I’ve been wanting to write about this topic for a while. Canva is a DR 92 site that crrrrrrushes it on content. One of the best I’ve seen. This post is going to be about looking at their success and trying to pick it apart, to learn from/emulate.
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Canva’s Content Game Is Killing It
I stumbled upon this when the domain name “forest green” was expiring at DropCatch. (It sold for $3087 last December–a steal if you ask me!)
In researching the domain and the keyword when I was thinking about buying it, I was intrigued with the results–especially the page I saw from Canva:
67,000 searches per month (admittedly, a good chunk of those are for the soccer club–but still!), and Canva was ranking #1.
When I went to the page itself I was in love — an extremely useful page, well-laid out, covering every topic that was possibly relevant. Sure the DR 92 of the root domain doesn’t hurt, but this page was beautifully done.
More on that in a minute.
I searched other colors… seafoam green. Magenta. Pastel yellow.
Every single page ranked in the top 3–mostly in the top spot. The URLs are structured like this:
So I removed the color name and threw that URL into Ahrefs to see what it looked like (as it would show all versions of that URL ranking–with al the colors it was ranking for).
One million in organic traffic for this… silo(?)
Amazing. Here is a more detailed look at the traffic stats:
And some of the gigantic keywords these pages rank for:
So let’s break it down…
How is the Content Laid Out To Be So Useful (to humans AND search algorithms…)
First, let’s look at the hero section of the page, and what it contains:
Google LOVES that shit.
In the sidebar is a seriously useful array of color combinations:
Get them “dwell time” numbers up, dawg.
The next section is rich with semantically-similar keywords:
“bushes,” “trees,” “nature,” “environment,” “blues and greens.”
I didn’t pull a Clearscope report, but I bet some of those words are on it.
Also, FOR SURE “hex code” is there–that is a useful piece of information to searchers of “forest green.”
Next: internal links FTW:
Exact match, yeah it’s not always the best idea, but in this case, it’s pretty relevant and I’d argue: quite useful if this isn’t quite the color you were looking for.
The piece of content ends with some very technical, data-rich content:
It’s not new or original information, but it doesn’t have to be, here. Forest green isn’t changing, and these color values are also not changing.
This is a great example of a page not needing to be 3,000 words long to rank–it’s 699 words. Obviously this is a keyword by keyword basis kind of thing, but if you’re trying to outrank Canva on a color (good luck to ya), writing a LONGER page about the color probably won’t do much for you.
I’m an idiot when it comes to Programmatic SEO stuff…
But this is probably done programmatically, right?
That shit fascinates me, but I’m way too chaotic to make that stuff work for me. If it IS mostly programmatic, wow. What a huge win.
Here’s what the /color-meanings/ page looks like (nested beneath the /colors subfolder):
Looks great–very visual tool. You can scroll and scroll hovering over and clicking on various colors.
Here’s where the “color meanings” page lives under the /colors subfolder:
There are some amazing things ranking under those other pages (like ranking #1 for “color wheel”) — just absolutely dominating topical relevancy for everything color which is some AMAZING top-of-funnel content for their paid tool.
In the future I’ll explore some more things Canva is doing that really impressed me, but I thought looking at their top-of-funnel color content and how they were laying it out was a good starting place.
I don’t want to run this newsletter too long, but another site that does this kind of thing AMAZINGLY is Grammarly.
Here’s a taste:
“grey or gray” gets about 66,000 searches/mo according to Ahrefs (other combinations of this phrase really add to the total) and is ABSOLUTELY something you have probably Googled at some point in your life.
A person looking for the answer to this question is 100% someone that could easily see the value in signing up for Grammarly, so it’s a great top-of-funnel piece for them.
And though it’s nearly double the length of Canva’s color pages, the “grey or gray” page is under 1200 words–very direct content, very to the point.
Maybe in the future I’ll do a round-up of sites with this kind of content. It is a great example of what writing useful, straightfroward content can look like.
So what is a takeaway from all this?
To sum it up, I’d say:
- cover the topical map entirely
- write useful, straightforward content
- obviously get links to become a trusted authority
- you don’t necessarily need to be guided by exact keyword research–write the content the users of your product/ideal customer will be searching for.
No duh, right?
But it can be helpful to see how another, very successful site is doing things, and that’s what I tried to do here.
As for me, my plan is to redouble my efforts to cover the topical map like a couple of Burmese Pythons covered the Everglades.
I’ll also be changing the writer’s and the AI’s output to focus on shorter, more direct articles where it calls for it.
How does one know?
Google that shit–are the pages ranking 5,000 word monsters? If not, it’s probably OK. At this point, in the interest of trying to produce new SEO-buzzword non-homogenous content (meaning content that isn’t the same as all the other content in the SERPs), I might experiment with some pieces and see if I can outrank some of wordier results with some real focused content.
Do you have any favorite examples of sites that are crushing it on their content? Share them with me, I collect them and keep them on my dresser.