Toggl Hire is a small tool that Toggl, an established and successful company, built for hiring developers internally. As the software proved its efficiency, they decided to sell it.
The company already had an established audience, so it was relatively easy to market the brand. However, they didn't have much experience with the software or a firm understanding of its potential market — who exactly their audience was and what their needs were.
They wanted to produce content that would organically generate leads and increase traction on the website.
I have good writing skills but, most of all, I had a genuine interest in marketing and eagerness, as a novice, to learn about SaaS. I was able to dive into both content marketing and SEO and grow with the company. My hunger for knowledge and willingness to learn from scratch made me a great fit for the project.
I was tasked with writing an article based on the keyword “the cost of hiring". This was not a high-intent keyword in terms of sales, but the people searching for it would typically be hiring managers, small business owners, or anyone who wanted to decrease their cost of hire. It was a middle of the funnel piece.
I first looked into existing articles and information sources about this topic, evaluated their quality, and strategized as to how we could make our article better.
I also synthesized data on different costs of hiring depending on industry, country, seniority, and so on. In the search results for the keyword, I found that most people link to a source from Glassdoor or a major outlet like HubSpot. I traced the results back to the original research to check whether it was misquoted or misinterpreted, trying to find the most up-to-date information.
Writing a standard 1500-word article can take anywhere from 4 to 12 hours depending on my level of familiarity with the topic.
I wanted to create a comprehensive, linkable asset for others to cite when writing about or discussing cost of hire. Based on reputable sources, it broke down the cost of hiring people for various positions and the processes involved, then concluded with a paragraph on the cost of a new hire.
Usually, the marketing manager and senior member of the company would not want to take this direction. They like to publish short listicles and guides. However, I hoped that this article could influence the authority of the website going forward.
When the article was finished, I sent it back to the marketing manager for review and approval. They proposed establishing a link to Glassdoor on the platform and helped me reach out to them. Afterward, there was an avalanche of traffic onto the site because of the popularity of Glassdoor. Many people started to organically link to the article, share, and cite it.
My article stood out because it presented information in a more logical way than most pre-existing content on this topic and because it told the audience a story rather than bombarding them with statistics. For example, if a source said that live chat is preferred to tablets by 70% of customers, I would write that even if we did a great job, interaction with a live human being was still the preferred choice of all customers.
The success of this article influenced the pieces that followed. If we could present objective information that people could refer back to, relate to, or write about, we would naturally bring in more visits and backlinks. We only presented statements backed by data and research. It was an efficient way to present new findings without spending months researching different trends.
We realized there was a trade-off between search volume and conversion rate. If a keyword has a higher search volume, it's less likely to mean high-quality leads, so it goes at the top of the funnel. For these, we would focus more on organic traffic and cultivating links. A keyword with a lower search volume usually has a higher conversion rate, meaning it goes at the bottom of the funnel. For these, we didn't focus on producing great quotes or statistics but on selling the product.
The first article I wrote generated 600 keywords and 1300 backlinks. This traction translated into many more visitors to other articles.
As the website obtained more traffic, it received more recognition and attained greater domain authority. Most impressively, all traffic was organic; we didn't send out any promotional emails or conduct paid marketing of any kind; our articles naturally attracted links and clicks.
This project taught me the importance of evidence in producing reputable content. Yet, at the same time, it is not enough to present data. You also have to create a compelling story to attract the audience.