How Intercom Grew its Customer Base with SEO?

Niharika Gupta Niharika Gupta Atish Ranjan Das Atish Ranjan Das
Jun 6, 2022 5 min read
How Intercom Grew its Customer Base with SEO?

When we talk about SaaS startups, we can find many names that have performed well in their respective segment. But Intercom is one such company whose growth has outperformed the growth statistics of some of the industry’s biggest names, viz., Hubspot, RingCentral, Zendesk, Shopify, and more. A closer look at the market growth rate highlights how Slack is the only SaaS startup besides Intercom to have witnessed such massive growth. But what exactly added fuel to Intercom’s enormous success? The answer is SEO and content marketing.

Intercom used killer SEO strategies to become one of the fewest SaaS startups that rakes millions in ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue). At present, the company has an ARR of over $50 million. Keep reading if you’re interested in learning how this company skyrocketed its ARR without spending heavily on advertising and marketing.

Intercom Leveraging the Power of Dynamic Keyword Insertion
Targeting Keywords that Bring Intercom the Highest Quality Traffic
Intercom’s Killer Off-Page SEO Strategy
Doing SEO Differently: A Thing to Learn from Intercom

Intercom Leveraging the Power of Dynamic Keyword Insertion

If you use SimilarWeb, you can find the top websites that drive the most traffic to the Intercom website. The highest share of traffic comes from the Intercom app itself. And the other traffic comes from websites that use Intercom on their website. Let’s take SimilarWeb, for example. This company too uses Intercom to streamline, organize, and personalize their customer communications. Hence, whenever you visit their website and click on the live chat box, you will notice something like this:

Similarweb on Intercom

Did you see the “We run on Intercom” at the bottom of the chatbox? This message contains a link to their official website.

If you visit any company website that uses Intercom, you will find a similar message in the chatbox. You’ll instantly be redirected to a particular landing page that Intercom created for the traffic coming from the respective website when you click on it. The SEO team at Intercom used dynamic keyword insertion in these landing pages to make the messaging more personalized. For example, you can find the name of the company + Intercom that you visited earlier in the landing page’s headline. It is done to enhance personalization for referral traffic.

Intercom uses the “we run on Intercom” tactic with dynamic keyword insertion to get maximum conversions from the referral traffic. If you’re finding it difficult to convert your referral traffic, you can do something similar.

Targeting Keywords that Bring Intercom the Highest Quality Traffic

Intercom has achieved two goals by targeting the right keywords. One is becoming an authority website, and the second is ranking for hundreds of keywords on top of SERPs.

What makes this strategy unique is ranking for specific keywords that solve one core user problem. Intercom was very clear from day one about focusing more on solving a user problem and not stuffing the blog with keywords to rank for specific keywords. And guess what, it worked excellent for them.

If you go by the technical SEO terms, it is fair to say Intercom relied on “Semantic SEO.” Semantic keywords are identical phrases or words that are very similar to the primary keywords. When you use terms matching the search query, Google uses its advanced AI algorithms to find the search intent and match the user with the most relevant content piece.

So if you were unable to rank your website on SERPs and drive organic traffic, you should try replicating this tactic from Intercom that delivered phenomenal results.


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Intercom’s Killer Off-Page SEO Strategy

Every company relies on off-page SEO to get more traffic and engagement on their blog posts or official website, and Intercom is no different. Intercom used the Medium Publication feature to get more reach and shares on the published content. You can still find their publication named Inside Intercom on Medium. But unlike most companies, Intercom doesn’t simply re-publish their blogs on Medium almost instantly after publishing them on their website.

You can notice a difference of two to eleven months between the actual blog post published on the Intercom website and the Inside Intercom Medium publication. This strategy ensures Intercom keeps getting traffic on old blog posts through Medium. A similar off-page SEO tactic is being followed by Hubspot too.

But what made Intercom’s Medium strategy work was its selection of topics. Instead of optimizing for search engines, Intercom started publishing optimized content for people. Intercom noticed that opinion pieces, reaction posts, and personal accounts were getting more engagement than the traditional blog post content. It is why they started publishing more on startups, product management, design, etc., and chose topics that would make people read their publication blog posts.

But writing compelling and engaging blog posts wasn’t the only thing that did wonders for Intercom. The company merged enticing CTAs with every blog post to maximize website traffic. Almost all the Intercom Medium articles had four common CTA links:

  • Intercom blog
  • Other relevant blog links published on the Intercom website
  • The author’s Twitter profile, and
  • The Intercom home page

Finding platforms where prospects hang out and using the same platform for repurposing content worked great for Intercom. You should try this amazing off-page tactic too.

Doing SEO Differently: A Thing to Learn from Intercom

SEO is the best way to make people find your company or products right when they need them the most. It is also a great method to drive consistent free traffic to a website in the short and long term. While many companies are trying their best to ace the SEO game, not everyone managed to crack the SEO code that works best for their website. Luckily, Intercom is not one of those companies. Intercom chose to do SEO in its own unique way.

After analyzing the Intercom website, we found that the company uses a strong off-site and on-page SEO strategy. From refraining to use keyword stuffing for higher rankings to branching out to other publications to gain more eyeballs- there’s a lot Intercom did to dominate the SERPs for the right keywords and receive consistent traffic. Sure, Intercom also invests in PPC and content marketing efforts, but its prime traffic comes from its SEO efforts.

Conclusion

Of all the SEO strategies Intercom uses, we’ve listed above the most relevant tactics that have contributed to Intercom’s massive growth. If you’re a company struggling to improve its SEO efforts, try implementing the above-discussed SEO tactics for visible results.

FAQs

Why do people use the Intercom?

Intercom is a Customer Communications Platform. It helps to target customers with content, behavior-driven messages, and conversational support.

How many customers does Intercom have?

Over 25000 businesses are the customers of Intercom.

What is the revenue of Intercom?

Intercom has an ARR of over $50 million.

Who are the top customers of Intercom?

Top customers of Intercom are:

  • Amazon
  • Lyft Business
  • Atlassian

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