Decoding SEO Success is where we break down the SEO strategy of popular software companies, so you can deploy them yourself.
If you’re looking to understand the potential of different SEO strategies, this episode is for you.
If you ever have looked at massively successful company that is splattered all over page 1 on google and wondered ‘how the f*ck do they rank for everything?’ then this episode is for you.
- The power of SEO-driven content marketing
- The different ranking success when translating content or sticking to English
- The advantages of programmatic SEO
Let’s dive in!
SEO Comparison of the Most Well-Known Project Management Tools
|Domain Rating (Ahrefs)||91||89||90||85|
|Domain Authority (MOZ)||91||74||76||65|
|All Keywords USA*||337,300||113,700||62,300||81,600|
|Non-Branded Top 10 Keywords USA*||25,500||5,800||4,800||2,800|
|Est. Link Quality||0.05%||0.22%||0.12%||0.44%|
|Monthly Organic Traffic Estimate (Ahrefs)**||4,600,000 visitors||1,200,000 visitors||563,000 visitors||112,000 visitors|
|Monthly Organic Traffic Estimate (SEMrush)**||4,700,000 visitors||2,200,000 visitors||1,500,000 visitors||885,300 visitors|
*Numbers rounded for the sake of ease.
**On the accuracy of organic traffic estimations: Let’s be honest. These estimates will be wrong.
SEO tools estimate the organic traffic based on keyword rankings, search traffic for these keywords, click data and a bunch of other things. So, they give you a general direction. But the real traffic number could easily be 2, 4 or 6 times off.
Traffic estimations are valuable to compare websites with each other, not to understand the real traffic of one website.
Asana’s SEO Success Is Based on Content Marketing.
- Asana heavily focuses on English-speaking countries. They perform best in the USA. Their best-performing non-English markets are Japan, Mexico, Germany and France. However, only a fraction of their overall pages is translated.
- In the USA, Asana ranks for 2,669 keywords related to project management outperforming Trello in this area.
- 336 of these keywords are variations of project management software. However, for the main term, they are out-performed by review and comparison sites such as Capterra.
- In 2020, Asana heavily promoted itself as a tool to improve remote teamwork and digital collaboration. They rank for 310 keywords related to teamwork and 290 related to task management.
- Their top five non-branded organic traffic driving pages are great content marketing efforts.
Asana’s SEO success comes from a classic SEO strategy driven by content marketing.
They provide resources such as ebooks, guides and webinars that can be downloaded in exchange for an email address.
Their articles are long-form guides ranking for a variety of keywords.
For example, their article on executive summaries is 2,100 words long, was published in January 2021, and ranks for 3,400 keyword variations. The best keyword is in position 4 for the executive summary example, which has 28,000 searches per month.
There are 144 resources indexed, and 16 of them drive more than 1% of organic traffic. The SEO success rate of the resources is 11.1%
Their blog posts are often shorter and more conversational. They also share industry insights and product updates. In May 2021, Asana had 1,092 indexed blog posts. And 23 of them drive more than 1% of organic traffic, making this an SEO success rate of 2.1%.
The long-form un-gated guides in the resource section are winning the SEO game.
Of course, many of these pages are focused on top of the funnel queries. But, Asana also covered the middle and bottom of the funnel with SEO pages.
Asana published a buying guide “How to choose project management software for your team.” However, it mainly ranks for low-traffic keywords.
More successfully, they built out competitor comparison pages for customers in the research and buying state of the funnel. They have 12 of these pages targeting their main competitors such as Trello, monday.com, Jira, Basecamp or Airtable. Most of these comparison pages rank on Page 1 for the term “Asana vs competitor.”
Asana has a series of use case pages. They are relatively short in content and focus on conversion. However, they cover “what is use case?” and “Why do you need team use case software?“ queries.
The use case pages brought them to Page 1 for keywords like: task management, task management tool, program management software, online project management software and project management tool.
Trello’s Success Secret Is Leveraging Fan Communities and Internationalization.
- Trello successfully ranks in the English-speaking markets. They perform best in the USA but rank well in the UK, Australia, Canada and India.
- In the USA, Trello ranks for 755 keywords related to “project management,” as well as for 490 keywords related to “Kanban.” They also rank for 976 keywords that include the modifier “software,” indicating purchasing intent.
- Trello has a multi-language approach and offers native content in Vietnam, Brazil, France, Germany, Mexico, Spain and Russia. Ranking in non-English markets is almost always a lot easier than ranking in the USA.
- Their huge amount of overall keywords is created by the public Trello boards indexed in Google. One of their best-performing pages is the public board for the game Project Jojo. 46,000 people search for this specific board every single month — and this is not the only fan community driving traffic to Trello.
- Their top five (English) non-branded organic traffic driving pages are top of the funnel, educational guides related to productivity:
Understanding Programmatic SEO
The secret to organic success is Trello’s public boards. They leverage the success of online communities that share content via the public boards. Six of their ten top-performing pages are public boards. I guess you could call this approach also programmatic SEO because it is an automated way to generate thousands of pages to index in Google.
A good example of programmatic SEO is Zapier. They have thousands of integration pages leveraging the search volume of other brands. One example is the Trello Slack integration page that ranks on Page 1 for 21 relevant keyword variations related to Trello and Slack.
Secondly, they utilize internationalization to drive global traffic. In most cases, achieving rankings outside Google USA will be easier allowing you to increase keyword rankings internationally.
They also have great visibility for their brand (red) which has always been stronger than Asana (blue). 409,000 people search for Asana every month and almost twice as much search for Trello (844,000).
Which SEO Strategy Is for You?
Learning from Asana and Trello, three SEO strategies stand out:
- SEO-driven content marketing to meet customers in every stage of the funnel.
- Translation to effectively expand internationally and easily win valuable rankings.
- Programmatic page creation to grow your page count, keyword rankings and overall organic traffic by leveraging other brands and communities.