Zapier is widely known for its ability to enable automation. 🔧
But you know what else it should be known for?
Its brilliant search engine optimization (SEO) strategy on how to capitalize on app partners.
Now, these tactics aren’t your usual SaaS SEO efforts that everyone talks about.
However, their unique approach has earned Zapier a whopping 5 million monthly organic search traffic!
So, without further ado, let’s explore the challenges Zapier faced and the SEO solutions it implemented that grew the company to its current position.
This Article Contains:
- Zapier’s Challenge as a SaaS Tool
- Zapier SEO Strategy: A Road Map to 5M+ Organic Traffic
- The Risks of a Programmatic SEO Strategy
Zapier’s Challenge as a SaaS Tool
Zapier is a middleware tool that connects one application to another third-party app. It allows users to build and customize automated workflow processes in over 5,000 apps.
For example, if you use Slack, you can use Zapier to send info between Slack and Google Calendar automatically. This lets you automatically update your Slack status during a Google Calendar event, post calendar events on Slack channels, and more.
Zapier isn’t in the picture all too much.
The tool helps you form connections between apps behind the scenes, which helps users unlock new functionalities. However, it doesn’t perform any customer-facing operations.
And you’ve probably heard this: out of sight is often out of mind.
So, how does it get users to visit its website?
Read on to discover why the strategy makes for a great search engine optimization case study.
Zapier SEO Strategy: A Road Map to 5M+ Organic Traffic
Zapier’s SEO efforts are centered around leveraging its 5000+ app partners’ traffic. 🚗
These apps already have a massive (and growing) user base.
Zapier captured their users’ attention by delivering helpful content based on their interest in knowing more about the apps’ integrations and uses.
Let’s see how the company did it:
1. Using Programmatic SEO to Reach 40K+ App Pages
Zapier has built a repository of over 40k app pages, including:
A. Dedicated landing pages for each application.
(URL structure: zapier.com/apps/app-name/integrations)
B. Separate landing pages for each app to app integration.
(URL structure: zapier.com/apps/app-name/integrations/connecting-app)
C. Separate pages for each app to app automated workflow — called a Zap.
(URL structure: zapier.com/apps/app-name/integrations/connecting-app/number/workflow)
You’ll notice these pages also have a set URL structure, which is an important element for technical SEO.
Now, you may be thinking: Isn’t this a lot of work?
Yes, it would typically require tremendous effort.
However, Zapier used a programmatic SEO approach to templatize these pages and produce them at scale.
You can think of it as SEO automation.
This made quick work of time-consuming manual processes by following a uniform structure to create these programmatic SEO pages. Imagine how long it could take to create each integration page page-by-page!
Moreover, Zapier doesn’t create all of the content on each integration page themselves.
The company has their app partners submit parts of it while onboarding them. Of course, the copies must follow the editorial guidelines created by Zapier. This ensures that all app integration pages follow a set standard and structure.
A huge collection of programmatic SEO pages that users seek out when they want to know how to integrate applications they use personally or professionally.
In fact, these app pages bring in over 150K organic search traffic — one of the primary metrics to determine SEO success. Not bad!
It’s worth noting that multiple factors contribute to these pages’ SEO success, including:
- Branded keywords with high search volume
- Valuable and original content
- Addressing user search intent by offering something with inherent value
- Programmatic content creation paired with SaaS SEO best practices can earn high rankings on search result pages and draw traffic.
- Integration-focused content can help SaaS tools capitalize on other businesses’ branded keywords.
- Pages must address the search intent to help you convert visitors into customers.
2. Winning User Attention with Blog Posts and Guides
Earlier, we showed you how Zapier’s 40K+ app pages helped them build traffic. But there’s another winner that drives massive traffic — Zapier’s blog posts.
With a tenth of the number of pages compared to the app pages, Zapier’s blogs help garner over 10x the traffic.
It’s a shining example of why blogs are brilliant for content marketing.
How does Zapier do it?
Zapier’s SEO marketing strategy employs blogs and guides to create target top-of-the-funnel content.
Top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) content targets traffic in the awareness stage who want to learn more about products and how to use them. Most of the time, these users are looking for answers in an accessible blog post.
This works perfectly since a potential customer would seek information on integrations for apps they already use. They may even sign up for Zapier once they discover its benefits. It’s about offering a solution users need.
In contrast, bottom-of-the-funnel (BOFU) content would target traffic looking to purchase a service. However, these users may rarely search for a middleware SaaS tool like Zapier directly.
So, the SaaS company creates original content around a Zapier integration that could capture the interest of a potential customer.
This includes blog posts about selecting the best tools or tool use cases, such as:
- Best social media management tools: https://zapier.com/blog/best-social-media-management-tools/
- Free project management software: https://zapier.com/blog/free-project-management-software/
- How to add a dropdown list in a Google Sheet: https://zapier.com/blog/how-to-add-dropdown-list-google-sheets/
- How to repurpose content for social media: https://zapier.com/blog/how-to-repurpose-content-for-social-media/
For reference, each of the tools they mention in those articles can integrate with Zapier!
The strategy helps Zapier target long-tail keywords (highly specific search queries with low search volume) and also lets it add internal links to app integrations.
Now, you may be wondering: Does this work out well?
Well, why tell you when we can show you?
These are Zapier’s top-performing pages:
But it’s not all about the traffic!
Zapier’s content marketing strategy is user-centric first and search engine friendly second.
They offer tutorials and strategies to conquer different situations and goals, like remote working and lead management automation.
It also has a subdomain called Zapier Learn, which offers walkthroughs or courses on how to set up automations and use Zaps.
These resources don’t garner a lot of traffic, but they boost the user experience and enable customer success.
- SEO-optimized blogs are one of the best content marketing strategies for driving traffic.
- SaaS tools should capitalize on content related to the apps they can integrate with to piggyback off those branded keywords.
- A good content strategy is customer-centric as much as it’s search engine friendly.
3. Gaining High-Quality Backlinks from its App Partners
Zapier leverages app pages to earn backlinks from its reputed app partners. This link building strategy is a part of the company’s onboarding process.
Here’s what it entails:
1. App partners set up an integration landing page on their website that links back to Zapier.
2. App partners link to Zapier from their blog post, plus add links to some of the top Zap pages.
These tactics help Zapier with link building, earning the company high-quality backlinks from websites with strong domain ratings.
Look at the domain ratings of these pages that link to Zapier.
- Backlinks from high-quality sources can help you boost your website’s domain ranking. (Note: It’s not the only way to improve your search result page rankings.)
- Integration pages on partner app websites can be a good source of additional traffic.
- Zapier ensures its partners inform their customers about the tool by having them promote its Zaps.
4. Creating a Content Hub Via Internal Links
Zapier has several content hubs covering various topics in its learn and guide pages.
But it has also created one massive content hub using app pages and internal links (another important technical SEO element).
Right from the main “apps” landing page, Zapier lists all their app partners with links to their main integrations pages.
Once you enter an app web page, you can check out related integrations, discover similar apps, explore triggers, and do much more. It’s an intricate tapestry of possibilities created through internal links.
Check out the similar apps you can explore on Zapier’s Google Sheet integrations web page.
This helps users and search engines find related pages easily.
The pages in these hubs also get the PageRank or domain authority benefits of the top-level pages (which receive high-quality backlinks), helping them rank higher.
For example, here’s the traffic that many of their ClickUp related pages bring in:
Most of these pages are easily accessible from each other!
- Content hubs can help search engines discover your pages faster. Plus, your content strategy can include app pages in addition to blog posts.
- Interlinking pillar pages (or pages with many high-quality backlinks) to related secondary pages helps pass on ranking benefits.
- Internal links (in the right amount) can help visitors find important and helpful related pages, improving their user experience.
Now, one of the main highlights of Zapier’s SEO strategy is its programmatic approach.
But is this approach viable for any tech or SaaS company?
The Risks of a Programmatic SEO Strategy
Programmatic SEO has its benefits, namely content creation at scale and saving time.
However, it isn’t without its risks.
Here are a few caveats to consider before you use a programmatic SEO strategy:
- Programmatic SEO can help you create content at scale. However, you need to ensure that each of the pages created offers value or insights to readers. It won’t be worth the effort if your pages are too bland to retain visitors.
- Creating content at scale means you’ll also need to maintain those pages to keep them up-to-date and search engine optimized. You could use SEO automation tools to run content audits and get update recommendations. But you’ll also need to ensure that pages don’t contain duplicate content or allow for keyword cannibalization (when multiple pages rank for the same keyword).
- Even if you create hundreds of pages weekly, Google will still take time to index them. You might even need to submit the pages for indexation manually.
Adopting Zapier Approach to Boost Traffic
Zapier’s SEO strategy may seem like an easy approach, or even a shortcut, to increasing your traffic.
However, it’s a strategy that took time and plenty of effort to perfect.
But in the end, it’s what got the company to 5 million and growing organic search traffic.
Fortunately, you can use this guide to learn from their successes and skip their mistakes.
But remember, you could find your SaaS SEO gold mine, just like Zapier!
All you need to do is identify the unique opportunities ideal for your business.
Need help with that?
Get in touch with Startup Voyager to discover the SEO opportunities that await your business. We’re experts at providing SEO services that drive massive traffic and help you convert customers. 💸