Scale organic traffic for inventory websites
1. Use the Jobs-to-be-done framework (JTBD) to identify user intent for a topic and come up with a list of jobs for which you can build new features.
Using the JTBD framework involves looking at the jobs your audiences are trying to do—and in what context. A “job,” in this case, is a micro-task that’s connected to context—the circumstances in which the user is trying to get a job done. In other words, it is the interactions your users have with your product. For example, defining jobs for Spotify could be: “listen to music,” “share music with friends,” “explore new genres,” etc.
2. Cross-check that each job satisfies at least one searcher need as described by Google.
Google identifies six needs: Surprise me; Thrill me; Impress me; Educate me; Reassure me; Help me.
3. Run competitor analysis using a feature like Ahrefs’ “Content Gap” or SEMrush’s “Keyword Gap” and set “Word count” to a minimum of 3 words, to identify query patterns your competitors rank for but you do not.
The example below compares eBay’s keywords to Amazon’s, with a minimum word count of 3, using Ahref’s Content Gap. It shows that “[item] for sale” is a query syntax eBay ranks well for but Amazon doesn’t. There are other ways to find query patterns for your job ideas, some of which include: using rank tracker tools to find query syntax you rank for but not high on the SERP, looking at internal search keywords in tools like Google Analytics, Algolia, or Looker, using tools like Exploding Topics, or Google Trends to discover new topics.
4. Ask your target group directly what features you should build, on social networks or a user testing platform, to inform new feature ideas.
You can also mine or monitor mentions on social networks and look for complaints or requests for features. Again, you should ask the customer support team: What features are customers regularly complaining about or requesting?
5. Build a new page for your new feature if your existing pages already target a clear intent, and the new feature would dilute it, otherwise, integrate it on existing pages.
Deploy the feature at a small scale to test how well it works for users and whether the new feature helps you rank for a query pattern you already rank for or a new one. At G2, for example, they learned that a query syntax like “free [software name]” can’t be solved with a filter on a category page. To be search-friendly and provide the best answer, it needs a new page template.
6. Test new features with Google’s rendering tool in Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, and their Mobile-Friendly Test, to ensure they’re publicly accessible for users and search engines.
For Google Search Console: Go to URL Inspection, Insert URL into the search field, click “Live Test”, click “Screenshot”, and make sure the URL has no problems.
7. Crawl your site on a staging environment with freshly deployed features and compare metrics like crawl depth and internal links to similar pages on the live version of your site, to make sure your new pages are discoverable for search engines.
Add a homepage module that links to hub pages (often category pages) on which the new feature pages are linked, to avoid crawl budget problems. Ensure that you link between new feature pages to make it easy for: Google to understand their relationship, users to navigate between them, and link equity to pass across the new page template.
8. Examine the queries you’re targeting with the new feature and make sure the information and value you provide are sufficient for users to get something out of it.
9. Look at user satisfaction metrics: this depends on the original intent of the query.
In most cases, it’s either time on page, scroll depth, or a triggered click event. Use a mix of all three, if possible.