Product-Led SEO (& personal story)

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Product-Led SEO (& personal story)

This piece of content is the work of a human mind.

In 2021, I decided to order Eli Schwartz’s book, Product-led SEO.

After reading the book, I reached out to Eli with the following email.

It seems that my copywriting skills (and a decent amount of luck) worked.

After a couple of email exchanges, Eli decided to come on as a guest to Minuttia’s then-new (now established) podcast, The SaaS SEO Show.

Eli’s book, along with my chat with him on the recording of his episode, was my introduction to the concept of product-led SEO.

A few months later, I was carrying out research for the episode with Jakub Rudnik from Scribe (Former Head of Content at Scribe).

Scribe is a tool that allows you to:

“Turn any process into a step-by-step guide, instantly.”

One thing that struck me while I was trying to uncover the minutiae of Scribe’s organic growth was a section on the website called “Gallery.”

My understanding is that this section is one of the best examples of product-led SEO.

Here’s why.

What is Scribe’s Gallery?

To add some context, Scribe’s Gallery is a section where Scribe’s users can upload their own step-by-step processes.

In essence, we’re talking about user generated content (UGC), since the “Scribes” are created by the community (of Scribe’s users) itself.

Image Source: Scribe

An example of this is a step-by-step guide on how to find contacts on Twitter:

Image Source: Scribe

In other words, UGC from Scribe’s users (AKA community) that’s automatically (or after human selection) added to a specific section of the website. Simple, right?

Things get really interesting when you pull back the curtain and see that some of these guides/pages—or, “Scribes” as Scribe calls them—are about subjects that people search for online, and thus get organic visibility and traffic.

According to Jakub:

“The Gallery is definitely a product-led thing, where our product is helping to grow our site traffic and people are signing-up organically”.
Jakub Rudnik Former Head of Content at Scribe

Here’s a breakdown of how that happens.

An organic growth breakdown of Scribe’s Gallery

When it comes to how this section performs, it’s first worth looking at the website’s total organic performance.

As of today, April 15th, 2023, Scribe receives 145K monthly organic visits:

These derive from over 100K organic keywords in Google’s SERPs:

And have a total traffic value (according to Ahrefs) of $82,708:

Considering the website’s traffic started to take off in July 2022, the growth is definitely noteworthy.

When it comes to the gallery section, it should be pointed out that the hub page lives in the gallery subfolder:

And all of the guides are under the shared subfolder:[scribe]/

Note: Ideally, the Scribes should live under the same folder, but I assume there are product reasons for following this URL structure.

What’s interesting is that the Gallery is responsible for over ~70% of the website’s total organic traffic.

This translates to almost 104K monthly organic visitors, according to Ahrefs:

It’s also significant that Scribe’s Gallery ranks for over ~55K keywords, which translates to ~55% of the website’s total organic keywords.

Last but not least, the gallery is responsible for ~23% of the website’s total traffic value, or $19.2K out of the total $82.7K.

Here’s a visual representation of all the numbers we’ve shared so far:

Let’s take a look at the performance of each individual guide.

First, according to Ahrefs, the gallery has over 3,400 pages.

Dividing the total number of visits the Gallery receives on average in any given month by 3,400, we get ~30 monthly visits per page.

This is not the reality, of course, since the guides all contribute to the subfolder’s organic performance in different ways.

There are a few guides that stand out.

For instance, the “Scribe” on how to use Github Blooket hacks receives 42K monthly organic visitors.

Image Source: Scribe

This is accountable for ~40% of the gallery’s total traffic.

Another guide worth mentioning is the one on how to sign in to Kahoot, which attracts ~27K monthly organic visitors.

Image Source: Scribe

Essentially, it seems that a handful of guides generate more than ~50% of the gallery’s monthly traffic, with the rest having a smaller contribution.

The guides are categorized, as shown below…

Image Source: Scribe

… but, except for user experience purposes, I don’t see any other value here.

According to Jakub, regarding the Gallery’s performance:

“The gallery is turning into this nice little experiment that Google’s seeing a lot of value in and so are the users. It’s something we didn’t expect a ton of organic traffic from but it’s happened really quickly.”
Jakub Rudnik Former Head of Content at Scribe

I’d say that the Gallery receiving organic traffic is just a side benefit here.

The main objective of this section—at least, as I see it—is to illustrate the value of the product through UGC.

Does the website also receive traffic and drive brand recognition from it?That would be great, but it’s not the main point.

And, that’s why Scribe’s Gallery is a great example of product-led SEO.

Think about it:

On the one hand, you have something that perfectly represents how your product works and, on the other hand, you drive organic traffic and brand recognition.

Of course, Scribe’s Gallery has CTAs to prompt people to create their own Scribes, but I doubt this is driving any sign-ups because, once again, that’s not the point. (At least, from my point of view.)

An intriguing element is the integration of engagement signals into the Gallery.

As shown below, there’s a total number of reactions for each Scribe and a list of buttons users can click on to share their reactions for that specific guide.

In a nutshell, what we have here is a case of a SaaS company doing something based on product, while also reaping the side benefits of SEO.

And, this, my friend, is why Scribe's Gallery is one of the best examples of product-led SEO.

And, now, let’s close with some final thoughts.

The Writer's

Final thoughts

A question arises here:

Can you adopt a product-led approach when it comes to SEO, regardless of the product?”

The short (and easy) answer is: “It depends on the product.”

The long (and not so easy) answer is: “Yes, you can.

The how depends on your product’s capabilities and how deep you’re prepared to go down the rabbit hole of uncovering opportunities like this one, and highlighting the product’s capabilities through a dedicated section on your website.

Can you also involve your users and make them (want to) create some of the content on this section (AKA UGC)?

Even better.

Can you also get organic traffic from this effort?

That would be great but, as discussed earlier, it’s not the point.

Thank you for reading this note and keep me posted on your product-led SEO efforts.

George Chasiotis
Founder of GrowthWaves
George Chasiotis is the Managing Director of Minuttia, an adaptive content marketing agency that drives growth, without the guesswork and without excuses. He’s also the Founder of GrowthWaves, a newsletter that helps you get smarter about growth. George started as an independent marketing consultant but was soon pulled down the path of creating an agency. In his free time, he imparts wisdom (read: rants) on LinkedIn or buries his head in psychology books to get down the “why” of human behavior.
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This piece of content is the work of a human mind.