How Salesforce Hits 500k Visits/mo via SEO Content (And Why it’s Not Enough)

How does one B2B SaaS company drive ~500k visits/mo through content?

Read on to see how they hit this number month in, month out.

The bigger lesson though is to understand how this traffic pulls in potential buyers for the CRM software leader.

Salesforce is using their SEO content to:

    • attract thousands of potential buyers,
    • create interest,
    • and generate demand for their product…

…from every stage in the buying journey.

But are they doing enough?

While 500k/mo traffic is impressive, it isn’t enough. This guide will explore what Salesforce can do to get even better results from their content.

Note 1:

For the purposes of this guide, I’ll be referring to SEO content as all the pages and posts that are used for educating prospects and customers.

Note 2:

All traffic numbers are estimates provided by Ahrefs and SEMrush — based on search volumes and ranking positions.

500k visits/month through SEO content

(and how this impacts sales for Salesforce)

Salesforce gets way more than 500k visits per month.

Both Ahrefs and SEMrush estimate the company’s monthly search traffic to be between 2.3M and 2.9M:

But what we’re analyzing here is how non-branded SEO content drives the relevant traffic of over 500k visits to the site every month.

Note: Both SEMrush and Ahrefs are great research tools, but I’ll be using them in this guide based on the data they’re individually able to provide.

Here’s a breakdown of the highest-traffic pages of Salesforce and, more importantly, how they impact demand generation and sales for the business.

1. Over 160,000 top of the funnel (TOFU) prospects per month

One of Salesforce’s biggest marketing achievements is the many highly competitive, TOFU non-branded keywords (like sales, CRM, and automation) they’re ranking for.

Note: You may know this already, but there’s a handful of reasons why many of Salesforce’s pages rank on page #1 of Google for many highly competitive keywords. For most startups and even some established businesses, your best bet is the same advice you’ve (probably) always heard: Go after keywords with much less competition.

And the company has published lots of TOFU content over the years.

But it’s worth noting that six of their TOFU content pieces drive most of their top-of-the-funnel traffic — ~160,000 visits per month.

It’s generally the same for most businesses. You’ll have most of your traffic coming from TOFU content.

But how much impact does top-of-the-funnel SEO content have on sales?

On the surface, a TOFU topic like ‘What is CRM?’ may seem like it doesn’t impact sales much.

So you might be tempted to assume it’s not worth creating content about.

In reality, what you might consider low-level information impacts sales in ways you may not have imagined.

Mainly because there’ll always be hundreds — even thousands — of prospects early in their buying cycle asking, “What is {insert product-related keyword}?” And they show up month after month.

Early as they are in their journey, you can communicate (with authenticity, expertise, and class) the definition of your product and why they should sign up quickly with your business.

How top-of-the-funnel SEO content impacts sales for Salesforce

In Salesforce’s case, the people searching “What is CRM?” or “CRM” are — for the most part — learning about Customer Relationship Management for the first time.

And eventually, hundreds (if not thousands) of them will need a CRM software product after they’ve understood enough about it and are convinced it’ll enhance their relationship with customers.

When you publish content that educates prospects early in their buying process — which is usually before they start discovering many of your competitors — you’ll have a great headstart to make your product number one in their minds.

The onus then rests upon you to win the heart of your prospects with every word, sentence, illustration, visual, and other elements in your content.

Winning with content experience

The better the experience your content creates for every reader…

… the better it will move them along their buying journey, and eventually get them to sign up for your free trial, demo, or consultation.

Generally, their behavior in the buying cycle is directly proportional to their level of experience with your content.

The more they experience bliss with your content, the further they proceed toward making a purchase decision (assuming they’re sensing some benefit in your product).

Regardless of your efforts to create a great content experience, the percentage of TOFU prospects will keep decreasing as they move toward the bottom of the funnel.

But still, great content experience generally persuades TOFU prospects to get to the bottom of your funnel.

Bonus: How to improve your content experience

You know how business works today: “Please customers or go home.”

It’s the same for content; prospects will readily click Cmd W (or Ctrl W — if using Windows) and close your page if the experience is poor.

Head of Growth at Userpilot Aazar Ali Shad shared something with me on how he helps his prospects have a great experience with his content:

“I make the headline catchy and intro even better. I also write in my intro that there’s something amazing at the bottom so they go through it. I usually have more resources, tables, comparisons, or something very interesting to further bolster their experience. Sometimes I also connect (the) Drift (chat)bot in the experience to share some learning I couldn’t or didn’t want to share on the blog.”

But good SEO content performs so much better when it’s well-structured. See how Salesforce ensures maximum engagement by cleverly structuring their posts.

How Salesforce uses content structure + great SEO content

The CRM guide by Salesforce makes a great example of good SEO content with a structure that supports great reader experience.

They designed the guide to tackle every part of CRM that relates to their features…

… while providing links to their best-related content so prospects won’t have to look anywhere else for CRM information.

This structure makes for a great content experience…

… prospects can move along their buying journey on the same site, consuming all the information they need from one vendor (Salesforce).

They also can easily go in and out of every subtopic under CRM with little to zero chance that they’ll ever get lost at any point since navigation is clearly visible on the left side of the screen.

Then, when it’s time to make a purchase decision, the same vendor is there again waving their wonderful product within easy reach.

The opportunity is huge for Salesforce and any other brand following a similar approach.

Now, let’s examine how Salesforce uses middle-of-the-funnel (MOFU) content to drive traffic prospects that are (generally) closer to making a purchase decision than TOFU prospects.

2. MOFU SEO content driving over 133,000 visits per month

While top-of-the-funnel content helps Salesforce attract prospects who are just hearing about their products for the first time, middle-of-the-funnel content (MOFU) attracts prospects who have heard about them but haven’t made a purchase decision.

Or maybe they have, but came back for more content — which further builds their relationship with Salesforce.

In any case, Salesforce drives over 133k visits/mo through MOFU SEO content.

How we got this data:

Using Ahrefs, choose to analyze only traffic from keywords relating to Salesforce’s products and features like marketing, sales, automation.

Include traffic data from typical MOFU keywords like why, how, steps, best practices, etc.

And exclude traffic data from common Salesforce-user related keywords/URLs, TOFU and BOFU keywords like what is, definition, registration, login, pricing, dreamforce, trailblazer, customer success story, etc.

You’ll be left with traffic data best geared to Salesforce’s MOFU content.

As you’ll find in the screenshot below, this traffic amounts to approximately 133,128 visits per month (according to Ahrefs).

Since middle-of-the-funnel prospects got into the buying journey before their TOFU counterpart, you might be tempted to think MOFU topics always convert faster.

But that’s not always true.

Prospects in the early stages of their buying journey can quickly turn into leads and buyers if your TOFU content nails the reasons why they should.

For example:

In Salesforce’s TOFU content on CRM, they broke the content into five sections.

The first four sections say nothing about their software; Salesforce simply focused on delivering their best education on CRM and making sure prospects have a great reading experience.

But in the fifth section of the page, they drilled down on why their CRM tool is #1 in the market.

It’s a smart demand generation strategy.

Don’t shy away from generating demand for your product in TOFU content.

Your MOFU content, too.

Both your TOFU and MOFU content should perform demand gen functions

“Our content seems to work for most people regardless of whether we consider it TOFU or MOFU. This certainly goes against popular opinion,” says CEO at Refine Labs Chris Walker.

It’s true. Regardless of whether your content targets TOFU or MOFUbuyers, it should engage them deeply and, ultimately, generate demand for your product.

In a recent conversation I had with Ruth Zuve, CMO at chatbot company Ada, she mirrored the same perspective about generating interest in a product using strategic content:

“We create content for two primary reasons:

“1) To create interest in (and awareness of) our solutions. Much of the content we create is used to drive demand, which translates into pipeline opportunity for our sales organization.

“2) To share our very differentiated point of view in a market that is extremely congested. We approach customer service differently than other vendors. And we communicate our bold opinion through the content — the white papers, infographics, blog posts, social posts, and emails — we distribute through our marketing channels.”

Salesforce creates a lot of bottom-of-the-funnel content too, so let’s examine that.

3. Over 297,000+ visits/mo from BOFU content

Salesforce has developed several products and features over the years, resulting in over 2,800 product pages:

1,983 pages on customer success stories:

279 pages for their services

All these BOFU pages and content drive them ~297,000 visitors per month.

Most of the job of your TOFU and MOFU content pieces is to create touchpoints across the buyer’s journey and lead them to your BOFU content.

And with BOFU content, you can sell blatantly, standing on high pedestals touting the benefits of your product using every resource you have.

At this point in the buying journey, there’s little to no need to caress prospects with more education. They’ve had enough of that in previous stages of their journey.

They have now arrived at the stage where they decide, “To buy or not to buy?”

Mix them all together

In the end, every content piece you create should generate ROI.

Use a mix of them; some TOFU content here and bits of MOFU and BOFU content there. That’s how to pull in prospects from every part of the funnel.

Founder at Getleado Andrei Zinkevich recently shared the same perspective with me:

“On my website, there are some lead magnets (MOFU) which move prospects into a lead-nurturing sequence. Depending on their stage, they receive a mix of TOFU, MOFU and BOFU content.”

Why Salesforce organic traffic from SEO content is not enough (AKA where they need to improve)

While it’s obvious their content marketing is solid already, there’s always room for evaluation and improvement, even for the best businesses.

So here are areas the Salesforce content team can improve on:

1. Contextually, soft-sell product features in blog content

I reviewed the last five blog posts Salesforce published, and none of them properly soft-sells their products or their features contextually.

The ones that kind of did only link to their product pages at the end of the article. In particular, there’s one about employee benefits. But they’re trying to use it to generate demand for a CRM product.

That’s not contextual enough. People are reading the content because they wanted to learn about that specific topic. Chances that they’ll be interested in a CRM product is low.

But with a topic directly on the product you’re trying to sell, you’ll get better results because prospects come to your content expecting to learn something about your topic.

Then somewhere around the middle (not only at the bottom) of your content, you contextually present your product or a feature of it that’s relevant to your topic.

Take this recent Ahrefs blog post below, for example. The article is about how to optimize a site to rank on Google.

Middle-of-the-funnel content (i.e. why, how-to types of content) especially, gives you an opportunity to tell prospects how some of your product features can help them with the topic you’re addressing.

Doing this is not being overly promotional. It’s being smart and results-driven with your content.

Your content should generate demand for your product, and this is one working strategy to do so.

Drive (more) qualified traffic and leads

Do you need something that’ll let you focus on your work while growing your traffic and leads?

We can help.

And we have only five slots left.

Need our B2B content marketing help?

2. The roles of blog post authors should be visible

Here’s how Salesforce currently displays their authors:

A name without any background information written above an article doesn’t tell prospects who’s talking to them in your content.

In the example above, the post would feel more personal if it read something like Bredan Kyle, Senior Marketing Manager (APAC) at Salesforce.

Prospects (readers) will often take advice from someone they understand is in the trenches more than from someone whose qualification to advise them is unsure.

It also establishes a sense that they are getting information from an expert, not some writer they hired to fill space.

3. A better conversion optimization plan for blog posts

Salesforce currently has most of their CTAs at the end of blog posts. But a more effective strategy is to place them around the middle.

Many (if not most) readers don’t get to the bottom of content before they bounce, especially if it’s long-form content.

So it’s best to include a relevant CTA somewhere in the middle of the article. Something like what Slack does in many of their posts:

Salesforce would increase the number of views on their offers if relevant CTAs were placed in the middle of their content in this way. And that means more potential conversions.

4. Employee content promotion

Right now, Salesforce has over 38,000 employees worldwide.

If their content team(s) can get even only 1000 of these people to share their content pieces, the reach would be amazing.

Although for a business as large as Salesforce, they might not need this content promotion method since a huge portion of their content will rank on Google, driving long-term traffic.

But still, getting employees to share content would enhance brand awareness and significantly extend their reach.

5. Align content to the center

This may not mean much to buyers, but aligning content to the center of your pages will help keep your readers’ eyes focused on your content.

Currently, Salesforce’s blog content is aligned to the left, with several links to other pages on the right.

The Linkedin Business blog serves as a good example of what aligning to the centre looks like:

Their content is aligned to the center.

And CTAs are the top and bottom right corners — so they’re non-obstructive.

The changes might seem little but they go a long way in improving your results.

Now, take all these SEO content lessons from Salesforce and grow with them.

The crux of this entire traffic analysis is to show you how a brand you probably look up to is using SEO content to…

…strategically generate demand, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors per month from every part of the buying journey.

Now, take all the lessons and run with it.

Or let’s help you take care of it.

Want us to run your B2B content marketing?

From your content strategy, creation, promotion, all the way to conversions, we’ll handle your entire SEO content marketing program.

(We’re not cheap, but clients that can afford our services are B2B and SaaS businesses that are serious about scaling through content marketing — and are willing to pay for it.)

Interested? View our content services.

Author avatar

Victor Ijidola

I help B2B and SaaS businesses plan and create customer-focused content that gets bottom-line results.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *