🎯 Zapier's automatic traffic machine

How to systematise new signups

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Sometimes you read about how a company solved a problem, and it completely changes the way you think about that space.

This is one of those frame-breakers.

There’s something every business can learn from the way Zapier scaled their SEO traffic engine.

Automated. High-leverage. Scalable.

Before we unpack how they did it, a quick thanks to today’s sponsor for keeping these case studies free.

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Zapier's automatic traffic machine

Chess Move

The what: A TLDR explanation of the strategy

Zapier’s website brings in 5 million organic search visits every month (SimilarWeb).

That’s over 160k hits per day.

SaaS distribution heaven.

But ‘branded traffic’ (searches including the term “Zapier”) only accounts for 9.3% of their organic search volume.

So, how are so many non-branded searches landing on their website?

→ If you search “best note-taking app”, Zapier ranks 2nd.

→ If you search “meeting scheduler”, Zapier ranks above Calendly.

→ If you search “Google Sheets integrations”, Zapier ranks 1st, above the official landing page for Google Sheets integrations.

But Zapier isn’t a note-taking app, or a meeting scheduler, or Google Sheets.

It’s a tool for connecting other tools.

That means there’s an extremely broad set of possible use cases for their product.

💡 Strategy Playbook: Create scalable, high-leverage systems to produce broad-ranging content that funnels searchers directly into your product use cases.

Here’s 3 ways they do it:

Breakdown

The how: The strategic playbook boiled down to 3x key takeaways

1. A landing page for every use case

Imagine you are a writer using Notion as a content calendar, and Taplio for LinkedIn scheduling.

You want to automatically log published posts in a Notion database, to avoid manually copy-pasting each day.

You search: “How to integrate Notion with Taplio

The top results - both Zapier.

The 2nd link is exactly what you’re after. Click. You scan the page, sign up for free, and land directly in a ‘Zap’ configuration for your specific use case, bypassing any central dashboard or onboarding friction.

“Zapier realized early on that people were already looking for specific integrations. To capture this existing intent, Zapier decided to make the app partners in their integration ecosystem the stars of their marketing and piggyback on their success.”Ryan Berg

Zapier programmatically generated 3 types of landing page, covering every app, integration, and use case it supports:

  1. App integration (e.g. “Notion integrations”)

  2. App to app integration (e.g. “How to integrate Notion with Taplio”)

  3. Specific app to app use cases (e.g. “How to create new Notion pages when posts are published in Taplio”)

Zapier has 50k app landing pages, with 25k ranking in the top 100 on Google, accounting for 377k monthly organic hits (June 2022)

For any possible search related to integrations, Zapier has a landing page ready to capture your search intent.

2. Outsourcing to partners and users

To optimise the usefulness, uniqueness, and ranking of each landing page, Zapier developed a playbook that leveraged their partners and users for content creation.

  1. Zapier generated a template for each type of landing page.

  2. When onboarding new app partners, Zapier suggested they write the description and summary for each page associated with their app.

  3. Zapier incentivised partners to create this content by pitching themselves as a growth channel - with the amount of traffic Zapier generated, it made sense for partners to optimise the copy throughout their funnel.

  4. To expand the depth of partner app pages, Zapier’s public ‘Zapbook’ allowed users to share their custom automations - each user-generated ‘Zap’ grew the library of use cases and associated organic SEO content.

The results:

  • Each page was unique, benefitting SEO rankings.

  • Each page was written by the people most suited to pitch the value of the app, integration, or use case.

  • Each page was systematised and outsourced, requiring diminishing incremental effort for Zapier over time.

3. Content marketing backdoor funnels

Zapier doesn’t just capture traffic through it’s app pages.

In fact, Zapier’s blog represents over 67% of the company’s organic traffic.

They produce high-value informational pages, “best app” lists, how-to guides, and productivity articles that meet searcher intent, and introduce CTAs that guide users towards their product.

Take this article titled “The 7 best to do list apps in 2024”.

Even though Zapier isn’t a “to do list app”, it does provide integrations for to do list apps.

After crowning Todoist as the “Best to-do list app for balancing power and simplicity”, the article inserts ‘back door’ CTAs linking to specific ‘Zaps’.

These ‘back door’ articles target the long-tail traffic for high-volume keywords.

The “best app” lists are the highest performing on Zapier’s blog, with many generating 10k+ monthly organic search visits.

Importantly, these pages rank highly because they aren’t a ‘bait and switch’.

Readers get a high quality article satisfying search intent, plus some value-add for how to improve the highlighted solutions.

Unlike other affiliate marketing farms and product review sites, Zapier’s lists contain comparatively little bias, since they aren’t paid by the products they list.

Rabbit Hole

The where: 3x high-signal resources to learn more

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