G2 launches an intent-focused content strategy with Clearscope

Writers: 8
Content published/month: 40
Editors: 2
Industry: Online marketplace

G2 helps people make better software buying decisions. If you've had to choose a new tool for your tech stack, perhaps you've found yourself on G2, reading 100% authentic reviews from real users. Over 5M visitors browse more than 1M reviews each month. The G2 Learning Hub is an in-depth and easy-to-understand educational resource for users to learn more about topics like Marketing, Sales, and Tech. The G2 Content Marketing team is global and comprised of two copy editors and six in-house writers. Amy Lecza, Director of Content Marketing at G2, says the team uses Clearscope "in our top-of-funnel content" to capture organic traffic and develop the G2 brand.

Amy Lecza, Director of Content Marketing (left) and Holly Hunt, Content Marketing Manager (right).

In late 2019, the G2 Content Marketing team rebooted its content strategy with a new goal and toolkit. The G2 Learning Hub had a big archive that earned steady traffic, but the team saw that the content was misaligned to user intent. User intent is the identification of what the searcher wants when looking up that keyword or phrase. Amy says of the decision, "We did a pretty major strategy shift where we started aligning a lot closer [to user intent]. The goal once was to get traffic at any cost. So let's really think about the type of traffic we're bringing in and make sure that it's the most valuable to the company as possible even if, in quantity, it's less traffic."

A new direction to gain compounding results

The G2 Content Marketing team redefined the goal of G2 Learning Hub content at its core: Speak to the right people, not the most people. Subject matter authority, or the idea that a website that writes well on a topic will write on related topics well, added depth to how G2 discovered user intent.

“It was a three-pronged approach.

  1. Update editorial standards to current best practices for SEO writing.
  2. Streamline the content workflow by adding easy-to-understand tools.
  3. Unpublish articles that were no longer useful to readers through content pruning.”

On the new editorial standards, Amy says, "We are writing articles about 2,000 to 4,000 words that are extremely focused on user intent." Clearscope provides an accurate way to make sure a piece of content includes concepts that users might care about, also known as content comprehensiveness. The G2 Content Marketing team relies on the Clearscope content grade to ensure content comprehensiveness.

Clearscope's content grade played a key role in updating G2's editorial standards.

The content grade is the metric Clearscope uses to determine comprehensiveness. Written content receives a letter grade from A++ down to F when terms recommended by Clearscope are used. The more terms used, the higher the grade. Clearscope gives insight into what is important to write about, not how. How the piece is written and the quality of it is the writer's creative responsibility. This is why Clearscope takes the quality of term recommendations so seriously. The G2 Content Marketing team took to the content grade immediately. Amy says, "Clearscope helped us tie it all together in a way that felt informed by the [Google search] algorithm and structured. We trust Clearscope's recommendations... if you get the report to an A, it's going to rank."

Ranking with comprehensive content

The new strategy realigned G2's content archive to user intent. It even created a simpler workflow. Amy says, "Instead of going back and forth between three different tools to try and infer whether a topic is worthwhile to write on, Clearscope is one easy step to understand intent and competition."

On G2's results with Clearscope, Amy says, "Our content ranks reliably, and after a short initial learning period, we began to see an immediate decrease in the amount of time it was taking for our content to pick up keywords — we even have net-new articles debuting on pages 2-4 when previously they'd start out on page 7-8."

To demonstrate this effect, G2 shared the traffic lifetime of two articles that were refreshed using Clearscope in the new content strategy.

The first, "What is Penetration Testing? How to Use It Against Hackers," had essentially no traction until a Clearscope refresh in September 2020.

A content refresh using Clearscope brought traction to an old piece.

The second, "51 Customer Review Statistics to Make You Rethink Using Them," performed well on its own, but a Clearscope refresh took the article performance baseline to the next level.

Other refreshes using Clearscope brought more pieces to the next level.

The toolkit to support the strategy

G2 saw the impact of Clearscope's ease-of-use in the initial onboarding process. "Clearscope is extremely instinctive and quick to learn," Amy says. "It took about two weeks to get every writer comfortable with Clearscope." Clearscope also brings educational value as a writing tool. G2 trusts Clearscope with content recommendations so the team can focus on bringing the G2 brand and voice to each piece. Because the team is global, "setting expectations through Clearscope allows us to work smarter asynchronously," Amy says. "It's helped us onboard new managers really quickly because they're able to get a sense of our editorial standards. Getting to that A grade is an indisputable metric that we can have people hit and it puts people back in control of their own content."

G2 found support for its content strategy in Clearscope. A company of software lovers certainly knows the power of leveraging the right tools. From an account admin perspective, Amy loves the Clearscope billing experience. She says, "I think all software should have a totally hands-off approach to upgrading and payment... Clearscope is always the easiest one."

Clearscope helped the G2 Content Marketing team bridge the gap between the old strategy and the new. "It's an amazing tool to streamline what happens in content and SEO, and gives people one clear answer. This is the best path forward because we talk about user intent all the time, but this is a good way to visualize it." Amy continues, "There is software out there that can genuinely make your team more productive, less frustrated, and happier."

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