We talk a lot about how to master your B2B marketing. But we don’t always get to talk about how we help our clients master theirs. Today we’re sharing the story of how we helped Blend increase site traffic 183% with an SEO strategy that helped them reach a whole new audience.
Blend is the infrastructure powering the future of banking. Financial providers—from large banks, fintechs, and credit unions to community and independent mortgage banks—use Blend’s platform to transform banking experiences for their customers.
When the Blend team came to us in 2019, their product was well known in the mortgage space, but they wanted to grow into consumer banking. To increase their presence in this space, they enlisted us to build a fresh content strategy from the ground up, expanding their target audience, identifying new consumer pain points, crafting fresh messaging, and creating a content ecosystem to help them reach the right audience. Soon thereafter, when Covid-19 hit, Blend worked alongside financial institutions’ to spin up applications for PPP loans and manage an influx of remote and hybrid loan closings—additional topics that we folded into the evolving strategy framework.
As part of our due diligence through this process, we conducted a content audit to understand their current landscape and instantly identified a core problem: They did not have an SEO strategy to get their content in front of the right people. Luckily, as they were expanding into a whole new market, they had a huge opportunity to rank for a whole new set of keywords. As we crafted their content strategy to position Blend as the trusted resource for all things financial, we knew an expert mix of thought leadership tailored for SEO could do wonders for their brand goals.
How We Tackled Blend’s SEO Strategy
To strategically rank for keywords, we used a topic cluster strategy, wherein you create high-value foundational pieces around a specific keyword and use supporting content to target additional relevant keywords.
The key to success, of course, was creating this rich, high-quality content at scale. Here’s how we did it.
1) We identified high-priority keywords.
We first focused on product-specific keywords (e.g., “mortgage application software”) to cover their bread-and-butter topics. Once we had a solid batch of rankings, we turned our attention to more specific (and helpful) higher-funnel longtail keywords and phrases (e.g., “examples of cross selling in banking”).
Note: Search volume for many of their new target keywords was low, but that also made it easier for us to dominate those keywords. Since implementing this strategy, many of these search terms have doubled or tripled in search volume—with Blend leading the rankings.
Tip: To do this yourself, follow our tips to find out which keywords are right for you.
2) We optimized existing content.
Blend had an existing archive of content, so we weren’t starting from scratch. Much of this content was still relevant and useful, but it was not tailored for SEO. To start, we cleaned up, combined, and reoptimized existing posts to provide more value to readers and target the right keywords. (The more rich and valuable your content is, the more algorithms reward you.)
3) We developed guidelines for creating net new content.
We needed to ensure all new content was on-brand, high-quality, and optimized, so we created a step-by-step guide to help Blend’s team of expert writers find the balance between writing for search engines and humans. Of course, no matter how well-written a piece is, it needs to be relevant to its audience. As Blend was targeting financial C-Suite leaders and decision-makers, they focused on that group’s unique pain points to brainstorm keyword-related content that would pique the audience’s interest and fill crucial gaps in Blend’s content ecosystem.
Tip: Having an efficient production process is the key to creating a healthy volume of content at scale. See our tips to master content creation and build the infrastructure you need.
Blend’s success relies on a healthy mix of targeted content.
At the start of our engagement, Blend was hoping to increase their web traffic by 15%. Three years later, our SEO strategy has increased their traffic a stunning 183%, in addition to other key metric increases, including:
- 50 priority keywords ranking Page 1
- 450+ total keywords ranking Page 1
- 18% increase in session duration for editorial content
Not only are we proud of these results but we are especially proud of the trusting partnership we’ve cultivated over these last few years.
“We would have been completely satisfied if we had only received strong strategic guidance, an actionable SEO framework, and organic traffic results that speak for themselves. In addition, we also gained a passionate and compassionate set of new teammates committed to our success. The difference between a run-of-the-mill SEO vendor transaction and a C5 partnership couldn’t be any more stark.” —Greg Babel, Lead – Brand, Editorial, and Advocacy at Blend.
The only thing better than helping our clients win is helping others do it too, so what can you learn from Blend’s success?
- Look at the gaps in your own content. It’s easy to get laser-focused on one part of your marketing and overlook a big opportunity elsewhere. Use our free template to conduct a content audit and find what you’re missing in your content mix.
- Focus on value. Your content is only as good as the value it provides. Blend understands the unique problems their audience faces and speaks to those issues with authority. If you want to create strong content, create personas that clearly outline your audience, brainstorm relevant topics, and vet your ideas to make sure they will connect.
- Be vigilant. We did not create a set-it-and-forget-it strategy for Blend. In the years we’ve worked together, we have regularly tracked, tweaked, and improved strategy (9 iterations to date) to ensure we are aligned with their goals, focused on the right things, and constantly improving. If you and your team need to get on the same page, download our free B2B content strategy toolkit to document your goals and plan of attack.
Ultimately, beyond this SEO strategy, the number one thing we can attribute our success with Blend to is our collaborative partnership. Over the years, we’ve supported the team through through fundraising rounds and IPO, constantly adapting to help their brand grow. All along, they’ve trusted us to guide them in the right direction and provided the support we need to bring their strategy to life. (Since a healthy relationship is the key to success with any agency, see our tips to get the most from your agency if you’re working with outside help.)
So, if you’re curious to see what results we can get for you, learn more about what it’s like to work with us on a content strategy, or reach out directly. We’d love to make your brand our next case study.