The inspiration behind this article
The top 10 YCombinator alumni from Winter 21 got an average of 400% annual growth, and we wanted to find out why.
Code200 spent the last month getting under the skin of some of the world’s best-performing startups to discover successful SEO content frameworks that our SaaS clients can use – in a scalable way.
We identified 14 frameworks used by the top 10 companies for traffic growth from YC’s W21 batch. Here we introduce the most popular approaches. Which ones will become part of your SEO content strategy?
How it worked
- We decided to examine YC startups because only the best of the best meet this incubator’s exact submission criteria.
- We chose the YC W21 batch because all the businesses are roughly the same age and, being around 2 years old, they will have established a market and be looking to scale up.
- From the original 319, we chose the 10 startups with the fastest traffic growth in 2022, using Ahrefs for our analysis.
The figures: How much did YC startups grow their traffic in 2022?
Domain Rank (DR)
They often say that Domain Rank (which is based on the number of backlinks to your site) must hit 80 in order to rank highly on Google.
However, although 8 of our 10 startups did increase their DR, their scores averaged out at 41. For some niches, then, a DR as low as 25–30 may still be enough to rank highly.
Conclusion: if you want more clicks and rankings, publish more content
14 SEO content strategies top YCombinator startups used to achieve 400% average growth
We analyzed the content strategies and keywords targeted by each of the 10 websites on their top-performing pages.
We categorized the approaches and ended up with 14 different SEO content frameworks that can be applied to virtually any type of startup.
If you can spot any other frameworks, let us know in the comments!
1. How-to guides
- Text Blaze has hundreds of guides on how to write emails, such as to say thank you after a meeting and to ask for a raise.
- Poliglota’s huge range of how-tos for Spanish speakers includes detailed commentary on different ways to translate “buenas noches” and “papa.”
2. Long-tail topics
- Indian matchmaking site Betterhalf has numerous very specific collections of women looking to get married; examples include widows, those awaiting divorce, and Tamil brides.
- The vast selection of topics on the FlutterFlow website includes supremely detailed explanations of even the humble Form and List View functionalities.
3. High-volume blog content
- Three of the many highly clickable articles from men’s health specialists Phoenix were on condom size, sexual enhancement pills, and penis pumps.
- Text Blaze covers all sorts of high-volume topics such as Pomodoro timers, tone of voice, and the Eisenhower matrix.
4. Location-based pages
- Zingbus uses unique booking, route, and visitor guide templates for every one of the many cities it serves.
- Phoenix targets delivery of Viagra and other medications to men in various cities across Canada, including Toronto and Vancouver.
5. Solution-based pages
- Phoenix has a wide range of pages that are each dedicated to an individual health issue, such as hair loss and ED.
- FlutterFlow has tons of troubleshooting content, with pages focusing on particular software issues such as gray screen and APKs.
6. Product-based & feature-based pages
- Phoenix has pages covering each of its medications in detail, such as Viagra and Cialis (tadalafil).
- Zingbus has a list for every occasion. A rundown of the best places to visit in a given destination city can be multiplied by the number of cities the company serves.
- Poliglota’s many listicles include recommendations for easy English books and online translators.
- QuickNode’s enormous range of support articles, such as eth_gasPrice and eth_getBlockByHash, act both as documentation and traffic generators.
- Some examples from FlutterFlow’s expansive “Docs” repository include pages on the Stack widget and Facebook Sign-In.
- Betterhalf’s exhaustive range of astrological sign compatibility pages are the perfect example of a compatibility framework that is related to the business.
Frameworks 10 - 14
This is how we do it
Why do some startups choose to ignore SEO?
Here at Code200 we prove, again and again, how powerful good SEO can be.
We chose two startups at random and considered how we could apply some of the SEO approaches used by the YC W21 cohort.
The businesses in our study used between 2 and 7 of the SEO content frameworks featured in our list, so as a rule we would recommend using 3 or 4.
Clay3D.io - 3D model reviewing tool
Many more keywords can be targeted by creating pages on other kinds of 3D models; the possibilities are endless!
- 3D model heart
- 3D model skull
- 3D model skeleton
Do a little research into 3D modeling to come up with plenty more actions to add to this list!
- How to make 3D model
- How to animate 3D model
- How to scale 3D model
Just mix and match words to make an infinite number of interesting new listicle ideas.
- Best 3D model sites
- Best 3D model software
- Best 3D skull models
Free tool or products
If it exists, it can be modeled. If it can be modeled, you can conceivably give away a free version.
- Free 3D model of a car
- Free 3D skull model
Lionpose.com - Skincare for hyperpigmentation
Even if you want to concentrate on a small number of keywords, there are likely many common ways to fit them into a query or article title.
- how to get rid of hyperpigmentation
- how to treat hyperpigmentation
- how to remove hyperpigmentation
- how to reduce hyperpigmentation
Just combining these in different ways gives “how long does hyperpigmentation last on black skin,” “how long does hyperpigmentation last around mouth,” and “how to get rid of hyperpigmentation on black skin around mouth.”
And that’s before introducing multiple skin tones, body parts, and question formats.
- how to get rid of hyperpigmentation on black skin
- how to get rid of hyperpigmentation around mouth
- how long does hyperpigmentation last
Listicles can be inspired either by long-tail or high-volume subjects.
- best products for hyperpigmentation
- best vitamin c serum for hyperpigmentation
- best hyperpigmentation treatment
- best products for hyperpigmentation in black skin
If time or price is involved, a range of calculators will probably be an appropriate addition to your site.
- how much does laser cost for hyperpigmentation
- how many chemical peels to get rid of hyperpigmentation
- how much is laser hyperpigmentation removal
Lion Pose could make content on a variety of symptoms and conditions.
- melasma vs hyperpigmentation
- acne scar vs hyperpigmentation
Pages can focus on any combination of two Individual treatments; the number of pages is only limited by the number of treatments available.
- dermal hyperpigmentation laser alternative
- alternative hydroquinone for hyperpigmentation
- To grow organic search, increase the number of content pages on your site. Unless you already have 1000 pages, creating new content should be your first priority.
- Backlink numbers are important, but the W21 YC startups' average DR of 42 is enough to rank in many niches. Check your competition: do you really need to go all-in on backlinks?
- Use frameworks that allow you to target keywords and topics at scale.
- The fastest-growing W21 YC startups use between 2 and 7 of the content frameworks we’ve listed.
Tell your network about our findings!
We help you grow with SEO.
Let us apply these frameworks to your product.