MarketingProfs B2B Forum 2023

Advanced SERP Analysis for 10X SEO Performance with Tom Shapiro

Companies—including yours and your competitors—are competing to rank higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

But your SEO keyword research is only half the battle, says Tom Shapiro.

Tom, an SEO expert and CEO of Stratabeat, believes there’s another half to your research that many marketers overlook.

And he revealed this missing half in his presentation at B2B Forum in 2023.

Check out Tom’s SEO advice in the video and transcript below to see how you can apply this thinking to your own content strategy.

Marketers who attended B2B Forum are already putting Tom’s ideas to use. B2B Forum returns in November 2024 with all new presentations, insights, and ideas to help B2B marketers like you grow your skills and career. Don’t miss these insider secrets—get your ticket to B2B Forum now.


The first thing that we want to do is look at how your audience is thinking.

We always want to start there.

It’s not actually with SEO keywords.

Most SEOs will tell you, “oh yeah, SEO keywords, that’s where you do your research.”

Yes, that’s 50% of the research.

But what we would argue is 50% of your research must be audience research, which is very different than SEO keyword research.

So here’s why this is so important: We need to capture the click.

Why do we need to capture the click? Because if we can deeply understand who they are and we understand what is going to drive that click, we understand the underlying feelings that they’re experiencing as they’re in the SERP—the search engine results page—it all leads to greater traffic. We understand how they think better. We’re able to drive a higher click-through rate, and then we get more traffic as a result.

What we want to do more specifically is answer the very specific questions running through their minds as they hit your webpage, as they hit your blog post, as they hit your white paper, as they hit any type of content that you’re offering.

This is critical, and I’ll explain why.

So, the psychologist Alfred Yabu ran some really interesting eye tracking studies where he showed the same exact content. It was a painting. He showed the same exact painting to a number of different individuals, and he separated them one by one, right? So he would show the painting to one person and then another, and then another not in a group.

And before he would show the painting to an individual, he would ask them a question.

And here’s the kicker. He asked different questions, and based on the question that he asked, they consumed the painting completely differently. 

So for instance, let’s say that he asked you, “how old do you think they are?” And then he showed the painting to you.

That’s the middle pain here, where everyone looked at their faces and ignored everything else in the painting. They looked at their faces and ignored everything else.

And then let’s say that, instead of that, he asked you a different question. Let’s say that he asked you what status do you think they are in society?

You would have looked at their clothing, you would’ve looked at their furniture, and you would not have looked at their faces. Same painting.

And that’s the same with your white paper. It’s the same with your blog. It’s the same with any webpage that you have. It’s the same with any content that you have online.

You have to dig to know the very specific questions that are running through their minds as they hit your content, and you need to answer those questions and then you’ll have much, much better success.

There are many different ways to do this, and again, this is totally different from keyword research. This is complementary to keyword research. You need to do both.

With audience research, what I’m talking about is, get inside their minds, uncover their challenges, their frustrations, their feelings, what gives them that pit in their stomach on Sunday nights before they start the week.

You can do this through customer interviews. You can do it through surveys. We love sales call recordings, so software like Gong or Chorus can record sales calls for a client the other day, we just onboarded them.

We listened to 12 hours of sales call recordings before we did anything. That was our starting line. Why?

Because of all this. We have to understand how they think. We have to understand the very specific questions going through their minds.

And your results will skyrocket. Okay?

So let’s say that we’re creating content. It’s very aligned with your audience. So we need them to be clicking in the SERP, right? We need a very high click-through rate on our rankings.

It’s one thing if your CEO is asking you, “hey, how’s this term doing? How are we ranking?” That’s what CEOs tend to ask, right? Executives tend to ask, “how are we ranking on this? 

How are we ranking on that?”

That’s the wrong question. Tell them that’s the wrong question.

If you do not have a high click-through rate on your rankings, it’s meaningless, right?

So what if you have your ranking position four on a keyword, but your click-through rate is abysmal.

Or you have a ranking of position eight on the page—so much worse—but your click through rate, let’s say is a 2% or a 3%.

It’s much more valuable, right? Because you’re getting traffic, you are getting business value out of it.

And so that’s why I really want you to understand that it’s all about capturing the click.

When you are coming up with your strategies, you need to spend a lot of time figuring out how to capture that click.

It is not about ranking.

It is about ranking and capturing the click.

And if you don’t focus on capturing the click, it will seriously damage your results. You will not have as good results. I guarantee your results will not be as good at the end of the year.

Published 02/28/24

B2B Forum is packed with marketing insights, strategies, and tactics taken from the real world experience of over forty industry experts, packaged into context you can actually put to use.

Join us in Boston for B2B Forum 2024 this coming November 12-14, 2024. Early buyers get B2B Forum tickets at their lowest rate, and discounted hotel rooms are available while they last.


Back to Blog

Sponsors That Change the Game








American Marketing Association
Rep Cap

Follow #MPB2B on Social

MarketingProfs B2B Forum

Keep Building Momentum

Join the MarketingProfs Newsletter for news, updates & more...

Sign Up
CONTACT: | (866) 557-9625