Level Up Your SEO With Product-Led Search by Eli Schwartz

Houndstooth Press

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Every year or so, a new headline comes out that says something to the tune of, “If Your Business Isn’t Doing [insert buzzy tech word here], You’re Wasting Your Marketing Budget.” First, there was social media, then podcasts, then (dun dun dunnnn) content.

“Content” is one of those words that has been used so much, it’s lost all meaning. In the last decade, companies have poured millions of dollars into producing blogs, posts and articles to fill their websites with content — all in the hopes that it would rank them higher on Google search.

We have bad news. Or, actually, Eli Schwartz has bad news. He’s the author of a new book on search-engine optimization called Product-Led SEO: The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy that is throwing a bit of a wrench into the content strategies of days past. Justin Kan, co-founder of streaming company Twitch (ever heard of it?), says, “Eli is the master of SEO. His ideas have changed the game for the companies I’ve started and invested in. If you want to understand how to power growth with SEO, you need to learn from Eli.”

The bad news? You’re going to want to completely change your SEO strategy after reading this book.

The good news? It may actually start to work.

Who Is Eli Schwartz, And Why Is He Messing With My Marketing Strategy?

In a world filled with endless thought leaders and keynote speakers, it can be hard to know who to trust. Many businesses suffer from a too-many-strategists-in-the-kitchen scenario, with industry white papers moving their marketing teams into a state of paralysis. In that sense, Eli Schwartz is a breath of fresh air.

He’s a true SEO expert and industry outsider, approaching search differently than most. Before he wrote this book, he was leading SurveyMonkey’s SEO team and consulting on growth for brands like ​​Zendesk, Shutterstock and Quora. Like many of us, he’s been on the receiving end of one too many keyword word clouds (more on that later) and became exasperated from the misuse of search strategy. For all this content, shouldn’t there be more sales? Did this question just trigger your fight or flight from years of failed lifestyle blogging? Good. Keep reading.

In part, because no one else had, Schwartz literally wrote the book on how to rethink search. We’re so glad he did because it’s a genuine game-changer. Whether you’re a marketing manager for a struggling brand, a small business owner trying to rise through the ranks, or an SEO-pro looking to pick up a new trick, Product-Led SEO is a must-read.

Find this must-read book here.

Strategy Built on Mentorship

Schwartz’s time at SurveyMonkey was instrumental in writing this book. He dedicated it to Dave Goldberg, the late CEO and businessman who Schwartz credits with life-changing mentorship that guided the rest of his career.

Sheryl Sandberg, Goldberg’s wife and Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, shared her support for the book and some positive words of affirmation in a post:

“A few years back, Eli wrote to me about how Dave’s mentorship helped him achieve some of his biggest career goals. Now, in a new book, he’s sharing the expertise he’s gained on his professional journey. ‘Product-Led SEO: The Why Behind Building Your Organic Growth Strategy’ is dedicated to Dave and it means so much to me that Eli is extending Dave’s legacy by teaching and supporting others.”

Courtesy of Sheryl Sandberg/Facebook

We spend so much time at work. It really means the world when someone can take us under their wing, guide us, and ask the right questions. In many ways, Eli Schwartz has extended that mentorship and sewn it throughout the book.

Product-Led SEO: A New Way of Thinking

What does product-led SEO mean, and how could it actually help your business? Let’s get into it.

Schwartz borrows the term from Silicon Valley. “Product-led” is something of a mantra around those parts. It’s the theory that the best products in the world don’t actually need much advertising. So rather than getting glitzy, teams focus on developing the most efficient, useful technology possible. They relentlessly innovate, based on what people (like you and me) actually, you know, want. Imagine that.

Product-led SEO applies that same thinking to search strategy. Common wisdom tells us to find as many search keywords related to our products as we can and to jam our site with them. We write blogs upon blogs filled to the brim with these keywords and hope that while people visit our sites, they also consider buying something.

Schwartz’s proposal? Stop messing around. Your site should be focused on what makes your product great, not how to fold a fitted sheet or thirteen ways you can get over your ex. Sure, those fluff pieces might be getting you traffic, but are any of them actually converting to sales? That’s what we thought.

Change the way you think with Product-Led SEO.

Stop Playing Google’s Game

If you’ve ever groaned your way through Google search results because it’s full of ads, rambling blog posts, or nothing relevant to what you were looking for, you’ve been a victim of SEO strategy.

By prioritizing beating Google at its own game, brands have lost the original plot. Marketing is about communicating the purpose your brand serves — how it helps people, how it fits into their lives and how it’s available now, at a special price.

If you have sat on the other side and groaned at a results page, then why would you do it for your own brand? Eli Schwartz’s perspective on this is clear and refreshingly easy to understand. Long story short, he tells you to listen to your user and develop products that solve their problems effectively. Most importantly, he advocates that your site and the SEO you use to promote it should tell people what they actually want to know.

People are not algorithms, and it’s high time we start talking to them that way.

What Can Product-Led SEO Do For Your Business?

We can’t give away all the book’s secrets — that wouldn’t be fair. So take our advice. Read it, try something new, and watch your business transform. That’s what Monica Ohara, CMO of WordPress.com would advocate:

“Eli’s fresh approach to SEO helps demystify the black box of organic search. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn how to leverage this channel for growth.”

Pretty compelling, right?

Let’s get into what you can learn from Product-Led SEO and what it can offer your business, whether you’re a fish in a sea of consultants or one person wearing many hats.

Learn to Understand the How of SEO

Forget character count, forget titles, forget keywords. Okay, actually you may want to hold onto a few pieces of information there, but first and foremost, Product-Led SEO offers a new standard for how we understand search.

More important than what we do, according to Schwartz, is how we do it. Within these pages, you’ll find a more thorough and easy-to-understand explanation for the many nuances of search-based marketing. It’ll totally change how you look at Google.

Acquire A Toolkit of New Techniques

This is not just an overview book, though. Schwartz isn’t afraid to get technical and precise, outlining a slew of strategies and approaches so you can leave the last page feeling ready to start implementing change. It’s a true guide that puts the power in your hands.

Start to Generate Sales the Way You’ve Been Wanting

No guarantees, but it’s hard not to see how Schwartz’s style of search experimentation and user-focused SEO can help improve business overall. Schwartz has consulted for brands of all kinds and driven tangible revenue with his signature blend of logic and creativity.

Search is an inexact science, and Schwartz is the first one to say so. What he advocates for is a more open feedback loop — more dialogue with the user and more adaptation to better meet their needs. Sounds pretty good, right?

Maybe it’ll sound better coming from more of Eli Schwartz’s many admirers, who hail the book for being well-timed and uniquely useful:

  • “SEO is so much more complex than just focusing on keywords and has evolved significantly over the years. This book sets the stage for how to really manage SEO.”  – Luc Levesque, Vice President of Growth, Shopify
  • “Without a strategic approach toward SEO, you are leaving growth opportunities on the table. Product-Led SEO will allow you to marry your acquisition efforts with your ultimate revenue goals.” – Casey Winters, Chief Product Officer, Eventbrite
  • “Bravo! Thank you so much for sharing with us your hard-won knowledge about how to drive long-term and scalable SEO results. This book is what all marketers responsible for digital growth need to understand in order to clearly communicate the ‘whys,’ not just the ‘hows,’ behind the SEO strategies to drive leadership buy-in.” – Christi Olson, Director of Search, Microsoft

If the Director of Search for Microsoft is telling you there’s information in this book you need to understand, you should probably take her at her word.

Pick up a Copy of Product-Led SEO Today

Ready to learn? You can buy Product-Led SEO by Eli Schwartz today on Amazon. It’s available in hardcover, paperback and e-book. You’re welcome.

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