Ever wonder how some brands just seem to dominate their category in SEO?
What does it really take to get their content to show up on page 1? How do they rank for multiple keyword phrases? Is it magic?!
FlowSEO’s Viola Eva answers these questions all the time. She and her team find brands who are winning at SEO, reverse-engineer their SEO strategies using public data, and then share what we can learn from their success. At this year’s Managing Editor LIVE Fall Summit, she turned her attention toward the SEO success of HR software company BambooHR.
Read on for the highlights from her session.
The Secret Sauce of BambooHR’s SEO Success
BambooHR’s SEO success depends on a few factors, starting with publishing many types of content, including long-form and evergreen content, resource hubs and product pages. The company targets many kinds of content while generating high-quality content in high volume. Here are three takeaways Viola shared from BambooHR’s success.
Making Smart Use of Glossaries
One way BambooHR excels is through an online glossary linking to 330 articles. The glossary helps organize all SEO content in one place while providing a helpful “topical hub” for the brand and readers.
Glossaries are “really good for internal linking, it’s really good for structure, and it just allows you to have other content types on the blog and make sure that they actually get seen properly,” Viola says.
Remember that you don’t have to choose between glossaries and blog posts — both have value. In fact, blog posts, infographics and other content formats can help your brand move people to the next step in the customer journey.
“People land on the glossary for the first time and then, ideally, you want them to go somewhere. … If you give them matching resources, templates or related articles about that topic, they have the opportunity to dig deeper into your site,” Viola says.
Using Popular Keywords on Multiple Pages
Another way BambooHR scaled SEO traffic is by using popular keywords on multiple pages, which helps each keyword phrase rank higher in search.
How does BambooHR rank so well? Besides articles and the glossary, the company also optimized its product pages. “People shy away from SEOing the product page very heavily because it needs to be very long. BambooHR has not shied away from this,” Viola says.
BambooHR embodies the concept of “E-A-T” — expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. The company earned its SEO reputation by creating high-quality, informative content, establishing authority and attracting natural links.
The glossary helps BambooHR’s target keyword phrases rank highly while providing a road map for site visitors, especially those who are browsing and looking to educate themselves.
“We don’t expect someone who’s already on the website to go click on the glossary and then read through HR terms,” Viola says. “The funnel basically works the other way around. So, when people are trying to get knowledge and educate themselves, they’ll type something into Google search, come into the blog post or glossary entry, and they read, learn — and from there, they go deeper into the site.”
Embracing Long-Form Content
BambooHR embraces long-form content throughout its website as part of its winning SEO strategy. But what does “long form” mean these days? It depends on the content you produce.
Viola says articles ranking on page 1 are easily 2,000 words for top-of-funnel, educational SEO content. An SEO-optimized landing page will be shorter, ranging between 800 and 1,200 words.
BambooHR stands out because it embraces long-form content with its product pages, too. Viola notes that almost 90% of BambooHR’s product pages have page 1-ranking keywords — and those posts are at least 1,500 words long.
“With time, we’ll also see shorter articles rank again, but right now, usually bigger is better just in terms of word count,” Viola says. “And I think in many ways, a longer article has the opportunity to use the keyword more often in a non-spammy and natural way.”
Find Your Angle
Smart brands follow SEO guidelines and best practices, but they also know that great content comes from innovative ideas and strong storytelling. To succeed at SEO like BambooHR, you need to elevate your brand’s voice, insights and expertise. Be interesting. Have a distinct voice and point of view. Write long form throughout your website.
“I think the tendency is always writing the same article over and over again,” Viola says. “And a lot of SEO content is incredibly similar, but that is an opportunity that, if you do SEO content well, people will recognize, and people will remember.”