Hotjar Scales Competitive SEO Content with Clearscope
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Hotjar is a platform that uses behavioral analytics and customer feedback data to provide user experience insights to its clients. Specifically, it enables website owners to deliver more value and make faster product improvements by leveraging empathy for end users.
More than a million websites use Hotjar’s Product Experience Insights software, and the unique mix of qualitative and quantitative data helps drive product decisions in over 180 countries. Founded in 2014, Hotjar has always had a fully remote team, growing to over 310 employees from 46 countries.
Thomas Busson, Content and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategist at Hotjar, works on a team that focuses on top-of-the-funnel (TOFU) initiatives. They aim to use the company’s blog to reach broader audiences, bring more visitors to the website, and raise brand awareness for its Serviceable Available Market.
Redefining SEO strategy to get the most out of new and existing content
Hotjar noticed that as search intent for their primary keywords changed over time, the blog’s older pieces began to drop in rankings. So, the team set out to redefine their SEO process to create more balance between publishing new posts and ensuring that existing content continued to deliver results.
Thomas says that before the restructuring, “Resources were mainly assigned to producing high-quality content, and content optimization took up a much smaller part of our efforts.”
When refreshing existing content, Hotjar’s main challenge was understanding what was missing from their published pieces that caused performance to decline. Another obstacle included maintaining their current high-volume production schedule.
Thomas explains, “Our objective is to create 1,000 new pieces of content per year. That’s about 50 pieces of long-form content every month. Next, we’re planning to emphasize optimizing our existing content by updating 20 or more pieces every month.”
Hotjar needed a tool to help them address their falling rankings and support a content schedule that included 50 new pieces each month. So, the team used Clearscope to re-run older posts and identify the related themes and topics they needed to cover to address shifts in user intent.
The team used Clearscope to re-run older posts and identify the related themes and topics they needed to cover to address shifts in user intent.
With Clearscope, Thomas can divide published pieces into categories based on how much work needs to be done to re-optimize the content. From there, he can figure out which pieces the Hotjar team can update and which need attention from their freelance writers.
Clearscope’s editor also easily compared their pieces to high-ranking competition and identified their missing keywords.
Thomas found that Clearscope’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered SEO content optimization tool empowered them to identify the search intent gaps in their old pieces and optimize new content in a more evergreen way.
In particular, his writers used the AI-generated topic and keyword suggestions from Clearscope to cover possible variations in search intent. That meant Hotjar’s pieces were less likely to fall in ranking even as the intent behind their primary keyword shifted.
Empowering SEO content teams at scale
Hotjar puts empathy at the center of everything they do, including maintaining a people-first culture with their freelance writers. With only two full-time SEO content strategists and three to four editors, Hotjar relies heavily on freelance writers to achieve their content production goals.
Thomas works with freelance writers who are already experts in their field, but he wanted a solution that would give them the extra edge to get to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) and stay there.
When looking for tools to add to the content writing process, he finds it especially important to ensure they choose platforms that empower the team’s writers instead of hindering their freedom to work.
Thomas notes that Hotjar “sees Clearscope as the science that complements our writer’s art and helps them better address both humans and search engines.”
Thomas appreciates that Clearscope works well in tandem with writers instead of getting in the way of writing naturally. He says his writing team took to Clearscope really well because “they understand that Clearscope helps them write content that drives better results.”
Clearscope’s integration with Google Docs meant the tool worked seamlessly with the existing process. Writers didn’t have to go back and forth between another website and their draft to optimize their pieces for search.
Plus, the editor’s content grading scale helps Hotjar strike the right balance between writing for humans and search engines.
An SEO content editor that can handle the competition
Coming from the world of SEO, where algorithms and search intent seem in constant flux, Thomas particularly liked that Clearscope makes Hotjar’s content more robust and competitive in the long term.
He explains, “A higher grade on Clearscope often makes the piece less prone to loss of rankings when SERPs change because we’ve covered more of the slight variations in search intent.” That means their new pieces will require less refreshing over time, and Thomas will have more resources to dedicate to production.
Along with improving the longevity of their SEO efforts, Thomas found that Clearscope enabled his team to drive better results in a highly competitive field.
“Where Clearscope is truly helping is when we’re seeking to rank for highly competitive queries. It provides invaluable input to bump a page from the middle/bottom of the SERPs to the top. I found that the key is frequently keeping an eye on the SERPs, as they change more often than you would expect. Clearscope’s "Content Inventory" feature is perfect for doing just that.”
He says that Hotjar has already built topical authority in critical areas and established a strong backlink profile that helps with their SERP results. And with the addition of Clearscope, he expects to see their rankings improve even more.
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