If you’ve landed here, chances are you’re intrigued by the world of SEO and the magic it can work for your business. And why wouldn’t you be? After all, who wouldn’t want to steal a strategy that helped a tech giant like IBM generate an extra $250M in Lifetime Traffic Value (LTV)?
The Magic of SEO
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is like the secret sauce that can take your online presence from “just another website” to “the go-to source” for your niche. It’s the art and science of making your website attractive to search engines, and more importantly, to your audience.
But here’s the thing – SEO isn’t just about stuffing your content with keywords or building a gazillion backlinks. It’s about understanding your audience, their journey, and how your content can add value to that journey. It’s about being there when they need you, with exactly what they need.
The IBM Story: A Case in Point
Now, let’s talk about IBM. Yes, a multinational technology company that’s been around for over a century. You might wonder, “What does IBM have to do with my SEO strategy?” Well, quite a lot, as it turns out.
IBM, despite its size and complexity, managed to create an SEO strategy that not only increased its online visibility but also added a whopping $250M to its LTV. And they did it using a method they call the TIPI framework.
The TIPI Framework: A Sneak Peek
The TIPI framework is a structured approach to understanding customer journeys, planning digital experiences, and building content. It’s about understanding the intersection between the customer journey, content strategy, and information architecture.
Sounds complex? Don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you in the coming sections. But for now, just know that it involves identifying the core topics related to your product, understanding the information needs associated with these topics, figuring out the types of pages that rank for each query type, and finally, constructing a buyer journey model.
Why Should You Care?
So, why should you care about IBM’s SEO strategy or the TIPI framework? Well, because it works. It’s a data-driven, methodical approach that aligns your digital presence with your customer needs.
And the best part? It’s not just for the big players. Whether you’re a startup finding your footing or a small business looking to expand your reach, the TIPI framework can be your roadmap to SEO success.
In the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into each aspect of the TIPI framework, with practical tips and examples to help you implement it in your own strategy. So, buckle up and get ready for an exciting journey into the world of SEO!
Remember, the world of SEO is not about quick fixes or one-size-fits-all solutions. It’s about understanding your audience, delivering value, and being consistent. And as we delve deeper into the TIPI framework, you’ll see just how you can do that.
So, are you ready to steal IBM’s SEO strategy and create some magic of your own? Let’s get started!
The TIPI Framework: A Deep Dive
Welcome back! Now that we’ve set the stage with a brief introduction to SEO and the TIPI framework, it’s time to dive deeper. Let’s unravel the mystery behind this four-step approach that has revolutionised IBM’s SEO strategy.
The Power of Topics
The first step in the TIPI framework is all about topics. But what exactly do we mean by topics?
Well, think of topics as the macro categories of interest related to the product or service you’re trying to market. They’re not individual keywords, but rather broad areas that your potential customers might be interested in. For instance, if you’re selling cloud computing services, your topics could include things like “cloud storage”, “cloud security”, “cloud migration”, and so on.
The Topic Bullseye
Imagine a bullseye. The closer a query is to the bullseye, the higher your conversion rate is likely to be.
- Branded queries – These are the people searching for your brand, product, or service by name. They’re your highest-quality audience and the ones most likely to deliver short-term outcomes.
- Exact topic – The next sphere is the closest exact topic to your product or service. If you sell a product that does Robotic Process Automation, then the topic is “Robotic Process Automation.”
- Related topics – These are the keywords that are typically part of how your primary keyword is defined. For example, if your primary keyword is “Robotic Process Automation,” related topics could be “business process,” “workflow,” “digital transformation,” and so on.
- Audience interests – The broadest perspective on topics is simply caring about what your audience cares about. It may not turn into sales that session, but being consistently useful and relevant to your target audience is a legitimate strategy.
Understanding Information Needs
Once you’ve identified the topics related to your business, the next step is to understand what people need to know about these topics. This is where you start to build a database of related keywords for each topic.
The process is pretty straightforward. Take each of the topics in your topic map, plug them into an SEO tool like ahrefs or BrightEdge, and export all the related keywords that contain the original seed topic in the keyword. This gives you a sense of total opportunity associated with a modifier and the frequency that the modifier shows up across topics.
Page Types and Query Intent
With a clear understanding of the common query types, we can then start analysing what types of pages rank for each of these query types. This is crucial because it helps you understand the intent behind each query.
For instance, when someone types in “restaurants,” are they looking for explainer content on what a restaurant is? Or are they simply looking for restaurants close to them? By analysing the types of pages that rank for each query, you can gain insights into the intent behind them.
Constructing a Buyer Journey Model
The final step in the TIPI framework is to construct a buyer journey model. This involves clustering different page and query types together in different journey phases. It’s about creating a logical journey and experience for your audience.
In the next section, we’ll delve deeper into each of these steps, providing practical tips and examples to help you implement the TIPI framework in your own SEO strategy. So, stay tuned!
Topics: The Foundation of Your SEO Strategy
Let’s start with the first step of the TIPI framework – Topics. Topics are the broad categories that encapsulate the essence of your product or service. They form the foundation of your SEO strategy, guiding your content creation and keyword optimization efforts.
Identifying Your Core Topics
The first step in your SEO journey is to identify the core topics related to your business. These topics should be broad enough to encompass various sub-topics and keywords, yet specific enough to be relevant to your product or service.
For instance, if you’re a digital marketing agency, your core topics could include “SEO,” “Content Marketing,” “Social Media Marketing,” and “Email Marketing.” These topics are broad enough to cover a wide range of sub-topics and keywords, yet they’re closely related to the services you offer.
Here’s a quick exercise to help you identify your core topics:
- List your products/services: Start by listing down all the products or services you offer.
- Identify related topics: For each product or service, identify the broad topics that are related to it.
- Prioritise: Prioritise these topics based on their relevance to your business and their search volume.
Understanding the Topic Bullseye
Once you’ve identified your core topics, it’s time to understand the concept of the “Topic Bullseye.” The Topic Bullseye is a way to visualise and prioritise your topics based on their proximity to your business.
- Branded queries: These are the queries that include your brand name. They’re the closest to the bullseye and are likely to have the highest conversion rate.
- Exact topic: The next layer includes the exact topics related to your product or service.
- Related topics: These are the topics that are related to your exact topics. They’re a bit further away from the bullseye, but they’re still relevant to your business.
- Audience interests: The outermost layer includes topics that your audience is interested in. They might not be directly related to your business, but they’re important to your audience.
Mapping Out Your Topics
The final step in this phase is to map out your topics. This involves creating a visual representation of your topics and their relationship with each other. You can use a mind map or a flowchart for this purpose.
Remember, the goal here is not just to identify your topics, but to understand how they’re interconnected. This will guide your content creation efforts and help you create a cohesive SEO strategy.
In the next section, we’ll delve into the second step of the TIPI framework – understanding the information needs associated with each topic. So, stay tuned!
Information Needs: Understanding Your Audience
Now that we’ve identified and mapped out our core topics, it’s time to delve into the second step of the TIPI framework – understanding the information needs associated with each topic. This step is all about getting into the minds of your audience and understanding what they need to know about your topics.
The Importance of Information Needs
Why is it important to understand the information needs of your audience? Well, because it helps you create content that is not only relevant but also valuable to your audience. It’s about answering their questions, addressing their concerns, and providing them with the information they need to make informed decisions.
Identifying Information Needs
So, how do you identify the information needs of your audience? Here are a few strategies:
- Keyword research: Use SEO tools to identify the keywords related to your topics. These keywords can give you insights into what your audience is searching for.
- Competitor analysis: Look at the content your competitors are creating. What questions are they answering? What topics are they covering?
- Customer feedback: Listen to your customers. What questions do they ask? What information do they need?
Building a Database of Related Keywords
Once you’ve identified the information needs of your audience, the next step is to build a database of related keywords for each topic. These keywords will guide your content creation efforts and help you optimise your content for SEO.
Here’s a simple process to build your keyword database:
- Start with your core topics: For each core topic, identify a list of related keywords.
- Use SEO tools: Use SEO tools to expand your list of keywords. These tools can help you identify long-tail keywords and variations of your core keywords.
- Prioritise your keywords: Not all keywords are created equal. Prioritise your keywords based on their relevance to your business and their search volume.
Analysing Common Query Patterns
The final step in this phase is to analyse common query patterns across your topics. This involves looking at the types of questions your audience is asking and the kind of information they’re looking for.
In the next section, we’ll delve into the third step of the TIPI framework – understanding the types of pages that rank for each query type. So, stay tuned!
Page Types: Aligning Content with Query Intent
We’ve identified our core topics and understood the information needs of our audience. Now, let’s move on to the third step of the TIPI framework – understanding the types of pages that rank for each query type. This step is all about aligning your content with the intent behind each query.
The Significance of Page Types
Why do we need to understand page types? Well, because different queries have different intents, and different intents require different types of pages. For instance, a query like “how to bake a cake” indicates an informational intent and would require a blog post or a tutorial. On the other hand, a query like “buy cake mix online” indicates a transactional intent and would require a product page.
Analysing Query Intent
So, how do we analyse query intent? Here are a few strategies:
- Look at the SERPs: The Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) can give you a lot of insights into query intent. Look at the types of pages that are ranking for your target keywords. Are they blog posts? Product pages? Forums?
- Use SEO tools: Many SEO tools provide features to analyse query intent. They can help you understand whether a query has informational, transactional, or navigational intent.
- Understand your audience: Ultimately, understanding query intent is about understanding your audience. What are they looking for? What is their end goal?
Determining Your Page Types
Once you’ve analysed query intent, the next step is to determine the types of pages you need on your website. This will depend on your business, your audience, and your SEO goals. However, here are a few common page types:
- Product pages: These are the pages where you sell your products or services.
- Blog posts: These are informational pages where you provide valuable content to your audience.
- Category pages: These are pages where you group similar products or blog posts together.
- Landing pages: These are pages where you aim to convert your visitors into leads or customers.
Creating Your Content
With a clear understanding of your page types, you can now start creating your content. Remember, each page type should align with a specific query intent. Your product pages should answer transactional queries, your blog posts should answer informational queries, and so on.
In the next section, we’ll delve into the final step of the TIPI framework – constructing a buyer journey model. So, stay tuned!
Information Architecture: Constructing a Buyer Journey Model
We’re now at the final step of the TIPI framework – constructing a buyer journey model. This is where we bring everything together and create a cohesive, logical journey for our audience.
The Role of Information Architecture
Information Architecture (IA) is all about organising and structuring information in a clear and logical way. In the context of SEO, IA is about creating a website structure that makes sense to both your audience and search engines.
The Concept of Forward and Lateral Journeys
When constructing your buyer journey model, it’s important to consider both forward and lateral journeys.
- Forward journeys are linear journeys where the user moves from one step to the next. For instance, a user might move from a blog post to a product page to a checkout page.
- Lateral journeys are non-linear journeys where the user moves between related topics or products. For instance, a user might move from a blog post about baking cakes to a blog post about decorating cakes.
Creating Your Buyer Journey Model
Creating a buyer journey model involves three main steps:
- Identify the stages of your buyer journey: The first step is to identify the stages of your buyer journey. This could include stages like awareness, consideration, decision, and retention.
- Map your topics to each stage: The next step is to map your topics to each stage of the buyer journey. For instance, informational topics might map to the awareness stage, while product-related topics might map to the decision stage.
- Align your page types with each stage: Finally, align your page types with each stage of the buyer journey. For instance, blog posts might align with the awareness stage, while product pages might align with the decision stage.
Bringing It All Together
With your buyer journey model in place, you can now start creating and optimising your content. Remember, the goal is to create a logical and seamless journey for your audience. Each piece of content should lead to the next, guiding your audience towards their end goal.
In the next section, we’ll look at how IBM used the TIPI framework to generate $250M of Lifetime Traffic Value (LTV). So, stay tuned!
The Impact of the TIPI Framework: IBM’s Success Story
Now that we’ve explored the TIPI framework in detail, let’s look at how it was applied in a real-world scenario. IBM, a multinational technology company, used this framework to generate an impressive $250M in Lifetime Traffic Value (LTV).
IBM’s SEO Strategy: A Data-Driven Approach
IBM’s SEO strategy was not built overnight. It was a result of a meticulous, data-driven approach that focused on understanding the customer journey, creating relevant content, and building an effective information architecture.
The TIPI framework was at the core of this strategy. It provided a structured approach that guided their SEO efforts, ensuring that every piece of content was aligned with their audience’s needs and their business goals.
Understanding the Customer Journey
IBM started by identifying the core topics related to their business. They then used these topics to understand the information needs of their audience. This involved analysing common query patterns and building a database of related keywords for each topic.
Creating Relevant Content
With a clear understanding of their audience’s information needs, IBM then focused on creating relevant content. They analysed the intent behind each query and determined the types of pages that would best meet this intent.
This resulted in a diverse range of content, from blog posts and product pages to tutorials and guides. Each piece of content was designed to answer a specific query and guide the user to the next step in their journey.
Building an Effective Information Architecture
Finally, IBM used the TIPI framework to build an effective information architecture. They created a buyer journey model that outlined the path a user would take from their first interaction with the brand to the final purchase.
This model guided the structure of their website, ensuring that each page was logically connected and easy to navigate. It also helped them optimise their content for SEO, as they could align each page with a specific query type and intent.
The Result: $250M in LTV
The result of this meticulous, data-driven approach was a whopping $250M in Lifetime Traffic Value. But more than the impressive numbers, IBM’s success story is a testament to the power of understanding your audience and creating a digital experience that meets their needs.
In the next section, we’ll wrap up our discussion on the TIPI framework and look at how you can implement it in your own SEO strategy. So, stay tuned!
Conclusion: Implementing the TIPI Framework in Your SEO Strategy
We’ve journeyed through the intricacies of the TIPI framework, explored its application in IBM’s SEO strategy, and witnessed the impressive results it can yield. Now, it’s time to bring it all together and see how you can implement this framework in your own SEO strategy.
The Power of Understanding Your Audience
The TIPI framework is grounded in the principle of understanding your audience. It’s about identifying the topics that matter to them, understanding their information needs, and creating content that meets these needs.
By focusing on your audience, you can create a digital experience that not only ranks well in search engines but also resonates with your audience. This is the key to driving engagement, conversions, and ultimately, business growth.
Designing a Digital Experience
The TIPI framework is not just about creating content; it’s about designing a digital experience. It’s about creating a buyer journey model that guides your audience from their first interaction with your brand to the final purchase.
By aligning your content with your audience’s journey, you can create a seamless and engaging experience that keeps your audience coming back for more.
The Compounding Value of SEO
Perhaps the most important takeaway from IBM’s success story is the compounding value of SEO. SEO is not a one-time effort; it’s a long-term investment that yields compounding returns over time.
By consistently delivering valuable content and optimising your digital experience, you can drive sustainable growth for your business. And as IBM’s story shows, the results can be truly impressive.
Your Turn to Shine
Now, it’s your turn to shine. Take the insights from the TIPI framework, apply them to your own SEO strategy, and see the results for yourself. Remember, SEO is a journey, not a destination. So, keep learning, keep optimising, and keep growing.
In the end, the success of your SEO strategy lies not in the tactics you use, but in the value you deliver to your audience. So, focus on your audience, deliver value, and the results will follow.
Here are some tables you could use to implement the TIPI Framework using examples for an SEO Agency:
- Topics Identification Table
|Topics||Relevance to Business||Search Volume|
|SEO||Core service offered by the agency||High|
|Content Marketing||Related service that complements SEO||Medium|
|Local SEO||Specialized service for local businesses||Medium|
|Link Building||Key component of SEO strategy||High|
This table helps you identify and prioritize your topics based on their relevance to your business and their search volume.
- Information Needs Table
|Topics||Related Keywords||Search Volume|
|SEO||SEO strategies, SEO tools, SEO tips||High|
|Content Marketing||Content creation, Content strategy, Blogging tips||Medium|
|Local SEO||Local SEO strategies, Google My Business, Local keywords||Medium|
|Link Building||Backlink strategies, Quality backlinks, Link building tools||High|
This table helps you understand the information needs associated with each topic by identifying related keywords and their search volume.
- Page Types Table
|Query Type||Intent||Page Type|
|“SEO strategies”||Informational||Blog Post|
|“SEO agency near me”||Transactional||Service Page|
|“Best SEO tools”||Informational||Blog Post|
|“Link building services”||Transactional||Service Page|
This table helps you understand what types of pages rank for each query type, allowing you to align your content with the intent behind each query.
- Buyer Journey Model Table
|Buyer Journey Stage||Topics||Page Type|
|Awareness||SEO, Content Marketing||Blog Post|
|Consideration||SEO, Link Building||Service Page, Case Study|
|Decision||SEO Agency||Contact Page, Testimonials|
This table helps you construct a buyer journey model by aligning your topics and page types with each stage of the buyer journey.
These tables provide a structured approach to implementing the TIPI framework, guiding your SEO efforts and ensuring that your content aligns with your audience’s needs and your business goals.
For those who want to delve deeper into the topic, here are the references: