How to Use SEO to Drive PLG in Your Startup

How to Use SEO to Drive PLG in Your Startup

Picture of Lauren Newalani

Lauren Newalani

Content Writer for Whistle with multidisciplinary experience spanning over a decade.


Table of Contents

Startups these days talk a LOT about growth. But here’s the thing: slapdash marketing won’t cut it, especially if you’ve built a product you’re genuinely proud of. You need to find your people – the ones who’ll love your solution as much as you do. That’s where SEO comes in, but not in the ‘stuff some keywords in and hope’ kind of way.

You want people to flock to your website, and your product is the star that keeps them coming back for more. Your visitors flock to your site because of SEO, but they stay for long periods because of PLG.


Best Practices for Product-Led SEO

Getting the most out of SEO for your product means striking the perfect balance between what search engines look for and the experience you offer your users. It’s where technical smarts meet genuine customer focus. Let’s break down some vital areas:


  • Understanding Intent: Go beyond just the words people type into search. What’s the underlying goal or problem they’re trying to solve? Matching your product with that intent is key to attracting the right audience. This is where expert market research or the in-depth data insights provided by a sales development agency like Whistle can be invaluable.
  • Natural Language: Stiff, keyword-stuffed content is a turn-off for both users and search engines. Subtly weave in those relevant keywords while providing value with content that sounds natural and helpful.
  • Think Link Building: Backlinks (other websites linking to your product pages) act like votes of confidence for search engines. Create content and resources that are so valuable and shareable that others naturally want to link to them.


Keyword Research

Building a product without knowing what problems it solves is a recipe for a flop. Keyword research helps you avoid that. It reveals your target audience’s exact words and phrases when searching for solutions to their challenges and desires.

Keyword research tools like Ahrefs or Semrush are essential for this task. They give you insights into search terms, but your expertise is needed to pinpoint the keywords that perfectly reflect your product’s unique strengths. Don’t just settle for any keywords, focus on the ones that attract the right audience, i.e. people who will recognize your product right away.


On-Page Optimization

Search engines have a soft spot for websites that are organized and helpful, just like a well-stocked pantry where everything’s easy to find. That’s the essence of on-page optimization. We’re talking about clear titles that say exactly what’s inside, descriptions that entice people to click, and links that guide them smoothly from one point to the next.

Luckily, you don’t have to become a search engine whisperer overnight. On-page optimization tools are like your trusty kitchen scale – they’ll analyze your content and pinpoint where you can add a pinch more clarity or a sprinkle of keyword goodness.


User Experience (UX) Optimization

A positive user experience is the backbone of a successful product-led SEO strategy. A website that’s difficult to navigate or slow to load will send potential customers running. Make finding information a breeze, keep your site snappy, and cater to those browsing on their phones.

Why does this matter so much? A fantastic user experience doesn’t just keep visitors on your site, it turns them into enthusiastic advocates. They’ll appreciate the ease of use and naturally want to share their positive experience with others.


Mobile Optimization

Speaking of phones, making your website mobile-friendly isn’t just a bonus, it’s a necessity for SEO success. These days, a huge chunk of internet browsing happens on smartphones, so your site needs to adapt effortlessly to any screen size – no awkward zooming or pinching allowed. Features like large, easy-to-tap buttons make the experience even better.

A frustrating mobile experience can send potential customers elsewhere in a heartbeat. Optimize for mobile, and you’re not just making things easier for users, you’re giving your SEO efforts a major boost.


Technical SEO

Technical SEO is the behind-the-scenes work that makes your product shine in the eyes of search engines. Imagine search engines as incredibly thorough inspectors – they want to see that everything works perfectly and is organized in a way they understand.

Here’s what to focus on:


  • Lightning-fast loading speeds: No one likes waiting for a slow website, and neither do search engines.
  • Flawless across devices: Your website should work perfectly whether someone accesses it on a desktop computer or a smartphone.
  • The right markup: Using things like structured data and schema markup gives search engines more context about your content, helping them understand what your product is all about.


Nailing technical SEO might not sound glamorous, but it’s a non-negotiable part of the process. Get this right, and you’ll make it easier for search engines to find you and give your product the attention it deserves.


How to Create a Product-Led SEO Strategy

Now, let’s turn these best practices into action with a strategic approach:


Leverage a Freemium Model

Offer a taste of your product’s brilliance with a freemium model. Success stories like Slack prove how powerful this can be. A freemium plan is the ultimate try-before-you-buy experience, attracting users and boosting your SEO in one go.

But here’s the key: your freemium version must be considered. Study your audience carefully – what features would provide a compelling taste of your product’s value? What features would users want more? With a freemium plan, you want to create an experience that naturally hooks users and makes the decision to upgrade easy.


Define Your Core Topic

What’s the heart of what you’re building? What pain point do you solve better than anyone? That’s your core topic. Now it’s time for keyword research and content that demonstrates exactly how your amazing product offers the solution.


Show Your Tool in Action at Every Stage of the Buyers’ Journey

Don’t just tell people how amazing your product is – give them a front-row seat to its transformative power. Think of showcasing your product as telling a story with your potential customers as the main characters.

Here are some ways to weave this story throughout their journey:


  • Early Awareness: Blog posts tackling common pain points establish you as an expert and highlight how your product provides a solution.
  • Consideration: Case studies with quantifiable results (“increased efficiency by X%” or “saved Y hours per week”) show your product’s true value.
  • Decision: Video demos let them visualize themselves using your product, overcoming hurdles, and achieving their goals.
  • Advocacy: Testimonials and screenshots from happy customers solidify trust, create social proof, and encourage others to take the leap.


By strategically showcasing your product at each stage, you’re not just informing potential customers, you’re inviting them to be a part of the success story.

The product-led growth journey is exciting. Invest in a well-rounded SEO strategy that highlights your product’s strengths, and you’ll find yourself building not just a website that ranks, but a brand that people trust and a product they can’t live without.

Struggling to connect with your ideal customers? Let Whistle help you refine your strategy and boost your lead generation.