How Topical Authority Helped Respona Grow 0 to ~100K Monthly Organic Visitors

Oct 5, 2022 4 min read
Topical Authority by George Chasiotis

Learn how George and his team grew SaaS startup, Respona to 100,000 monthly visitors leveraging the latest SEO techniques.

This week we focus on the organic growth journey of a <50-employee SaaS startup named Respona.

In two years, our podcast guest and his team wrote close to 100 blog posts, driving 20,000 organic keywords—1,500 of which were in positions 1-3.

The result: Around 100,000 monthly visitors.

👏👏

A lot of people write 100 blog posts in two years.

That's only one per week after all.

But, most never reach 100,000 in monthly traffic.

There's a secret sauce to that.

In this week's podcast, you'll find out:

  • How to choose which topics to write about
  • How to identify the intent behind a keyword
  • What is topical authority and how to achieve it
New here? Check out our fast-growing library of SEO case studies and strategy teardowns.

Three Highlights From This Case Study

Hey 👋  

My mission is to make the life of a startup marketer MUCH easier.

It's such an overwhelming journey already and I've been there, burned out myself.

To work toward that mission, when I have spare time, you'll also receive key takeaways from the episode.

I know it can be hard to find the time to listen to the full episode and take notes yourself—so I hope this helps.

(This is a light version of the strategy playbooks How the F*ck Premium members get each week. This week we've got something 10x for Premium peeps).

Here are three things you should take away from this episode:

1. How do you choose which topics to write about in SEO?

My framework for this aligns with what we discuss in the episode, so I'll share it.

In as simple terms as possible:

What are the most loved features and use cases of your product or services?

The topics you write about should focus on the high-level, overarching theme of those features and use cases.

For example, let's say you are Mailchimp.

Your most loved features are:

  • Easily embeddable email sign up forms
  • Email analytics (click rates, etc)
  • Email design & automation

The high-level topic here is, of course, "email marketing".

That's a very, very broad topic, which is actually a pretty good thing. Lots of potential and instantly clear subtopics, "email analytics", "email design", "email automation".

But, what if you're pre-product market fit and you don't have a clearly defined customer persona, nor do you know what features users enjoy most.

All you can do...is make your best assumptions and use SEO as an audience research tool to learn about the WHO and WHY.

Fair warning, be prepared to pivot your content strategy when the product pivots...

💡
"In the early 2000s, Bob Moesta, an innovation consultant, was charged with boosting sales of new apartments built by a construction company in Detroit..." Read how JBTD theory applies to SEO here.

2. How do you choose which keywords to write about?

Now you've got your topic(s), you've got to be selective about which keywords to write about.

Keywords on email marketing from Ahrefs

The topic of email marketing has 46,000+ search terms to cover. So you'll want to be strategic about which one's to write about.

In the episode, George lists the different search query types.

Here are some example:

  • Jobs to be done: "Free email templates"
  • Informational keywords: "What is email marketing?"
  • Commercial keywords: "email marketing software"
  • Transactional keywords: "Mailchimp pricing"

All of these keywords represent a searcher at different points in their customer journey.

The terms most likely to convert the reader in to a customer = commercial and transactional keywords.

Ranking #1 for these terms should be your ultimate goal.

In my opinion, the first point of call in your content strategy should be to write for these "bottom of funnel" keywords.

They could look like product/ feature landing pages or 'top 10 email marketing software' blog posts. Get them written.

However, this does not mean you should ignore top of funnel keywords like "What is email marketing?".

Yes, this person is early on in their customer journey maturity stage, but writing this content serves an important purpose.

Let's look at why.

3. What is topical authority and why does it matter?

Google has stated that a ranking factor is authority and expertise. They want to serve the searcher with content written by people who actually know what they're talking about.

One way to show Google you're the expert? Building topical authority.

Topical authority is created by writing 50+ articles about one main topic, e.g. from top to bottom of funnel, all of the questions, queries and keywords on the topic of "email marketing".

If you want to win that high intent, commercial keyword "email marketing software", then you'll likely have to write that low intent keyword "what is email marketing?" too.

You want Google to say “these guys talk frequently about this topic, chances are they know a lot about it”.

You also want your reader to think “these guys have written a lot about this topic, I’ll trust them, stay here longer and will read their other content.”

Topic clusters

One way to structure how you write to win topical authority is via topic clusters. I won't deep dive this right now but read about it in this excellent article by the podcast guest, George Chasiotis.


Hope you enjoyed the read 👊

If you'd like to join How the F*ck Premium you can for just $8 per month. You'll support this community + get additional materials, frameworks and strategies every week to improve the impact of your organic growth strategy.

Here's an example of this week's bonus content and here's the rest of the Premium Library.

With love,

Ben

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