When planning an online marketing strategy it’s imperative that you take into consideration SEO (search engine optimization). For many, SEO is the cheapest way to drive traffic to a site. But what do you do if the market is so competitive that it’s almost impossible to reach the top 20 of search engine keyword searches?
PandaDoc was built and labeled as an e-signature technology solution. When we began creating the semantic core for PandaDoc we encountered some disappointment in the beginning. CPC (cost per click) using Google AdWords was so prohibitively expensive that we could have easily wasted our entire marketing budget on just a few thousand clicks.
Even second-tier keywords we planned to use had a very high suggested bid; often even higher than our preferred keyword.
The problem we were faced with was: How can we gain long-term traffic to our website? Bids in AdWords were too expensive, likewise with banners on thematic sites. SEO competition was vast. Other keywords associated with e-signature didn’t see enough traffic to be profitable or seemingly make a meaningful difference.
What was the solution, you ask? It came as a sort of inspired “lightbulb moment.” We decided to try to bring traffic to the site through what e-signature technology could be used for: invoices, contracts, proposals, agreements, and forms. We engaged in Semantic Core Research and found nearly 400 keywords with low to medium competition that were searched for more than 200 times a month. As a result we expanded the site to host hundreds of different document templates that could be signed online.
As Matt Cutts of Google has said many times, “the future of SEO is in great content.” Following this statement, we decided to invest our marketing budget in quality content and began adding document templates created by attorneys and other contract professionals. Within a couple of months we had a number of template categories like
invoice templates. Organic inbound traffic from Google began to grow as a result.
Some problems we encountered
According to our research, one of the most important technical SEO factors for ranking is the text to code ratio; it is important to have more text on a web page (and great to have ratio of between 25% and 70%). You can always check your ratio by following this link. When we were creating the semantic core, we found that for many document templates it was very hard to create a lot of text. Some documents also still lacked really good and informative content. Blank invoices, for example, needed something more. But what else could we do?
PandaTips allowed us to have an appropriate ratio of content to code. Resolving all on-page grade problems so that we were able to produce quality content.
If your business has high competence, it is much more profitable to work in sub-niches. Imagine that you own a business focused on training dogs. Traffic in this niche is low, competence is high. One idea to help your website drive traffic would be to create a section within your website dedicated to dog photos where people can comment and also input their own content. This will likely help you convert more customers. Investing your money in great content is a great long-term strategy. For example, PandaDoc customers have found our templates very useful which has led to many social shares.
The main takeaway from this experiment: sometimes it can be more profitable to work with keywords that are tangentially related to your target audience and the use case for your product in order to drive traffic to your site. Through this we were able to convert countless numbers of people into customers without purchasing any links.
This is, however, just our personal experience. There are a lot of other tactics out there on how to grow traffic, place keywords, keyword density, and how to choose Isi, etc.
Let us know what you think in the comments section below!