Table of Contents
After Reading This Guide, You’ll Understand 🡭
- Product-led SEO approach
- Creating bottom-of-the-funnel content at scale
- Using User-generated Content (UGC) for SEO
About The Business 🡭
Product Hunt is an online community to launch and discover new products from different niches.
Here’s what ProductHunt says:
“Product Hunt is a curation of the best new products, every day. Discover the latest mobile apps, websites, and technology products that everyone’s talking about.”
Results Achieved 🡭
Product Hunt doesn’t focus on conventional SEO approaches such as finding and targeting low-competitive keywords and writing long-form content pieces to rank higher.
Still, they are able to rank on thousands of keywords and drive over 900k monthly organic visits from Google.
Here’s Product Hunt’s domain overview:
Wondering, how is this possible?
It’s all because of product-led SEO growth.
Concepts To Know Before Reading This Case Study🡭
1/ Product-led SEO
Here’s what Eli Schwartz (author of product-led SEO) says about this approach:
“Product-led SEO is the concept of building a product of value specifically for users. You’re not creating content because a keyword research tool tells you to, but telling a story about a product that users want.
The difference is, you’re creating a product description that helps people decide whether they want to buy your product instead of a product description that’s loaded with keywords.
The idea is to create something that helps users learn something after they have clicked on your website. Beyond driving keywords, you’re building something of value.”
Content Strategy Breakdown 🡭
Now, let’s figure out the key drivers of Product Hunt’s SEO success with real examples.
1/ Product name Queries
One of the biggest mistakes most businesses make is not creating enough landing pages.
2/ Listicle pages
Product Hunt is a marketplace for thousands of products from various topics such as
- AI, and many more.
With this advantage, product Hunt targeted keywords like:
- Productivity apps
- Best tech apps
- Best web app apps, etc.
Instead of writing long form listicle articles to target these search queries, Product Hunt has categorized their product database and focused on on-page SEO.
Let’s take a look at the category page targeting the keyword ‘best productivity apps.’
As you can see the category page has listed top productivity tools (based on upvotes and reviews).
Likewise, Product Hunt has hundreds of topics (like productivity) in which they can create a category page.
In fact, there are over 450+ category pages indexed in google.
That means Product Hunt can simply target hundreds of relevant keywords with these category pages.
Some of the examples are:
Imagine the opportunities that Product Hunt has to compete for this many keywords without creating long form content for each of the category pages.
All they have done is categorized their huge product database and on-page optimization to drive thousands of traffic only from category page types.
Unique meta data with target keyword in focus:
One of the challenges you’ll face in creating a large number of pages is creating unique content for each page.
In this case, writing meta data and on page content for 450+ category pages is not an easy task for any SEO team.
An alternative approach: create templated content
One of the basic yet important things Product Hunt has done correctly is adding unique keyword-rich metadata.
In fact, every category page has the templated content pattern.
Here’s the example of page title template (for category pages) with examples:
More examples of templated meta description (for category pages) with examples:
Both page title and meta description have used the target keyword to make the page relevant for search queries like ‘best [product name] apps.’
Benefits of creating templated content:
- Saves a lot of time
- Make it super easy to publish new pages at scale
- Easy to make changes (you tweak the template and content for all pages will be changed in a moment)
Find the same pattern in meta data for listicle page – template meta data
3/ Creating alternatives pages at scale
Again, Product Hunt focused on product led SEO approach instead of writing listicle articles for targeting search terms such as:
- [product name] alternatives
- [product name] competitors
First, let’s have a look at the alternative page:
Almost every popular product submitted in the Product Hunt directory has a separate alternative page showcasing similar products from the same category.
Best part is that not a single product is manually selected to add in alternative product pages.
Products listed on the alternative pages are selected based on user’s feedback, category, and topics, etc.
Now, the possibility for Product Hunt to create alternative pages is endless, as there are thousands of products listed in the platform.
Currently, around 60k+ alternative product pages are indexed in Google which is driving 10k+ organic visits every month.
And, similar to the category page, Product Hunt also templated the page title and meta description to automatically create alternative pages to the site.
This results in ranking in the first page for some competitive search terms such as
- Hunter alternatives
- Ubersuggest alternatives
- Ahrefs webmaster tool alternatives
- Surfer SEO alternatives
4/ Product reviews page
For any SaaS business, reviews from third party sites play an important role in making buying decisions. This is why you’ll see SaaS brands encouraging customers to leave a review of the tool.
One of the common type of review related search query is:
- [product name] reviews
And, for these types of queries, review sites (like G2, trustradius) always dominate the first page of Google. so , if you want to compete for these search terms, it’s better to compete with review pages instead of blog posts or product pages.
This is where Product Hunt has done a great job.
They have created a separate review page for each product.
Here’s an example:
Product page → https://www.producthunt.com/posts/manna-cooking/
Product review page → https://www.producthunt.com/posts/manna-cooking/reviews
The key benefits for this approach is that Product Hunt is able to target various search queries with the same amount of product listings such as:
- [product name]
- [product name] alternatives
- [product name] reviews, etc.
The results: Product Hunt is ranking for hundreds of review related keywords on the first page (up to 10th position). This list includes queries like:
- Notion reviews
- ahrefs webmaster tool reviews
- Loom reviews, and so on…
Some other keywords are listed below →
Similar to other page types, they have also used a templated meta data for reviews page to save manual effort and faster execution.
Metadata template for review pages:
- Title: [product name] Reviews | Product Hunt
- Meta description: Find helpful reviews, opinions, and ratings about [product name] from actual users.
5/ Internal linking and URL structure
Internal linking becomes a challenging task for a large-sized website especially when there are multiple sub-folder for a single product page.
In this case, Product Hunt made it easy for users to navigate one page to another in a few clicks.
Here’s the visualization of product Hunt’s internal linking strategy to optimize product related pages:
This linking structure helps to make every important page within 3 clicks away from the home (crawl depth <3). Therefore it is easy for bots to crawl and index these important pages.
6/ Knowledge base by Product Hunt
Knowledge base is often ignored in SEO-driven content marketing. But it can help in many ways such as:
- Improving customer support
- Creating a self-learning experience for the customers
- Providing instant answer for users’ product related queries
Here are some of the questions that a product Hunt user might have:
- How do I get my product promoted on product hunt
- How to Schedule your product launch
- Can I repost my product on product hunt
Now, building a knowledge base by answering all the possible queries will help you build a self-learning customer support.
A few things to consider while building your knowledge base:
- Make it easy for users to find answers (use search bar)
- Page structure should help Google to easily find new pages in the knowledge base
- Get feedback from the users
Do This Now 🡭
Let’s go through the key learnings from the breakdown of Product Hunt’s product-led SEO strategy.
1. Product-led SEO
Any website that has access to a product database or can build a directory site, can take advantage of product led SEO.
2. Match the search intent
Before considering product led SEO, make sure that your pages are aligned with the search intent of target keywords.
In this case, Product Hunt targeted queries related to reviews or alternatives because the search intent behind these queries matches the intent of collection pages or real-user reviews.
3. Scale the content creation
The biggest advantage with this approach is that content creation or volume of pages are comparatively easy to scale. Focus on templatizing the content, meta data or data (if available).
4. Plan Internal Linking Strategy
For a bigger site, there will be multiple subfolders and clusters. Therefore it is important to have an internal linking strategy in place to reduce the crawl depth of each page. Ideally, consider making every important page within 3 clicks away from the homepage.
Crawl Depth → “Depth of the page from the start page (number of ‘clicks’ away from the start page).” – ScreamingFrog.