Doing SEO for a SaaS company can be especially competitive. Even more so if you're new and starting out with a small team.
In this SEO case study, we'll talk about how CommandBar used search engine optimization to improve its organic traffic and more importantly, organic leads.
We spoke with Lucas, CommandBar's first hire outside the board about how he was introduced to Surfer by their CEO and the challenges they were able to overcome with SEO.
In the past, CommandBar would see initial traction on product and feature launches, but the original spike would return to a normal baseline after.
"So this is one of the major issues we had - When we have big launches, we get a lot of people that we bring in. And in between those peaks, there's kind of this baseline of normal activity. And so our idea with content and SEO was that we want to bring that baseline up. And that's where Surfer has been a huge part. I want to say, like 5x on our baseline since we've started using you all"
- Lucas, CommandBar
CommandBar is an AI-powered platform designed to enhance the user experience within digital products. It offers a suite of tools aimed at improving product adoption, user engagement, and overall user assistance.
Its AI-powered assistant, Copilot offers contextual help, making it a proactive tool for user engagement. It's like having an assistant that understands the nuances of the product and guides users accordingly.
Commandbar's marketing team wanted to generate leads from organic traffic by implementing SEO best practices on their blog.
"Our main objective is at a high level, to increase the number of prospects that we're generating for sales"
- Lucas, CommandBar
However, performing keyword research and writing search engine-optimized content require expertise and are difficult to scale.
In March 2023, Commandbar addressed these challenges by adopting Surfer's tools, which included implementing keyword research and on-page SEO, and applying SEO best practices on their blog so that interested readers would find them via organic search pages.
Commandbar's blog experienced a 3x increase in organic traffic over the course of the next few months, as evidenced by their Hubspot search analytics below.
Their organic traffic in August was over 200% higher than in February-March when they started using Surfer's tools.
They knew they were headed in the right direction when the improved traffic led to a 340% jump in leads generated from search organic traffic.
Ease of keyword research
CommandBar didn't have an internal SEO specialist to identify which topics they should write about.
As you can see, this wasn't a deterrent because, using the Surfer Keyword Research tool, they could easily identify a list of related topics to write about.
"And honestly, getting started with Surfer was so easy. You literally type in the keyword. It's just like, almost anybody can do it. I have no background in SEO. I understand the bare bones pretty much but it was very easy for me to understand how to use Surfer and how to get value out of it.
Same day, like a matter of minutes"
- Lucas, CommandBar
Improving product adoption, for example is central to what their tools do. Entering this generated a list of potential topics to write about.
Here are 77 ideas for articles that Surfer Keyword Research generated in a few minutes.
Take this keyword for instance.
It has a monthly search volume of 1200 and a medium keyword difficulty score of 7.
A look at what the SERPs show for these keywords indicates several comprehensive guides on onboarding users.
There's no surprise then that CommandBar has a blog article on this exact topic, a guide to user onboarding.
Of course there are another 76 ideas for related blog posts.
Topics like these are relevant to CommandBar's blog and will continue to attract traffic.
There are other content hubs too. Take, for instance, "app guides."
Of the 41 new blog post ideas, the topic "in-app guides" is especially relevant to showcase CommandBar's value.
It may not have a huge volume of searches, but this is a highly relevant audience for their tools. In fact, their blog post ranks in the top 5 for the search term "in-app guides."
Remember that CommandBar's main purpose was to generate leads through SEO.
As a result, they'd benefit from focussing on commercial keywords at the bottom of the buyer's funnel that have business value for them.
We can find these by filtering the search intent by customer investigation.
Doing so will help us identify keywords that have purchase intent and filter out informational keywords.
Here's an example of a topic cluster on "app onboarding."
Take this lucrative keyword, for example.
CommandBar's content marketing team can continue to create articles based on this keyword research methodology.
Using Surfer Content Editor allowed the content team at CommandBar to focus on creating high quality articles instead of spending time on SEO tasks like keyword optimization.
The user-friendly interface of Surfer meant that the team didn't have to undergo weeks of SEO training.
"...you can go from having no idea what Surfer is to using it on your actual content in a matter of minutes."
- Lucas, CommandBar
They used the Terms panel inside to understand which keywords to use and how frequently they should use them, thus saving them hours of research time and effort.
Not to mention the suggested word count and formatting for their article.
This new content workflow significantly improved their blog production, from one article every two weeks to 4 articles every week. The faster they moved, the faster results they saw from SEO.
Lucas and his team also saw a lift in rankings and organic traffic from optimizing existing content pieces with Surfer.
SEO hasn't been their only focus though.
They’ve also engaged in several marketing campaigns and continue to experiment to diversify their traffic sources, as they should:
- Cold email campaigns
- Paid advertising
- G2 reviews
- Paid newsletters to 100k+ contacts
However, SEO content has proven to be way more sustainable compared to other mediums.
Lucas and his team were able to leverage Surfer's AI capabilities to essentially establish SEO as a primary driver of sales leads and organic traffic, in spite of having little SEO expertise.
This meant that SEO was their most effective mode of customer acquisition when it came to costs. In a competitive SaaS market, this can be the difference between having a viable LTV for your customer and running losses.
What is commendable is that CommandBar started implementing SEO in the middle of 2023 and has already seen significant results. Continuing down this path will only exponentially improve their lead generation and visitors from search pages once search engines recognize them for authority and content.