Hootsuite has one of the biggest SaaS blogs in the Social Media industry. The company has built a global brand for personal and business users, and the numbers back up their impressive growth. Just take a look at the following stats:
- Over 2.84M visitors a month to their blog
- Roughly 900,000 fans on Facebook
- Over 330,000 followers on LinkedIn
- 7.4 million followers on Twitter.
The company has succeeded in building a mammoth content marketing moat that helped to pull in:
- $137.1 million in annual recurring revenue as of March 31, 2020 (source)
- Over 200,000 paying customers in 2021 (source)
While the vast majority of SaaS companies struggle with content distribution, and how to get more eyeballs to their content that turns into leads & sales, Hootsuite is smashing it.
Their blog gets over 2.84M recurring visitors just from their purely SEO-focused content marketing strategy.
Today, I’m going to show you the best SEO & content marketing strategies that Hootsuite has used to grow dramatically.
Let’s dive in.
[Tip #1] Customer Advocacy
Get The Word Out On Major Review Sites To Get More Customers Easily
Hootsuite is no doubt the most popular tool to manage social media content. They have great reviews to back up this claim. Hootsuite is even the most popular tool of its kind according to the G2 review site.
This was only achievable by incentivizing their customers to leave positive reviews.
I don’t have concrete proof which method they used to incentivize their customers. But my educated guess is that they used discounts.
Check out the social media management software in the chart below.
These top companies such as Hubspot, Sprout Social, and Hootsuite dominate the review sites like Capterra and G2. The reputation they built over the years helped them maintain their status and grow to new heights.
[Tip #2] Create Useful Content
How to Play The Content Marketing Game Like a Pro
When we examined the Hootsuite blog with Ahrefs content explorer tool, the blog has over 1500+ published blog posts. Since November 2019 they have doubled down on content marketing, and you can see the jump in results.
They published more than 50 articles in December 2019 alone.
Towards the end of 2019, you can see they already set in place a different approach to content marketing.
On some days Hootsuite would publish somewhere between 2-3 lengthy blog posts. The focus has shifted to both quality and quantity.
For example, the top page, bringing in 6% of all site traffic, is a detailed how-to guide with more than 3000 words. Look how detailed this content is.
On the blog you will find three types of content they focus on. You can think of them as three hubs of content: Strategy, News, and Experiments.
- The strategy hub will offer readers actionable strategies like the best time to post content.
- The news will keep their existing users up to date about any rolled out features from the social platforms. Like Reels, or Carousels.
- The experiments will help their new and existing users to understand the changes in the algorithm in these social media platforms. Hootsuite will conduct experiments and share the findings with their audience.
Targeting certain keywords to rank will only get you far enough. But to achieve topical authority you must think broader and start targeting topics you want to rank for. Like Hootsuite, you have to start thinking about which topics you want to own.
After you get a few clusters under your belt, your website will begin to look like something like this:
Hootsuite developed these topical hubs after research and gaining a deep understanding of their audience. The three hubs touch a specific pain point their audience faces.
If a Hootsuite customer is facing challenges about understanding a new Instagram feature, guess where they will start? You can bet the content under the Experiment hub will be a good place.
The additional advantage of developing well-structured hubs will make your internal linking effort a lot easier. It will help you link topically related pages via internal links. And this will help the search engine understand the context of your content better.
[Tip #3] Featured Snippets
Dominating The Featured Snippet: Steal This Feature Snippet Strategy from Hootsuite to Double Your Organic traffic
In an interview with Zak Ramdani, Hootsuite SEO wizard, he mentioned to Search Engine Journal that smaller competitors were beating Hootsuite to some rankings.
They realized they lacked SEO integration strategy and had technical on-page SEO issues. Once they fixed it their traffic improved exponentially.
They doubled their traffic by focusing on on-page optimization.
They focused on landing the snippet features, by providing clear answers to search queries. By formatting their content properly for rich snippets, Hootsuite nailed this goal.
And this is exactly how they did it, according to Zak Ramdani:
- Get on page one. you don’t have to rank first on the results, but you must land a spot on the first page of the results.
- Analyze the results of the SERP. if there is an existing snippet feature, analyze what format the existing content is using.
- Fix your content structure, make it concise. It is important to structure your content in a way that answers the query. Write your heading and subheadings in a way that mirrors the user’s query.
- If the featured snippet is dominated by a big site with high authority, consider the following: Are they answering the query properly? If yes, your chances are slim to get the featured snippet. But if they are not answering it properly, it’s possible to beat them.
If you are still facing trouble getting the featured snippet, try to analyze how your competitor structured their content. Are the questions and answers placed at the top of the page or buried at the bottom of the page?
Hootsuite shifted its SEO strategy when the competition started to outrank them. They started to optimize for topics, not keywords.
[Tip #4] Share Unique Data
Share Unique Data That Works As Natural Link Magnet
Every once in a while Hootsuite will create a piece of content that’s packed with data, statistics, and infographics that’s valuable for marketers and journalists.
For example, this article about 44 Instagram Stats, is getting many organic links. It was published in January 2021, and the latest link came from The Guardian.
This wasn’t a one-time strategy, they did it again with a Facebook Stats article, Social Media Stats article, and YouTube Stats article.
They realized this type of infographic content was a natural backlink magnet. Stats are crucial not only for marketers, but big news outlets like Forbes, and The Guardian would be using and citing them.
Hootsuite is aiming to localize some of their content in different languages, this will help them get high-quality local backlinks. But the localized content won’t promote itself, they use outreach campaigns to promote the content and gain links.
Not all their links came through the outreach campaign. They do have natural, earned links, but these came after they started ranking on the SERPs.
[Tip #5] Focus On BOFU
Focus On Bottom of The Funnel to Increase Your Revenue Through Targeting Transactional Keywords
Before we get technical here, let’s define search intent, and how to differentiate between the different goals of a search.
Search intent is used to understand the end goal a user is trying to achieve from entering a query in the search engine. There are different search intent types:
Informational search intent: The user’s end goal is to obtain information. So they look for articles, videos, or any form of content that answers their query.
Commercial search intent: The user’s end goal is to weigh up their options. Their intent is to compare and consider available solutions to their problem.
Transactional search intent: The user’s end goal is to make a purchase.
Some queries you can pinpoint their intent, like “buy [product/service]”. However, not all queries are as clear-cut as this example. Each industry is different. It is on you to analyze the queries that are related to your business, and examine the intent behind them.
Hootsuite ranks high for the query “social media management software” in the SERPs. Which is considered a query that has a transnational intent in their industry. They also rank along with review sites. Google is trying to balance it by throwing some review sites in the mix. But the review site will mention the Hootsuite brand, and that is still a win.
Now that you grasped the user search intent, you need to understand the buyer’s journey. And how these two concepts intertwine.
Your audience will naturally fall under three separate funnels based on their current needs.
Top of The Funnel (TOFU): this is where you will find the majority of your audience. On this level, you are creating content that helps them understand their problem. Like, how-to articles, guides, and tutorials type of content. When they search queries on the search engine, they’re most likely searching under the impression of informational search intent.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU): your audience in this stage are aware of their problem, and considering available solutions in the market. When they search queries on the search engine, they’re most likely searching under the impression of commercial search intent.
Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU): This segment of your audience is ready to buy the solution. And when they search queries on the search engine, they’re most likely searching under the impression of transactional search intent.
Now back to Hootsuite,
Hootsuite’s top 10 keywords that bring the most traffic are highly relevant to their product and business.
When we examine the intent behind “social media management software” It is safe to say a user who is searching for the query is ready to make a purchase. Or at least seriously considering it.
Many SaaS companies get distracted and spend a lot of time and effort on informational intent keywords that target TOFU. They may invest little-to-no effort in keywords optimizing for transactional keywords targeting BOFU.
Remember, the latter effort has the potential to directly impact your business goals and revenue.
[Tip #6] Content Upgrades
The “Content Upgrades” Strategy That’ll Increase Your Email Subscribers Tenfold
To generate new leads, many SaaS companies turn to lead magnet tools. For example, Shopify has a tool to help users generate name ideas for their e-store. Ahrefs has a Webmaster Tool you can use to view your site health, and monitor your backlinks.
Almost all of Hootsuite’s blog posts have a CTA to valuable lead magnet content. Like a checklist or a social media content calendar. They know not all their readers are here to be part of their paying community. Maybe they’re at a different stage in the funnel.
So, what is the solution?
Hootsuite accommodates and provides different types of content at all stages in the funnel.
A lead magnet can also be an e-book, a checklist, or a discount code for the next purchase.
Most of Hootsuite’s lead magnet content is like an ebook, a checklist, or a tool. For example, the engagement calculator tool, and the social media content calendar spreadsheet.
Hootsuite doesn’t have a traditional lead magnet like other SaaS companies, but their gated content, like the social media content calendar spreadsheet, does solve their customer’s problem and offer tremendous value.
For instance, the social media content calendar helps their audience organize their monthly content distribution across multiple social networks. This is especially good for those who aren’t looking for paid options yet. You will find similar gated content promoted across all their articles.
Lead magnet tools don’t work on every customer. They are usually aimed at users at the bottom of the funnel. The commitment level is higher as the user needs to willingly give away their contact information.
[Tip #7] Pick Your #1 Channel
Double Down on What Works (1 Absolute Traffic Channel)
Most of Hootsuite blog traffic comes from organic traffic (84%, to be precise). But this is only possible because they are constantly putting out quality content. And dedicating promotion efforts to make sure the content they produce is placed in front of the right eyeballs.
Paid traffic is not part of their content marketing strategy at this point. Organic traffic is proving to be much more effective and providing the best ROI.
Paid traffic has its place, but organic traffic has more value, and here is why:
- Cost: this is the most obvious advantage. Paid traffic will guarantee to put your content in front of potential site visitors, and you will see some results. But the moment you stop paying, you will stop seeing any results. Having a content strategy backed with SEO principles will give you an edge over your competitors, who are stuck in the paid traffic dilemma.
- Credibility: most internet users are savvy. They believe companies who exclusively take a paid traffic approach on the results page are usually behind the market in presence and credibility. But Hootsuite by targeting organic traffic they solidify their online presence and reputation.
- Mowing down the competition: Hootsuite’s aggressive organic traffic approach is effectively blocking competitors’ online presence. The more effort you invest in improving your organic search traffic, the higher your site appears in search ranking. And pushing your competitors further down.
- Constantly engaged visitors: Hootsuite ranks for relevant keywords like ” Best time for posting on Instagram” this helps them acquire targeted traffic. And a consistent flow of new leads and customers. But the trick is you have to create a rich content experience. When users are invested in your content, they keep coming back.
[Tip #8] Multiple CTAs
CTAs are critical components of all websites to generate leads, especially on your blog. Without proper CTA, visitors will have a hard time converting.
You might think the more CTAs you have the better, right? It depends. You can increase conversions by placing different types of CTAs and in different formats. Targeting different parts of your marketing funnel.
Hootsuite’s approach to CTAs is placing many CTAs that target all different types of audiences in the funnels. For instance:
Get Started CTA: it is placed for the bottom of the funnel customers. These visitors have engaged with Hootsuite content for a while. And now are convinced their product will solve their problem.
Try it for Free CTA: it is a call-to-action that leads to starting a free trial. This CTA is targeting the middle of the funnel audience. And these visitors are considering their available options.
Sign up (Newsletter) CTA: it is placed for the top of the funnel audience.
Smart CTA sliders (Bottom right corner): the smart CTA changes depending on the content the visitors land on. If the content is related to Instagram post scheduling, the smart CTA slider will provide a relevant CTA. Like social media content calendar. This CTA targets the top of the funnel audience and provides an actionable solution to their problem.
With this approach to CTAs, you’re serving tailored content to each audience in the funnel. And you can increase conversion throughout the entire funnel. Not just one part.
8 Takeaways from Hootsuite 2.84M Visitors a Month SEO-focused Content Marketing Strategy
Hootsuite has built a unique content marketing strategy that helped them stand out in the noisy social media space and become wildly successful.
The brand produces customer-fit content that’s insanely useful, gaining natural links to their epic blog content in the process.
There is a ton of information to learn from and apply to your own situation. Remember, always test, identify what works, and double down on this strategy.
Here are the key takeaways:
- Incentivize your customers to leave positive feedback on review sites like Capterra, SourceFrog, and GetApp, especially if you’re a new SaaS company. Give away discounts and freebies.
- Approach the content creation game with a broader perspective. Develop topical hubs that relate to your audience’s pain point. Under these topical hubs, you can target keywords that help you achieve your content goals.
- To rank for snippet features your first goal post should be getting on the first page of results. Your answer should mimic the query structure. If you’re competing with a big competitor to land the snippet, your only chance to outrank them is to answer the query better.
- Provide original data that’s relevant in your niche and present it in an easy digestible manner. But remember, having unique data isn’t enough. You must promote it and place it in front of the right eyeballs. If a big shark like Hootsuite is not shying away from promoting its content, you should follow their lead.
- Don’t focus too much on informational keywords. Create content that’s targeting transactional intent queries and keywords. Sometimes it could get tricky to distinguish between the two. Always ask yourself “what’s the user’s intent from searching this term?”
- The lead magnet you’re trying to promote should always strive to build a stronger relationship with your customers. Your lead magnet should help your audience overcome their pain points. You must create a win-win situation for your audience and your business. Give value before you ask anything in return.
- Find your best-performing traffic channel and double down on it. And always have room in your strategy for organic search traffic. Because it is a sustainable approach, and it will help you put your content traffic on autopilot.
- There isn’t a definite number to how many CTAs you can have per blog post. It depends on how many actions you want your audience to take. But having different CTAs that target all your funnel stages will increase your conversion rate.
So, what Hootsuite marketing strategy stood out the most to you? Will you apply it right away? Please let me know, I’d love to hear from you.