This case study's goal is to show you an in-depth SEO strategy that we used to grow organic traffic of the SaaS AI tool from 0 to 60,000 monthly organic visits with content clustering.
Results we accomplished
- 1,000+ unique daily organic visits in 7 months
- 60,000+ monthly organic search visits
- 22,500+ organic keywords the website ranks for
- 1000+ organic keywords on the first page
- 200 organic keywords in the top 3 position
- Over 8,000 Google Chrome downloads launched in June
- Over 18,500+ app signups
- Over 1200 paid users
Before we started with the project
- Around 20 organic visits per day
- 193 organic keywords that the site was ranking in organic search
- 0 keywords in the top 3 positions
- 0 downloads of Chrome Extension
- Around 1200 total signups
- Less than 100 paid customers
The tool we’ve been operating this campaign for: SaaS AI writing tool
Challenges – Where most SaaS businesses make mistakes that cost them thousands of dollars
A lot of SaaS businesses are making closely the same mistakes when it comes to SEO challenges, and we noticed it within many SaaS AI tools:
1. Hiring non-experienced writers without any experience in the industry
The result of hiring non-experienced writers is usually poor-quality and low-value content.
It drives customers away with thoughts: “There’s nothing new here, I already knew all of this, and I have a feeling that I’ve been reading this 100 times earlier.”
Or “This is a real waste of time, I won’t even read the articles on this website anymore.”
And the story ends up there.
Once you lose your readers' trust, there’s no way of getting it back.
And converting them you can only imagine.
Non-experienced writers aren’t that bad.
They just lack proper onboarding, performing templates, and guidance from the Content editor that will help them create high-quality content.
If that’s solved, it’s a good way to reduce the costs.
Unfortunately, bad writers mostly copy content from other sources, which can easily harm your business reputation.
2. Lack of concrete way of work, procedures, and people who are there to standardize the quality of content
Writing a quality article is not that hard, but it requires a specific SEO strategy behind it so all articles can work together.
If you want to dominate within a specific niche on Google, you have a good plan for constantly publishing quality content.
These kinds of mistakes can cost you thousands of dollars if you don’t do them properly.
3. Not understanding that 80% of quality content is detailed research
You can have excellent writers or copywriters, but if they lack resources, information, tricks, and experience in using your tool, your content won’t be good enough.
It will be just average.
This is a place where writers need to know where to find valuable information:
- Whether by listening to podcasts?
- Asking questions within communities?
- DM-ing of experts and asking them for opinions?
- Reading articles from the niche, Reddit, Quora, GrowthHackers, etc.?
This all leads to different problems that are bringing huge losses to SaaS AI businesses:
- Not existing or not precisely defined content strategy and the path in which the project, website, and content will develop.
- Low or non-existing website visibility for English-speaking territories and queries important for companies' product offers.
- Very low or no existing content that brings US and other English-speaking users
- The budget doesn’t allow too much experimentation and publishing of any kind of content just to mark the publish date.
The growth strategy that brought our client 60k monthly organic visits
Most of the projects we started working with don’t have any content strategy defined.
At the same time, only a few of the projects have any kind of published content or are publishing actively.
If they have something on the website, it’s usually very low quality, boring, and unoptimized, which doesn’t provide any value to the product or visibility.
It’s like the content doesn’t exist at all.
What we’ve done is that we’ve focused on creating a structural and effective content strategy with a special focus on clusters that will surround the main parts of the tool
Process focused on the following tasks:
- Meeting the customers and benefits that users see in those products
- Defining the ICP(Ideal Customer Persona) that we used to create content for
- Keywords and Competitors research with the goal of finding out their strategy approach, keywords they rank for, along with potential opportunities that can be used for positioning.
- Website audit - Identifying the existing errors on the website, solving the structural website issues, and optimizing the existing content and pages
- Defining the content strategy, mapping the whole website and potential keywords that will be a goal to position for
- Creating clusters and sorting the keywords according to the product and time period when we’ll write content for them
- Prioritizing the low-hanging fruits - keywords that are easy to rank for and that attract the potential users
- Focusing on the Product-led content that will be there to show natively how the tool helps the user in the writing process and not promoting features and technical possibilities
1. Meet the customers and the benefits they see in the product
Developing the ICP(Ideal Customer Persona) is a great way to meet your marketing team(writers, editors, and designers) with your target audience.
This way, you can consistently adapt the message and content writing to be more persuasive and standardize the content quality.
Here’s how you can do that:
1. Start with your existing customers/clients
Who are your best customers? Can you write some patterns that define them?
What are their biggest:
- Pain points
Interview a few of your customers and try to understand why they started working with you or use your product and not your competitor.
Is there something that is missing within the product that the users and product team are aware of?
The more experience and information you collect and create a pattern of their behavior, the easier it will be for you to align the communication and create the content.
What we discovered through the research of the clients' users is that those people that use this writing tool are:
- Freelance writers, students, and agencies that are spending most of their time creating textual content
- We discovered that their biggest problem is spending too much time on researching, writing, and inspiration block and the huge number of articles they write daily
- They seek to cut the time for researching and writing, get inspiration for content, and create content at scale on a daily level without spending too much time and energy on it.
2. Do a Website audit
Doing a website audit helped us identify the existing issues on the website and solve structural problems, along with optimizing the existing content and pages.
The tool that can help you with that is SEO Screaming Frog which can give you a detailed overview of the technical aspect of the website.
To create a quality base for future growth, you need to cover this part.
So we used the Screaming Frog to identify the following issues:
- Pages that are missing H1 tags or where the H1 tag is duplicate
- Pages that are missing H2 tags or where the H2 tags are duplicate
- Images that are not compressed and are non-optimized
- 404 errors - pages that are removed from the website but are still indexed
- Missings and duplicates within the Meta titles and Meta descriptions
- Canonical tags, Open Graph tags, and other elements that help bots understand your pages and content, etc.
Besides that, one of the most important factors in ranking is optimizing the website speed and allowing users to use it without obstacles.
Using the SEO Screaming Frog and GTMetrix, we identified the elements necessary to improve and fix the website.
Solving this part of the website, we created a healthy base for future content creation and growth.
3. Do keyword and competitor research to find out their strategies, keywords they rank for, and potential opportunities
If your domain is new, and domain authority(DR or DA) is relatively low, it’s foolish trying to position for high-difficulty keywords.
The most common mistakes that are preventing SaaS tools from growing their SEO are:
- Using short tail keywords that are too complicated to position and possibilities with the new website is usually almost impossible
- Lack of knowledge and failure to identify high-intent keywords that can really bring some traffic and help the website grow.
All this results in businesses seeing SEO as inefficient, too competitive, and not working since the traffic isn’t coming.
That’s why many of them give up on the process.
Instead, they should focus on quick-win keywords that can rank easier in their niche and bring authority quickly, along with website traffic.
To help you realize its importance, you should be aware that over 78% of searches on the internet are focused on long-tail keywords, according to Ahrefs.
Focusing on long-tail keywords is something that can bring significant growth at the start and help you bring concrete traffic and results at the start.
So, do you need to ignore high-difficulty keywords?
No, but you should know which ones you should target and when (You can do that with content clustering, which we’ll explain later.)
According to Ahrefs, here are the estimations that show how hard it is to rank in the top 10 results on a scale from 1-100, depending on the keywords’ difficulty.
What we’ve done is that we researched the keywords relevant to this industry, and everything regarding the “content writing” niche, so we can sort keywords and map the ones we want to target primarily.
Remember that most SEO tools are wrong when it’s up to traffic estimations for specific keywords.
Meaning some keywords that are looking have low monthly searches but sometimes can bring high traffic and a number of leads/users.
Based on a huge number of keywords we:
1. First, we filtered the keywords with Difficulty <30 and the number of words in phrases >3 to identify long-tail keywords.
It lowered the number of keywords from 8,879 to 305 low keyword difficulty keywords.
2. We repeated this process for additional target keywords such as “ai writing” and “rewriting” and filtered the ones we might target and create content for.
Based on it, we could decide easier which keywords to use for creating content and the content plan.
4. We defined content strategy, mapping the overall website, funnel, and potential keywords that we will target
In order to create the overall long-term content strategy, we needed to map all the pages that we tend to create in the future to plan the content better.
To do that, we created a plan for developing the clusters on the website to help it rank in the top results and to let users and Google know that the website is an authority for specific terms.
Here’s how creating clusters, mapping the content, and sorting the keywords look depending on the product and pages that we planned to be on the website:
1. Pillar page
Pillar page is a page that focuses on a key topic around the project and covers it broadly.
It provides users to access lots of relevant topical content quickly.
On the other hand, it provides search engines with organized content on a single topic that can be easily crawled, understood, and ranked in search results.
Let’s say we want to create a pillar page targeting “website analytics.”
The keywords we’re targeting with the pillar page are usually short-tail, called “parent keywords.”
To find out the roof topic of your project, ask yourself what it is that your project represents, its purpose, and the industry it’s in.
Based on it, research keywords to find the most relevant phrase.
Here are a few “real-life” examples to help you figure it out easier:
- Google Analytics - main keyword: “web analytics”
- Hotjar - main keyword: “website heatmap”
- Coursera - main keyword: “online courses”
- Behance - main keyword: “graphic design”
- Airbnb - main keyword: “home rent”
Identifying the key term for your project will present the main keyword that your pages and content will surround in the future.
Creating content around specific terms will help your project rank for this keyword in the future, which is the goal of creating clusters.
The idea behind the Pillar article or page is to:
- target the main topic,
- go broadly through the content behind the target keyword,
- and provide readers with a detailed education about a specific topic by linking to cluster articles.
But that’s not all.
It will also:
- help readers learn more about the topic
- help them navigate through the funnel,
- motivate them to read those topics in-depth(which cluster content will cover),
- and get everything regarding specific topics in a single place.
Here’s an example of how the Pillar page should look like:
2. Cluster articles
With the cluster articles, the idea is to target specific topics connected with the main pillar’s page subtopics.
The aim of the cluster articles is to answer readers’ questions, position your website as an authority, and attract users to explore more about your product.
The cluster articles and keywords that you’re targeting with these articles are mostly long-term phrases that target the specific parts of your main theme.
To let searches and users know you’re the authority in a specific niche, you need to write about the specific topic constantly and cover it in detail.
Here, clusters can help you.
Let us explain them through an example.
Let’s say your site is focused on selling musical instruments.
The parent keyword here will then probably be “music instruments” or “music instruments shop.”
Based on it, we can split this topic into different segments, such as:
The idea is to have each subtopic and keyword explain the specific segment which we’ll cover through our content to rank higher and set ourselves as an authority.
Ranking higher for specific keywords targeted through the content clusters by linking it with the pillar page will help the whole website rank higher.
So if we have a pillar page targeting the keyword “guitar,” here are the keyword examples that our cluster articles could target:
- Easy guitar songs
- Guitar string notes
- How to play guitar
- Guitar accessories
- How to tune a guitar
- How to hold a guitar
- Where to buy a guitar
- Electric vs acoustic guitar, etc.
Note: The best practices showed that it’s optimal to have 20-30 cluster articles targeting specific terms, sometimes even more, depending on the topic's complexity.
So how to choose which content to create first?
To help our website position from the start and attract users simultaneously, we should focus on the users that are ready to buy.
To help you understand it, you should map the funnel users go through before they buy your product.
Depending on which phase of the funnel your readers are and what it is that they’re researching will tell you what kind of article you should write and how.
There are three phases of the funnel consisting of:
- TOFU (Top of the funnel) - users that are not aware of the problem and solution and are still researching about.
- MOFU (Middle of the funnel) - users that have some knowledge and are aware of the problem, and they’re looking for the best solution.
- BOFU (Bottom-of-funnel) - users that have potential solutions in mind already, so they’re looking for the best solution for their needs.
Let’s explain it a bit further.
Articles called “What is website analytics?” and “Google Analytics alternatives” won’t look the same - they will be much different.
Just like it’s the difference between the phases that readers of these articles are currently in.
The readers of “What is website analytics” are TOFU users, and they:
- Still do not understand what is website analytics, how it works, etc.
- They’re not aware of the problem, and if that’s what they really need
- They don’t know the possibilities of those solutions and are surely not planning to buy any of them.
On the other hand, the readers of “Google Analytics alternatives” are BOFU users, and they:
- Already know a lot about website analytics
- Are aware of the problems, what website analytics provides them with, and what they really need from it
- Are aware of the solutions, their functionalities, probably knowing the functionalities of Google Analytics, but are researching for alternatives and planning to use some of those solutions
Based on this, the way we’ll talk to each of those readers within the articles will be different.
The first topic will be more educational, giving readers the needed information, so we can help them identify their problems and become aware that they need a solution.
The second topic, next to showing the alternatives, will consist of the part presenting our tool if it’s analytics-based, showing its possibilities and how it can help readers solve problems.
So our priority from the start was low-hanging fruits and BOFU keywords - terms that are much easier to rank for and that users ready-to-buy are searching for.
To help our clients grow their traffic and get paid customers from the start, we’ve focused 60% of our activities on BOFU, 25% on MOFU, and 15% on TOFU articles.
This strategy helped us bring our SaaS AI tool client over 25K of leads and 1000+ daily visits.
Here’s how we applied that to one of our segments within content writing:
Some of the BOFU articles we used to create and that you can apply to your project and identify potential keywords that you can target through content:
- Business Type (ie. X + for business type) - “best skills for web analysts”
- Solution (ie. tool, software, platform, solution) - “best web analytics tools”
- Competitors (ie. X vs Y or X alternatives) - “google analytics vs segment” or “google analytics alternatives”
- Tool reviews (ie. X review) - “google analytics review”
The example of articles we’ve been creating was focused on providing the best user experience possible, besides valuable information, so we can ensure the content is high-quality.
We did it, and you can do it too by:
- Including many visuals, graphics, videos, gifs, and use cases.
- Making the content easy to read but splitting the paragraphs into small chunks.
- Including quotes, statistics, examples, banners, etc.
Helping readers understand which stadium they’re in, knowing ICPs, and using proven templates for different content types can help you improve the process and conversions.
We combined different templates that were previously proven with constant improvements and alignments to reach optimal results.
Here’s an example of a template:
Also, by creating detailed briefs for specific articles, we helped our writers understand which funnel phase the readers are in and what’s essential to be included within specific articles.
3. Internal links
To help our pillar pages and cluster articles position well, we needed to connect them using the proper internal linking strategy.
It’s natural when you have 30+ topics that are focused on a single main topic, such as “website analytics,” to link single topic clusters between each other.
This way, we helped readers find out more about the specific topic and provided them with additional information.
Besides increasing the SEO growth, the main goal of the internal links within clusters was to help visitors go through the website without having to leave to get all the necessary info.
So we connected all the articles for the specific topic with each other and made sure all of them were pointing to the pillar page.
But also directing links from pillar pages to cluster articles that are relevant to the topic.
5. We’ve put the focus on Product-led content
To help your readers get the most value from your articles, make sure your articles provide users with direct and actionable tips.
How does that look in practice?
Include as many screenshots, videos, images, memes, or any kind of visual that will help you present the value of your tool.
Don’t tell, but instead, show concretely how your product solves a specific problem.
Readers that you support with visuals along with the textual explanation understand your tool and its value much better.
That is what makes product-led content so strong.
Because you don’t sell your solution directly but show how it works in practice.
The ideas of these articles are to inspire readers, teach them something new, and motivate them to take action and apply those tips.
So we made sure we were writing to simplify the process of our ideal customers completely and to help them simplify their writing so they could do it alone easily.
Activities that helped us generate growth
- Our idea was to connect with readers through high-quality content so they don’t feel like we only want to sell something.
- The focus was primarily on education and providing free knowledge full of examples that can’t be found anywhere.
- It helped us simplify their process of searching for solutions and solving concrete problems.
- The approach wasn’t and should never be on promoting the tool by presenting its features, but instead showing it based on real examples through content.
- Our initial plan was to create 12 blog posts on a monthly level, which increased after two months to 20 blog posts.
- Besides creating content for a blog, our idea was to spread that knowledge to the community through distribution and content repurposing, which was used for specific posts.
- Each post was simple to create and focused on repurposing a single article into many different posts that were used to gain traction.
- We created Expert roundups to attract different experts from the niche so we could initiate partnerships and motivate them to promote the tool to their audience
Results that we achieved with this approach:
To sum up
You might get a feeling that this article was all over the place.
Here are the most important steps to implement:
💣 Meet your existing customers deeply to learn what is that triggers them to use your tool - learn why did they choose you instead of other competitors
💣 Research the keywords and competitors in detail to find potential keywords and opportunities you can use to rank on Google
Note: Don’t follow the keywords with huge volume search blindly and ignore the ones with low volume.
💣 Analyze your current website and all the elements that are necessary to improve your site, such as speed, image optimization, heading tags, meta titles, meta descriptions, etc.
💣 Map the whole website, including pages you want to cover in the future and keywords that you will focus on, and based on that find the keywords and topics you can write and support your website structure and growth.
💣 Find the opportunities to present your product natively within the article. It’s probable that it constantly repeats in your potential readers' everyday activities, explain how.
Have any questions?
Write us, and we'll gladly answer all your doubts and queries, just as search engines do.
And if you're ready to dominate the SEO and write the best articles for your SaaS business, then get to work.
Or you can let the Omnius team do it for you. The choice is yours.
Contact us and book a 30-minute call to learn how you can improve your SEO and how we can help you with that aspect.