In just 12 months, Monday.com was able to publish 1,000 blog posts and scale to over 1.4M monthly visitors all from SEO.
What Monday.com proved to the SEO community was how valuable “editorial SEO” can be.
In this article, we’ll talk about what editorial SEO is, how it differs from other types of SEO, and how to scale your SEO traffic.
What is editorial SEO?
Editorial SEO is when a company leverages CGC (company-generated content) to create content with the goal of attracting visitors and potential customers through Google searches.
In less fancy terms, editorial SEO is the act of creating blog posts and landing pages that rank for different search queries in Google and drive organic growth to your brand.
Of all the types of SEO, this one is the most common and generally the one that can drive the most visitors to your website (with an exception will talk about in a sec).
How does editorial SEO differ from other types of SEO?
Editorial SEO falls on the content side of the spectrum, whereas other forms of SEO are more technical.
Technical SEO involves optimizing your website to make it faster, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly. This can include optimizing your title tags, having a clean internal linking structure, and making sure that your webpages follow technical SEO best practices.
Editorial SEO, on the other hand, is all about creating content that resonates with your target audience and that Google can recognize as valuable and authoritative. This means creating engaging and new content that offers true value to your readers.
Types of SEO (with examples)
There are three main types of SEO that can help you drive more awareness to your website. These types are Editorial, Programmatic, & Technical SEO. Let's dive a bit deeper into each one.
This type of SEO involves creating content that is optimized for Google and is valuable to your readers. Examples include blog posts, landing pages, FAQs, and other webpages.
What you're reading now is an example of editorial SEO — creating content with the goal to educate people, while also ranking in Google to drive search traffic to my website.
Some of the most successful websites leveraging editorial SEO are HubSpot, Zapier, Monday.com, and many more.
If you want to learn more about how to approach editorial SEO, I have a few guides on this blog you can check out. The first one you should consider reading is how to write SEO blog posts — that article goes over how to do keyword research and how you should think about creating blog content online with the goal of reaching an audience through organic search.
I also have another article about creating content outlines that will help you write blog posts, like this one, more quickly and easily.
Okay, let's briefly get into the other types of SEO.
Programmatic SEO is when a website leverages UGC (user-generated content) or a product-led SEO strategy to exponentially grow website traffic without the manual work of having to create every piece of content (like you do with blog posts).
When you think about it, programmatic SEO sounds like the ideal situation to be in. However, this type of SEO is very hard to get right — mainly because it depends heavily on how your product is built.
For example, Yelp is a great example of a website that does a great job with programmatic SEO. Local businesses create listings on the site and these listings are then turned into individual landing pages that rank in Google.
So Yelp doesn't necessarily need to invest in content production to keep growing. As long as they have new businesses using their platform, and have users that review those businesses, Yelp's organic traffic will continue to grow (unless there’s a massive Google update that wipes them out, which is not likely).
In this case, however, Yelp has to pay a lot of attention to how UGC is created on its platform. Engineers need to make sure that automatically generated landing pages follow SEO best practices and that Yelp continues to optimize all of their technical SEO.
While this form of SEO is ideal, it doesn't make sense for most businesses. In fact, it's very hard to think about programmatic SEO after you've already created your product or site. Generally, an SEO team creates a programmatic SEO strategy before a website (or part of a website) is even built. You almost have to design your product and website in a way that can leverage programmatic SEO, which is why it's so hard, yet so valuable, to get right.
Technical SEO involves optimizing the technical aspects of your website to ensure that it is easily crawlable by Google’s search engine. Examples include optimizing page load times, crawlability, following on-page SEO best practice, and the structure of page URLs.
This doesn't always make or break your SEO strategy, but it's an important aspect to get right, whether you decide to leverage editorial and/or programmatic SEO.
If you're using a modern website platform and CMS like Webflow, WordPress, or Ghost, then this part shouldn't be something you need to worry too much about.
Just know that your website needs to load quickly, be responsive on both desktop and mobile, have a great reading experience, have a sitemap you can submit in Google Search Console, and that no pages that you want to rank in Google have noindex tags on them.
What are the benefits of editorial SEO?
Most sites with tons of organic traffic live on editorial SEO. This is because this type of SEO is often used to build strong brand awareness, attract potential customers, and used to establish credibility and trust with your audience.
Editorial SEO also gives you the chance to showcase your expertise in the industry. SEO can also be leveraged to appear in Google’s featured snippets, which can lead to more click-throughs from searchers. If you follow the content outline guide linked earlier in this post, you should have a good chance of ranking in featured snippets.
Finally, if done correctly, editorial SEO can be an extremely cost-effective way of driving traffic. It's time intensive, sure. But if you don't have the engineering resources to build out a programmatic SEO strategy that makes sense, your next best bet is to invest heavily in content production.
The other great thing about SEO, as compared to other marketing channels is that, unlike paid search or social media advertising, it doesn’t require an ongoing budget and only requires an initial investment in content creation.
Editorial SEO examples from popular brands
Here are a few examples from companies that have a success editorial SEO strategy.
It's no question that HubSpot has paved the way for marketers to see the value in editorial and blog SEO.
The HubSpot blog gets over 17M monthly visitors with over 13,000 articles!
So, as you can see, it is possible to get insane traffic numbers with just blog posts. But you also need a lot of content to get there. 13,000 blog posts is a huge number and can only be achieved with a large team of SEO experts, content marketers, content writers, and editors.
So while SEO is considered organic, or "free," traffic, you still need to invest a lot of money and resources to reap the benefits.
But once you do create an SEO MOAT for your website, it's going to be very hard for competitors to replicate what you did.
What HubSpot has done with editorial SEO now makes them defensible from any other competitor on the market — making HubSpot have one of the best editorial SEO strategies out there.
As mentioned earlier in this article, Monday.com published over 1,000 articles last year — bringing their total to just over 2,000 content pages on their site (source: Ahrefs).
And with that amount of content has come a nice growth trend for their blog traffic.
From topics about CRMs to task management, Monday.com has been able to create a powerful organic growth engine — outperforming similar tools like Asana and Trello when it comes to SEO growth.
Editorial SEO is a key part to any content strategy that is heavily focused on organic growth. Creating high quality SEO content, and having a great user experience, can take you a long way.
Often, what people forget about SEO is that SEO is just search engine optimization — duh. But what I mean is that true SEO growth comes from content creation. SEO is just a fancy way to describe how Google’s, or really any search engine’s, algorithm works.
You don’t need to worry about the latest SEO tactics, having a million backlinks, or making sure that each keyword you go after has an insane amount of search volume.
What you do need to focus on is understanding your audiences’ problems and knowing how to effectively communicate solutions to those problems.
What you need to do is create content. Forget all the SEO mumbo jumbo.
As long as you focus on that first, your traffic graph in Google Analytics will start to go up and to the right. It’s after you get in the groove of publishing content on a consistent basis that you should focus on optimizing existing content or being more strategic about what keywords you’re trying to target.
Anyways, hopefully this article gave you some insight on what editorial SEO is and how it differs from other forms of SEO. At the end of the day, editorial SEO is pretty much just content SEO or blog content creation.
So focus on creating high quality content and over time you’ll start to show up more in the SERP (search engine results page).
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