A while back, we interviewed Jakub Rudnik on our podcast, The SaaS SEO Show.
As the Head of Content at Scribe, he explained how Scribe’s Gallery has significantly impacted the website through the power of user-generated content (UGC).
After all, with search results becoming increasingly saturated, websites now need to dig deeper and find innovative ways to make them stand out.
Not only in order to attract organic traffic, but most importantly to drive business impact by acquiring new users.
Notion is another great case of a website that has taken advantage of UGC, through its templates section.
Let’s take a closer look at it.
A Brief Overview of Notion’s Template Section
We’ll assume you all know Notion, a—what they call themselves—productivity and note-taking web application.
It’s worth breaking down the website itself, but we want to focus on its templates section.
Image Source: Notion
In a nutshell, Notion can be used for a variety of purposes, such as:
- Project management
- Habit tracking
- Knowledge bases
And more. So this provides fertile ground for creating templates to assist users with those use cases.
Enter: Notion Templates.
A place where anyone can create their own template and share it with other users.
Image Source: Notion
This is what’s interesting about the section.
Not only does it perform well organically (more on this later), but it’s also a great way to acquire new users, since by being a template creator/user you’re a Notion user at the same time!
What’s also worth mentioning, is the fact that the section is a great vehicle for community management.
Users come together by creating templates for one another and interacting with each other, through social media or even Telegram channels dedicated entirely to sharing templates.
Plus, users can browse the vast list of creators, learn more about them, and explore the templates they’ve built:
This is a strong incentive for someone to become a creator and get their job noticed, besides being able to make an extra income by selling templates.
As you can understand, although users are sharing their templates for their own advantage, this benefits Notion itself by drawing users to the website and raising awareness of it; this is what UGC is all about!
Image Source: TikTok
Our point here is that by creating something that’s based on user-generation, you incentivize creators to share their own work by default, therefore benefiting you as well.
A tactic Notion seems to have taken great advantage of.
Is this section actually performing organically though?
Let’s have a closer look at it.
A Look into the Organic Performance of Notion’s Templates
Starting off with the basics, Notion’s templates section has generated over 287K monthly visits in almost 2 years.
In order to have more context, it’s worth breaking down the section’s structure to see how much each subsection contributes to the overall organic performance.
To be precise, these are the main folders of the notion.so/templates subfolder:
Their meanings are:
- Category: The category each template falls in, for example school templates
- Creators: List of Notion’s template creators
- Collections: Suggested templates in the form of short-form blog posts
The actual templates fall under the main subfolder, in the form of:
And obviously are the ones performing the best organically.
To be even more precise:
- Categories generate 70K monthly organic visits, or 24.3% of the section’s traffic
- Creators almost don’t generate any traffic at all, which is natural since their scope isn’t SEO
- Collections attract 5.7K monthly visits, or 2% of the section’s organic traffic
The remaining ~75% of the section’s traffic derives from the templates themselves.
Notably, here are the best performing templates (always from an organic point of view):
- Free Notion Widgets & Tools (8.3K monthly organic visits)
- Aesthetic Nature (5.7K monthly organic visits)
- Email Generator (3.9K monthly organic visits)
What’s also interesting is how the template pages have been structured, not only to include the necessary information but also to promote related templates.
In essence, the above-the-fold includes the template’s name, what it looks like, and the creator (plus the price if it’s not free).
Moving on, there’s a description of the template, the categories it falls into, the creator’s social profiles/email, and social share buttons.
Last but not least, we can see more of the creator’s templates and related content.
What’s even more interesting, is that when you select “View template” you can interact with the template to see how it works in a product-led way.
And once you click “Start with this template”, it’s automatically added to your Notion workspace if you already have one.
This is a great example of how product-led UGC can be leveraged for growth.
So far, it’s clear that Notion’s templates are an excellent way to attract organic traffic to the website, which will consequently convert to users (we assume the conversion rate is quite high).
Although the template section ranks for over 60K organic keywords in the US alone…
…and receives over 287K monthly organic visitors as we saw earlier, we couldn’t possibly not mention the off-page SEO factor.
Let’s see what we mean by that.
The Role of Off-Page SEO in the Growth of Notion’s Templates
You most likely already know the value of off-page actions and how they can boost a website’s performance.
However, Notion’s templates section isn’t a simple case of how a few backlinks or mentions contributed to its good performance.
We’re talking about various off-site factors generating mass awareness for Notion, without Notion doing anything itself.
To give you an idea of what we mean, the keyword “notion templates” has a global monthly search volume of 100K (30K in the US), gaining more and more popularity, as seen in the following chart by Ahrefs.
Users search for different variations of the term, like:
- Free notion templates (11K monthly searches)
- Aesthetic notion templates (8.5K monthly searches)
- Notion templates for students (7K monthly searches)
- Best notion templates (2.6K monthly searches)
This is in order to find the template that suits their needs.
However, what’s interesting is that most search results aren’t even from Notion itself, but from other websites listing various templates.
As you can imagine, this vast amount of content…
…drives an enormous amount of awareness and visits to Notion.
This can also be verified from the fact that the templates section has received 823K backlinks from almost 2K referring domains.
In fact, many of the websites creating list posts of Notion templates are doing this to promote certain templates they’ve created themselves, which further shows the impact of UGC on a website’s growth, by incentivizing creators to promote their work voluntarily.
Besides the millions of search results about Notion’s templates, other channels have played their part too.
TikTok, as we mentioned earlier, is one of them, with UGC videos generating hundreds of millions of views, as seen in the list of hashtags below:
Another channel is Reddit with the Notiontemplates subreddit having more than 12K members:
Image Source: Reddit
This also shows how strong the community around Notion templates is.
YouTube is another channel we have to mention, with thousands of UGC videos constantly being created, also generating millions of views.
Image Source: YouTube
In fact, according to VidIQ, the keyword notion templates has a monthly search volume of 256K.
The average views per video is 359K!
Since we talked about community building earlier, Facebook is another channel that’s been utilized, with the Free Notion Templates group gathering more than 164K members, and users sharing templates and opinions with one another.
Image Source: Facebook
It’s hard to determine how much exposure Notion gains on a daily basis through all those channels, but their impact is undeniable.
Our main point is that UGC content doesn’t only benefit Notion through the templates created but also people sharing those templates via third-party channels, like the ones we mentioned above.
Now Over to You
Notion’s templates are a brilliant case of how a website section can drive both organic performance and actual business impact.
It’s also impressive how those are achieved with user-generated content without the company having to invest time and money in constant content creation.
As Ivan Zhao, Notion’s founder and CEO, said in an interview:
And when many people come together to create resources that help solve those problems, you can have impact at scale.
That’s what Notion’s templates are all about.