Leave a comment
Get the GH Bookmarklet

AMAs

María Eugenia started her career in marketing and communications in 2008, and since then has helped several brands (both in agencies and in-house) to successfully connect with their audiences. Originally from Uruguay, she has also worked in Argentina, Spain, Ireland, and Germany (where she is currently based).

María Eugenia currently works as SEO Content Strategist at HubSpot, focusing on the organic traffic growth of the Latin American and Spanish region. Since she joined the team in 2019, the ES blog for HubSpot has increased its organic traffic by +134%, with a growth of +500% in keywords in first page.

On March 11th, Maria is going to be live, answering your questions on SEO and content strategy. You can ask her about a wide range of topics, starting with the ones below:

- Clusters' strategy and how to implement it 

- How to perform historical optimization in content

- Anything that involves SEO in content strategy 

Connect with her on Linkedin

  • BP

    Bryony Pearce

    about 1 month ago #

    Hey Maria,

    Couple of questions:

    1) I assume at HubSpot there are a bunch of keywords you want to rank for, how do you prioritise which to focus on first?

    2) How do you tie your content and SEO efforts back to bottom line business metrics?

    Thanks!

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Bryony!
      Thank you for your questions! Regarding your first point, these are some of the questions I ask to myself when deciding what keywords to prioritize:

      1- Is this keyword somehow connected to my buyer personas pain points? Is this keyword somehow related to my business products? If they are not, even if they have amazing search volume and even if I manage to rank in first position, I probably won't convert this traffic into clients.

      2- After seeing the performance of my existing clusters, does this keyword belong to a highly performing cluster or does it belong to a cluster that is not bringing good results so far? (of course, that doesn't stop me from creating a new content if I believe it will be useful, but I definitely have it in mind while deciding my priorities)

      3- Is there an alternative keyword with higher search volume and/or lower keyword difficulty? I usually do some research before picking my final keywords. In my region (Spanish speaking countries) we have several synonyms, which is also something to consider.

      4- Is the search intent behind this keyword actually relevant to my business? Sometimes keywords seem relevant but then you check the SERP and the results show something completely unexpected and irrelevant. One time I had an amazing keyword related to sales, and when I checked the SERP, it was actually the name of a movie. Doh.

      5- Is this keyword low in search volume but very high intent? If this is the case, I still want to target it, because I will be driving traffic that is closer to convert. For example, if somebody is looking for “email marketing”, the search volume will be higher than “email marketing software”, but the intent is also more broad (the person may want to know what email marketing is about, best strategies, examples, etc).


      Regarding your second question, I think that it's always important to see what happens after you bring the organic traffic to the table. Is there an alignment with leads, demos, signups? Or do we bring traffic that doesn’t convert? What happens when traffic increases? Do leads increase too? If that is not the case, what can we do to improve the process? There are many areas to work on, and it definitely requires a lot of team collaboration. I hope this helps!

      3 Share
  • RG

    Robert Guice

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Maria,

    I was wondering if you had any suggestions on how to best optimize pages filled with user-generated content. We operate a website that's focused on sports betting insights from the public. Each daily matchup is a page that ranks well with long-tailed keywords, ie: "Toronto vs Boston predictions" - https://sportsjaw.com/nba/picks/1713563/toronto-raptors-vs-boston-celtics-prediction-2021-03-04/

    The challenges we face are as follows:

    1. The content for these pages is user-generated and most user posts are tweet-sized.
    2. Most users post about a matchup the day of or maybe 1-2 days before the date of the matchup.
    3. Google finds the matchup page as soon as it's listed on our site, usually, this is a day or two before we have content for that page. We need to list the matchup in order for users to find it...
    4. We have an atom feed that resubmits our page to google after every post (once there are 3+ posts).
    5. It seems like the first time google crawls a page, it has the best chance of ranking well. If google recrawls a page that originally didn't have much content and now has a lot, the ranking doesn't improve very much. If Google crawls a page for the first time that has 5+ posts, it ranks really well.

    Our best solution so far is to hide all matchup pages from bots that don't have sufficient content (hide in the sitemap + hide the onsite links to those pages). This will prevent Google from finding a page with light content although sometimes they still get found (this may be a code issue on our end or it could be because google users visit these pages and google then sees it).

    We are almost finished rebuilding our site and will have a 'cluster' around each matchup. Basically the main matchup page (as is now - a bunch of user content), a stats page, a news headlines page and then the wiki page. The big question here is: if we have very few inbound links for these individual matchup pages, would having 4-5 clusters of content around each matchup hurt or help? Would it spread our SEO credit among the 4 pages or would they all raise together?

    If that cluster concept works well, we are considering making a dynamic wiki-style page from each matchup that takes highly appreciated user posts and stats to generate a matchup wiki. The format of this would be a little more blog-like and potentially more SEO-friendly. The URL structure would basically be the URL as the matchup page but at the end would have /wiki.

    Any other thoughts on optimizing SEO for these types of pages would be great. I guess it would be similar to optimizing a Reddit group or Twitter list which doesn't follow the traditional SEO blueprint.

    Seems like writing a blog post with lots of optimized words ranks much easier but on occasion, we outrank top blogs - however, we haven't figured out how to do that consistently yet.

    Thanks for your ideas!
    Robert

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Robert:

      Thank you for your questions!
      I’m afraid my experience with user generated content is very limited, but I can see you already have a clear structure in mind regarding your clusters. I don’t believe that it will hurt to have a cluster for each matchup, considering it will probably help search engines and users to access and understand your content more easily. However, I would pay attention to your key metrics before and after the implementation, so you can detect any potential issue.


      Regarding what you mentioned about outranking blog posts, it would be interesting to see if there is a specific pattern happening there. What type of keywords generate this outrank? What is the intent here?

  • ED

    Ewerton Alex da Silva

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Maria,

    My question is in relation to Surround Sound SEO, a technique that you shared on the Hubspot blog and I found it very interesting (https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/surround-sound-strategy-1)

    In addition to the mindshare of the relevant keywords, how do you measure the impact of the strategy on Marketing results?

    Could you detail more about the importance of strategy for the company?

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Ewerton,

      Thank you for your question, and I agree that Surround Sound is definitely interesting!
      Almost everything I know about Surround Sound strategies came from my brilliant colleague Irina Nica (responsible for Surround Sound strategies at HubSpot), so I wanted to share with you some inputs I learned from her:

      You can measure the impact of your Surround Sound strategy in 3 levels, two of them are more direct and one more indirect:

      1- Impact on the ranking of your own pages for the keywords you targeted in the campaign.
      2- Amount of mentions you get in the pages that rank for the keywords that you targeted in the campaign (I imagine this is the mindshare you were talking about), referral traffic coming from them, and how this traffic converts.
      3- Improvement of brand reputation and awareness. There is no clear way of measuring this, but studies indicate that people explore multiple options before purchasing, and it’s good to be there when they do.

      I hope this helps and good luck in your campaign!

      4 Share
  • MJ

    Mantas j

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi, Maria,
    Can you share your content strategy plan example. I mean real plan in one particular niche, so we could model in our niche?

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Mantas!
      Thank you for your questions.
      The SEO Content Strategy that I follow is based on topic clusters creation and optimization. I usually provide my SEO insights per quarter, using a document we call "Search Insights Report". On this document, I indicate the topic clusters opportunities I recommend, the head keywords we should focus on, the long tail keywords that should also be targeted, featured snippet opportunities, and more. You can adjust this document to your own business needs, and add whatever data you consider relevant. I recently adjusted mine to add also image pack opportunities, after realizing that I was missing several of those.
      There is a course about Search Insight Report optimization that may be interesting to you: https://academy.hubspot.com/courses/build-search-insights-report

      Best of luck!

      4 Share
      • MJ

        Mantas j

        about 1 month ago #

        Thanks. I've recently started one SEO course. So when I finish, I will have a look at this source.

  • TL

    Taro Le Cuy

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Maria, I am in the B2C e-commerce space, and the main keywords that are related to our business are very competitive (KD of 50+) and the competitive landscape has been dominated by the same sites for the past 2 years without any new entrant having a chance to disrupt the market.

    At the moment we are not even listed for the main keywords, so my first question would be how to get listed for those even if it's on page 10, and my second question would be how to work our SEO in that case, with what kind of content or if we should forget SEO and rather concentrate on other platforms (Youtube, etc)?

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Taro!
      Thank you for your questions.
      I understand your concern. Mmmh, a few things come to my mind:

      1- Instead of focusing only on those main keywords that are so difficult, I would try to optimize your pages considering the topic they are about, taking into consideration more specific keywords. They may have less volume but they could also be less competitive and have higher intent for your pages.
      I recently found a very detailed article about this, written by Ahrefs (this is the tool I usually use for my keyword research). https://ahrefs.com/blog/ecommerce-seo/

      2- I would use every opportunity to optimize my content based on relevant head keywords and long tail keywords, always considering user intent.

      3- I would make sure your site architecture is fully optimized, with a solid internal linking structure, all your relevant pages easily accessible, good page speed, etc.

      4- Another thing that comes to my mind is related to backlinks: what kind of content from your competitors is getting more backlinks? What kind of content could you create to naturally gain organic backlinks and improve your authority?

      5- Regarding what you mentioned about YouTube, I would definitely encourage you to test it as part of your SEO strategy. The SERP currently shows videos and images for several keywords, and it would be a good opportunity to gain visibility.

      I hope this helps!

      • TL

        Taro Le Cuy

        28 days ago #

        Thank you so much Maria, really helpful! I use ahrefs too, will check out their blog :)

  • MC

    Maria Coppola

    about 1 month ago #

    Thank you all for your questions!
    I still have a few more to answer, so I will come back tomorrow!

  • DR

    Daniel Rodríguez Bacete

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi María. How FLOC tracking can affect the on-site strategy?

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Daniel,
      Thank you for your question! Mmmh, for what I've seen so far, FLoC will be mostly affecting advertising efforts, not so much SEO. But I’m definitely planning to keep an eye on this, to see how it may evolve.

  • AS

    Alex Sarto

    about 1 month ago #

    Hello Maria,

    thank you for joining this "discussion", I'm very familiar with great SEO performance of Hubspot.
    I have few questions:
    - how to "select" the topic for new blog article if that topic is already covered from 100 angles?
    Also, that's a relevant topic for your company. So, how to stand out in great 15 articles?

    - do you try to "catch a wave" strategy?
    Or how to target topic which keyword tools don't have any data? For example "blockchain in space industry"
    Do you have any technique for this type of situations?

    - would you recommend any book or course for advanced content development?

    - would you recommend any book, which would be your tor recommendation?

    Many thanks,
    Alex

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Alex!
      Thank you for your questions.
      Mmmh, if the topic has been already covered from 100 angles by you, then I would analyze if there are still unanswered questions about it. If there are, you can create a new piece, but you could also just optimize your existing content to target it (historical optimization is really useful!). You can check the SERP and see if it makes more sense to target it together or not.
      If the 100 angles were provided by your competitors, I would ask myself: how can I make it better? What may the reader want that they don't offer yet?

      Regarding your question on targeting topics without data, I only do that when I suspect the topic may not be yet relevant in my region, but it probably will be in the future. If it's not the case, I prefer to invest my time developing content that answers questions that are already happening.

      Content I recommend: https://learningseo.io/?ref=producthunt

  • TS

    Tonya Sims

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi María!

    Thank you so much for being here today. I'm a HUGE fan of Hubspot and love your content.

    My question is:

    How can one differentiate themselves with a content marketing strategy? For example, if a competitor has really good content is there a way to present it differently? Perhaps in the layout or something similar?

    Thank you!

    Tonya

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Tonya!
      Aah, thank you for saying that :) I'm happy to know that our content is useful to you.
      These are interesting questions. Regarding the example you gave... if your competitor created a really good content, it doesn't mean that they covered all angles about the topic. Maybe, if you run a keyword research, or even if you check the keywords this particular article is ranking for, you may find some potential opportunities that they didn't fully take advantage of. In some cases, is not about the keywords that they missed, but about the formats that some people are looking for. For example, maybe they ranked in position 1 for a certain keyword, but they did not cover the image pack for it.

      I hope this helps (and if not, feel free to reach out :))

  • DU

    Danielle Urban

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Maria,
    I've been a longtime Hubspot user and have appreciated how easy it is to find helpful information on the tool and general marketing strategies! I'm building out a ton of gated content and ungated blog posts for our site but I'm wondering what some early indicators would be for success. What do you specifically look for when you're optimizing (aside from traffic and conversion)?

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Danielle! Thank your for your question and I'm happy to hear that you are a HubSpot user :)

      As you mentioned, traffic and conversions are some of the most relevant metrics. We also check the correlation between these two metrics, to make sure we are have a healthy conversion rate while we grow traffic (for example, if traffic grows but leads decrease, it may indicate that the traffic we are bringing is not relevant, or we may need to work on the CTAs).
      You may also pay attention to keyword ranking and how it evolves when you are publishing this content you mentioned.
      In some cases, I end up checking bounce rate to evaluate in detail if a content is actually answering the user's question or if we misunderstood the user intent.
      Finally, another indicator of success may be the amount of backlinks your content is getting.
      I hope this answered your question, but if not, please feel free to reach out :)

  • GF

    Gustavo Fonseca

    about 1 month ago #

    Hello Maria! Thanks for doing this session w/ us.

    1) In Clusters' strategy what is the best advice for a website with 1000s of articles? How can I implement?

    2) If you wanna rank first for some keyword, what you will look for and what actions you will do next?

    3) I have a digital academic magazine, to get more traffic do you think is better select only best writers to post, or should I publish everyone?

    Thanks! You are awesome!

    Gustavo

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Gustavo!
      Thank you for your questions. This is what I think:

      1- If you have so many articles, I would first see how you can group them into relevant cluster, and then I would analyze which of them can be historically optimized to keep them relevant. You may find that some of them actually could be consolidated into one, others could be redirected, etc. After you have this organized, you will see more clearly where are your content gaps and what new content you need to generate.
      2- Considering that search engines now understand topics and not only keywords, I would definitely try to show that I know about the topic, instead of only focusing in one keyword. So, if I want to rank first for "cat food", I would generate a pillar page about it, and then create several posts connecting to it, but targeting other keywords related to this topic. A post could be "nutrition tips for your cat", another one "best food brands for senior cats", etc.
      3- Mmmh, about your magazine, I guess that is more related to the time you have to curate the content and make sure is always optimized for SEO.

      I hope this helps :)

  • AY

    Awais Younas

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Maria, Currently I am facing an issue with blog posts ranking even they are well SEO optimized they most out of them are not ranking... + Also, share your knowledge about keyword research + their ranking

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Awais, thank you for reaching out.
      Mmmh, I think this issue may be happening for different reasons.
      Are you focusing on creating your content based on topics or are you trying to target only individual keywords? If that is the case, It may be useful to start organizing your content in topic clusters, in order to improve your structure and show the search engine that you have comprehensive knowledge about the topic.
      You can find more about this strategy in this HubSpot lesson: https://academy.hubspot.com/lessons/creating-topic-clusters-and-pillar-pages

      It's also important that you not only focus your efforts on highly competitive keywords. There are many relevant keywords that will have less volume, but will also have lower keyword difficulty.

      You could also analyze opportunities of content creation that would generate natural backlinks, in order to help you gain more authority.

      I hope this helped!

  • GG

    Glenn Gabriel

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Maria!

    Thanks for doing this, I'm excited for everything you're about to share.

    My question is related to B2C e-commerce. It's been a little difficult to break into a competitive space where our target product keywords are dominated by well established brands and amazon listings. Currently we've been going the informational route trying to compete for lower KD keywords. Even so, the build in momentum is slow and link building is even slower.
    What would you suggest for a starter brand when forming or updating a content strategy that is competitive and also drives sales? How should I be able to guage ROI from content and SEO when shareholders are so firm about sales related to sessions? Are there any recommendations related to performance content marketing (if something like that exists)?

    Thank you!

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hello Glenn!
      Thank you for sharing your questions with me (and apologies for the delay). I definitely understand that it can be challenging.
      I think that what you have been doing so far makes sense, but I’m also aware that it’s not something that drives results immediately.

      I think it’s important that your stakeholders understand that an SEO content strategy doesn’t mean immediate customers, but it’s definitely very beneficial in the long term.
      For example, you may generate a lot of traffic with an ad campaign, but after it’s done, the traffic will decrease. However, when you generate content based on your buyer persona pain points (reflected in keywords) and your products, these pages will continue driving relevant traffic for a long time.

      These are my thoughts on what could be helpful to define a competitive SEO content strategy (I also took some advice from other colleagues too :))

      1- First of all, work on your buyer personas, so you can deeply understand their pain points, obstacles, and needs. This will be very useful when working on your content, and it may be an advantage you have versus other competitors.

      2- Brainstorm the topics that your audience cares about that are also related to your ecommerce. Doing keyword research based on a topic structure may help you to find content gaps that are good opportunities for your site.
      Related to this, you mentioned that you were targeting lower KD keywords. Are you also checking the intent for those? When in doubt, I check the SERP results for the keywords I select, to make sure that my content would be aligned with what the users are looking for. In my case, especially when trying to optimize for product pages, I find several kw that have interesting volume but the SERP is full of listicles, videos or blog posts, so my product page doesn’t have a chance to rank in the first page. In those cases, I try to generate the type of content format the user prefers.

      3- Regarding your point of showing the value of SEO strategy for sales, mmmh, what I usually do is to check the health ratio between keyword landscape, organic traffic, leads, and signups. In your case, maybe I would try to analyze the correlation between keyword landscape, organic traffic and sales, checking if they follow a similar trend. For example, is it possible to detect a correlation between the increase of keywords or organic traffic related with xx product and increase in sales for that category? You could also try looking at assisted conversions as well. This can help you show that organic might not be the last channel but it's still helping with sales.

      4- Have you considered Google Shopping and Discovery? Search volumes are certainly lower than traditional search, but competition isn't as big either, so it could give you a chance to show some early results.

      5- Regarding link building: not sure how you are implementing this right now, but I think it would be interesting to check what kind of content from your competitors get more natural backlinks. Maybe you can implement it as part of your content strategy too, and measure the results after it (how many backlinks you got, how much traffic is that page driving, how much it converts, etc).

      I hope this helps. If you think of something else, I would love to hear about it too :)

  • GA

    Gaston Archibald

    about 1 month ago #

    How floc tracking can affect the on-site strategy?

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Gaston!
      FLoC will be focusing on removing third-party cookies, so I believe it will mostly affect advertising efforts. But I will keep reading about this to be prepared :) (and please also reach out if you find anything interesting about it!).

  • KF

    Karl Franz

    about 1 month ago #

    would you recommend any book, which would be your tor recommendation?

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Karl!

      Mmmh, I cannot think of an SEO book right now, but I did find an amazing compilation on SEO resources, organized according to what you want to achieve (learning, specializing, etc): https://learningseo.io/?ref=producthunt.
      I'm pretty sure you will find something interesting for you :)

      Best of luck and good reading!

  • MA

    mohamed abdelrazik

    about 1 month ago #

    how can i figure out w content ideas for cosmetics and clinical industry and important thing ad or campaign don't take rejection ?

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Mohamed,
      Thank you for your questions! When searching for content ideas, it's important to have in mind who we want to attract to our site (the buyer personas) and how our business can help them. We want to create content that generates relevant traffic that can also convert into customers.
      So, with that in mind, you can start building a list of possible topics that could be relevant both for your audience and your business. When you have them, you will start your keyword research.

      Regarding the free tools you asked about, I can recommend you some!

      For creating your buyer persona (in case you don't have one yet): https://www.hubspot.com/make-my-persona

      For keyword research: ubbersuggest, answerthepublic. Ahrefs recently launched some free tools too.
      There are also some pretty good extensions that you could test: https://ahrefs.com/blog/seo-chrome-extensions/

      I hope this helps!

  • LN

    Locksmith For NYC

    28 days ago #

    Hmmm, can't think of anything specific.

  • CM

    Ciara Martin

    27 days ago #

    Hi Maria!

    I am happy that I found you through this website. I am glad to know that you have done tremendous work for HubSpot and have vast knowledge in SEO.

    Can you please help in it, How can someone rank their website in USA or other countries while that client's website is India based? Their office is in India.

  • MK

    MD ALAMIN KAZI

    27 days ago #

    Hey Maria,

    My Questions:

    How do you tie your content and SEO efforts back to bottom-line business metrics?

    Thanks!

  • BD

    Biplob Dev

    about 1 month ago #

    Hi Maria

    How can I increase the Domain Authority of my Website?
    I have spent five years since I have a website and its DA is only 10.
    I know guest posting works but it is hard to find the best sites to guest post that resonates with my business.
    Does investing money on Press Releases such as Entrepreneur, FastCompany, Inc., Forbes, Mashable, etc. worth it?
    And if so will it increase the DA of my website.

    • MC

      Maria Coppola

      about 1 month ago #

      Hi Biplob!
      Thank you for your question. I would consider generating content that would naturally generate backlinks.
      Each industry is different, but maybe you could analyze what kind of content gets more backlinks for yours. It could be templates, free tools, studies, statistics, infographics, etc. My colleague Irina Nica actually wrote a useful article on this: https://irinanica.com/link-bait/

      Regarding your point of investing in Press Releases, I don't think search engines would value these links as much, considering they are paid. They may still be useful to gain visibility, but maybe not the first option to gain DA.

      Best of luck!

SHARE
81
81