Episode 5: What Makes a Great Content Outline

Episode Table of Contents

Tune Into the Episode via Video or Audio

Meet the Guest: Samuel Schmitt

With more than 15 years of experience in digital marketing, Samuel launched thruuu in 2019.

Thruuu is an SEO and Content Optimization tool designed to streamline the labor-intensive process of analyzing Google search results for improved SEO.

It provides a rapid and thorough SERP analysis with extensive data points, including a content brief generator and keyword clustering feature, for any Google query.

Follow Samuel on LinkedIn.

Samuel Schmitt

Podcast Episode Notes


Here are some of the biggest takeaways from this episode:
  • Purpose-Driven Content Creation: Emphasize creating content that caters to user intent rather than just search engines. This involves understanding what users already know and providing new, valuable information without redundancy.
  • Efficient Content Outlines: A well-crafted content outline not only structures the article effectively but also guides the writing process, ensuring all necessary elements are included, like audience intent, headings, and SEO aspects.
  • Use of Content Tools: Tools like Thruuu can streamline the content creation process by automating data extraction and analysis from SERPs, which aids in constructing effective content outlines quickly.
  • Unique Content Strategy: Differentiate your content by adding unique elements that competitors may not offer, like focusing on niche topics or unique selling propositions within your content.
  • Innovative Use of Free Tools: Offering free tools relevant to your industry can attract users and generate backlinks, enhancing brand visibility and credibility.
  • Mentioned Tools and Resources:

    These are tools and resources that were mentioned throughout the episode.
  • Thruuu: A content marketing tool designed to streamline the creation of content outlines by analyzing top SERP results and providing insights on heading structures, keyword usage, and more.
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    Episode Transcript

    Ashley Segura: Okay. So we like to start off the podcast with discovering what your favorite dish to cook is. And from talking with you, I discovered that you have a hidden talent and apparently you’re a total chef in the kitchen. So what is your go to dish to cook?

    Samuel Schmitt: Well, Honestly, it’s hard to say because I like to cook, as you can see, and in France also we have this, you know, this fine cuisine, uh, culture. So, so maybe I will be a bit, um, let’s say not really French here, but, um, this summer I did a lot of barbecue, in fact. Oh, wow. And, uh, I learned, I think, Um, an American, uh, let’s say a way of cooking ribs is called, it’s called the 3 2 1.

    I guess, you know, you know this one? Uh, 

    Ashley Segura: I’m not, I’m not great on the barbecue. So what’s a 3 

    Samuel Schmitt: 2 1? [00:01:00] So basically it’s, um, you have to cook your ribs for six hours. And you start, um, so you start at a low temperature in your barbecue for three hours. So just to take your ribs, you put some, um, some spice around, you know, uh, you put it in your, in your barbecue for three hours.

    So you smoke the ribs and then two hours, then you remove it. You wrap it in, uh, in, uh, in foil, right? You put some, I don’t know, wine or beers or honey, uh, stuff like this. Ooh. You wrap it, you put it again two hours. And then you take it out, you, you, and you finish it on the barbecue and you just, you put some, some glaze.

    I don’t know. It’s correct, right? Yep. Yep. You put, you take the source of the, of the, of the, of, uh, of your meat and you put it on the top and you finish for, for one hour. So that’s why it’s called sweet one. [00:02:00] And it’s, it’s awesome. Really. It’s awesome. 

    Ashley Segura: That sounds amazing. That sounds really good. It’s melting.

    Samuel Schmitt: It’s melting in the mouth. So it’s great. 

    Ashley Segura: Now I’m hungry. Maybe this is a mistake to talk about this right off the bat.

    Well, love it. Ribs are definitely family fave. I’m glad you’re getting into it, but let’s, let’s get into speaking of the meat of things. So when we’re talking about content outlines. Through is definitely one of my absolute favorite content marketing tools right now. And so for, for listeners who aren’t so familiar, can you tell us a little bit about the tool and why you created 

    Samuel Schmitt: it?

    Right. So, um, yes, I’m the founder of through, um, so I created through four years ago in 2019, exactly. And initially I created this tool for me because when I was, uh, creating content, I was always doing the same process. So typing my keywords in Google. [00:03:00] Extracting data from every single page, ranking on the first page.

    So extracting the headings, extracting the number of words. I was creating this kind of big Excel file with a lot of data, you know, and it took me a lot of time to do that manually. But the idea behind was to understand the SERP, to see through the SERP. That’s why as well, I came with the name Thru. Love it.

    Nice. So it’s really to see through the serve, because I think when you see through the serve, basically you see the people behind the searcher. And this is important, I think. And this is what I, it’s my, basically my, my, um, my approach of, of creating content and SEO. I write first for human and not first for, for search engine.

    And so you need to understand your competitor. You need to understand about what they’re speaking. And this is why basically I created through. Right? Extract all this information and to help me quickly create a content brief, content outline and so [00:04:00] on. So this was really the idea. Yeah, 

    Ashley Segura: that makes sense. I love that you mentioned that you’re still creating content for the user because right now we’re seeing this like Spam wave of AI content that is not at all written for the user.

    We’re still going back to like those old crappy link spammy days of just producing a ton. And that’s again, for the bots, for the algorithms, it’s not for the user. So I love that this tool was created to kind of get through. To the user, that really makes a lot of sense. 

    Samuel Schmitt: Yes, exactly. Yes. And, uh, yeah. And then especially accelerating, accelerating your process, you know, I mean, I think not.

    Not many people spend time to analyze the SERP to understand the article ranking. They directly jump into the content creation, I think, and this is maybe a mistake. Uh, you should just spend a few minutes. And this way of through can help basically to extract all this information to provide you some reports where you can quickly analyze what [00:05:00] kind of topics you should cover.

    What kind of question you should answer and so on. And I think this is really important to then create a great piece of content that answers the question of your audience and not only writing stuff for, for search engine. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah, definitely. Especially when you account the time that it takes to do this from a manual approach and going into Google, which, you know, I still always recommend going into Google, actually seeing for yourself.

    Yeah. Yeah. If a tool can do that and extract the same exact info and you can see everything in one spot, it just streamlines your process drastically. 

    Samuel Schmitt: Exactly. Yes, exactly. Yeah. 

    Ashley Segura: Definitely. So going into what a content outline is. Some of our listeners have been making content outlines for years. Some of them are like, I know I need to do this, but I just create the content first.

    So can you dive into what a content outline is and why it’s really important along the content [00:06:00] marketing process? 

    Samuel Schmitt: Right. I mean, I think that there were a kind of discussion on, on LinkedIn, uh, about content outline versus content brief. I don’t really know what is the difference. Well, I can tell you my definition first.

    For me, the outline is basically just a heading structure. This is, it’s a part of the brief, right? And then the brief is a Wall documents, uh, that you need to create, um, to basically, it’s a kind of requirements that you share with your writer. So what kind of stuff you would like to see in your content at the end.

    So in this kind of document, first, I like to start with the objective, why you write, right? Why, why, why you write this piece of content? You have to explain that to your writer. And so it’s really important to start with that, defining your objective. Um, it can be just one line, you know, I’m doing that because we want to promote this tool or we want to, I don’t know, uh, educate our audience about X.

    So just explain why then as well [00:07:00] providing some guidelines, you can provide like, uh, how you expect the tone to be, how you expect, uh, yeah, give some detail about how you expect the writer to structure your content. Provide as well example of other content that you, that you like, or that are already available on your blog.

    So I like to start my brief or content outline with this kind of information. First, generic or general information to the writer. Then as well, what I like to provide is, um, a search intent analysis. I mean, because anyway, before you create an outline or a brief, you first, you need to, the first step is to analyze the SERP so you can also provide.

    Information about the search intent, basically explaining to your writer why somebody’s searching, why people are typing these keywords in Google, and what do they expect, you know? So, it already guides a [00:08:00] bit, I think it guides, um, the content creation. So this is how I start the brief, and then I will have something more concrete, let’s say, or more concrete, more, uh, on, uh, related to the article, like the title, obviously.

    The description, and then what I call the outline structure. So basically the heading structure listing, um, the main headings you want to have in your article. And as well, what I like to do is to include notes to my writers, because just providing the heading structure is. It can be misleading. I like always to explain for each section what I expect him or her to write.

    Okay. And then I finish usually also this document with a competitor analysis. So I share basically the top ranking pages. I also indicate the number of words and so on. So, yeah, this, I mean, we could speak forever or for hours about how to create a great [00:09:00] brief. Basically, what I want to say is that it’s a key document because it guides content creation.

    It helps your writer go in the right direction and it saves you time. You don’t have to go back and forth too much, too many times to, to, uh, to review what has been done. So it’s really important to spend some time on this document. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. You know, that’s what I’m seeing happening more of is content being published and then going backwards and be like, Oh yeah, we actually need to optimize it.

    Versus if you have a content outline in the beginning. I come from a journalism background. So this is like, you know, usually you put together an outline for the writer, what they need, what the point needs to be, what the goal of it needs to be. This is that same concept, but adding in those optimization pieces now so that you have a really strong piece of content from the gecko versus doing it backwards.

    And like you said, it’s taking twice as much 

    Samuel Schmitt: time, right? It doesn’t mean that you don’t. Need to update it later on, but it’s always good to start with this, uh, this, um, this, all this information. You’re right. So, yeah. Yeah, [00:10:00] that’s a 

    Ashley Segura: good point. I mean, when you go and do your, whether it’s quarterly, once a year, twice a year content audits, that’s not to say that you have to go back to that piece and re optimize it or update it or add more content because the SERPs are always changing us, how we’re searching.

    That’s always going to change, uh, which kind of brings. A really big component of the outline is the audience. So you mentioned a bit about the content goals, but how do you factor in who you’re writing for, how they’re searching, what kind of information they’re looking for? Like what component of this is inside of your content outline?

    Samuel Schmitt: Right. So, um, I try to explain what for my personal, uh, for my tool for through basically the audience is always the same. So at some point, you know, the writer are aware of. Who we are targeting because we are targeting basically SEO and the copywriters. So my audience say. More or less always the same. So now they are [00:11:00] familiar with that.

    I briefed them once about our main persona. So they know as well how to, how to, um, how to shape, um, the writing. 

    Ashley Segura: Okay. So since you’re, you’re for the most part, always speaking to the same audience, how often are you going in and doing audience research? Like if your audience isn’t changing, do you ever find that?

    The type of content that they’re looking for is changing or for your specific audience. Is it kind of the same information and just creating pillar pieces of content to satisfy that? 

    Samuel Schmitt: It’s really an interesting question. So, because, well, I’m in the process of. By the way of evaluating my, uh, in more detail, who are my readers?

    Who are my users so far? What I’m doing is kind of reverse engineering, you know, based on the top performing article, you know, because I’m writing in fact, different articles. I’m writing articles for B2B [00:12:00] SaaS. I’m writing articles for bloggers. I’m writing articles for, let’s say, uh, agencies. And then based on that and base, so I have different.

    Different articles on my blog, right? And then I try to figure out which of them are the most performing. And then I, I assume that this is my audience. I don’t know if I’m clear, you know, but I know I’m in this process, let’s say of reverse engineering, but at what I will also do very soon is doing a survey to my users to be, to get more insights about.

    What is our industry, what is our, is our B2B, B2C and so on, you know, and, um, so yeah, I, but I need to, I need to refine more or less my, uh, my audience analysis, yeah. 

    Ashley Segura: I love that you mentioned surveys. I’m a big proponent of still doing surveys. I feel like surveys are kind of like that [00:13:00] traditional marketing method, but it really is a way to tap into your audience.

    Have you thought about. What kind of survey or what the survey would look like? Like, is this an email blast of, Hey, who are you? Or something on 

    Samuel Schmitt: social. Yeah, no, well, it will be, well, for sure I have, um, my database of users, so it should be an email blast, but also maybe I will, because I’m, I’m building a SaaS, so the chance that I have is that I can also pop up in the tool, some, some questions at some time, you know, I could just, uh, ask what is your, um, main, uh, industry, you know, I can, I can ask step by step to gather some, some information about my users.

    I might. Okay. Do both having a kind of email blast with a survey, a Google form, please tell me who you are. And then trying also over time to gather insight directly inside the application. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah, that’s a great approach. You definitely have to keep me posted how that goes. Yeah, sorry. Go [00:14:00] ahead. 

    Samuel Schmitt: Oh, no, go for it.

    I mean, but then I’m not doing that as well. The team is not big enough, let’s say, to do the following. I could also analyze the data that they create, you know, because my users are creating content briefs for specific industries. I could analyze the titles, I could analyze the data, but I’m not doing that, by the way.

    So don’t worry, I’m not analyzing your data. But it’s something I could potentially do as well to understand to which kind of audience they are writing for. And And assuming they’re, uh, their targets. 

    Ashley Segura: I mean, that is a really interesting approach. I mean, if you, if you go into my through account, you’re gonna see a, a pretty wide range of, of briefs Yes.

    And keywords in there. But yeah, that, that would be an interesting approach. One of the things that I struggle with the most, even if, if I’m using a tool or trying to create a outline manually, is the heading part, the heading structure of it, which. Arguably is also, I think, the most important [00:15:00] part because it dictates what information is going to be in that content.

    Do you have any tips or pieces of advice on when, say, you’re analyzing the top 20 top ranking posts, how do you really identify? Okay, this is the heading structure that I’m going to tackle. This is the list of H2s or the pieces of information. Like, how do you really weigh that out? 

    Samuel Schmitt: Yeah, good point. I mean, it’s tough.

    I mean, you’re right first. I mean, the heading structure is the most important part. You need, you need really to craft that perfectly. You need to spend time on it. And always, I’m speaking about the user. I try to understand what kind of information they already know because it’s really important to understand what they already know.

    Do not, let’s say repeat stuff that they already know. So let me come with a example and let’s come with a food example. If, because if you are in the, we speak about food, let’s speak about tomato. [00:16:00] All right. Let’s say I’m searching for how to grow a specific kind of tomato. I don’t know, you know, how to grow this tomato.

    Okay. I’m into it. Do you think I should add my first heading? What is a tomato? 

    Ashley Segura: Not at all. That’s not the information I want 

    Samuel Schmitt: out of that. You already know what, if you are looking for how to grow a tomato, you already know what is a tomato, right? But you often do, and I, we often, now it’s quite obvious because we speak about tomatoes.

    It’s obvious, right? It’s a vegetable. Everybody know what it is. So if you want to know how to grow it, you don’t want to know what it is, but look at the ACO kind of, uh, uh, blog posts created. And I also do this mistake. Sometimes we always start with the what. What is that, even though we already know that the guy knows what is it because he’s searching for how to, he’s searching maybe how to do it, or he’s searching for example about, about this, [00:17:00] these things.

    You understand my point, you know, it’s, it’s really understanding what your audience already know. And don’t speak about that. Don’t speak about that. Go to the point, go to the point. And this is often a mistake we all do because we use tools and tools guide us in the direction that. It’s basically using what’s already on the surf outside.

    And it’s just creating a kind of average view of what’s already outside. And often our competitors are doing the same mistake. They don’t consider what audience already know. My suggestion is that, okay, use a tool. You can use through by the way. It’s a great tool to create an outline, but still think you need to think and use your brain and think about what your audience is already doing.

    So it’s to be a first tip to build an outline. Yeah, 

    Ashley Segura: that, that makes a lot of sense. And I feel like it goes [00:18:00] back to the concept of, okay, put yourself in the user’s shoes, really know who your user is and what they’re searching for out of that. If they’re trying to grow tomatoes, then. Obviously they understand the concept of a tomato.

    They just want the nuts and bolts of what tools do I need? What kind of soil, you know, getting into the nitty gritty. 

    Samuel Schmitt: Exactly. And if you check my blog, you will see, I’m still doing this mistake. Sometimes it’s just, you know, we, we cannot, we, we, we just do it by, because we think we should do it. You know, like if I write a blog about a blog post about how to create the perfect content Maybe if you check now my, my blog posts, they will put my blog stories.

    I will be like, what is the content outline as a first page to H2, but this is not good. I should remove it. You know, this is really my point. People already know this topic. Just move on. Go to the point. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah, that’s true. If they’re searching on how to create it, then they understand what the concept of it is.

    I still see those so often. Like when I’m analyzing the top search results, I’ll see, you know, [00:19:00] speaking of food, uh, the history of lasagna being like the first two paragraphs. Yeah, right So many users are screaming like, we don’t care about the history. We just want the recipe or we just want that specific piece of information.

    So what do you do when you see that pattern is being used in the top ranking posts and it is working for them. Should you still go in and add maybe. One H two towards the top of, okay, here’s a little bit of history, but only a couple of sentences. 

    Samuel Schmitt: No, I mean, right. This is, this is a challenge because you, we know, we see our computer doing that, all doing that.

    So we think we should do it, but I believe we should try to not do it, you know, and, and Google, we will reward us if it maybe take more time. But you will get rewarded. I’m pretty sure because also look again, let’s speak about tomato. I think it’s really great example. We have a marketplace.

    You have one [00:20:00] farmer coming with red, red, red tomato. I don’t know the brand, the breed of tomato. Sorry. So like, let’s say, uh, we call them, I don’t know what the, the, the small red one. Okay. Cherry tomatoes, cherry tomato. Okay. Then the second farmer is coming with the same cherry tomato. Then the third one is coming with the same cherry tomato.

    So you have ten farmers with ten times the same cherry tomato. Google is a marketplace. Google is here, is, is, is managing this, this, this marketplace. Google won’t be happy because you as a user, you enter the marketplace, but you see only the same cherry tomato on every, uh, booth. You know, so this is my point.

    You need to come with something different. You need to come with green tomato. And then we say, okay, you with a green one, come here at the third place. You know, this is my point. You should come with something different because Google cannot just provide the same single copycat on the page, on page [00:21:00] one, you know?

    So this is my analogy with tomato. 

    Ashley Segura: Honestly, that’s an amazing analogy. I love the green tomato. I love being able to visually see that because that is from an SEO perspective. What we’ve done for so long is okay. What is Google like? What are users like? Do more of that and hope that you’re going to pop out in the sea of tomatoes and that yours is going to be unique enough.

    But especially with AI coming into play and so much content being created using AI and just publish left and right. This is kind of a really great opportunity and time to really test being unique in the space and not doing exactly the way the competitors are doing it, taking a look at the competition and be like, okay, this is the bits of information that they have, like.

    The variations of tomatoes in case I want to grow other types of tomatoes. This is good info to have. I’ll make sure to include that, but maybe not build my entire content outline [00:22:00] exactly. 

    Samuel Schmitt: Like, yeah, exactly. You need to follow a certain pattern. You cannot go too far away because if you come with banana and everybody’s selling tomato, you won’t, you won’t, you, you, you won’t fit.

    Right. So you need to stick. To a certain pattern, you need to follow, let’s say 70%, maybe 80 percent of what the other are doing, but try to come with something unique and try to come with something unique at the first position in your, in your content structure, you know, and also try to come with something that is You know, a case study, an experience, a quote from one of your employee, from, from one of your customer, something really unique.

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. I mean, it, it almost, it, it almost makes me think that like, this is, this is really a chance for content creators to stand out and experiment with different content types. ’cause as a user, I know if I’m gonna go and search for how to grow this specific tomato. I’m going to look at several different websites until I find [00:23:00] the format, the way that I like it, not just the information, but the format, the way that I like it, and also something unique about it, which for me, I want this to be easy.

    So if your demographics looking for quick solutions, fast solutions, making sure that you screen that to them within the content, instead of. Burying it at the bottom where they’re just going to bounce back to the search results and get lost in all of the other red tomato recipes or 

    Samuel Schmitt: instructions. No, it’s really, this is a case like finding something unique, as you said, something that identify you finding your USP, you know, compared to the rest.

    I have an example of what I’ve done once I, it was a listicle of list of products. Right. So quite straightforward. Everybody knows what is a listicle and. I was like, how can I rank on the first page? Because I would just create a list sticker like, like anybody else. But I just took a little differentiator.

    I, I focused on the free tool. Okay. So [00:24:00] everybody was thinking about, I don’t know. I don’t remember exactly the tool. But maybe about like, let’s say copywriting tools. And then I, I just made a list of, of free copywriting tools and I rank in the top five quite easily because I brought a new angle. You know, it’s like I was a green, I was a green tomato when everybody else was a red tomato.

    Ashley Segura: Yes. Yes. And that’s because you knew that your audience wants a free tool for this. And so you just kind of populated that or how did that workflow 

    Samuel Schmitt: go? No, because yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I knew that some, I, I, because I figured out that this intent is not served, you know, and this is, and here it’s hard to find by, with a tool.

    It’s just, you, you have to understand, and this way you have to understand the audience as well. You need to know, okay, they have a list of tools. But how you can make your content stand out to come with something different, you know, it can be focusing on an industry like, okay, list of tools for, for, I don’t know, for, for, uh, for, uh, [00:25:00] I don’t have industry for pharmaceutical industry, you know, you need to find something different, you know, and this, I guess is something also what you should do more and more this year, uh, when you write content, being more focused on a niche.

    So, yeah, I think this is maybe a good advice. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah, no, no, I, I love it. And it kind of makes me think I Follow so much of the content that through publishes. And I’m so curious with how you started your content creation process. Like back 2019 went through was, you know, just a baby, how you would come up with a content idea and create it versus now as we’re entering a space to where you need to have different content to really make it stand out.

    Like what, uh, what is the difference been from your beginning content creation process to how you create content for the 

    Samuel Schmitt: blog? Yeah, right. I mean, tough question, but yeah, like, [00:26:00] so back, back in 2019, I created a lot of content. I, I share, I shared a lot of, let’s say, um, practical, um, content. I was basically sharing my own experience because.

    Also, I mean, about my history in 2019, I started through, but at the same time I started SEO. So I started both at the same time. I just, in fact, because I basically the story to make it short, I started my own blog and then I created through a few months later, six months later, in fact, to support my content creation process.

    So initially my first articles. It was just basically me explaining how I build a website. So, you know, it’s, it’s kind of real, real TV. It’s like, okay, I build a website. I will explain what I’ve done every day. And I created this kind of content. Yeah. And it was [00:27:00] working really well because it was like, uh, yeah, me explaining things.

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. That, that you are actually doing, did you do this video or was this written 

    Samuel Schmitt: content? It was written content, yeah, mainly. Uh, yeah, it was written content, yeah. 

    Ashley Segura: Was there or has there been a big switch from you going to writing content to recording a lot more content, or do you find yourself still writing a lot of blog posts?

    Samuel Schmitt: I still write, I mean, I still write a lot. That’s the blog post on the screw. com website. I delegate a lot to writers, but also here what I notice is that some content are harder to delegate. Let’s say top of the funnel content is easier to give to a writer because it’s more informational content. But when I need to really, uh, develop a strategy, I prefer to write it myself, you know, because I would be just, I think, faster than explaining, [00:28:00] uh, everything to the writer.

    So, or I need to train more my writer. Yes, I mean, but yeah, so just basically right now I’m writing. I’m. I’m writing myself the bottom of the funnel or middle, middle, middle of the funnel content and top of the funnel are more for, for the, um, for the copywriters. 

    Ashley Segura: Okay, that definitely makes sense to me and that really kind of circles back to how a content outline is so helpful and why it’s in place to where you can come in as the business owner and really the true brand identity with, hey, here’s my idea.

    This is the piece of content that I know we need to create. These are the pieces that you need to include. And then you come in with the actual fundamental aspects of the content outline. And that’s, you know, all the heading structure and whatnot, hand that over to a writer. And they’re equipped at that point with everything they need to create a solid piece 

    Samuel Schmitt: of content.

    And also one thing I’m doing, in fact, um, to be more precise. So I, so I give the content, uh, outline to the writer. And sometimes I even [00:29:00] put in the content outline. This section will be for me. No, like I’m saying, you write this and that, and that, and that. This is for me. Then it’s for you. So you already know that.

    And I will already tell him what I will write. So, so you know that I know that some, some parts. Maybe too specific or too product, product led, you know, so then it’s for me and the rest is for him. And then at the end we review together. I mean, he reviewed my English because I’m not a native English speaker, as you can see, but then he reviewed my English and uh, yeah, that’s it.

    Ashley Segura: I think that’s really helpful for a lot of larger companies as well, who they either have a team of writers in house or they outsource their writing. But there’s parts of it to where you need to work with customer success teams or the sales team to really have the verbiage in there. You can’t have a writer just know your product in and out perfectly.

    Samuel Schmitt: Exactly. Exactly. It’s a collaboration at the end, you know, and, uh, you can start with a base and then putting some quotes, some. [00:30:00] Yeah. Information from your SME, from, from your project manager, I don’t know. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. 

    Ashley Segura: It really is a collaboration effort to create a fully fleshed out and successful piece of content.

    Exactly. As we wrap up, was wondering if you could please spill the beans on what your secret sauce is. What is your go to strategy right now? What is your favorite? I mean, you’ve got a tool of your own, so what do you, what’s your go to right 

    Samuel Schmitt: now? Maybe I can tell you two strategies in fact, but one strategy that I like is, uh, creating topic cluster.

    If people don’t know what’s a topic cluster, it’s like, um, let’s say a set of pages around a certain topic. And usually you have a kind of pillar page at the top. So it’s like your homepage of your cluster. And then you have sub pages and each single page you should really focus on the difference on a specific sub topic of your main topic.

    So. And when you create [00:31:00] topic cluster also you avoid cannibalization or overlapping, you know, it’s really, I mean, great way to build a content hub, basically, and how to create topic cluster. Usually you start with a long list of keywords and you use a tool you can use through, by the way, I’m not here only to promote my tool, but you can use.

    through on another one, uh, doing, um, keyword clustering. So the process of keyword clustering is that from your long list of keywords, it will, and it will check every single keywords and put them together when they display the same SERP. Okay. So it means that two terms or three terms that Are a bit different, but at the end they display the same SERP are put together.

    And like this, you can really identify single topics. And then for every single topic, you create an article. And like this, you can build a [00:32:00] cluster. And also what is really important in a topic cluster is internal linking. Because you need to link all this stuff together. For search engine, but as well for your reader.

    And I always think about my reader or my users. Try to think what is the next step. So when you end up on an article, what next piece of content you should read? And then you can direct them to the next piece of content in your, in your, uh, in your cluster. So this is working well because first you are, you create a lot of content, usually content that’s, let’s say, span over the customer journey.

    So you have top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, bottom of the funnel. You increase your chance to be seen on search engine and. It’s important for your branding to be seen, even though sometimes you’re not clicked. You know, it’s silly to say that you can, it’s fine to not be clicked. Of course you have, you have to be clicked.[00:33:00] 

    I’m pretty sure we all did that at some point. We search for something and you often see it’s the same brand. We don’t click the first two, three, four times. But after a while, when we search for the same topic, Oh, they’re coming back. We click on them because they start to become familiar with us, you know.

    So it’s also important to be I think visible at every step of the customer journey. And this is what a topic cluster can help you to achieve. Being visible with a huge amount or huge. Let’s say you can start with 10 or 20 is fine. 10, 20 content. So this is a good strategy, driving traffic and also building a brand because you are visible for many queries.

    And the second strategy I, uh, I started last year and I will do that more this year is creating free tools. Of course, free tools, not everybody can do free tools depend on your industry. Let’s say if you’re, uh, if you’re in the food, uh, niche, I don’t know what kind of [00:34:00] feature you can do, but for SAS is working really well because SAS by definition is a tool and it’s so easy for a SAS company to just create something free out of the main tool.

    And start to create free tools. And this is really working really well. Believe me, it’s not really content. So, but it’s working really well. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah. I mean, it complements all the other pieces of the puzzle by having brand awareness, getting traffic to your site. Now they’re not just going to your site and reading something.

    They’re actually engaging. And this is something that e commerce brands can. Really take advantage of. I mean, a solar company could build a tool to where you can calculate how much savings based on your footage or there’s Endless possibilities of, like you’re saying, thinking out of the box of a tool.

    It’s not just like a black and white tool, but you can get really creative. I love both of these tips. They’re absolutely fantastic. And so appreciate you coming on [00:35:00] 

    Samuel Schmitt: and, you know, just to finish. In fact, initially, Thru was a free tool. So when I started Thru back in 2019, I released it for free. So I didn’t ask for an email address for nothing.

    I, in fact, my plan was not to build a SaaS. My plan was to build a brand, my brand. And I was thinking that by giving away something great for free, I will get backlinks. I will get mentions. On different platforms and it works by the way it worked. So yes, through was a free tool. I got a lot of backlinks and then I started to make a paid tool.

    So if you are SaaS, you can also sync to start your business by just providing a free tool. And then once you want to reach a certain point, once you have an audience, then you start to make a paid version of your tool. So also. Another tip. 

    Ashley Segura: Yeah, no, that’s, that’s amazing. And that really is truly investing in yourself and your brand’s future and [00:36:00] starting with brand exposure from the ground up waiting till you have a solid backlink profile to be like, all right, now we’re really stepping in and here’s everything that we have to offer.

    That’s amazing. Congrats on, on that journey. Thank you. Thank you. Awesome. Well, definitely if you haven’t already 10 out of 10, recommend checking out through. com. It’s a fantastic tool for content marketing, whether you’re an SEO, content marketer, CMO, blogger, it’s very user friendly. Definitely recommend checking it out.

    Sam, thank you so much for joining us. Really 

    Samuel Schmitt: appreciate it. Thank you for the invitation.