10x SEO growth organizing community onsite vs 3rd party platforms

Matthew Scyoc
4 replies
A couple weeks back I launched the private beta of my startup Ousia.ai. Surprisingly, 400+ users signed up in just 2 days! Quickly thereafter, I realized a new problem - communication. High level, the email outreach is somewhat straightforward for me since I've been on a wide variety of marketing teams across a wide range of companies. Being an ex-Amazon, ex-Disney, ex-Hearst Magazines SEO lead I was able to set up a basic lifecycle pipeline fairly quickly. I set up the free version of Hubspot CRM, created a welcome email, etc. I also went one step further and created a customer feedback survey as a way to start collecting pricing, usage, product market fit info. I would recommend setting up a free CRM system before you start marketing or testing your startup's validation process. Having said that, it is definitely a good problem to have ;) What does this have to do with building community and SEO? Now that I have a basic email pipeline set up, one of my first thoughts as an SEO was realizing the tremendous value a community like this could provide to Ousia.ai and to all the members in it, if only I could get everyone together. One of the biggest benefits from an SEO growth perspective is in all the user generated content an active community can drive with the right topics and moderation. In contrast, if you build a community on FB, Slack, Discord, or any 3rd party platform, all the valuable discussions, topic threads, advice, etc. created by your community is published and driving SEO traffic for another website instead of your own! One of the best things about user-generated content that comes from an active, specialized community is the shear volume of pages that can rank and drive organic traffic to your startup's site. If you're like every other startup and business, you're already thinking about dedicating 30% of your marketing budget and resources to content marketing. The great thing about user generated content is that it costs nothing to create. If you can get SEO content that drives traffic for $0; then every customer it drives has a $0 cost to acquire. One of the other amazing things about user generated content from a community is that it scales exponentially without many additional resources or investment by your startup. If you can activate enough members of your community you can generate hundreds of SEO pages per month for free! I hope this was convincing enough to reconsider creating a community on some 3rd party platform. Your startup and user community can be a massive SEO growth engine that you should start leveraging and building from day one. I'll end it here, and if anyone is interested in how I'm building my on-site startup community, feel free to follow and reach out! Cheers!


Anil Meena
Building Pensil
Hi Mathew, great insight on the concern of losing out on the seo aspect of your community growth... At pensil we let you host the community on your subdomain so all the content on your community contributes to your own domain... Do you think this could solve the issue?
Matthew Scyoc
Founder of Ousia.ai - 100x SEO content
@anil_meena21 Sort of. It's definetely better than completely off your domain altogether. But the ideal solution to capture all the SEO value is to make it possible to use a domain's existing folder structure and build it on a sub-folder. Something like domain.com/community/classes vs community.domain.com
Maxwell Davis
TweetStores - Launching 3rd February 🚀
It's a really good point and something we've thought about - but we were concerned over the time that it would take to build and manage.
Matthew Scyoc
Founder of Ousia.ai - 100x SEO content
@maxwellcdavis It’s true that it can take a lot of time to manage, but these are your customers! It it takes time to manage; then it means it’s active. If your community takes time to manage then you’ve got a fantastic problem to have. It means you have hundreds of users. The same thinking can be applied to your product. I think if you’re serious about your product you need to get serious about your community.