Each month, more than 6600 people from around the world search for “Slack alternatives”.

Source: SEMRush

All these searches come from business users with HIGH purchase intent – they are unhappy with Slack for whatever reason and want to find something that’s better.

With tons of collaboration tools out there (including Hubbion, the tool I founded), the competition for this keyword is INTENSE.

SEMRush says the keyword difficulty is 74% – that means a lot of work to get ranking for this keyword. Sites like Hubspot, Jotform, Medium with DR of more than 90 compete for this search term.

So. how did Chanty.com, a relatively smaller player with a more modest domain authority compared to bigwigs like Hubspot manage to beat everyone else to hit the top spot?

In this article, I am going to take you through the exact strategy that Chanty followed to seek this marketing win.

The story starts in 2017. Closer to when the company itself was founded.

Chanty was started as an AI-powered team communication platform, an industry dominated by Slack.

Given this, ranking for this search term is going to be highly valuable.

So it is not surprising that an article about “Slack alternatives” is among their earliest blog posts.

Source: WaybackMachine

Wayback machine tells me that the first draft was published back in May 2017

Lesson 1 : Ranking on Google for your money keywords is a long, laborious project. Don’t expect results overnight

While this article itself was published back in 2017, it has evolved quite a bit over time.

In the first draft of this article published in May 2017, the article talks about 4 different alternatives to Slack.

Then in January 2018, the team added more content to now discuss 5 different alternatives to Slack.

Six months later, the folks at Chanty added more content so there are now 7 different Slack alternatives.

While the number of alternatives discussed has not changed since the article itself has been continuously updated.

Between May 2017 and now, the word count of this article has increased by 1500 words.

But it’s not adding words for the sake of it. In the past few months, in fact, the word count has actually been reduced by around 300 words.

I believe what’s working for them is that the content is being constantly optimized so that it is not just words, but the value that is being delivered through the content.

This increases engagement, the time spent on the page, and ultimately, click-throughs to the Chanty sign up form.

Lesson 2: Constantly update your content. Even if this means removing fluff so the value you provide increases

But perhaps, the biggest impact has been from external link-building. Take a look at this table below from Ahrefs.

Source: Ahrefs

Chanty has nearly three times more backlinks than the next site (Hubspot, in this case, which happens to have taken up the Featured Snippets spot).

There is, of course, MatterMost, at the 9th spot that has way many more links. But they are not ranking higher because Google understands that the searcher intends to look at a bunch of alternatives, not just one alternative.

So how did Chanty manage to do this?

I asked Jane Kovalkova who is the CMO at Chanty. She tells me that although their content was wonderfully written, results did not actually start coming in till they started building backlinks.

Over the course of one year, they published more than 100 guest posts linking to this article

Similar to their content strategy, link building has not been done for the sake of link acquisition. Every link that Chanty built to this page has come from top authority websites like Hubspot, Marketo, Process.St and so on.

And in each of these posts, there is a definite call to action pointing users to this Slack alternatives post.

Lesson 3: Build HIGH quality backlinks. And LOTS of them if you want to hit the number 1 spot

chanty-guest post-cta
Source: Hubspot

Jane tells me that Chanty has managed to hold on to the top spot for the most part over the past three years, and this is mainly due to these top authority backlinks that they built to their article.

Here is a quick snapshot of what this marketing win has brought to Chanty.

Source: Chanty

This article was originally published on the Rafrador blog.