In this episode of the WP Elevation podcast, Troy talks with Brian Jackson, the Chief Marketing Officer of Kinsta. Don’t expect this to be a typical chat about WordPress hosting though. This is an in-depth examination of how Kinsta has leveraged great support and content from Day 1 to grow its business and establish authority in a crowded space.
Brian Jackson is the Chief Marketing Officer of Kinsta, a managed WordPress hosting company. Even if you haven’t had the chance to build or manage a website hosted on one of Kinsta’s servers yet, you’re probably quite familiar with the company.
According to Brian, there are two good reasons for this. And that’s what this episode is going to cover.
When there are so many great hosting companies in the game, it can be hard to stand out — especially to the end user that doesn’t understand what hosting is; only that they need it.
As Brian explains, Kinsta has aimed to go above and beyond the competition in a number of ways:
It’s that last piece in particular that’s really brought them to the front of the pack because, unlike other managed hosts, Kinsta doesn’t have tiers of support representatives.
Every single Kinsta customer — from the starter plan customers all the way up to enterprises like Buffer and MariaDB — talk to the same exact reps.
What’s more, Kinsta hasn’t created teams of specialists that pass its customers around, trying to find the right person to solve the issue. Every support person on the team is a WordPress developer and engineer that works with the CMS on a daily basis.
“When you talk to someone, they’re going to instantly know how to fix your problem.”
Kinsta doesn’t just take care of its customers through great support. It takes care of its support team just as well, too. As an example, the company has scaled back its support team’s hours over the holidays, so they can have more time to spend with their families. Talk about building loyalty from inside and outside the company.
The other key differentiator that helps Kinsta stand out is the great content it publishes on a regular basis. Since Brian is the head of all things marketing, he’s shed a bright spotlight on everything it is that they do to make it so impactful.
The following tips and tricks include a number of marketing and SEO tools which we’ve included links to down below.
Although Brian readily admits to handling 100% of Kinsta’s technical SEO, the amount of content the company produces would be impossible without a team and a refined process. A few examples include those on the Kinsta team responsible for outreach related to content, as well as those focusing on translating content into other languages.
For Kinsta, it’s content workflow lives in Trello.
At the moment, they publish about three blog posts (over 2,000 words apiece), a knowledgebase article or two and a newsletter every week. With a mix of writers that produce this content steadily for Kinsta and a lengthy content generation process, a tool like Trello is much-needed.
Brian doesn’t just kick back after a post is published. He watches closely to see how new content and updates to older content affect the blog’s rank in search.
His preferred tool of choice is called AccuRanker.
After Kinsta publishes an update, for instance, he’ll resubmit the URL through Google Search Console:
He then goes into AccuRanker a short while later and refreshes their keyword rankings to see how things have changed.
Don’t expect any black hat SEO tricks here. Here’s what Brian suggests:
Create amazing content people will want to share.
He also suggests using a social sharing plugin that includes platforms like Reddit and YCombinator. With just one share of your content to those websites, your content could bring in around 20,000 visitors a day.
The plugin Kinsta uses is called Easy Social Share Buttons.
For research, Brian uses Ahrefs to confirm any suspicions he has about whether a keyword is worth going after. Or to see which keywords the competition’s content is ranking for… and then try to do it better.
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to start with, he suggests checking out KWfinder or SEMrush.
“If you’re in it for the long haul, don’t be afraid to go after keywords you didn’t think you could get.”
Brian says not to be deterred if you don’t show up on the first SERP on Day 1. It takes time to build up that sort of clout in search. Be patient and keep your content updated.
Oh, and don’t put the date in your URL! You can hear Brian talk all about that at the 38:05-mark.
Whether it’s a brand-new post or an update to an oldie (but a goodie), Brian sets his team to work on promoting it right away.
In addition to the search optimisation he does within the post, he also leverages Facebook and Twitter ads (not boosted posts) to spread the word — and only during the week.
But that’s what works for Kinsta’s audience. Promote your content on the platforms and days when your audience is listening.
To learn more about Kinsta’s managed WordPress hosting solution and whether it would be a good fit for your website or your clients’, be sure to tune into the last part of the podcast (around the 46:20-mark).
As you work on becoming the trusted partner of your WordPress clients, having knowledge in matters like these — managed hosting, great support, content marketing tips, SEO hacks — could further strengthen the bonds you form with them. So, never be afraid to find new ways to add value to the experience, even if it means looking outside your own area of expertise.
Start winning better projects with bigger budgets now.