SentinelOne – 9/2020

Buyer-centric paid and organic search strategy leads to a 251% increase in leads

SentinelOne is an endpoint security software company that offers a complete solution for threat prevention, detection, response, and hunting. The platform uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning to isolate malicious behaviors and protect users against targeted security attacks in real-time.

Directive has helped us amplify incoming lead numbers and organic traffic. They report weekly and make corrections constantly to improve results. We’ve grown in share of voice and organic search since our partnership began.

Sarah Vanier
Sr. Director of Marketing

The challenge

The endpoint protection space is a crowded one. 

To compete with the big industry players, SentinelOne identified a need to organize and expand their marketing efforts to connect with their audience more effectively. 

Up until this point, their team was working with limited resources and bandwidth. They had a hand in some SEO strategy and PPC campaigns; however, the results were less than satisfactory.

SentinelOne’s product is unique, innovative, and cutting edge. It was time to let the world know this, too.

The SentinelOne team partnered with Directive to drive quality leads and empower awareness by using a multi-channel approach.

The strategy

To help SentinelOne grow its online discoverability, we developed a strategy that would combine both paid and organic search marketing campaigns to achieve the desired results. The north star metrics guiding our efforts were organic traffic, and more importantly, the number of leads.

The theme behind our strategy was simple: give endpoint security software buyers what they want, when they want it — even if they’re only at the beginning stages of their buying journey. 

We worked to target this audience with hyper-relevant messaging that would entice them to add SentinelOne to their consideration set.

Conducting a complete SEO audit

The road to becoming discoverable online often begins with an in-depth SEO audit. And that’s exactly how we kicked off our efforts.

When examining the technical health of SentinelOne’s website, the Directive team focused on identifying internal 404 errors and improving site speed. Both of these factors can have a major negative impact on website functionality as well as SEO if not accounted for properly. 

Based on the audit results, we were able to make the appropriate recommendations to the client’s in-house team of developers to execute the necessary changes.

On the non-technical side, we audited the website to check for any on-page optimizations that could be made. 

When looking at the blog specifically, we noticed that SentinelOne had a lot of decaying content. In marketing speak, the term “content decay” is used to refer to articles that are declining in traffic and overall performance. We identified this as a large opportunity for quick traffic wins. 

We worked to revamp these pages with fresh content to regain organic keyword rankings.

We supplemented our SEO efforts through link building. We primarily did this by doing cold outreach to generate guest post opportunities for SentinelOne. Doing so allowed us to build brand authority and generate backlinks from high-quality domains.

Taking a multi-channel approach to pay-per-click

To supplement our organic efforts and drive more leads, we turned our attention towards PPC. 

Our goal was to drive high quality leads at the lowest possible cost-per-action (CPA). To formulate an effective strategy, we took an in-depth look at the competitive landscape. This helped us to identify high-value keywords that are relevant to SentinelOne’s offering that we could target in our Google Ads campaigns.

At Directive, our approach to PPC advertising is focused on continuous data collection and optimization. Our team constantly sifts through ad data to identify areas for improved performance. 

For SentinelOne, our goal from the beginning was to meet the buyer where they are. To do this, we had to look beyond top-of-funnel Google Ads campaigns and expand to other channels. Over the course of the next few months, we also launched ads on Bing, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.

Running tests to create high-performing CTAs

Conversion rate optimization (CRO) was the final phase of our strategy that tied everything together. 

Optimizing for conversions goes hand-in-hand with both SEO and PPC. People land on your website by clicking on a blog article or advertisement, but the next hurdle is getting your website visitors to actually take action.

On the paid end, we developed landing pages that specifically matched up with our current PPC campaigns. The page copy was strategic in that it offered enough information to entice users to fill out the form, without giving too much away. 

We ran ongoing A/B tests to determine which landing page elements were the most effective to convert users. We evaluated copy variants, as well as different offers and types of lead forms. 

To fuel organic conversions, we added relevant call-to-action (CTA) buttons across different blog article pages. 

An important tactic we focused on was strategizing a call-to-action that is within the viewer’s comfort zone. For a CTA button to work, the offer that’s being presented must align with the viewer and their position within the funnel. For example, a top-of-funnel article would feature a CTA that compels the user to download a PDF, while a bottom-of-funnel piece would encourage the user to request a free demo.

251 Increase in digital leads
159 Increase in organic traffic
12 Decrease in bounce rate

The results speak for themselves

Through a combination of SEO, CRO, and PPC tactics, SentinelOne saw noteworthy results across the board.

Running an audit to check the technical health of the website allowed the Directive team to quickly identify errors and start making improvements immediately. Through a combination of on and off-page SEO tactics, we were able to generate a 159% increase in organic traffic. This included a considerable boost in the number of active users from the year before.

“When comparing organic users from Q3 and Q4 of this year to the previous one, we saw a 128% increase,” adds Vanier.

Additionally, we observed a 12% decrease in the overall bounce rate across the website.

When it comes to pay-per-click and conversions, we delivered on our promise to drive more leads. Overall, our efforts across multiple PPC channels lead to a 251% increase in digital leads.

Through working with Directive, SentinelOne successfully reached its goal of boosting brand awareness, growing inbound lead generation, and driving meaningful business results.

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