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5 examples of product-led SEO
In this post, I highlight 5 examples of product-led growth and how they are different from each other.
Scaling SEO is not easy, neither in concept nor execution. While most sites drive SEO traffic through company-generated content, Product-led SEO allows certain companies to scale landing pages with content that comes out of the product. That approach takes less effort over time and opens the gates to SEO a/b testing, scaled internal linking, and building growth loops.
Originally coined by Eli Schwartz and his book of the same name, Product-led SEO is an aggregator strategy, and there different types. Some companies achieve this with user-generated content, others with integrations or apps. In this post, I highlight five different examples and types of product-led SEO.
Examples of product-led SEO
Figma - UGC
Design tool Figma is an archetypal example for aggregators that drive product-led SEO through user-generated content (UGC). The scaling mechanism for Figma is the community, where users can upload and sell templates for all sorts of use cases like mobile app design or GUI templates.
As you can see in the screenshot below, the /community directory has taken over landing pages and even the templates section on figma.com. UGC growth loops tend to scale better than a programmatic landing page strategy but come with indexing and spam challenges.
Other examples of UGC SEO strategies are Notion or Typeshare. With knowledge management software Notion, users can create their own wikis and allow Google to index specific pages or whole workspaces. Typeshare is a social posting tool that automatically adds social content to a mini blog that users can decide to index in Search.
Zapier - apps
Automation tool Zapier is known for their clever SEO strategy that combines editorial content with app integrations. With Zapier, users can automate workflows by combining actions between different types of apps - a great use case for aggregation.
Zapier’s app marketplace (/apps) currently drives13% of non-branded organic traffic. The majority still comes from the blog. Apps or integrations are the hardest to scale and make successful because they rank for other brand names. Ideally, sites find an unbranded keyword angle and target use cases with integration category pages.
Other examples of sites leveraging apps and integrations are Zoom (marketplace.zoom.us), Atlassian (marketplace.atlassian.com), or Slack (slack.com/apps).
Cameo - marketplace profiles
Celebrity shoutout-as-a-service platform (I’m proud of my creation) Cameo scales SEO through its inventory: celebrities. Its /browse directory makes up the lion share of non-branded organic traffic.
In essence, Cameo is a marketplace between celebrities who want to monetize their fame and customers who want a unique piece of content with a high signaling factor. Marketplaces can leverage their inventory to scale SEO, whether it’s celebrity profiles (Cameo), hotels (Tripadvisor), services (Thumbtack), events (Eventbrite) or Reviews (G2).
4/ Sensor Tower - programmatic landing pages
Mobile app data provider Sensor Tower uses app information to scale SEO with landing pages. The strategy is similar to that of marketplaces, with the difference that Sensor Tower aggregates the data itself instead of having users create profiles.
Sensor Tower has two directories for mobile apps: /ios and /android. In the chart below, you can see that they drive significantly more organic traffic than the blog.
An additional benefit of the programmatic approach is the ability to create category and rank pages. Sensor Tower built pages for different categories of mobile apps and for all sorts of ranking criteria (for example, top gross apps for different countries and categories). The key in scaling programmatic landing pages is having depth of information, strong technical SEO, and content with sufficient user value.
Other examples or programmatic landing pages are chart site Statista or developer security platform Snyk (security.snyk.io).
5/ Grubhub - product inventory
The right page layout and content are key for sites that scale through product inventory. Grubhub’s city pages contain restaurants, text, and FAQ. Restaurants pages themselves follow a similar pattern: they cover meals to order, reviews, and FAQ. Another important factor is internal linking. City pages link to nearby cities, restaurant pages to restaurants in the same city.
Grubhub has also created pages for schools (order near a campus), hotels (order near a hotel), and zip codes to cover all possible user intentions.
Other examples of product inventory-driven sites are real estate site Zillow or coupon code side Retailmenot.
There are several approaches to product-led SEO and they differ in how content is created and what mechanism drives the creation of landing pages.
Other than integrators who have to create the content themselves, aggregators need a higher focus on technical SEO and treating their site as part of the product.
Zapier, Figma, Cameo, Sensor Tower, and Grubhub all scale SEO in slightly different ways, but all of them aggregate and inventory and optimize it through technical and product-led SEO.