One of the biggest challenges content marketers have is actually converting the content readers into the high-quality leads.
But, what if I tell you that, with a little bit of effort, you can convert 5-10% of all readers?
Don’t believe me?
Well, that’s exactly what we accomplished with Userpilot.
In this article, we're gonna take a look at how Userpilot, a user onboarding software, gets over 100 high-quality leads through SEO every month.
But pay attention I'm not talking about content marketing here. I say SEO - which means that Userpilot is getting those high-quality leads passively, while doing nothing except some hard work in the very beginning.
But who are the Userpilot’s high-quality leads?
They are the ideal buyers, who bring over $150 to the Userpilot on a monthly basis (while some bring even more than $500/mo).
Now if you do the math - that's quite a lot of new MRR each month, right?
So the real question now is:
How did we help Userpilot to do this?
How on earth did we manage to give them tangible ROI from just 2 articles we wrote and a couple of guest blog posts?
Note: We've been cooperating with Userpilot for a long time, and we wrote them over 100 articles and guest blog posts - but in this particular scenario, we're gonna cover only 2 pieces.
Before I guide you step-by-step through the process of how we accomplished this, please let me break down Userpilot’s content marketing strategy first.
So, in a nutshell, Userpilot’s content marketing (and SEO) strategy are based on three main pillars:
- Identifying high-intent keywords (keywords that are often searched by people who would almost immediately be ready to buy Userpilots' product even if they have never heard about it);
- Writing in-depth and engaging content;
- Building backlinks through guest posting.
Although this might seem basic to you (I mean, everyone writes “engaging” content and guest blog posts, right?), believe me, it’s not.
We brought these three content marketing elements to the next level with some twists.
These twists are allowing us to get better results in less time, and you’re going to see how.
Now, let's go through each of these three pillars.
Here's the catch about this content marketing strategy:
Hence - we can see that keyword research plays an essential role.
After all - if you don't do your keyword research right - you will just end up wasting your precious time, money and resources.
But - the thing is - finding these "high-intent" keywords isn't too hard after all.It's actually easy-peasy.
Now comes the big reveal.
Here are the two articles that are bringing over 100 high-quality leads every month from SEO:
As you can see, both articles are 1st on Google.
Do you see the pattern here?
Both of these articles are trying to rank first for the alternative keyword.
More precisely - the focused keyword in the first article is Appcues alternatives, while the second article’s keyword is Walkme alternatives.
Whoever looks up these two keywords on Google (and Userpilot gets around 300 - 400 monthly searches for these articles) is someone who is highly likely to almost immediately buy Userpilot.
Because they're already using Appcues or Walkme (which are Userpilots' competitors), and they're searching for a better or more cost-effective alternative.
Hence - these two keywords are considered "high-intent".
So, how do you find these keywords?
It's pretty obvious - list your competitors - both direct and indirect ones.
People who are searching for your direct competitor’s alternatives will be more likely to buy your product.
On the other hand - someone who's searching for an indirect competitor’s alternative might be looking for the solutions that are already included in your product.
You can find potential customers and high-intent leads with both types of competitors.
So - once you have the list of your competitors - just type "[competitorName] alternatives" in your KW research tool.
Note that, from our experience, when it comes to the alternatives keyword, Ahrefs has a tendency to underestimate its search volume.
Once you start your keyword research - you'll notice one thing: there are two types of keywords:
Although the intent behind these two keywords might seem to be the same - it's not always like that.
From my experience - people searching for "competitors" are less likely to purchase any of the products listed inside the article.
On the other hand, the audience looking for "alternatives" is more likely to switch to you.
Although this might differ from industry to industry - pay attention to this. Either way - it won't be harmful to write a separate article targeting the "competitors" keyword as well.
Pay attention to two things while looking for your high-intent keywords:
The smaller your keyword difficulty is - the better. Greater keyword difficulty means more backlinks to your content.
In some, less developed industries, such as product-led growth, for example, the keyword difficulty will be extremely low. And this is great!
At this point - you've identified your high-intent keywords. Now is time to write engaging and converting articles.
As you already know, writing this high-intent article is half of the work.
So we need to be really careful and sharp here.
Griffon’s note: Yo horseman! Just a quick note here - you've probably noticed that we're discussing alternative articles (blog posts) instead of alternative landing pages. There are different reasons for that - but the most important ones are:
As we mentioned, the main goal of your high-intent articles (except for converting readers into customers, of course), is to engage and build a relationship with your target audience.
Here's the thing you want to avoid when trying to convert readers into your customers:
You don't want them to think: "Oh, God! This company is just trying to sell me their product!"
To avoid that, be honest with your readers.
Don't be too salesy. Don't promote your product.
Instead, look at the problem from the view of your competitor’s customer. Think about different aspects of the problem you want to write about.
What is it that bothers them so much? What are the pain points they're facing with your competitors' product?
There are various ways to find out about the info you need:
Either way - you need to understand the pain points and clearly point out how you are better than your competitors.
But don’t overdo it.
It's all about building relationships. If you read the articles we wrote for Userpilot - you will notice we clearly disclosed that we're a competitor of Appcues.
This breaks the "defending barrier" each human being has when someone tries to sell them something.
To really help your potential customers (believe me, you will save them hours of research, and they'll appreciate it), you need to have a clear and well-designed article structure.
Pay attention that every alternative description should be well-written, in-depth, crisp and honest. Don't worry about readers deciding to go with some other alternative product instead of yours. If you write the article in the right way - they won't.
Here's the article structure we used to write Userpilot’s articles and other high-intent blog posts for different clients:
You'll notice ratings in the outline.
In a nutshell - ratings serve as a comparative standard and they help with visualization. They're essential for your potential customers to better compare different alternatives throughout your article.
We're usually choose this design:
Another thing that you want to showcase is the usability of every alternative.
If you want to be honest, make sure to add different USPs (but true!) to every alternative. For example - in Userpilot's case, Walkme is excellent for Enterprise businesses, another alternative is better for Mobile apps, while Userpilot is perfect for SaaS businesses.
Here’s how we did it for lemlist’s Mailshake alternatives article:
Either way - take advantage of this to showcase your best Unique Selling Point while attaching other things to different alternatives.
But please - once again - be careful. Be honest. You don't want to get customers through an article only to lose them after they see that you lied.
When you're describing the disadvantages of the included alternatives (and your product as well) - make sure to add relevant screenshots and data to prove that. After all - you want to build credibility and reputation, right?
And now we come to the bottom line.
Although a lot of people think that bottom line or key takeaways (call that part whatever you want) is not essential - that's not true.
With any type of article, especially this one - that's the best place to prompt readers to take action or convert to customers and subscribers.
In alternative articles - you want to clearly showcase different USPs for every alternative.
If you followed these strategies and tactics - your article is now ready to be published. Once you start ranking in TOP 3 Google positions, you will be able to receive traffic and convert readers into customers.
If the difficulty for your keyword isn't big - then you might rank your article even without backlinks - but you need to have fantastic content (as we did with lemlist, for example):
But in a lot of cases - you'll need to have around 2 - 10 backlinks pointing to your blog post (in Userpilot’s case - if I remember correctly, we needed around 4 backlinks for each article to rank 1st).
As I already mentioned, the best way to build backlinks on alternative articles is to write guest blog posts.
If you approach this with traditional backlink building - you won’t see amazing results.
The reason for this is mainly because this type of content is “promotional”, and hardly anyone, except the people you write blog posts for, will give you the link.
Writing guest blog posts is another subject.
Ideally - you want to put your backlink in your author’s bio or inside the article. Just pay attention to use the exact or similar anchor text as your focused keyword.
Love what we did for Userpilot?
If you wanna improve your MRR with content marketing, we can help you. We’re specialized in helping B2B SaaS companies to go over $5m in ARR with content.
Schedule your free strategy call, now.
Userpilot, lemlist, Poptin, Document360, and many other SaaS B2B companies are enjoying the fruits of the leads we're bringing them through content marketing.
Are you the next?