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Case Study

How we Achieved 7000+ Conversions From Organic Growth for Submittable

by Paul David “PDP”, Co-Founder & CEO


A supremely human brand that’s lending a helping hand

If there was ever a client to love, it’s Submittable.

Their team is a joy to work with. They’re the #1 platform for team review of anything, anywhere. They offer a tremendously satisfying digital product—and they keep building it out better and better.

Right now, Submittable’s advanced platform is being used by organizations to administer emergency funding programs for everyone from healthcare professionals to artists. The company has its fingers on the pulse of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as well as the massive changes occurring in the publishing world.

Submittable wanted to reach their customers in a deeper way. The company’s incredibly smart platform serves industries that strive to make changes in the world, and its customers looked to Submittable as the tool and means to do so. That meant building unique and deep expertise in some of their key verticals.

I served as the principal content marketer for the Submittable blog from July 2019 through April 2020. In less than a year, alongside a few fellow content strategists, we achieved some impressive results.

Take a look…

The Results

Achieved 7k+ conversions from organic growth

That’s some growth.

Over the course of the entire engagement, Average Organic Growth hovered around 4% WoW while Average Conversion Growth was just over 5% WoW.

The Result

Increased organic keywords in positions #1-10

Growth in organic keywords

In under a year of working with Submittable, we saw a 22% increase in organic keywords (positions #1-3) as well as a 15% increase in organic keywords (positions #4-10).

Growth in referring domains helps your site rank higher.

The Result

Boosted total number of referring domains

We also saw a 20% increase in referring domains (12,834 in July 2019 to 15,309 in May 2020).

For example, our team secured a guest post in Independent Publishing Magazine that increased the brand’s visibility in the publishing community.

Photo of a panel discussion at a conference with 4 panelists seated looking out into the audience

The header image for this top-performing post.

The Result

Produced some of their top-performing content

15 People Shaping Grantmaking in 2020 is one of Submittable’s top-performing posts of all-time.

The piece achieved 500+ social shares, garnered 3 new referring domains, and sits at position #1 on Google for the search term “people shaping grantmaking”.

Proof of the #1 ranking for this piece.

Grantmaking Best Practices is another top-performing post with over 23 social shares, achieving the featured snippet position on Google for the search term: “grantmaking best practice”.

Getting into the feature snip

What Makes Great CSR is another high-performing piece of content that garnered 50+ social shares, 1 new referring domain, and sits at position #4 on Google (search term: “great CSR”).

Ranking at the top of Google SERPs

The Result

What the Submittable story tells us

There’s a lot that goes into the success story that is Submittable.

Smart strategy, thoughtful writing, beautiful design—it all contributes.

At the end of the day, I chalk it up to a few key factors that we’ve built into our process at Literal Humans:

  1. Embed deeply: Get in the weeds with your clients. Become a core part of their team. Really strive to understand how you can accelerate their progress and adjust your workflows accordingly.
  2. Own those verticals: We committed ourselves to go deep in a few verticals (specifically CSR and publishing) in order to build the company’s authority in those areas over time. It worked. Consider doing the same for your brand.
  3. Speak to your audience: When writers and designers have actual expertise in fields relevant to the client’s product or service, the work tends to flow better and at higher levels of quality. That, or you need a team that can synthesize the HECK out of what they learn about the industry and turn it into great content. There are really only two paths here. Find one and stick to it.
  4. Align the message and product: The content and the product should be mutually reinforcing. The same goes for the voice of the company with its editorial tone. Submittable’s product and companion content breathe helpfulness and efficiency. That sort of meaningful alignment is how you win customers and grow your brand.

From seamlessly integrating ourselves into client workflows and digging deep into key verticals to prioritizing focused engagement with key audience segments, we’re building on what we’ve learned while working with a great brand like Submittable.

These lessons have shaped how we’ve built Literal Humans.

And they’ll help you—our future clients—grow your brand.

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