200% Increase in Monthly Visits: ClickUp SEO Case Study

Team MINUTTIA

Team MINUTTIA

It’s no secret that many modern-day businesses have a very rich tech stack, which allows them to automate processes and collaborate efficiently.

Is every single tool used necessary for growth? The answer is most likely no, but when it comes to project management tools, they can be of vital importance for teams, especially remote working ones.

A great example of such a tool is ClickUp; an all-in-one app for teams to increase their productivity through a wide range of handy features.

As the company itself states:

“One app to replace them all.”

So the vision that ClickUp’s founder, Zeb Evans, has is quite clear!

In our second post of this series, we’re going to break down how ClickUp has managed to reach such impressive organic growth stats, and achieve a 200% increase in organic traffic in two years.

Disclaimer: Most of the data we’re using to conduct this analysis is provided by SEO software Ahrefs. As with most SEO software, we’re not getting absolute numbers on any of the metrics (e.g. search volume), rather the information is averages based on the various data sources Ahrefs uses to provide us with this data. Practically, this means that you should always take the data presented below with a pinch of salt. Everything presented here is accurate as of today, June 19, 2022.

 

Table of Contents

Key Findings

Competition

Organic Growth Breakdown

Content & SEO Opportunities

 

Key Findings

First, let’s take a look at some of the key findings of our analysis:

  • The biggest driver of organic traffic is the blog section
  • There’s a separate landing page for each competitor
  • On-page SEO techniques have been implemented
  • Almost 90% of ClickUp’s organic keywords don’t rank in the first page
  • There’s an emphasis on linkable assets
  • ClickUp’s backlinks are growing at a faster rate than its competitors

Now that you’ve seen an overview of our analysis, let’s dive deep into the case study.

 

Competition

Especially since the pandemic of COVID-19 broke out and teams had to find innovative ways of collaborating with each other, project management tools like ClickUp were exactly what remote working teams were looking for.

However, the truth is that the tool operates in quite a crowded market with several other SaaS companies wanting a piece of the pie.

This is something we experienced first-hand here at MINUTTIA, being an SEO agency with remote work and asynchronous communication at the forefront of how we work, and looking for a project management tool that would cater to our needs.

For many SaaS companies, organic growth seems to be a major channel for customer acquisition, so this is what we’ll be analyzing for now.

Although we’ll dive deep into ClickUp’s organic growth further on, it’s worth seeing where some of its main competitors stand; let’s call them competitors A, B, and C.

As you can see below, ClickUp has had quite a consistent growth in terms of organic traffic, especially since August 2021 when things began to pick up and the traffic is currently over 100% up since then.

On the other hand, Competitor A seems to have been stagnant in terms of organic growth, with the organic traffic struggling to grow for over 5 years, remaining in the 300K visits range.

If we have a look at Competitor B, we can see that the growth of organic traffic is really similar to ClickUp’s, both in terms of where it stands now (just below 1M), as well as the fact that it started taking off after August 2021.

However, Competitor C seems to be outperforming the tools we’ve seen so far, with its organic traffic being in the range of 3M.

Once again, the traffic saw impressive growth starting after August 2021, which could be a coincidence, but what’s potentially not a coincidence is the sudden drop in traffic that all tools faced on November 11th, 2021.

If you look closer, you can see the drop around that time, in all of the screenshots above.

This could potentially be due to a Google update, such as the Broad Core Update released around that time, but the recovery was thankfully quick.

So since August of 2021 seems to be a time that played a role in the organic traffic of ClickUp and its 3 competitors, let’s see what the traffic’s growth has been since then:

  • ClickUp: 102% growth
  • Competitor A: 8% growth
  • Competitor B: 280% growth
  • Competitor C: 141% growth

Is organic traffic the only factor that determines organic growth?

Definitely not, since the organic keywords are something we should take into account as well.

In our case, ClickUp ranks for almost 320K keywords in the top-100 search results, with:

  • 14K (4.7%) ranking in positions #1–#3 
  • 20K (6.5%) ranking in positions #4–#10
  • 283K (88.8%) ranking in positions #11–#100

Another factor worth taking into account is the backlinks or the referring domains.

ClickUp has received over 3.3M backlinks, helping build a DR (Domain Rating) of 83.

On the other hand, this is what the competition looks like:

  • Competitor A: 2M backlinks with a DR of 88
  • Competitor B: 3.6M backlinks with a DR of 88
  • Competitor C: 8.3M backlinks with a DR of 89

Making it clear that although ClickUp has the lowest DR compared to the other tools, it manages to compete with them in organic performance and—in one case—outperform them.

Plus, the fact that ClickUp has the second-lowest number of backlinks doesn’t mean it isn’t growing at a fast pace.

In fact, if we take a 1-year period (from June 2021 to June 2022) as our point of measurement, we can notice that ClickUp has the highest backlink growth rate.

Interesting, right?

To be precise, the tool’s backlinks have increased by over 125%...

…while:

  • Competitor A’s backlinks have grown by 12%
  • Competitor B’s backlinks have grown by 47%
  • Competitor C’s backlinks have grown by 34%

Making it clear that—assuming the growth rates remain as they are—ClickUp can outperform Competitor B in the number of referring domains and reach closer to Competitor C.

All in all, this is how the tool stands in terms of organic performance compared to some of its most prominent competitors.

What we noticed is that its results are heavily affected by its content strategy and landing page optimization.

Let’s have a closer look at this.

 

Organic Growth Breakdown

When it comes to a website’s organic growth, there are several elements one should take a look at.

Our case is no exception since we believe the best way to break down ClickUp’s organic performance is first by examining the website architecture.

Element #1: Website architecture

The way ClickUp has structured its website is quite interesting.

By having a glance at the homepage, we can see that the main pages are:

  • Product
  • Solution
  • Learn

Note: We won’t focus on the Pricing and Enterprise pages since their scope isn’t SEO.

However, as you can imagine, each page has several subfolders that play their role and to be more precise:

  • Product has 45 pages under it (with the “.../features/…” subfolder)
  • Solutions has 11 pages under it (with the “.../team/…” subfolder)
  • Learn has 9 pages but each with a different subfolder

Are they the only main pages the website has? Definitely not, since by scrolling down to the footer we can find more subfolders like the Compare, the Blog, and the Templates subfolders.

Those are quite a few pages, so let’s see how each one performs organically and what its contribution to the total organic traffic is.

Product

The product page (although it’s called Features once someone visits it), is one of the first things a user sees when visiting ClickUp’s website.

It includes all the features that someone will have access to through ClickUp, in order to get a better understanding of what the tool has to offer.

The clickup.com/features/ folder contains 45 subfolders so we’ll just name a few:

  1. …/features/tasks
  2. …/features/whiteboards
  3. …/features/docs
  4. …/features/dashboards
  5. …/features/goals
  6. …/features/chat-view
  7. …/features/views
  8. …/features/automations

As you can see, each landing page is dedicated to a separate feature, giving a complete overview of what it is and how it works.

Quite useful, right?

In terms of organic traffic, the entire features folder is accountable for 17.2K monthly organic visits or 2% of the total traffic.

Out of the 45 feature pages in total, the top-performing one is…

clickup.com/features/notepad

…which drives 376 monthly visits, almost twice as much as the second-best performing feature page.

How does the folder perform in terms of organic keywords?

Well, this is another great point and it actually ranks for 5K keywords or 1.5% of the website’s total keywords.

When it comes to the traffic value, it currently stands at $3.2K, which is 0.4% of the total traffic value.

So far, it’s clear that the features pages are very useful to give a detailed overview of the tool, but their organic performance isn’t substantial enough.

Could this be because they're not as optimized as they could be?

Perhaps, but this is something we’ll cover later on.

Solutions

The second page one can see when having a look at the homepage is the Solutions one, which is actually under the teams subfolder.

The goal of this page seems to be to explain which users are most suitable for ClickUp, in terms of their company type (startup, enterprise, non-profit), department, or even use case; these will help users see if and how they can get the most use out of the platform.

To give you an idea, this page…

https://clickup.com/teams/human-resources

…is responsible for explaining to HR teams how they can use ClickUp and what they’ll get from it.

Is the main scope behind such a page to attract organic traffic? Chances are no, but it’s still worth seeing how it performs.

This folder actually has 27 subfolders, or 27 separate landing pages, each featuring a company type, department, or use case as we saw earlier.

In terms of organic traffic, the entire team folder receives 11.2K monthly organic visits or 1.3% of the total traffic.

What’s interesting here is the fact that one page is responsible for 89% of the folder’s total traffic, meaning that the rest contribute less than 4%.

When it comes to the number of organic keywords, the folder ranks for 2.3K keywords, or 0.7% of the total amount.

In terms of the traffic value, it’s accountable for $2K which is 0.3% of the total value.

Let’s now have a look at a part of the website’s structure, which was built specifically to attract organic traffic.

Blog

On the homepage, the blog section can be seen as part of the Learn category but—naturally—it has its own folder, with all blog posts being part of it.

After all, blogging is one of the most impactful sources of organic traffic and something every major SaaS should invest in.

There are actually 737 blog posts as of today June 19th, 2022, but as you can imagine only a fraction of them perform well organically.

In fact, 84% of all blog posts receive less than 100 visits a month, with a handful performing exceptionally well.

As a whole, the blog section drives 247K monthly organic visits which is a staggering 30% of the website’s total traffic.

In the image above you can see the blog’s traffic performance and the point in Feb 2019, when the traffic began picking up.

What’s interesting is that around that time, the website’s overall traffic started picking up as well, showing the impact the blog had had organically.

In terms of organic keywords, the blog posts account for 188K keywords or 59% of the total amount.

When it comes to the traffic value, it currently stands at $591K which is an impressive 86% of the total value.

As you can clearly see, the blog folder plays a vital role in ClickUp’s organic performance and it makes sense since blogs are a driving force for organic visibility and are built in order to attract valuable traffic.

All in all, those were the main folders worth breaking down, but we shouldn’t forget about other pages which contribute as well.

A great example is the Templates folder, where users can find a plethora of templates that range from accounting to sales, and recruiting to customer service.

A second great case is that of the comparison pages created, so let’s see how they contribute to the website’s organic performance.

Compare

This page is all about giving an overview of how ClickUp compares against some of its most popular competitors.

Actually, the folder consists of 35 pages (one for each competitor) and while we’ll dive deeper into them in element #3, let’s have a look at their organic performance.

As you can see below, the page currently receives 1.8K monthly organic visitors…

…with the comparison with Monday.com being responsible for 31% of that traffic (473 visits), thus making it the most popular subfolder.

In terms of organic keywords, the folder ranks for 1.9K keywords in the top-100 search results (0.6% of the total amount) and the traffic’s value stands at $653 (0.09% of the total value).

Let’s now have a look at the Templates available, to see how they perform.

Templates

Although this part of the website will be covered in element #4 later on, it’s important to see how well it performs organically.

It essentially consists of 151 templates for various use cases, with the content calendar template being the most popular one.

As you can see in the screenshot below, the whole folder receives 2.4K organic visits on a monthly basis…

…although it really started to perform around September 2021.

In terms of organic keywords, the folder ranks for 7.3K keywords (2.3% of the total amount) and the traffic’s value stands at $4.6K (0.6% of the total value).

The great thing about templates is that they act as linkable assets, meaning that they’re great at attracting valuable links that can potentially boost a website’s DR.

This is something we’ll analyze further on.

So we just saw some important parts of ClickUp’s website architecture. Are there any other factors responsible for it almost reaching 1M in organic traffic?

The answer is yes, so let’s have a closer look at them.

Element #2: On-page optimization

An important factor that has definitely helped ClickUp achieve its organic growth levels, is the on-page optimization techniques used.

They can include the right use of keywords, title tags, headings, meta descriptions, images, URLs, and anything else on a page that a user can see, which makes it friendlier to search engines. 

So the more optimized a page is, the more chances it has of performing organically.

For instance, let’s take ClickUp’s best-performing blog post about professional goals examples to see how optimized it is; for this we’ll use Clearscope, a content optimization platform that uses NLP, which we also use for our own clients.

As you can see below, the tool tells us that the average word count of the top-performing pieces is 2,500 words, but ClickUp’s blog post has almost 3,500, which gives it a competitive edge.

Also, the piece of content includes the majority of key terms (45/55) that Clearscope suggests to be used, thus receiving a content grade of A+.

What’s more, the target keyword “professional goals examples” has a global volume of 5K, which shows strong demand from searchers.

The great work that ClickUp’s writing team has done, combined with the strong keyword selection, has helped the content piece rank in position #1 of Google’s search results, and even gain some additional real estate in the SERPs.

Of course, on-page optimization tactics aren’t only applied on blog posts, but also on landing pages that can drive valuable traffic to the website.

This is another important element of ClickUp’s growth, so let’s dive deeper into it.

Element #3: Landing pages with commercial intent

Almost every SaaS website out there takes advantage of landing pages and rightfully so.

A landing page can have many uses, considering some are purely SEO-focused and others have the goal of simply informing users about something, such as the tool’s pricing.

For example, in our Veed.io case study we saw how the website has taken advantage of landing pages with job to be done search intent.

In our case, ClickUp has done a great job at creating landing pages with commercial search intent, which are essentially comparison pages.

Comparison pages are a great way to attract users who are actively looking to purchase something, by comparing tools with each other, especially if they’ve been SEO optimized.

As you can see below, ClickUp has built a main landing page under the compare folder, which gives an overview of how ClickUp compares against 35 of its most prominent competitors in 4 aspects:

  • Views
  • Customization
  • Collaboration
  • Reporting

Apart from the main landing page, the team has created a separate comparison landing page for each of the competitors, which lives under the compare folder; so the URL structure is as follows:

  • clickup.com/compare/monday-alternative
  • clickup.com/compare/asana-alternative
  • clickup.com/compare/trello-alternative

And so on and so forth.

As we can imagine, each competitor is wisely chosen both business-wise, as well as SEO-wise in the sense that the keyword has substantial volume.

For example, “asana alternatives” is searched by over 2.4K users globally.

However, based on the top search results, it seems that a landing page isn’t the best possible option for such a page with commercial intent.

This is because, by having a look at the SERPs, we can see that Google favors list posts with the top Asana alternatives; so transforming those pages into blog posts and matching the SERP intent could really improve their organic performance.

Another interesting aspect of ClickUp’s landing pages is their architecture; as you can see below they’re structured similarly but are personalized based on each competitor.

They start off with an appealing Above the Fold (ATF) experience…

…which includes a title, subtitle, CTA, image, and some features.

It continues with a side-by-side comparison between the two tools, in the form of a checklist…

…and then there’s the option of importing all data from the competing tool into ClickUp, in case someone wants to make the switch.

Next up, ClickUp tries to gain users’ trust by showing some social proof through its impressive G2 badges…

…and proceeds to present some of its main features for readers to get a better idea of what they’ll gain through ClickUp.

Another important part of the landing page is the views that ClickUp offers, which once again allow users to get a better understanding of its capabilities.

Last but not least, there’s a pricing comparison where the two tools are compared side-by-side when it comes to what they offer for their price.

All in all, those are the most important parts of the landing pages’ structure.

In the following graphic, you can get a better idea of the architecture through a general overview.

Let’s move on to the next element.

Element #4: Linkable assets

In case you don’t know, linkable assets are pieces of content that are created in such a way that they can attract backlinks.

To give you an idea, infographics, case studies, surveys, and tools are all things that are considered linkable.

In our case, ClickUp has created a templates page containing a wide range of templates that people can take advantage of, for use cases like:

  • HR & recruiting
  • Finance & accounting
  • IT
  • Marketing
  • Sales & CRM

And many others.

Templates are generally not only useful for users, but act as great linkable assets and the numbers confirm that.

In our case, the templates folder has received over 32.2K backlinks, despite only generating 2.4K in organic traffic, as we saw earlier.

The interesting thing is that pages with way more organic traffic (like the features page with 17.2K) have received a substantially lower amount of backlinks than the templates page.

This amount of backlinks is also great for increasing the website’s total DR, which will make it more trustworthy in the eyes of Google, as long as the backlinks are relevant and high-quality.

Indeed, we can see that the templates page has attracted some quality backlinks with a high DR.

All in all, ClickUp seems to have done a great job at building pages that are not only useful but also worth linking back to, all of which contribute to its organic performance.

Let’s now see some opportunities we identified that we believe ClickUp can take advantage of for potentially better organic results.

 

Content & SEO Opportunities

Although ClickUp’s website performs well organically, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to content & SEO.

So here are some opportunities we identified.

Opportunity #1: Presence in non-English speaking countries

The fact that ClickUp’s website hasn’t been translated to other languages, means there’s a lot of untapped potential in terms of organic growth.

In fact, traffic from English-speaking countries (US, UK, Canada, South Africa, and Australia) is accountable for less than half of the website’s total traffic (48.5%).

For example, as you can see above, Brazil is responsible for 4.5% of the total organic traffic or 37.4K visitors.

One of the most—if not the most—important target terms for ClickUp is “project management tool” which with the help of Google Translate is translated into “ferramenta de gerenciamento de projetos” in Portuguese.

As you can see above the keyword has a global volume of 150 which—although not great—is still a term that’s important for the company.

Plus, main competitors like Asana already have strong visibility for that term in the SERPs, which gives them a competitive advantage over ClickUp.

Another case is that of the French language, which drives 18.2K visitors, and the keyword “program management” which is translated into “gestion de programme” with the help of Google Translate.

With a global volume of 150 and a keyword difficulty of 0/100 to rank high for the term, this could be a great opportunity for ClickUp to leverage its French-speaking users since it currently doesn’t have visibility for that term.

Plus, it’s a keyword that’s also been covered by competitors like Asana and Wrike.

All in all, becoming more available to non-English speaking searchers can prove to be very smart business-wise!

Opportunity #2: Topic clusters

In a nutshell, a topic cluster is a set of pages that cover one main topic and semantically associated subtopics.

That way, you cover a keyword you’re interested in as much as possible, and provide sufficient information to your readers about it.

In practice, a topic cluster consists of a main page (Hub Page) and several cluster pages or subtopics.

Keep in mind that the topic cluster is in the form of landing pages and not blog posts, so it should have its own subfolder in the form of:

example.com/hub-page/cluster-page

Having seen outstanding results from topic clusters we’ve created for our own clients, we can confidently say that this tactic could be of great benefit for ClickUp.

For the sake of example, let’s take the term “project management” which is an important one for the company.

By doing some keyword research, we can see that there are several terms that are semantically associated with it and could “live under it”.

Some good cases are:

  • Project management software
  • Project management tools
  • Project management skills
  • Project management methodologies
  • Project management template
  • Project management plan
  • Project management life cycle

All of which could have the following URL structure:

  • clickup.com/project-management/software
  • clickup.com/project-management/tools
  • clickup.com/project-management/skills
  • clickup.com/project-management/methodologies
  • clickup.com/project-management/template
  • clickup.com/project-management/plan
  • clickup.com/project-management/life-cycle

Although creating a successful topic cluster isn’t a piece of cake, by carefully selecting the topics, applying breadcrumbs, checking for duplicate content, and implementing on-page SEO tactics, the results can be outstanding.

Should ClickUp decide to move forward with a topic cluster approach, we believe that being built around “project management” makes sense business-wise, as well as in terms of SEO.

Opportunity #3: Above the fold experience for blog posts

The above the fold experience (ATF) is the first part of the page a user sees, without having to scroll down.

Ideally, a user should get all the necessary information without having to scroll down 1+ pages (depending on the device), in an appealing and informative way.

From our own experience, when improving the above the fold experience for our clients we’ve seen an impressive and unexpected growth in organic results

In the case of ClickUp’s blog posts, the pages include some useful pieces of information like:

  • The author
  • The publishing date
  • The estimated time to read
  • The featured image

However, most companies don’t consider adding these, so their placement could be optimized.

This is because the featured image takes up too much screen space and makes readers scroll down to see what they’re about to read.

Tip: A big featured image that takes over the entire screen above the fold doesn't help.

What would we do?

We would resize the featured image and place it on the right, moving all the other information (title tag, author, date, etc.) to the left-hand side and adding a short description and a category, which are currently missing.

That way, the reader would understand what’s about to follow, without having to scroll at all.

Here’s an overview of what ClickUp’s above the fold could look like, through a graphic.

After all, a good user experience is something Google always takes into account and can contribute to better organic results.

 

Wrapping Up

There’s no doubt that ClickUp has done an incredible job in building a strong organic presence.

Everything we talked about above, as well as any promotional activities the company has done, plus the product being great itself, have all contributed to ClickUp’s success.

Is everything perfect?

Certainly not, since there’s always room for improvement!

In the next post of the series, we’ll present you with another case study of a company that has achieved great success through content and SEO. 

Feel free to share this post if you’ve found it useful and go ahead and reach out to us if you have any examples of companies you think we should feature in one of our future posts by sending us an email to hello@minuttia.com.