This week's SEO case study is with the world-class SEO & content strategist, Jakub Rudnik.
Safe to say he's been around the block. He was at G2 during the hyper-growth years, on which he notes:
"At G2, the big thing was our big goal of total articles written not the end result. It was the biggest mistake we've made in our career, writing 500 articles that never generated traffic or revenue or anything.”
He's also an ex-writer for the Chicago Tribune and a journalism professor, giving him an eye for what grabs the reader's attention—more on that later.
Now leading content at Scribe, I catch up with Jakub to hear how his team grew monthly traffic from 0 to 30,000 in 7 months.
In his time at Scribe, they've grown 40x from 5,000 product installs to 200,000.
But, figuring out what content drives signups has been an iterative process.
Whether it's topic types, use cases vs personas keywords, or on-page optimizations, overtime experimentation has allowed them to hone in on revenue-driving content.
Jakub notes that the power of publishing 50-100 articles monthly, is that you have up to 100 new data points to learn from and help reallocate resources every single month.
Expect to learn:
⚡ How to build a world-class content strategy that actually drives revenue.
⚡ How journalism and content marketing overlap (and where they don't).
⚡ How Scribe iterated its content strategy around revenue signals.
⚡ Whether SEO is right for your company, and how to leverage your product in your strategy.
Listen to the episode here.
How Scribe Grew from 0-30K Monthly Visitors in 7 Months
In this case study, Jakub Rudnik walks us through the first seven months of his role as Head of Content at Scribe.
In three short months, Jakub grew Scribe’s organic traffic from 0 to 15,000 monthly visitors. By month 7 they’d hit 30,000.
The project drove so much immediate ROI that he unlocked 4x the budget, increasing publishing from 25 to 100 blog posts per month.
Jakub’s background in journalism helped Scribe breathe quality into its content. Whereas his experiences with G2 helped him avoid content creation pitfalls and *actually* drive content-led revenue growth.
Before the start of the project
- 0 organic visitors
- 500 referring domains
- 5k product installations
- 350 blog posts in total over the course of 7 months (20-30 monthly for 3 months, then ramping up to 100 per month)
- 7 months of publishing
- 2 in-house marketers + a range of freelance writers
- $10k a month new content budget, increased 4x as the strategy started showing results
- Average of $400 per article (more if for longer or more impactful articles, less if it’s an experimental subject)
Results in December 2022
- 30k organic blog visitors a month
- 1800 referring domains
- 200k Chrome store installations
Let’s deep dive into the techniques and frameworks Jakub and his team applied to help Scribe rise to the top of the search results.
Why Scribe Chose SEO as a Growth Channel
SEO is not for everyone.
Every website should have strong SEO foundations: fast, optimized, architecturally sound, and should aim to keyword optimize where possible.
But, the kind of fast-growth style SEO we often hear in these stories is resource-intensive. It's not just $10,000 a month. It's the setup, the templates, the editing, and the testing. It takes a small army to get right.
And, for some innovative use cases, finding the sparse keyword opportunities will mean stepping away from the problem your product actually solves.
When this is you, SEO is not always the best way to grow and that budget might be spent better elsewhere.
For Scribe, SEO was easily the right choice for a few reasons:
- The product has lots of use cases. As a tool that helps anybody build “how-to” guides the use cases are vast and cross teams, companies, company sizes, and the like. That means the opportunity to target searchers on Google is vast.
- It’s a product-led growth tool with a very simple, free, instant sign-up process. That makes it easy to include in a list and easy to embed into a how-to guide.
Scribe as a product also lends itself naturally to SEO.
When Scribe customers use the tool, it generates an indexable webpage that looks like a "how-to" guide. Those often hit the first page of Google by themselves.
For example, a Scribe ranks #3 for the keyword "OnlyFans login" driving an estimated 8000 monthly visitors. (Note: Ahrefs estimations are often inaccurate for brand key terms like this)
The freemium product is hosted on the site's domain, too, which helps them naturally build backlinks. For example, the UN's HR department has used Scribe and linked to it as an internal resource, giving Scribe a backlink:
These factors, along with early signals that confirmed these assumptions, meant investing in SEO made sense for Scribe.
Content Strategy: How Scribe Chose Which Topics to Write About
Jakub was not always into the SEO game. He’s an ex-Chicago Tribune writer, journalism professor, and content manager by profession.
For that reason, I was particularly keen to get his advice on content strategy.
Jakub’s team went through a bit of trial and error before they found a successful method for choosing topics that converted readers to customers.
Here was their process for choosing what to write about: