Decoding the SEO Success of Culture Amp

June 27, 2022
Sofie Couwenbergh

If you’re a SaaS looking to boost your organic traffic through blog content, then this post is for you. We’ll break down how Culture Amp manages to generate a steady flow of non-branded traffic by infusing its website with solid SEO practices.

Culture Amp is an HR tool that was founded in 2009 and has since managed to build up a strong reputation both with its target audience and with Google, as you can see from the Knowledge Panel and Ahrefs metrics below. 

While the brand’s Domain Authority is probably not the highest you’ve ever seen, Culture Amp does rank for a lot of keywords, with over 6,000 of them on the first page of Google.

The Key Elements of Culture Amp’s SEO Success

Culture Amp’s SEO success doesn’t come out of nowhere. The brand combines several SEO best practices that result in:

  • A clean website structure
  • Optimized sales pages
  • Comparison pages targeting competitor keywords
  • Helpful support links
  • Non-branded, SEO-driven content
  • Demand-driving resources

 

1. A Clean Website Structure

Google loves structure and the better you organize your website, the easier it is for Google to understand. This illustration makes clear what a good website structure looks like:

The idea is to group all the content related to a particular topic together, as well as link together all the content that falls within the same category. Following the image above, you’d have one page completely dedicated to bananas, that sits in the same “Fruits” category as your page on apples, and your page on pears.

So what does this look like for a real website? Here is the same kind of illustration representing the website structure of Culture Amp:

Culture Amp has five main content buckets:

  • All the pages that are about their platform: sales pages, feature pages, solution pages, …
  • The pages that compare Culture Amp with its competitors
  • A help center with support pages for existing customers
  • The blog
  • A resources section

Each of these content buckets is optimized in its own way.

2. Optimized Sales Pages

Culture Amp bundled all of its bottom-of-the-funnel content (sales, feature, and use-case pages) under the URL structure domain/platform/, clearly organizing this content in one place. /platform/ is a good overarching term to use. Other options are /product/, /features/ or /solutions/ depending on your product.

Aside from neatly structuring its sales content, Culture Amp also uses keywords in its sales page URLs.

One page, for example, lives on the URL cultureamp.com/platform/employee-engagement and ranks at the bottom of page one or top of page two for multiple keywords related to employee engagement software. 

While this is a great tactic to use, the reason this page isn’t ranking in one of the top positions is that Google is instead ranking listicles of the x best employee engagement tools and not sales pages. In other words: Culture Amp’s sales page does not fulfill the search intent Google sees most commonly for employee engagement software-related queries.

Does that mean you shouldn’t optimize your sales pages when blog content is ranking for relevant keywords? No. If there are other sales pages ranking in the top 10, you have a fair chance of ranking as well. And if someone is looking for a clear solution rather than a list of 20 tools they need to weed through, you want to appear right below those listicles in the search results.

3. Comparison Pages Targeting Competitor Keywords

Another thing Culture Amp does well is capture shoppers who are looking for alternatives to one of its competitors, or who are comparing different providers. It does this by creating “alternative pages” that compare Culture Amp with one of its competitors… and make the brand stand out as the best option.

Here as well, the brand keeps things clear and neatly organized. All of these alternative pages have the same layout and follow the same URL format: alternatives-to-CompetitorName.

4. Helpful Support Links

Support articles are typically used by existing customers. They google branded queries such as “automated comparison Culture Amp” to find guides and tutorials to use the software.

A lot of brands use a third-party tool to build their support or knowledge centers, which means the content that’s on there usually lives on a subdomain such as support.domain. This is the case for Culture Amp as well.

Within your support hub, you want to answer branded questions and support questions. That means collecting the questions your support team receives as well as researching which branded queries people Google to find information on how to use your tool. That way, you capture the users who don’t go straight to your help section but Google a question instead.

5. Non-Branded, SEO-Driven Content

Now you know what to do with the sales pages and alternative pages that target those who are (almost) ready to buy, and the support pages that cater to existing users, it’s time to move on to what will likely be the biggest content collection on your website: your blog.

Culture Amp creates a lot of top-of-the-funnel and middle-of-funnel content that targets queries relevant to those who might be interested in their tool, and the brand ranks well for them.

Let’s have a look at the tactics they use that you can copy to get your own content found and clicked on.

5.1. Use your blog to create audience touchpoints

A potential customer may land on your website multiple times before buying, and it may find your website through multiple channels. You want to make sure that each time they do so, there is interesting content awaiting them.

Not all of that content needs to be SEO content, but a fair number of articles do need to be optimized if you want to rank and have a chance of generating organic traffic.

5.2. Combine thought leadership and SEO

Speaking of SEO vs non-SEO articles, there’s this common belief that thought-leadership content is non-optimized content, while SEO content is dry, technical, and non-unique. Luckily, neither of those ideas need to be true. The best-performing content is content that combines authentic opinion with keyword optimization.

How to create this type of content is something we discuss at length in our post on thought leadership vs SEO, but we could summarize our strategy in two suggestions:

  • Run all of your ideas for thought leadership content through a keyword tool to see if they can be optimized as well.
  • When creating SEO content, go beyond keyword optimization and brainstorm how you can give your own unique spin to it. This could mean communicating a contrarian opinion or putting something in a new perspective.

5.3. Structure your blog content

Blogs can grow into massive resource libraries and if you don’t add any structure to them, they’ll be hard to navigate both for Google and for your users. Identify the main overarching categories or topics your content talks about and organize all related content together under the same category.

To keep things clean, try sticking to a maximum of three-to-six categories and make sure they represent core topics for your business. Define one category per post so neither Google nor your users get confused as to which post is about what. If you publish company news or product updates on your blog as well, they can go in their own category. 

Culture Amp defines the following big categories for their content:

  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Employee Development
  • Employee Engagement
  • Employee Experience
  • Performance Management

Once you’ve defined and organized your categories, add an easy way for people to filter blog content based on those categories, such as a blog category drop-down menu.

5.4. Follow a clean keyword map

A clean blog isn’t just a blog in which the articles are neatly organized, it’s also a blog that follows a clear keyword map with just one article optimized for each main keyword.

This article by Culture Amp on employee feedback targets the main keyword “employee feedback examples”. It’s the only article on the blog around that topic, and it has the main keyword in its URL (culltureamp.com/blog/employee-feedback-examples) as well as in the H1 and the meta title.

This is the goal: one article for each specific topic. If you do want to add information on a topic and creating a new article would mean going for the same keyword(s) as the original article does, then opt to update the original article instead of creating a new one.

6. Demand-driving resources

Aside from their blog, Culture Amp also has a dedicated resources section with reports, ebooks, guides, and more. This section is less focused on SEO as the material it holds is often not something people are Googling for. Instead, you’ll drive traffic to these resources from other pages on your website.

So can you just wing your resources hub? Not exactly. Here, you focus on conversion. Experiment with the layout, CTAs, and ease of download to get as many people as possible to consume your resources and become a lead.

Structure is Key

What Culture Amp teaches us is that structure is key. From the overall organization of your website’s topics to the URL format of individual posts and pages; from your global keyword map to the consistent formatting of pages and optimizing individual posts.

No matter whether you’ve just launched your SaaS or have been creating content regularly for years, a clean website structure will lift your rankings at every stage of your journey.

Not sure where to start? Or maybe your website has grown organically over time and now you can’t see the forest through the trees anymore? Not to worry, Flow SEO has a ton of expertise in the optimization of site structures and keyword maps for SaaS businesses. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you rank too.

Author

Sofie Couwenbergh
Sofie is an SEO-savvy content strategist, consultant, and writer. She helps brands generate more qualified leads and keep customers engaged with engaging optimized articles like the one you’ve just read.
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