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The World of WordPress Users & SEO: Part I

in marketgoo News & Updates. Last Updated on July 27th, 2023

WordPress is a content management system that empowers millions of individuals and businesses to create any type of website. 

As its popularity continues to grow, so does the number of plugins that cater to its user base (over 60,000!). 

This prompted us to dig into the unique needs and preferences of WordPress end-users when it comes to SEO.

We wanted to be able to bridge the gap between current SEO plugins and end-users’ needs & expectations. 

So we commissioned a research project, diving deep into the world of WordPress customers in anglophone markets.  

This is Part 1 of a series of posts that will share the insights gained on that research, shedding light on their needs, expectations, and jobs to be done. 

First, let’s talk about who was interviewed. For the in-depth qualitative interviews, our researchers spoke with: 

  • 6 Agencies that manage client sites
  • 6 SMBs that manage their own sites
  • 4 international WordPress & SEO experts
For this research, we collaborated with research firm Materia Prima


Let’s go over the first part of the insights gained from in-depth interviews:

1. SEO Plugins aren’t only competing with other SEO Plugins.

WordPress users lacking technical SEO knowledge do understand the significance of generating relevant content related to their website’s main subject and targeting specific audiences. They prioritise content creation and utilise keywords.

This implies that potential SEO plugin users do not only focus on specific SEO solutions in order to get more online visibility, but evaluate and compare them to other content and digital marketing tools, as well as content specialists from platforms such as UpWork and Fiverr

Implications for SEO partners & resellers

This is a clear opportunity to tap into the DIFM (Do-it-for-Me) SEO market, which can set you apart from competitors solely focusing on self-service tools.

By catering to customers’ varying needs around SEO and content creation, you can differentiate yourself, attract a wider audience, and capture the value generated from providing SEO services.

marketgoo approach

We are already piloting DIFM SEO programs with some of our Partners, as our SEO tools provide a natural and contextual upsell path for this kind of service.

2. Social Proof: the ultimate validation

The effect of social proof when choosing an online tool is undeniable. 

WordPress users said that they look at product reviews, search on Google, forums and on specific review platforms to find out what other people’s experience has been with a certain solution.

In addition, they want to know the volume of people who use a tool and take a look at the companies that have already trusted it.

I’d like to see the brands they have already helped, some proof that they’ve worked with trustworthy companies.

Interviewee #18

Implications for SEO partners & resellers

When offering add-ons and recommending tools to your customers, social proof is on of the keys to adoption.

When you have a strong brand (i.e. you’re a large hosting company or SMB provider), you already have a lot of work done on that front since your customers trust you and your recommendations.

However, product-specific case studies, testimonials and reviews go a long way to making the decision easier for your customer when evaluating add-ons.

marketgoo approach

We are working with both co-branded and fully white labelled Partners to help identify success cases and set up review campaigns.

3. Perceived Vendor Stability makes a difference

An important criterion for deciding whether to acquire an SEO tool is the perception of developer/vendor stability. 

This perception is built on some fundamental pillars:

  • Support level: response times, channels, possibility of interacting with humans if necessary.
  • Team size: is an indicator of the quality of support.
  • Traction and future prospects: a company with little traction and time in the market could leave users stranded at any time, it may not be worth the effort to learn to use their tools.

If Support is robust, the company is stable.

Interviewee #14

Implications for SEO partners & resellers

When forming their perception of a company’s stability and solvency guarantee, opinions, reviews and comments from others are very important.

This ties in to the previous point about social proof and adds an important dimension, which is quality of support.

In addition, when customers are faced with numerous choices, exceptional customer support can be a key differentiator for you.

marketgoo approach

We often talk to SMBs who mention that support representatives from their providers don’t really seem to know much about the add-ons and tools that they’re selling.

This is not a problem with marketgoo, as we’re re-vamping our Partner Training program (which covers tool features, FAQs, as well as SEO basics), and collaborating on Webinars to introduce the Partner’s customer base and audience to their SEO tools and services.

It’s a joint effort and we have the same objective: for customers to succeed online!

3. The appeal of the familiar

Among WordPress users, Yoast stands out as the most popular WordPress plugin, although the competitive landscape is changing, with RankMath, All in One and SEOPress gaining traction.

In many cases users do not use the most popular WordPress plugin intensively or even install it proactively, however its presence is almost taken for granted.

Oh I see we have Yoast installed, I didn’t know it.

Interviewee #22

A large cohort of users have acquired the basics of their SEO knowledge through Yoast.

This makes them translate some SEO concepts and/or features by passing them through the Yoast filter, as they naturally associate the functionalities of other tools with the ones they know best.

For example, they’ve come to expect the ‘traffic light’ system 🚦, or interpret an “SEO plan” as a list of suggestions rather than an actionable plan.

Implications for SEO partners & resellers

Customers don’t know what they don’t know.

Current SEO plugins aren’t considered particularly lacking in guidance because users have been conditioned to use multiple tools to achieve a single objective, or they don’t even understand they’re picking keywords wrong, or overworking themselves writing content that will never move the needle.

Additionally, they’re used to getting a lot of things for free with totally free plugins, freemium plugins, extended free trials, etc.

This is where the work of educating customers and de-commoditizing these tools comes in.

In the apparently saturated market of WordPress SEO tools, there is actually still so much opportunity and massive room for segmentation according to user profile and needs. No need for feature wars.

Non-savvy users or those with clients who do not have advanced SEO needs, need more guidance, easier reporting and less bells and whistles. They are actually willing to pay for something that suits their needs.

marketgoo approach

We don’t need to tell you that user guidance is a pillar of our Product Vision! Right now, and with the help of AI, we’re making improvements that we hope will elevate what customers can come to expect from an SEO plugin.

Additionally, we have a successful go-to-market strategy for Partners that addresses customer’s demand for a free tier or free trial of a plugin. Everybody wins!

👋 That’s it for Part 1, in Part 2 we go over more insights and the evaluation and adoption process of SEO tools from the end-user perspective.

Resell our SEO tools to help your customers succeed online with improved traffic and search rankings!


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