How to Build SEO Into a Product

I’m ceaselessly requested how to develop natural visitors exponentially.

While that’s a huge query, one level I all the time make is that natural visitors from the product beats content marketing each time.

SEO works a lot better whilst you don’t have to create the content material your self.

But for that to work, you want to construct SEO into your product.

Companies that perceive this concept have a lot upper possibilities to develop SEO visitors at scale.

What Does ‘Building SEO Into the Product’ Actually Mean?

Instead of creating SEO an afterthought and attempting to glue it onto an current product, “building SEO into the product” method growing a product with SEO in thoughts.

Considering what person intent it would fulfill.

Thinking about content material.

Defining a scalable structure.

Products with SEO of their core DNA encourage and bring indexable, helpful content material at scale.

In basic, merchandise can also be “closed” or “open.”

  • Closed merchandise stay the person enjoy gated.
  • Open merchandise permit customers to enjoy a a part of the product’s price ahead of signing up.


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Not all merchandise can disclose a a part of their price.

Calendly, for instance, is a useful calendar control app, however there is not any helpful manner to disclose a part of the core product price to search engines like google.

If Calendly desires SEO visitors, they want to create the content material themselves (which they do). Most organic traffic comes to their weblog (see underneath).

Calendly drives maximum natural visitors thru their weblog.

Another instance is Canva, which does a nice activity at construction helpful content material that converts searchers to customers with templates and guides that sign prime intent and ship other folks instantly into the product with one click on.

How to Build SEO Into a Product

Some industry fashions merely don’t permit to construct SEO into the product – and that’s OK.


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Long gross sales cycles, “techy,” or non-software merchandise don’t want to depend on utility to achieve success.

But the purpose is that they may be able to be simply as a hit leveraging SEO. It’s simply a other playbook.

On the opposite aspect are merchandise like Notion, Trello, Pinterest, G2, or Amazon. These merchandise have SEO of their DNA.

They have other industry fashions however leverage SEO to develop at a important scale.

Notion and Trello, for instance, will have selected to shut the product enjoy. Instead, they enable notes, forums, or pages to be publicly visual and indexable by search engines like google.

Web traffic for Trello.comTrello drives natural visitors thru indexable forums and playing cards.

How Does It Work?

There is not any fastened procedure for growing merchandise, simply a set of tips and ideas:

  • Achieve a product-market have compatibility.
  • Build one thing a huge marketplace desires.
  • Solve actual issues.
  • Provide a great user experience.

The core query you want to ask your self when construction SEO into the DNA of your product is that this:

What options are you able to disclose to search engines like google that fulfill a person intent?

If you’ll tie the worth of a product function to an intent other folks categorical on search engines like google, you’ve were given one thing!

A useful framework to discover what that may be is Jobs to Be Done by Clayton Christensen, a former Harvard professor, creator, and developer of the disruptive innovation idea. According to the Christensen Institute:

“The theory of Jobs to Be Done is a framework for better understanding customer behavior. While conventional marketing focuses on market demographics or product attributes, Jobs Theory goes beyond superficial categories to expose the functional, social, and emotional dimensions that explain why customers make the choices they do. People don’t simply buy products or services; they pull them into their lives to make progress. We call this progress the “job” they’re attempting to get accomplished, and figuring out this opens a international of innovation probabilities.”


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A 5-Step Process for Building SEO Into a Product

Based in this thought, right here’s a five-step procedure to assist you to construct SEO into your product:

1. Identify the Jobs-to-be-Done

When construction SEO into a product, you want to perceive what jobs other folks can use it for, which could be very comparable to the core downside you to start with set out to clear up.

However, you will have to additionally take a look at smaller issues your product solves.

Make a record of most of these issues.

2. Match Product Content with Exposable Content

Your product wishes to expand, create, or combination some kind of content material searchers can to find thru Google and other search engines.

This is ceaselessly comparable to user-generated enter: opinions, curations, posts, forums, and so on.

For instance, opinions or votes permit you to combination information, visualize it, and disclose it to search engines like google. You too can create the stock your self, say for native products and services or shoppable stock for ecommerce.

3. Define a Scalable Taxonomy

You want to outline the way you classify your product’s information or content material.


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At this level, you build a logical and scalable architecture out of classes, sub-categories, and circumstances or merchandise. You too can go for a flat structure as social networks do with hashtags.

In maximum circumstances, this step is pre-defined by the structure of your product and the way other folks use it.

4. Decide How Much of the User Experience You Can Expose

Look at how a lot of the person enjoy you’ll disclose in a helpful manner.

You can’t give away the entire product totally free until you employ an advert style.

The function here’s to convert guests to sign-ups by gating the overall enjoy.

It’s a balancing act.

5. Validate User Intent

Finally, you want to validate that your content material satisfies person intent.

Check if the keywords you target have seek call for and whether or not you’ll clear up the issue individuals are taking a look out to clear up.

For instance, Pinterest forums encourage other folks. G2 opinions lend a hand them assessment utility. Notion templates lend a hand them customise their very own pages.


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We’re coming full-circle to the Jobs-to-Be-Done framework, as you’ll see.

Let me come up with some other instance.

Doordash is a 3-sided market of consumers, eating places, and drivers. Since consumers start up the worth chain and no one searches for drivers, indexing eating places is essentially the most logical selection.

Since eating places are tied to a locale, Doordash classifies them by town and the kind of eating place.

The person intent is discovering a explicit more or less meals in shut proximity or on the lookout for inspiration for what to consume. Designing and growing their product in that manner labored out actually neatly for Doordash.

Doordash dashboard example; product pages are optimized for user intent.Doordash’s product pages are optimized for “near me” person intent

Hard & Soft Requirements

When construction SEO into a product, there are laborious and comfortable necessities.


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Without assembly the laborious necessities, you gained’t draw in natural visitors.

You don’t have to meet comfortable necessities, however they are going to build up your possibilities of scaling SEO visitors temporarily.

Hard necessities:

  • Google should be in a position to render publicly out there pages.
  • Google should be in a position to get admission to and move slowly all publicly exposable pages.
  • To rank pages, they should include treasured content material: keep away from any sorts of thin content.
  • Search pages shouldn’t be listed (Google doesn’t need to ship searchers to some other seek web page).

Soft necessities:

  • Users will have to convert one way or the other, whether or not it’s signing up for an email newsletter or for the product, to create industry price past logo publicity.
  • In the most efficient case, the content material is both created robotically or by customers (UGC).

It’s All About Loops

The function of creating SEO into a product is to draw in new customers thru natural seek.

But it doesn’t prevent there.

You additionally need them to join your product and upload price to your product. That will then lead to extra content material and sign-ups from customers.


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In different phrases, you want to construct an acquisition loop.

Also referred to as “flywheels,” acquisition loops are self-reinforcing techniques.

For instance, a person builds a public Trello board, it ranks on Google, searchers to find it, sign-up, and arrange their very own board.

To measure the luck of SEO, we’d like to take a look at it from that more or less holistic standpoint. It’s what I name “Organic Growth” – the intersection of enlargement and SEO.

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Image Credits

All screenshots taken by creator, January 2021

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