How to Scale Organic Traffic (Without Writing a Million Blog Posts)

How to Scale Organic Traffic (Without Writing a Million Blog Posts)

In-house SEOs and consultants alike are routinely challenged to search out new alternatives to broaden natural site visitors. But the basic method of researching new key phrases then writing articles for those who match your area energy doesn’t work for all websites.

Take Quora, for instance. It’s one of many largest social platforms, with over 300 million month-to-month lively customers and practically 54 million pages in Google’s index. Even with a staff of writers, you couldn’t create sufficient high-quality content material to yield massive outcomes.

Instead, you need to determine scalable options that drive natural site visitors—new data sorts or web page templates. In different phrases, new options!

Quora did simply that. In mid-2019, they launched a new feature called “spaces,” which permits customers to create content material round subjects as an alternative of questions. Topics are an necessary function for social networks, simply as genres are for music or classes for ecommerce websites. (Twitter recently introduced topics, too.)

Quora Spaces is already gaining traction in natural search. It’s a fantastic instance of how product options can drive natural site visitors. In reality, new product options are probably the most underrated driver of Website positioning progress for giant websites.

In this text, I present you:

  • How consumer intent will help you brainstorm product options;
  • The step-by-step course of to slim your listing of potential options;
  • Keys to deploying these new options in an Website positioning-friendly means.

Why alternatives are totally different for “inventory-driven” web sites

Website positioning progress works otherwise for websites that scale with content material (e.g., weblog posts) in comparison with websites that scale with stock (e.g., films, songs, merchandise, profiles, and so on.). I name the later kind “inventory driven.”

As such, Website positioning alternatives for websites that scale with content material (“content driven”) are largely new subjects and key phrases to feed article creation, whereas inventory-driven websites scale with new product options.

For inventory-driven websites, the web site is an enormous a part of the product. It’s greater than only a distribution channel. It offers the platform that customers act on and an answer to 1 or many issues.

For a function to have Website positioning worth, after all, it needs to be publicly uncovered. Anything behind a login or on a local app doesn’t work. The function additionally has to handle a necessity that persons are looking for.

Whether it improves the standard of an current web page (and, due to this fact, rankings for key phrases you’re already addressing) or justifies new web page creation (to rank for brand spanking new key phrases), there needs to be demand.

Let’s have a look at a couple of examples of Website positioning-focused product options:

  • Quora areas;
  • Youtube hashtags;
  • Twitter moments;
  • Pinterest subjects;
  • Owler’s aggressive evaluation of Twitter followers;
  • Crunchbase exhibiting ComparableWeb knowledge;
  • Amazon Q&A;
  • Trello templates;
  • Databox templates.

Those options are serving to websites rating for hundreds, even thousands and thousands, of key phrases.

Quora Spaces

quora topics organic keyword growth.

Twitter moments

twitter moments organic keyword growth.

In every case, an extension to the present resolution was shipped in a search engine–pleasant means and now drives loads of natural site visitors, whereas additionally bettering the product.

Look at Amazon. They rolled out an indexable Q&A for apparent causes—customers have all types of product questions.

amazon product q&a keyword growth.

Adding Q&A pages not solely makes visiting Amazon extra engaging (since you get solutions to your questions), however it additionally addresses questions folks would possibly kind into Google search. In return, clients would possibly first get to Amazon via an off-site search, then purchase the product there.

But what if the high-potential function isn’t apparent? How do you make new function concepts one thing aside from speculative?

User intent + Jobs-to-be-done = a match made in heaven

New product options are constructed with quite a lot of strategies:

  • Gut feeling (e.g., Steve Jobs);
  • Brainstorming/hive thoughts;
  • Quantitative analysis (i.e. what clients are doing);
  • Qualitative analysis (i.e. talking to clients);
  • Customer requests;
  • Strategically, to assault a market.

No dialog in Website positioning can exclude consumer intent. If you don’t meet consumer intent, you gained’t rank. That makes it extra of a rating enabler than a rating issue—much more so since machine-learning applied sciences like BERT assist Google perceive intent higher.

The Jobs-to-be-done framework (JTBD) was invented by economist Clayton Christensen and is an effective way to determine consumer intent for a subject and outline the correct options. A “job,” on this case, is a micro job that’s linked to context—the circumstances during which the consumer is making an attempt to get a job finished. The important aim is to have a listing of jobs for which you’ll be able to construct new options.

JTBD follows 5 steps:

  1. Identify the main target market;
  2. Find core and aspect jobs clients attempt to get finished;
  3. Categorize the roles;
  4. Create job statements;
  5. Prioritize alternatives relying on how nicely they’re served in the intervening time (over-served, served proper, underserved).

For many inventory-driven websites, the JTBD framework is a greater different to personas. It’s tough to focus on personas when you’ll have tons of of sub-audiences. Instead, trying on the jobs your audiences try to do—and in what context—is extra fruitful. Jobs are agnostic to persona or preferences.

Let’s run via a hypothetical instance with Spotify. 

  1. We can flip “focus market” to “target topic”—the topical house during which your product offers worth. For Spotify, the goal subject can be “music” as a result of it’s core to Spotify’s product.
  2. Define jobs: “listen to music,” “share music with friends,” “explore new genres,” and so on. (There are most likely tons of or hundreds of jobs.) Simply describe interactions your audience has together with your product.
  3. Cluster your jobs into teams like “listen,” “share,” or “explore.” Think in regards to the motion that customers take.
  4. Write job statements consisting of an object, a verb, and context. For instance, “listen to music on a plane”; “share music with friends while texting on WhatsApp”; or “explore new genres when I’m bored at work” (which by no means occurs, after all).
  5. Prioritize the roles in accordance with your core product worth—the important factor customers get out of your resolution. This is while you have a look at the significance of every job for your small business and categorize them as “main jobs” or “side jobs,” relying on how necessary they’re for the shopper.

The remaining end result is a prioritized listing of necessary issues your viewers is making an attempt to unravel.

For Spotify, the brand new function could possibly be a set of pages for probably the most shared songs in each style or weekly charts per style. They already scale Website positioning with artist, album, and style pages. To take it even additional, they might get into the lyrics sport and publish lyrics on tune pages (simply an thought).

spotify artist pages organic keywords.
Spotify’s artist pages rank on Page 1 for greater than 800,000 key phrases.

Don’t neglect the emotional context

The emotional a part of a job, offered via its context, is essential. Remember, we virtually at all times make emotional, not rational, decisions. Even Google recommends trying on the emotional contexts during which customers search, defining them as “needs.”

They’ve identified six needs:

  1. Surprise me;
  2. Thrill me;
  3. Impress me;
  4. Educate me;
  5. Reassure me;
  6. Help me.

To merge this emotional context with the JTBD framework, use wants as filters. Each job ought to fulfill at the least one want.

emotional needs of searchers.
Searcher wants, as outlined by Google.

Empathy is central to getting consumer intent proper. As Google states

Each want state is made up of a mix of emotional, social, and practical wants. Emotions are the foundations of want states. The fact is, decision-making just isn’t a rational course of, however one pushed primarily by how folks really feel. The rational mind layers on causes for our decisions solely after they’re made.

So far, we’ve gone via half the method:

  1. Use the JTBD framework to determine consumer issues.
  2. Cross verify jobs with emotional wants.

Now, it’s time for the remaining steps:

  1. Feed job concepts with Website positioning knowledge, like search quantity.
  2. Deploy the function in an Website positioning-friendly means.

5 methods to pair jobs with Website positioning analysis

People search with queries. Whereas basic Website positioning alternative evaluation focuses on discovering new key phrases, options ought to concentrate on patterns—queries with a standard syntax.

Syntax describes the phrase order or association. Query syntax, due to this fact, means how question patterns are structured. When you discover queries with the identical syntax that you simply don’t rank for, you may construct a brand new function to handle them.

The level is to not discover a couple of queries with excessive search quantity. It’s to discover a question sample or template that scales throughout hundreds of searches, which—in sum—add as much as loads of site visitors. 

Let’s contemplate some examples:

  • Imagine YouTube customers had been looking for “[title of video] English subtitles” on Google. This would point out that customers wish to see English subtitles for movies. YouTube might construct a function to indicate English subtitles mechanically. To make it search-friendly, the transcription could possibly be added on the web page and supply extra content material for Google.
  • Say you discover that queries with the sample “investors of [company]” have loads of search quantity. That would point out to a web site like Crunchbase that they could wish to construct a function to let customers see the traders of any firm (if the data is on the market) on the corporate web page.
  • A question syntax like “[business type] reporting template” would point out to an organization like Google that they need to construct standardized, industry-specific templates for Google Data Studio.

In every case, the recognized demand will be addressed and result in extra natural site visitors (and, after all, happier clients). You merely tweak commonplace key phrase analysis strategies to unearth queries with a shared syntax.

Here are 5 methods to do it.

How to find queries with a shared syntax

1. Competitor evaluation

Use a function like Ahrefs’ “Content Gap” or SEMrush’s “Keyword Gap” to find key phrases that your opponents rank for however you don’t.

content gap analysis in ahrefs.
Ahrefs’ Content Gap instrument.

You wish to determine question patterns similar to you’ll search for new key phrase alternatives, however at scale and with the identical syntax. The best solution to discover new alternatives is amongst long-tail key phrases, so set “Word count” to a minimal of three phrases.

content gap report for ebay and amazon from ahrefs.

The instance above compares eBay’s key phrases to Amazon’s, with a minimal phrase depend of three. It rapidly exhibits that “[item] for sale” is a question syntax eBay ranks nicely for however Amazon doesn’t.

As a end result, a (theoretical) alternative for Amazon can be so as to add a function that lists merchandise classes “for sale” on its market.

2. Hidden gems

Sometimes, established websites rank for queries with a sure syntax—however not excessive sufficient on the SERP to earn many clicks.

Depending how nicely current pages meet consumer intent for these queries, you would enhance current content material or create new pages. Taking what you need to the following stage is a viable technique and infrequently extra resource-friendly than constructing new issues.

You can discover them with rank tracker instruments. In Ahrefs, filter your area’s key phrases for the next phrase depend and decrease place:

  1. Plug your area into the search discipline.
  2. Go to the “organic keywords” report.
  3. Filter for decrease positions (e.g., 20–40).
  4. Filter for the next phrase depend (e.g., 5+).
crunchbase long-tail keywords in ahrefs.

In the case above, I used Ahrefs to discover a new (hypothetical) function alternative for Crunchbase: the web price of firms and folks.

From right here, use your eye to identify patterns, or export the question listing to a spreadsheet and categorize every of them till you begin to see the sample. Also, mess around with the filtering choices. Some websites want the next phrase depend, others begin exhibiting patterns with fewer phrases.

3. Internal search

Looking at inner search key phrases in instruments like Google Analytics, Algolia, or Looker has many advantages. One of them is knowing options that customers are in search of, or informational wants that you would flip right into a function.

To discover inner search knowledge in Google Analytics, go to:

  1. Behavior;
  2. Site Search;
  3. Search Terms;
  4. Look on the “Search Term” column.
how to find internal search terms in google analytics.

As with earlier key phrase analysis strategies, the aim is to search for queries with the identical syntax and determine patterns. (Text analyzer instruments like this one will help scale the method.)

4. Use instruments to find new subjects

Certain instruments, corresponding to Exploding Topics, Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, Google Trends, Alexa Content Exploration, or Buzzsumo will help you uncover subjects gaining traction on the net.

exploding topics.
Exploding Topics tells you the way subjects are trending over a time period.
alexa's content exploration tool.
Alexa’s Content Exploration instrument exhibits developments for the variety of articles printed and social media engagement.

Those subjects will be translated into new options, however you need to begin with a “seed idea”—a hunch (primarily based in your JTBD analysis) for what customers would possibly need that pertains to your product.

buzzsumo topic discovery.
Based on an entered subject, Buzzsumo offers subtopics, questions, and key phrases.

These instruments can validate your concepts and discover the subject additional. Find the issues and wishes of your viewers and translate them into new options.

5. Ask your clients

One of one of the best methods to tell new options is to ask your goal group instantly! If you may’t invite folks into your workplace and squeeze a brand new function out of them, you’ve gotten two choices: Use social networks or a user-testing platform.

Simply asking “What feature should we build?” on Twitter or Facebook can result in attention-grabbing conversations. You also can mine or monitor mentions on social networks and search for complaints or requests for options. The similar goes for buyer assist: What options are clients often complaining about or requesting?

Sometimes, nevertheless, you want extra, like what you get from distant user-testing. Platforms like Userlytics, UserTesting, or Lookback permit you to file or survey customers and discover out what performance they’re lacking.

How to make new product options Website positioning pleasant

Now that you simply’ve recognized a job and related question syntax, the query is whether or not you may (or ought to) construct a brand new web page template or add to current pages. The reply is given by consumer intent:

  • If your current pages already goal a transparent intent, and the brand new function would dilute it, create a brand new web page for it.
  • If the brand new function is additive or complementary, combine it on current pages.

There is not any cookie-cutter reply that’s true in each case, so use your greatest judgment. Deploy the function at a small scale to check how nicely it really works for customers and whether or not the brand new function helps you rank for a question sample you already rank for or a brand new one.

At G2, for instance, we realized {that a} question syntax like “free [software name]” can’t be solved with a filter on a class web page. To be search-friendly and supply one of the best reply, it wants a brand new web page template. Users don’t wish to come to a web page and click on on a filter to see free software program; they need entry solely to free options once they seek for them.

When creating new pages or updating current ones, listed below are issues to remember.

Keys to including Website positioning-friendly options

Website positioning-friendly options largely come all the way down to offering data, creating web page sorts, integrating UGC, and offering templates on product or class pages. When you develop and ship them, you need to preserve three components in thoughts to get probably the most natural site visitors out of them.

1. Accessibility

First, they need to be publicly accessible for customers and engines like google. That means engines like google want to have the ability to render any scripts or frameworks they’re constructed with and parse the content material.

A giant a part of that’s pace and cell friendliness. Test new options with Google’s rendering instrument in Search Console, PageVelocity Insights, and their Mobile-Friendly Test:

Google Search Console

  1. Go to URL Inspection;
  2. Insert URL into the search discipline;
  3. Click “Live Test”;
  4. Click “Screenshot”;
  5. Make positive the URL has no issues.
url inspection in google search console.

Google PageSpeed Insights

google pagespeed insights.

Google Mobile-Friendly Test

mobile-friendly test by google.

2. Discoverability

Second, these pages have to be discoverable for engines like google, which comes all the way down to inner hyperlinks and XML sitemaps.

Make positive new pages aren’t orphaned or anchored too low in crawl depth. Crawl your web site on a staging surroundings with freshly deployed options and evaluate metrics like crawl depth and inner hyperlinks to related pages on the dwell model of your web site.

crawl depth report from screaming frog.
A crawl depth report in Screaming Frog.

Rolling out a couple of thousand pages directly with out linking to them correctly can do extra than simply decrease the success of a brand new function—it could result in crawl finances issues as nicely.

One solution to keep away from this problem is so as to add a homepage module that hyperlinks to hub pages (typically class pages) on which the brand new function pages are linked. Also be certain that you hyperlink between new function pages to make it straightforward for:

  • Google to know their relationship;
  • Users to navigate between them;
  • Link fairness to move throughout the brand new web page template.

3. Relevance

Third, options want to handle a brand new consumer intent or job-to-be-done (i.e. present worth). Examine the queries you’re focusing on with the brand new function and ensure the data and worth you present are adequate for customers to get one thing out of it. Optimizing for search with out optimizing on your customers, model, and so on., has no future.

In addition to monitoring rankings for focused question patterns, have a look at consumer satisfaction metrics, which rely upon the unique intent of the question. In most circumstances, it’s both time on web page, scroll depth, or a triggered click on occasion. I like to recommend a mixture of all three, if doable.

Making a case for brand spanking new product options

Unless you’re a small, agile startup, transport new options isn’t so simple as it sounds. You’ll seemingly need to make a case to get developer and designer assets and convey your asks into the correct codecs for product groups to push them ahead.

Three issues will enable you together with your pitch.

1. Know the method

If you’ve by no means heard the time period scrum or agile earlier than, you’re behind. New options have to be written in consumer tales to suit the scrum framework.

The sample follows, “As a user, I would like to…” and describes the ultimate end result for customers. Then, builders can create tickets for each bit that results in the end result.

Also word that builders work in sprints, normally over two weeks, with a planning and retro session. If you may, be current in each to evaluate whether or not the function is getting constructed the best way you envision.

2. Define worth

Product leaders typically wish to see an estimate of returns. Resources are scarce and have to be prioritized in accordance with potential impression. In plain phrases, asking a staff to construct one thing “just because” isn’t sufficient. You have to deliver numbers.

Luckily, it ought to be comparatively easy to estimate site visitors from the queries you recognized throughout question syntax analysis. Your job is to attach the potential site visitors to a quantity that displays enterprise impression—{dollars}, ideally.

3. Start small

Launch Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) when you may. Either roll out a brand new function on a subset of pages or with restricted performance. MVPs permit you to show impression rapidly, get extra assets, and again up your roadmap.

Make positive you benchmark efficiency earlier than you launch an MVP function. Have a plan for measuring success and doc your findings.


SEOs are sometimes handed lofty objectives and work underneath excessive strain. They have to prioritize their efforts in a means that exhibits outcomes; in any other case, they threat dropping credibility and assets.

Companies that scale natural site visitors with their stock not often want backlinks. More typically, they want technical Website positioning. However, even one of the best technical Website positioning reaches some extent when 90% of alternatives are maxed out, and progress slows. In this case, new product options within the type of new web page templates or data sorts are key.

If profitable, feature-driven Website positioning alternatives will help an organization broaden vertically, by focusing on extra verticals, or horizontally, by providing new providers. Website positioning is a pull channel, and search quantity is indicative of demand.

The largest problem is to get the required funding to go after such alternatives, and the best way to beat it’s to make a powerful, data-driven case.

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