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How MasterClass Used SEO To Build A $2.7B Empire

If you’ve spent a minute on Youtube, you’ve probably seen a Masterclass ad that hooked you and made you consider taking a cooking class with Gordon Ramsey.

I know I have.

But did you know Masterclass is valued at $2.7B while dominating SEO:

  • 11.2M Monthly Visits
  • $4.4M In Monthly Organic Traffic Value
  • 601K Backlinks
  • 49.3K Referring Domains

This makes search their number one source of traffic.

And they optimize this traffic by understanding search intent and linking to specific products that match the TOF problem.

Let’s run through this in 3 minutes.

How To Understand Search Intent


Search intent is the “why” behind any search query.

Every person who performs a search on Google is searching for one of four things:

1. Information - Here people are searching for specific questions or want to dive into a certain topic.

2. Navigation Here people are searching for a specific website.

3. Transaction - Here people are searching for a specific product and already know what they're looking for.

4. Comparison - Here these people need more information or convincing but are looking to buy a product.

By understanding the “why” you can map out “how” to drive action.

The Keywords To Help You Understand Search Intent


Behind the “why” there are specific keywords.

Use this table to understand which keywords fuel the individual’s intent:

Informational Intent Fuels Masterclasses’ Top Of Funnel Marketing


A look at their top pages on Ahrefs shows that outside of their Home Page every top page meets the informational intent of the user:

How Masterclass Bridges Its TOF Efforts To Its Products


Masterclass bridges each article to a specific course, taught by a specific instructor, centered around the topic that relates to the information they were looking for.

Because the extension of the right information is the right product.

So, every information-dense article is linked to a scaled version of information — a Masterclass Course.

Examples:

Visual Example:

What They Click, They’ll See Again


They searched for specific information.

They clicked a specific course because of it.

This journey just took a consumer from problem-aware to product-aware.

But they didn’t buy…

And here is where Masterclass retargets each individual across Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram with specific creative related to the course they showed initial interest in.

Here’s what it looks like:

  • You searched “Difference Between Egg Yolks and Egg Whites?”
  • You clicked the Masterclass article
  • You clicked through to the Gordon Ramsey Cooking Course
  • You didn’t buy
  • You get retargeted on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram with different video ads specific to the Gordon Ramsey course

Putting It All Together


Here's a quick recap:

  • Search intent is the "why" behind every search
  • Each search satisfies one of four search intents
  • MasterClass creates thousands of articles centered around informational intent
  • These informational articles act as the bridge to the right product
  • This click-through is retargeted on other platforms with specific creative

If anything, the intent is everything.

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