, I’m going to show you how to get 4,000 watch hours on YouTube.

Since I began my journey on YouTube in 2017, I’ve accumulated 59,000 watch hours:

And if I was able to do it with my cringe-worthy videos, then you can too.

So the first question is:

What Happens When You Get 4,000 Watch Hours on YouTube?

There is one simple reason why every YouTuber wants to reach 4,000 watch hours: to make money online.

According to YouTube, you need 4,000 watch hours in the last 12 months and 1,000 subscribers to access the YouTube Partner Program (YPP).

Once you reach that threshold, you can apply for the YPP. Then you can start showing ads on your videos if you’re approved.

Now you’ll need lots of subscribers and views to make a full-time income from YouTube ad revenue. However, it’s an excellent supplementary source of revenue.

For example, I’ve made $5,596 from ads since getting monetized.

That equates to about $303 per month or $10 per day. The best part is that it’s a 100% passive form of revenue. You get paid every time someone watches one of your videos.

It’s not a massive amount of money.

In fact:

It’s dead last as far as revenue sources in my company.

But it’s “passive,” which it’s pretty awesome.

Now the truth is: There is no such thing as passive income. You still need to produce quality videos consistently.

Otherwise, your audience will lose interest, your engagement will drop, your views will drop, and ultimately, your ad revenue will fall.

There’s nothing passive about the work you have to do to maintain and continue to grow on YouTube.

Now I want to let you in on a little secret:

The real reason why you should aim for 4,000 watch hours isn’t just for ad revenue. You should do it because you’re building an engaged audience.

As Grant Cardone often says, “money follows attention.”

So remember when I said YouTube ad revenue is a small part of my company’s revenue? That’s true.

However, YouTube traffic is now my third biggest source of revenue for my training course, Gotch SEO Academy.

So with that out of the way, here is a 7 step process to reach 4,000 watch hours on YouTube:

1. Find PROVEN topics

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel. Instead: you can find proven content ideas and then put your twist on it. Here’s how:

Go to YouTube and enter a keyword related to your industry. In this example, I’ll use “fashion.”

Take note of the topics that have produced lots of views. Now open a few of the channels.

If the channel has a lot of subscribers (> 30,000), then click on the “Videos” tab.

Then sort the videos by “Most Popular” to find topics that are proven to work:

Repeat this process for every channel in your industry until you’ve built a nice database of topics.


2. Qualify (and Prioritize) Your Topics

You need to be strategic with what types of videos you create if you have a new channel. If your channel is established, then you can target more competitive topics. There a few ways to qualify topics, but VidIQ will do most of the work:

Step #1: Download VidIQ

Step #2: Go to YouTube and search the topic you’re interested in.

VidIQ will show you a “Score” for the topic.

Ideally, you should only target topics with a high score. A high score is when the topic has substantial search volume but low competition.

I recommend adding the score next to each keyword in your database. Then you prioritize your topics by score.


3. Develop Your Strategy

At this point, you should have selected a keyword target. Now you need to develop a video strategy.

Here are a few questions to ask when developing your strategy:

How long should your video be?

Examine the top 10 videos for your topic and create an average. You should then aim to exceed the average length.

What are some commonalities and differences among the top videos?

I recommend watching the top 5-10 videos and taking notes.

  • What do you like?
  • What do you dislike?
  • What are some unique things they’re doing in their videos that you can incorporate into your videos?

This is the most critical part. Dedicate time to studying their videos because that’s the first step to beating them.

What’s your title?

Did you know that 80% of Internet users don’t read past the headline? That principle applies to YouTube as well.

If your headline (title) doesn’t drive any curiosity, it won’t do well on YouTube.

You need users to click through on your video. And your title is a big piece to that puzzle (along with your thumbnail).

I recommend writing out at least ten different headlines. Then, run each headline through the AMInstitute headline tool.

There are many frameworks for producing curiosity-driven headlines. However, the ones that tend to do the best include numbers.

What will you need to produce the video?

Not all videos are created equal. Some require big budgets, while others will only need your phone.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter what you use to produce your videos. What matters is the quality of the content you’re providing in your video.

Ensure the audio and video are at least at the level of your competitors, and you’ll do just fine.

What’s your deadline?

Deadlines make projects real. Set a deadline and stick to it.


4. Create the Video

I have a simple process for creating videos that you can steal:

Script out the entire video

I know. Some people hate this idea because they’re afraid of being robotic.

However, most people go off the rails if they don’t follow a script.

Scripts keep your videos efficient and easy to consume. The goal isn’t to waste the viewer’s time.

You want to give them the information they need in the fastest time possible. A script is that solution.

I recommend including some of these key elements into your script:

  • Mention your target keyword in the first line and last line of the video.
  • Use open loops at the beginning of the video. An example of an “open-loop” is when I say, “Make sure you read this entire guide because tip #6 is fundamental to your success on YouTube.”
  • Insert pattern interrupts (like I did above).

Did you know that video editing experts recommend changing shots every 3-10 seconds?

Watch any TV commercial. Notice how frequently the shots change. You should do the same.

Why?

It’s super hard to keep people’s attention, so you need to use every tool at your disposal.

Watch this video under tip #6 to see pattern interrupts in action.

Record your video

If you’re doing a talking-head video, you’ll need a teleprompter. Now just turn the camera on and record.

If it’s your first time, it’s going to feel like hell. That’s okay. It gets easier.

Just remember that no one is watching you.

That camera is no different than speaking to a wall. It has no emotions and no judgment.

So that means you have permission to be yourself without any consequences. The cool part is that YouTube users like people who are themselves.

So, hit record, be yourself, and add value.

Edit your video

You can do it for free with iMovie or a paid editing software like Premiere Pro. You can also hire a video editor on UpWork.


5. Optimize Your Video

Before you upload your video, you need to optimize it. I recommend including your target keyword in the filename. Now upload your video, and it’s time to optimize it for YouTube’s organic search.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Include the keyword in the title and first sentence of your description.

  • Write an in-depth description. Aim for > 100 words for your description. Make sure to include variations of your primary keyword as well.
  • Include your keyword in your tags. VidIQ will give you tag recommendations based on the topic.

I also recommend looking through the top videos for your keywords. Copy the tags they’re using.

Add an end screen. You should always try to get users to watch more of your videos.

This will quickly grow your watch time.


6. Promote Your Video

What I just showed you is about 50% of the process. The other 50% of the process is to promote your video.

Here are a few quick tips:

Leverage your email list.

Your email list is the most valuable asset for growing ANY channel—especially YouTube. If you don’t have an email list, I HIGHLY recommend you start building one. It is the most crucial marketing channel online (in my opinion).

Leave thoughtful comments on other channels in your industry.

Take note of when popular channels publish in your industry. Then, be there to drop an intelligent comment on every new video.

This will help you build a relationship with the creator. And it will also help drive users to your channel.

7. Repeat

I showed you a simple process for creating an awesome YouTube video.

But here’s the deal: creating one video isn’t enough.

In fact:

There’s a high probability that your first video won’t do well. That’s why you need to stay the course and keep publishing.

You will get to 4,000 watch hours as long as you keep producing.

That’s It!

The key to reaching 4,000 watch hours on YouTube is to GET STARTED. Then, it’s to keep producing valuable content.

There are no secrets.

Well, maybe some.

That’s why I created a brand new training program called YouTube SEO Academy. I’ll be opening enrollment soon.

In the meantime, download our free YouTube video promotion checklist.

Latest posts by Nathan Gotch (see all)



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