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How Airtable’s Long Tail SEO Strategy Is Helping Build Their Moat

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In 2020, Zoom captured the market that Google Meet should have dominated. Unfortunately for Google, their lack of focus on their video conferencing tool allowed Zoom to dominate. In the same vein, Google’s lack of focus amongst the powerful tools they have at their disposal in the collection formerly known as GSuite has cost them billions. The Unbundling of Gsuite is real.

Here’s a graphic we put together describing the phenomena this time last year:

Since this diagram was published, the companies going after GSuite have unlocked ridiculous value.

Notion is now valued at $2B.
Coda valued at $636M.
Zoom is at $100B.
Dropbox is at $11B.
Box is at $3.5B.

And now Airtable is at $5.8B…

In case you’re not keeping track, this recent round of investment has allowed Airtable to double its valuation in less than a year. But it didn’t happen accidentally. Airtable is taking advantage of one of the most important tools of all time. Airtable is building and innovating on top of the spreadsheet. I’ve said before that the economy thrives on the back of spreadsheets and the Unbundling of Excel is evidence.

For most SaaS companies → Excel & Google sheets have been your biggest competitors. You might think the competition is another SaaS company. You think your biggest competition is the startup that just raised a new round of funding. But in reality…

The biggest competition is a spreadsheet.

Spreadsheets are found in every industry. Spreadsheets can serve many professions. Spreadsheets can be tailored to individual use cases. And spreadsheets have virtually no onboarding friction because they have been used for so long.

Whether it’s a spreadsheet being used to keep track of content marketing efforts or a spreadsheet being used to keep track of trucks moving in and out of a shipping pier – our global economy and society at large runs on the back of spreadsheets.

This is where Airtable has been able to thrive.

Because the spreadsheet hadn’t really been innovated upon for decades until they came along. Airtable has created a better spreadsheet and has armed all of us with the ability to create powerful spreadsheets that can operate the same way a database or application would.

But this isn’t where the brilliance comes in.

The brilliance comes in through their ability to leverage user-generated content to start laying the bricks for what could be one of the most underrated yet powerful SEO moats in the world. All on the back of long tail search terms that are in high demand and further showcase the versatility of spreadsheets as the ultimate SaaS competitor.

Let’s dive in…

How AirTable Dominates The SERP Via Long Tail Keywords

Every month, it’s estimated that half a million people land on Airtable.com via organic search.

That’s a lot of people.

And for the most part, these visits are coming from people looking for specific use cases & templates. There are more than 50,000 organic keywords you can type into Google that will result in a page that includes links to Airtable. Most of these pages generate a couple thousand or couple hundred visits per month through organic traffic. For example, the keyword: content calendar template gets nearly 4,000 searches per month and Airtable averages in the 8th position for this SERP. According to some keyword research tools; this results in anywhere from 300 to 600 visits per month.

At first glance…

That doesn’t sound like a lot.

But multiple 300 by the 50,000 organic keywords that Airtable ranks for. That’s millions of visits.

Unfortunately, a lot of the other keywords don’t perform as well as the content calendar template and many will actually only generate 10 or 20 visits a month to Airtable. But that’s okay. It’s okay because they have diversified their content investment across so many different keywords that they’re able to generate results on the back of this more long tail driven approach.

For example, Airtable has templates for long tail phrases like:

> Trip Calendar
> Book Database
> Recipe Database
> Personal CRM
> Social Media Calendar
> Lease Tracker
> Job Search Template
> Location Scout Template
> Casting Sheet
> Trip Planner
> Strategy Guide Creator
> Conference Planning Template
And so much more.

Each of these pages might only generate 30 or 50 organic visits a month but of those visits → it can be assumed that the user intent is going to align very well with the content the user receives. This is where the valuation of Airtable begins to make sense. The product is replacing the various mobile apps, SaaS applications and product features that are sold every day to fill these gaps.

Imagine you’re a landlord and have 5 properties that you have been keeping track of in different files on your computer. You hear on a podcast that it might be worth using a tracker of some sort. You go to Google and type “lease tracker template” just like 5 other people did this month.

You see a search result from Airtable and are then taken here:

This template looks like a DREAM.
So… You click ‘use template’ and within seconds begin to customize your template. Not only are you now officially an Airtable customer, but you will begin to fall in love with the product and become more and more impressed by the functionality. Eventually, you realize they have other templates you can use… In fact, they have an entire section of their site dedicated to them:

And you realize that your life will never be the same.

You see:

People love templates.

It’s a cheat code to adulting.

This is something that Airtable has realized and has built directly into its acquisition strategy.

You can type into Google more than 4,400 variations of keywords that include the word ‘template’ and be met with an Airtable template that aims to help you. Whether it’s a film production budget template or a volunteer database template — Airtable has thousands of templates available through their platform and accessible with a quick Google search.

This is the early stages of what I believe could become an impressive SEO moat.

There’s a lot more here and will definitely be diving in deeper over the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for a more in-depth blog post sharing some of the ways Airtable is poised to create an SEO empire. It feels like they’re onto something special…

Stay tuned.

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