Weekly Finds - Week 44, 2020

This week with Casey Winters, Lenny Rachitsky, Dan Hockenmaier, and Bill Slawski.

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Quick Finds

Where marketers learn

  • CXL asked where marketers go to learn and compiled a nice resource page, including yours truly.
  • Check out the book curation at the bottom - great stuff!

Negative keyword research

  • Adding a list of negative keywords to Google's keyword planner has become more important than ever
  • Google's roll out of unreported clicks and keywords kills spend efficiency

Weekly Finds

Ok, this week is a bit heavy on Casey Winters #sorrynotsorry. The man had and has a big impact on the concept of Growth and grew some of the largest brands out there. In a recent First Round Review article and interview, he talks about building scalable content loops - my specialty:

  1. Find content from your users or product (what I refer to as “inventory”)
  2. Get users to share the content.
  3. Tweak your onboarding based on traffic source quality.
  4. Add a bit of friction to drive sign-ups.

One surprise to me was that Grubhub built links by giving local bloggers and influencers promo codes in exchange for write-ups. It’s reassuring to note that even marketplaces like GrubHub has to invest in link building.

Casey also wrote about the concept of sequencing marketplaces. When companies go from SaaS to Marketplace, they fall into one of five buckets. Each bucket is more "marketplace-y" or "SaaS-y" and comes with different vectors like fees, demand-side branding, or value props. As companies move from SaaS to fully-integrated marketplaces, they also move from supply to demand-side value props. Over time, the whole definition of value changes.

While we're at Growth, Dan Hockenmaier and Lenny Rachitsky published a customer acquisition playbook. Companies tend to grow through 3 channels: performance marketing, SEO, or virality. To find a channel, companies need to validate, commit, and become world-class at it. You can either choose a channel that’s a natural fit for your startup, or you look at your data.

Natural fit for performance marketing:

  • customers aren’t looking for your product or you sell to them directly

Natural fit for virality:

  • products get better with more users
  • the product is fun to share

Natural fit for SEO:

  • you have a lot of UGC
  • you have a lot fo unique data

In the light of Google's recent passage ranking announcement, Bill Slawski dug out a patent that could be related. In relation to how Featured Snippets work, I noticed two points that made me curious

  • Even the text before a passage can impact the relevance of the passage itself
  • The patent hints at distance of a heading to the search query as a potential factor
  • Google might use query-independent signals to rank passages like links or speed.

Whether Google uses the same technology for passage ranking is unclear. If that's the case, however, headings might become more important because they provide context for the content passage Google might rank.