Dev tool search engine optimization (SEO) examples

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JTBD blog post from WorkOS

This is how you write dev tool JTBD blog posts.

Masterclass of writing this type of content from @WorkOS imho.

Deep 2000 word guide that explains how to add webhooks the your application.

Goes into examples, best practices, everything.

One thing it doesn't do?

It doesn't push the product left right and center.

In fact, the only CTA is hidden in the very last sentence of the very last section.

Why?

Because most likely, the reader's intent is around understanding the problem at this point.

They want to understand what adding webhooks to their app really means from the practitioner's standpoint.

And they did that beautifully.

Could you have pushed the product a bit more? Sure.

But by answering the actual questions devs came here for they managed to build trust.

And I am sure got their fair share of click-throughs and signups anyway.

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Product-led SEO tactic from Cronjob

Great SEO tactic.

What folks from Cronitor did is:

  • For every combination of "cron +" they created a website
  • Those simple websites rank for particular keywords like "cron every 11 minutes"
  • When you land on the page you get a command you need that solves your problem
  • And you get a nice explanation of their paid tool for monitoring cron jobs

This can be used for many dev-focused tools as by definition they use commands which can be templated.

I've heard about it originally from Harry Dry over at https://marketingexamples.com/seo/cronitor

โ€

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Great "What is {my core keyword}" article from Planetscale

How to write a "What is {MY CORE KEYWORD}" article that gets to the top of HackerNews? ๐Ÿ‘‡

First of all, almost no one succeeds at that as you write those articles for SEO distribution, not HN distribution.

To get an SEO-first article on HN your content quality bar needs to be super high.

But you can do it.

PlanetScale managed to get their "What is database sharding and how does it work?" on the orange page (kudos to Justin Gage!).

Here is what was interesting about that article:

๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ผ.

โ€ข โŒ No "In today's fast-paced data-driven world enterprises work with data" stuff.
โ€ข โœ… Justย ย "Learn what database sharding is, how sharding works, and some common sharding frameworks and tools."

๐—›๐—ถ๐˜๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜†๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ.

๐Ÿ’š Speaking peer to peer, not authority-student:

โ€ข "Youโ€™ve probably seen this table before, about how scaling out helps you take this users table, all stored on a single server:"
โ€ข "And turn it into this users table, stored across 2 (or 1,000) servers:"
โ€ข "But thatโ€™s only one type of sharding (row level, or horizontal). "

๐—จ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ท๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ

Things like:

โ€ข "Partitioning has existed โ€“ especially in OLAP setups"
โ€ข "Sifting through HDFS partitions to find the missing snapshot "

๐—”๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ

๐Ÿ”ฅ Look at the section "How database sharding works under the hood" with subsections:

โ€ข Sharding schemes and algorithms
โ€ข Deciding on what servers to use
โ€ข Routing your sharded queries to the right databases
โ€ข Planning and executing your migration to a sharded solution

๐ŸŽ ๐—•๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜‚๐˜€: ๐—ฝ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ด ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜†

Section "Sharding frameworks and tools" shares open-source tools (every dev, but HN devs in particular like OS projects).

And there as an info box, you have the info that Planetscale comes with one of those OS projects deployed.

Just a beautifully executed piece of content marketing.

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JSON Web Tokens from Auth0

Marketing through free tools is powerful. And Auth0 implemented it beautifully.

In an old article from Gonto I read about some free tools that Auth0 created years ago.

And those tools are still generating traffic and leads today.

And they are helpful to developers and make the Auht0 brand even more appreciated by the community.

One of those tools is JSON Web Token Debugger.

So how this works for them is this:

  • You understand that your target dev audience has a problem
  • You realize that helpful blog posts can only do so much
  • You create a small tool that helps solve that problem
  • You create content that explain the concept to help build SEO
  • You link out to that content on the home
  • You add links to your core product/events or other offers in the navbar
  • You wait for devs to come ;)

Now, Gonto suggested that is important to do it on a separate domain to make it less promotional.

I am not sold on that especially when I know there are companies like @VEED.IO that build "SEO tool clusters" in the /tools/ subfolder of their page and crush it in search.

But either way, if you can solve a real problem your target devs have, no matter how small, you should be able to get some developer love (and $) from the value you created.

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Snyk Advisor SEO growth loop

Great example of programmatic SEO from Snyk.

They created a page calledย snyk advisor.

It is a repository of pages about open-source packages.

Each page is created automatically out of publicly available information.

Enhances it with Snyk-generated security scans and reports.

It builds awareness for other Snyk products in the security space.

A lot of those pages rank high in google for the {package} keyword which is incredible.

And when people land on the package report page the CTAs to Snyk products push conversions.