As popular as content marketing is for B2B SaaS companies today, it can be tough to stand out in a sea of content (seriously, there is SO MUCH out there). Most brands lack a strong SEO strategy and endlessly publish content that results in little to no consistent traffic growth — let alone traffic that converts into actual signups or demo requests.
But content isn’t dead. When done right (with consistency and the right keyword targeting strategy), you can drive quarter-over-quarter growth.
In fact, using this exact strategy, I was able to help CloudZero, a B2B SaaS company, grow its organic search traffic by over 27x in the past two years (and by over 800% in the first year alone) — all while increasing monthly demo requests by over 1,000%.
In this case study, I cover the exact process I used to grow CloudZero’s organic search traffic from 3,000 visits/month to over 85,000 visits/month. Here’s how I did it …
I began working with CloudZero in January 2021. Before I started, organic search traffic was largely stagnant. Here’s a look at the previous 6-months before I started with CloudZero to improve their content and SEO strategy:
With search traffic, and ultimately, demo requests, both largely at a standstill, we needed to make a change. So, my goal was twofold:
I identified two issues with the company’s content strategy:
CloudZero only published a few times a month, with no consistency on days published. Weeks could go by without a new piece of content being written and/or published.
This made it hard to stick to a schedule, publish content frequently, and expect consistent traffic growth.
The second issue (and more problematic one), was that CloudZero didn’t have a well-defined SEO strategy. Often, content was written and published without prior keyword research. Though, some on-page SEO tactics were used (like including keywords in the published URL), these SEO considerations often took place after the content was already written.
I cannot stress enough, it’s vital that this type of SEO planning, and keyword research, happen before you begin to write (or even decide what to write about).
Deciding on what keywords to target first (based on relevance, search volume, keyword difficulty, and their ability to drive signups/demo requests) is the foundation of ranking highly in Google, and ultimately, driving more qualified traffic to your website.
Over 65% of traffic for a given search in Google goes to the top five results:
So if you’re not in this group (or at least on the first page of Google), then there’s a slim chance your content will drive organic search traffic.
Knowing what keyword to target before you start writing also helps with content planning. It allows you to research that keyword, see what other types of topics people search for when they search that keyword, and what subtopics the top-ranking results for that keyword include in their own content.
All of this research can help create an outline that informs what questions, subtopics, and other information to include in order to produce the most helpful piece of content for readers — and give yourself the best chance of ranking highly in Google.
With those two problem areas identified, here’s what we did to remedy the situation — and create an SEO content strategy that would work:
First, we decided on a publishing frequency that we could maintain, given the company’s goals and budget.
During the first year, we decided on two SEO-focused blog posts per week. That is, two blog posts focused on a specific keyword we were trying to target.
This created a consistent publishing schedule that ensured we were constantly putting out new content that would give us a chance to improve our rankings. It also signaled to Google that we were a source that routinely published quality content.
Second, and again, more importantly, we established a keyword strategy with a list of search terms we wanted to target and rank highly for in Google.
We did this by creating a list of keywords and then prioritizing the best ones to start with, evaluating search volume and keyword difficulty — and also keeping in mind topic relevance and whether or not we expected that term to convert into demo requests (I cover my approach to keyword research further below).
When evaluating search terms, we want to find keywords that have a solid amount of monthly search volume (which can be relative to the industry) but also a low enough keyword difficulty score, or in other words less competition, where we feel we could realistically rank for that search term with a good piece of content.
With the right keyword targeting approach and a focus on publishing content consistently, we’ve been able to achieve some pretty impressive results:
Important note: One thing I want to point out (and stress) is that SEO is a long-term strategy. It takes patience, and often, can take upwards of six months to start seeing significant results. For example, here’s CloudZero when we first made content a priority in January 2021:
Notice the uptick starting in June 2021 (six months after we made SEO content a priority)
Why do I mention this?
It’s important to set expectations. SEO is something you can’t just turn on and start seeing traffic immediately. For that, we can look to digital ads. Where SEO beats out PPC or SEM, is that when you have the right strategy (and this is key) and some patience, you can drive consistent, quarter-over-quarter growth (without spending thousands every month on costly, ineffective digital ads).
While this case study highlights CloudZero’s results, I only scratched the surface on the everyday research and activity that goes into creating this type of content.
So much is involved, including content management, finding and working with writers, on-page SEO, content promotion, and more. At the end here, though, I want to at least provide an overview of my approach to keyword research — and hopefully help you identify the best keyword opportunities for your own website.
The video below gives an overview of the different tactics I use. If you’d like to learn more about my process, or need help creating SEO content for your blog, please use the contact form here to get in touch or connect with me on LinkedIn.