Table of Contents
What is this – Our industry breakdowns are a snapshot in time of how a particular industry in the B2B SaaS space looks. We take a birds-eye view of the industry and review what the search landscape looks like, who’s winning and losing and what it means to be really competitive in that industry right now.
Who is it for – These are written for 3 types of people;
- Founders in the industry researching the competition,
- Founders and teams outside the industry looking for strategies in other markets and
- Marketing nerds (like myself) who find this stuff fascinating.
What to expect – These industry reports will always include SEO insights such as traffic, links and content produced but can also include landing page teardowns, messaging reviews and interviews from Founders.
We want you to feel like you’ve learnt something interesting about marketing and the industry we’re reviewing that you can apply elsewhere or that makes this worth sharing.
June Winner Chart
Here are the winners in June by each metric. Each winner is the SaaS that gained the most ground between May and June. We use a percentage based gain/loss formula when looking at these stats as overall numbers would skew the data towards bigger companies frequently.
Lark – A Case Study In Indexing Your Help Center
Lark is a clear stand out here for the number of keywords its been able to increase on a MoM basis. A whopping 161% increase on its already 19,859 keywords is extremely impressive and smells of some indexing changes. Here’s the month-on-month breakdown.
A little investigation shows that lark gained 9,000 keywords in a month from just over 1500 unique pages. Most of those were help centre pages that have just been indexed like this;
These pages accounted for 7664 of the 9,000 keywords they just picked up month on month. One-hundred and two Help Centre pages gained page 1 rankings immediately and the combined search value of the keywords was extensive for some.
The knock-on effect of this keyword increase also is that the traffic and traffic value estimates for the site have increased dramatically also increasing by 25% and a whopping 616% respectively.
This might look like a runaway success, like the marketing team at Lark decided to just “turn on” indexing for their help-centre pages but some digging back in wayback machine and keywords in Ahrefs shows us that there were a (smaller) number of Help Centre pages already indexed at least as far back as January this year.
If I were a competitor I’d be looking closer here into exactly what changed on those Help Centre pages or in the structure of the site and nailing down what really appears to have driven this sudden wave of Google love.
Notions – Top 3 Jump
Notion has jumped up in a lot of Top 3 keywords in the last month. Between May and June they gained 2690 new Top 3 keywords and another 400 that improved from outside of the top 3 to the inside of it. Here’s the rundown on the stats change as we saw it;
Notion gained 2,685 new top 3 rankings in June. We pulled down these top 3 keywords and found that only 244 of those are non-branded keywords. The rest include brand somewhere in the query ( ie “notion meeting template”). We asssessed which sections of the site gained the most Top 3 keywords by classifying them by URL.
Keywords related to templates was a recurring theme whether it was to the templates pages (notion.so/tempaltes) or to blog posts about or that include templates such as this one – Using meeting notes templates to create consistent documentation.
Almost half of the keyword increases in the top 3 are template related.
Just 74 of the new top 3 rankings have come from notions blog posts the largest share of those blog related keywords goes to just this one page What is a Level 10 Meeting.
Other URLs that have more than 1 new top 3 keyword you can see below. Right now there doesn’t appear to be a pattern outside of templates which we have already identified with the template pages increase but, these blogs on the templates too further solidify Notions focus appears to have been here (and may still be currently).
While Notions content team seem to be doing very well off the back of creating SEO optimised Template content for the blog there are more passive ways Notions SEO is being padded.
A close look at URLs we pulled down from Ahrefs revealed that public notion boards are being used by all sorts of people to successfully gain some traction in search.
We found notion boards for everything from documentation for SEO tool Nightwatch to less ideal torrent sites for Game of Thrones.
URLs like this one (https://www.notion.so/Download-game-of-thrones-season-6-good-torrent-ad3fa484e3fe47508807020208e103af ) leverage the notion domain to rank for keywords like “Game of Thrones Download Torrent” (ranking 1st) and “GOT Season 6 Torrent” (ranking 2nd) in India.
Clicking those links though will take you to a page like this on Notions site before leading you to your final destination of some shady torrent site that may (or may not) have a torrent to download.
What We Learned From Notion
Templates are a valuable play and one that they have invested considerable time and resources into.
Following up templates with Blog posts appears to be an integral part of the strategy.
Public notion boards that use Notions domain can and do rank well and there is potentially a smart SEO play here for someone with the time to test this out.
June Losers Chart
Vivify Scrum – Don’t forget to refresh!
June’s first loser for keywords, Vivify Scrum slid in its total number of ranking keywords by 42% between May and June. Losing 823 keywords on a small site can have a large impact monthly traffic and it appears based on Ahrefs data that the slide has been happening now for some time.
Vivify’s keyword slide this month comes from its insights section. All of the keywords that were lost completely were lost from blog posts that must’ve been ranking at some stage in the past few years but fierce competition for informational keywords that are core to the problem they solve has eroded any goodwill given to them when the blogs were originally published between 2018 and 2020.
Scrum scaling is the most important keyword lost completely in terms of volume. Coming in at 700 searches per month and being the main traffic driver for their /insights/ section previously the fact this has dropped out of search completely is a bad sign. With that said, natural backlinks continue to come in though for Vivify despite the sliding Google relevance and lack of fresh content.
It’s rare to see this happen over a sustained period when active content marketing efforts fall away. Unlike other businesses, Vivify is in a great position to rejuvenate its content marketing efforts over the next few months if they catch the problem soon.
What We Learned From Vivify
- Old content needs love! Doing a content refresh is important.
- It wont survive in the fast-paced content environment
- The slide might start slow but it will increase over time.
EMMI Soti Project Management Software – Negative SEO Attack or Just Mistake in Execution?
Is an Enterprise level software solution for project management that is part of the Milliontech suite of products and services. The company was founded in 1987 and has a very broad range of products and services of which the project management tool is just a small part.
The stats for a company this old and this successful are surprisingly small. Even in enterprise sales a strong web presence is generally a benefit. Even with 6 people in their marketing department according to LinkedIn, it doesn’t look likely that the 37% drop in ranking keywords is going to be noticed by them at all.
While search doesn’t seem to be their focus it appears they have spent at least some time working on their links and content in the past 2 years only to let any advantage they had built up slip away rapidly.
December 2022 was a high point for them and it seems that in the 6 months prior they had gained considerable traction in Search. Although a glance at their backlink profile might hold the key to the sudden success and then drop.
Having over two million links from only just over 1,000 sites feels like either a very big mistake in freelance SEO help or, a targeted attack by someone else who would prefer to see a competitor removed from Google.
While it’s hard to know for sure, we’d lean towards a targeted attack in this case given that there were 48 new domains and 75,000 links built just recently.
What We Learned From Emmi Soti Project Management Software
- Keep an eye on large influxes of backlinks this can signal negative SEO attacks from competitors
- Declining SEO results generally come from a complete stop in trying to produce any content at all. They also appear to happen slower than you might expect in many cases.
Our Project Management Software Data
Our dataset for this niche currently consists of over 200 companies at present and growing. We have been collecting data on these companies since July 2022 and have compiled a ranking graph plotting those companies based on a combined SEO score on the X-axis vs the estimated traffic value on the Y-axis.
The below graph is these log scores plotted for the entire dataset. Those with the best SEO score and traffic value are in the top left and those that have zero traffic value and a poor SEO score (usually due to no SEO at all) are in the bottom right.
Project Management Log Scores
No Data Found
The category averages and medians can be seen in the accompanying tables.
With big players like Notion, Coda and Todoist in the category the average keyword footprint (number of keywords per site) is 6,299. But, this can be a misleading benchmark as only 25 of our almost 300 companies in this category rank for that many keywords. So the skew from these bigger companies is strong. The same can be said for the rest of the statistics also.
The median however has been to the opposite extreme due to the number of companies that are not pursuing SEO at all. We calculated 4 keywords as the average footprint and most other metrics are zero. Also not very helpful or realistic for benchmarking.
To combat these large skews we’ve taken out the most extreme ends for the calculation of both the average and the median. For the averages that means removing the top 3 sites in our calculation and, for the Median we have removed all companies that have zero values across the board.
The result of this is an adjusted median up from 4 to 197 keywords, it moves up our other metrics from mostly zeroes to a reasonable midpoint.
This adjusted medians are realistic aimpoints for any company competing in this market.
Conversely, our averages shift down by more than 50% when we use adjusted averages that excludes the giants in the market. There are some outlying issues though, an average of 210 visits per month for organic traffic is very low, especially for a website that has over 3000 keywords ranking. We’d recommend adding an extra zero to the organic traffic figure for any company looking to use this as an aim point.
Top Companies In Project Management Software In June
At a glance the winners for June are BigGantt for Jira and Notion but the fight isn’t a fair one it seems. BigGantt for Jira is dominating almost across the board.