How to Use Templates for SEO and Product Led Growth

In this article, I’m going to be demonstrating to you the power of templates when it comes to SEO. A lot of SaaS companies will use this strategy, but you can also use it for your own content website or company in the case where you’re able to think about a way that you can create templates for your own niche.

This is a super helpful way in which you can think programmatically while also using product-led growth in order to drive new users to your website, get more sales for you, and ultimately grow your business. So let’s go ahead and dig into today’s examples of how companies are using templates in order to rank for a ton of great phrases in SEO.

Example #1: Jotform

So digging right in, the first example for data that we’re going to look for is In case you have never used Jotform, it is essentially a form application. It helps make it easy for you to create things like surveys, user feedback, things, and all their sorts of submission forms. You might even have used it if you were to apply for an apartment or something like that. And so what Jotform has done in terms of the SEO side of things is that they have made a massive template library.

So let’s go ahead and take a look at what Jotform template library looks like. All right so what you can see here is that I’m on Jotform’s website in their template section, and they have over 10,000 free online form templates.

Can you imagine thinking about 10,000 SEO ideas here? In this situation, what they’ve done is they’ve come through exhaustedly all sorts of different niches of users that they serve. And they’ve thought about the different templates that these users use. So in this situation, you can see things like product order forms, course registration forms, new customer registration forms, PayPal business payment forms, feedback forms, and so on.

And you can see all the different categories on the left-hand side here in which they have pretty much every form under the sun that you have ever created. And this is super, super powerful for Jotform because if I were to go ahead and open up some of these pages, what you’ll see is that they are fully dedicated SEO optimized pages.

So in this case, this URL for this page is form-templates/PayPal-business/paymentform. And so what you can see here is that they are focusing on people that might be looking for a PayPal business payment form. And they’re also incorporating some opportunities for them to rank natively for some of these particular phrases. So you can see here, this business payment form allows businesses to sell their products or book their services online. And if I go ahead and just search for that, you can see how they incorporate that phrase a couple of times on this page. And it pretty much is just a very short and sweet SEO page for just this particular phrase. And they do this over and over again.

But what’s really cool about this method of what Jotform has done here is that it’s done through a product led growth approach in which all of these forms are built actually using Jotform’s product. So in this situation, if somebody were to be looking for the customer satisfaction survey form, they’re actually potentially engaging in interacting with Jotform product right here, and you can see how they can then just use the template. And what that is going to happen is I’m going to be asked to sign up for an account.

So this is something that Jotform has done over and over again is they’ve essentially made it easy for their users to share their work with other users that might be creating similar work and then make that public. And you can see that it’s actually featuring a particular user when I click these things.

So in this case, Pinoytech in tracking forms created this medical history form. And so these are all great templates because it creates a backbone for somebody else that might also be looking for creating a medical history form. What are you more likely to use? Are you more likely to use a template that is manipulatable and that you can start with a base on or something that you have to start from completely from scratch or something that you can’t even edit in terms of an old school PDF? You’re obviously going to focus on something like this.

Digging into Jotform’s site on SEMRush

To really see if this strategy is working for JotForm, though, we have to jump into a tool like SEMrush to better understand what sort of impact this is having on the SEO side of things. So let’s go ahead and take a look there. All right. So logging right into Jotform, what you can see here is that they have a ton of domain authority. Their authority scores at 85 and they get 3.2 million search visits every single month.

If we go ahead and look at the organic research section, we can start to better understand how impactful these form pages actually are. If I want to go ahead and just look at the structure of this page, it was form/templates. What I’m going to do is I’m going to go down into the advanced filter section, and then I’m going to isolate for form/templates. That way I can see how much traffic is coming in for these particular pages and lo and behold, what you can see is that these forms are responsible for at least 54,800 keywords for Jotform along with 143,000 visits every single month.

And this is something in which SEMRush is estimating that this traffic is worth 277K. That’s a huge amount of traffic in terms of power there. And we can see as this has been pretty steady ever since they launched this particular series. In fact, it’s been growing over time. And what this graph tells you here is that sometimes when you launch a sort of long form SEO strategy that might be programmatic it takes time to build up the authority of that section of your website.

You can tell here that this has been an effort that they’ve been working on since 2014, since their inception, but over time, because naturally it becomes more and more valuable since there’s a flywheel effect as more templates are created, it becomes inherently more valuable, people are more likely to share back to these different links.

And so this is a really powerful page for Jotform. And the reason why we can see this is because if we just go ahead and filter out as well for the top three positions, you can see how the top three positions still account for 108,000 visits and traffic every single month, which is the bulk of the traffic from these particular pages.

And you can see right here why that is so valuable because when you look at these keyword phrases like consent form or negative COVID test results template, or online marriage certificate. These are all getting thousands of visits every single month. In some cases, the keyword difficulty is actually pretty high as well and so these are phrases where Jotform is having an opportunity to engage a new user, to create their free account, and then naturally upgrade them later on.

Example #2: Notion

So for our second example today, I want to show you how Notion has been using this same exact strategy with respect to driving their product led growth. So digging right in let’s go ahead and take a look at Notion’s templates page. All right. So here you can see that we are on Notion’s templates page. It’s their template gallery. And they’ve got a lot of feature templates on the left-hand side organized by categories. So there’s things like education, engineering, freelance, health and wellness and things like that. And what you can see is that if I click into some of these, you’ll see that there are all sorts of templates that people that are actually using Notion have shared with other user.

Again, this is using that same core principle as what Jotform is doing, but I would actually arguably say that Notion is doing this even more effectively because they’re actually featuring the picture of the user and they’re giving a little bit greater ownership in terms of who actually contributed to this particular template.

But in this case, what you can see is that they are essentially providing some sort of short descriptor from the creator. And they’re essentially using user generated content here in order to create all of these different pages. And the reason why this is super powerful is because rather than have the Notion team manually create these one by one, they’re just repurposing the work of what other users have done to curate that in a meaningful way for other users. And they’ll do this over and over again.

This is a very similar approach to the Jotform case. So just to prove the point here, what I want to do is I want to look for I’m going to look for them right now. And when I dig into their site on SEMRush, what you can see is that if I go ahead and look for templates instead, which is the structure of their URL case, what you’ll see is that in this situation, this template sub folder on their website is accounting for 6.5K keywords, 40,000 traffic and the traffic cost is 48K. So you can see that this is actually an effort that they have released as recently as October or November of 2021. So in just a matter of less than a year, Notion has gone from zero to one real quick and they’re growing every single month.

Now this is pretty impressive, however, it should be noted that Notion has a ton of organic traffic around their tool because people love using Notion. I use Notion to plan this YouTube. And so what we want to do actually is we want to filter out for the keyword of Notion. In other words, we want to exclude the branded keyword phrase. And when we do that, what we’ll see is that this traffic actually drops considerably in which Notion is actually struggling to rank really, really well for some of these top phrases. When I isolate for the top three positions, as well as the template section of their website and exclude their branded keyword phrases, you can see that they only rank for actually 29 phrases.

And all of these phrases are not even close to Jotform’s presence in SEO. You can see that they have things like personal Rolodex, book tracker template, recipe box template. So they’re doing well in these sorts of low competition keywords. And here you can see that all these keyword difficulties are pretty easy to rank for, but they’re not doing nearly as well as Jotform has in terms of going right after some of these templates.

If I were to just give some feedback to the Notion team, immediately, what I think about as to why this might be not as effective is because there’s not really that much density around these particular phrases. For example, I just opened up this design template page. And what you can see is that there isn’t really that much content on this page that is specific to this particular search phrase. And similarly, in this case with this book tracker template, it’s a very simple and short descriptor.

So something that the Notion team could do really easily is simply expand upon the section of what the original creator wrote here for the purpose of this tracker, while also potentially digging more deeply into making use of this FAQ section to be specific to the particular template or long tail phrase that they’re going after. This is something that I think the Jotform team did a lot better when we compare side-by-side examples of number one with example number two.

Example #3: Miro

At this point we have seen two impressive companies and how they’re using templates to drive their SEO and just to really round things out, let’s look at a third example today from Miro to see exactly what the Miro team is doing when it comes to their templates.

So Miro in case you don’t know is an online collaborative tool that essentially makes it easy for you to create different charts, diagrams, and things like that. So now with that in mind, let’s go ahead and take a look at their templates library.

All right so here we have Miro’s templates library, and what you can see is that right off the bat, they have a lot of categories for their different templates. And what you can also see is that they are going right after that long tail phrase. So comparing to the example of number two from Notion, Notion had some variants, they had some synonyms like trackers instead of just going after templates, whereas Jotform was going straight after templates as well.

And so what you can tell here is that they’re going right after things like the word templates. So whether that’s event planning template, daily stand-up meeting template, parking lot matrix template. There’s so many templates and you can even browse what they call the Miro verse to kind of find other examples of how people are using their templates.

So this is really powerful because again, user-generated content, their team doesn’t have to create it themselves. But to really prove it out, let’s go ahead and take a look at to see if we can actually isolate for the templates section of their site. So they are still using the structure of templates so I can still use that filter parameter. But what you can see here is that if I just go ahead and remove for top three, they’re ranking for 33,000 keywords and getting 69K in traffic and that cost is 222K.

So right off the bat, I can tell this is working for them. If I were to go ahead and filter that down by the top three positions, you can see that there’s still over 700 phrases they are ranking really well for, and that’s resulting in 23K in traffic. Still worth a ton in terms of traffic costs. And what you can see here is that these are very close to that first example from Jotform in which they are really good keywords. There are things like customer journey map template, business model canvas template, fishbone diagram template.

These are the sorts of things that they are getting thousands of searches for every single month. These are all getting things like 2,400 searches. And what’s really cool about these particular keyword phrases is that because their keyword difficulties are higher, it is going to be inherently a lot harder for a competitor to come in and take this top spot from Miro.

So there you have it. Three clear examples of tech companies that are using a product-led growth strategy, as well as a templates programmatic SEO approach in order to rank for a ton of long-tail keyword phrases. And as a result, they’re not only building backlinks, but they’re also getting used to. And they’re teaching their users how to use their product best.

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