Data & Studies

Grammarly’s SEO Strategy: 11 Interesting Insights

Joshua Hardwick
Head of Content @ Ahrefs (or, in plain English, I'm the guy responsible for ensuring that every blog post we publish is EPIC).
Article Performance
  • Linking websites
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The number of websites linking to this post.

This post's estimated monthly organic search traffic.

    Grammarly is a writing assistant. According to our data, its website gets an estimated 22.2M monthly search visits across 2,468 published pages.

    If Grammarly bought this same traffic via Google Ads, it would cost an estimated $5.1M per month.

    Grammarly's estimated organic traffic value if it were bought, via Google Ads

    In this post, I’ll share 11 takeaways from my deep dive into the company’s SEO strategy. 

    Looking for more case studies?

    Head over to our list of SEO case studies.

    Grammarly gets an estimated 7.8M monthly search visits from search queries containing the phrase “grammarly.” That’s 38.6% of its total organic traffic.

    Grammarly's estimated branded organic traffic

    Ironically, however, it gets at least a further 590K monthly searches for keywords containing brand misspellings.

    Grammarly's estimated branded organic traffic including misspellings

    Given that it has 30M daily users (by its own estimates), this is hardly surprising. In fact, there are over 37K queries in our U.S. keyword database containing “grammarly” with a total estimated monthly search volume of 3.1M. 

    There are over 37K keywords containing "grammarly" in Ahrefs' U.S. keyword database

    Grammarly’s homepage gets an estimated 6.6M monthly search visits—almost a third of its total traffic.

    Estimated organic search traffic to Grammarly's homepage

    Despite the company seemingly making some effort to target the keyword “writing assistant” on its homepage (it’s in the page’s title tag), almost all of its traffic is branded. 

    Estimated branded organic search traffic to Grammarly's homepage

    In fact, its homepage is responsible for 84.6% of all its branded traffic.

    Just 277 of Grammarly’s 2,468 pages attract the bulk of its organic search traffic—20.1M monthly visits.

    Most of Grammarly's organic traffic goes to a small percentage of its pages

    This traffic goes to a mix of free tools, blog posts, and its homepage.

    Grammarly is far from the odd one out here. You’ll see a similar distribution for most websites, thanks to the Pareto principle (80/20 rule). 

    543 of Grammarly’s 2,468 pages get no organic traffic.

    22% of Grammarly's pages get no organic traffic

    Here’s a quick breakdown of these pages:

    • 360 blog posts
    • 76 jobs pages
    • 77 support articles
    • 12 developer/API pages
    • 12 PDFs
    • 6 other

    Blog posts aside, none of the other pages appear to have been created with attracting search traffic in mind. So it’s hardly surprising that they get none.

    In fact, this is the case for some of the blog posts too.

    For example, there are 48 posts with no traffic under the /business/ subfolder.

    None of Grammarly's blog posts in the /business/ subfolder get any organic traffic

    Most of these seem to be more thought leadership–type content than search-focused pieces. 

    Example of thought-leadership content from Grammarly

    Grammarly has seven free tools that cumulatively get over 3M estimated monthly search visits.

    Estimated monthly organic search traffic to seven of Grammarly's free tools

    However, almost all traffic goes to just two of these tools: its grammar checker and plagiarism checker.

    Interestingly, 77.4% of this traffic is non-branded. It comes from keywords like “grammar checker,” “plagiarism checker,” “spell checker,” and “punctuation checker”—all of which get tens of thousands of estimated monthly searches. 

    Estimated monthly U.S. search volumes for keywords Grammarly is targeting with free tools
    Do you want to use this SEO tactic for your website?
    1. Go to Keywords Explorer
    2. Enter a few “seed” terms related to your industry
    3. Go to the Matching terms report
    4. Add words and phrases like tool, tools, calculator, checker, and generator to the “Include” filter
    5. Select “Any word” on the “Include” filter
    6. Click “Apply”

    For example, if you sell accounting software, you might enter seeds like “tax” and “salary.”

    Finding keywords to target with tools in Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

    Grammarly is committed to blogging. 1,699 of its 2,468 (69%) pages are blog posts, which attract more than half (~11.2M) of its estimated search traffic.

    Grammarly's blog is responsible for over half of its organic search traffic

    Most of these pages (81.6%) get at least some search traffic, so it’s clear that Grammarly takes a search-focused approach to blogging

    In terms of what the posts cover, they’re mainly about grammatical terms like verbs, nouns, etc.

    Example of a Grammarly blog post

    Most of these terms get tons of monthly searches, and Grammarly ranks #1 for many of them—hence why its blog gets so much search traffic. 

    Grammarly's blog ranks #1 for over 21K keywords, according to Ahrefs' Site Explorer

    Just 256 of Grammarly’s 1,699 blog posts get ~9.4M monthly organic search visits—almost all of its blog’s total traffic.

    Most of Grammarly's blog traffic comes from a small percentage of its blog posts

    Once again, this distribution isn’t abnormal. It’s actually even more extreme on our blog, with 6.7% of our posts attracting 77.9% of our blog traffic. 

    However, we get nowhere near the amount of organic search traffic Grammarly gets. 

    Grammarly's blog gets significantly more organic search traffic than Ahrefs' blog

    This is partly because the terms Grammarly targets (and ranks for) are super popular. 

    For example, there are an estimated 151K monthly searches for “em dash” in the U.S. Grammarly currently ranks #6. 

    Estimated monthly search volume in the U.S. for "em dash," via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

    Grammarly has been blogging for a while. It published its first blog post on June 22, 2012. 

    Grammarly published its first blog post more than 10 years ago

    If we plug that post’s URL into Ahrefs’ Content Explorer, we see that it probably didn’t take much effort to write, as it’s only 304 words long. Yet it still attracts hundreds of monthly organic visits to this day. 

    Grammarly's first blog post was just 304 words long, according to Ahrefs' Content Explorer

    However, this is far from one of Grammarly’s top-performing posts.

    If we look at posts getting 10K monthly search visits or more, only 24.2% of them were published in the last two years (since November 2020). Most of them were published in 2016 or 2017. 

    Most of Grammarly's most popular blog posts were published a few years ago, according to Ahrefs' Content Explorer

    This just goes to show that SEO is not an overnight strategy. It can take years to experience the full benefit of a solid SEO strategy

    Most of Grammarly’s top-performing posts have been updated in the last few months.

    For example, its post about contractions in writing was initially published in June 2016. But it updated and republished the post in August 2022. 

    Example of a blog post that Grammarly republished six years after it first wrote said post

    If we search for Grammarly’s blog in Content Explorer, the “Pages over time” graph shows how its publishing and republishing strategy has changed over time. 

    Content Explorer shows that Grammarly has been republishing more content recently

    Between June 2016 and June 2017, it published 529 new posts but didn’t republish a single post. Compare that with the period from June 2021 to June 2022 when it published 185 posts and republished 29 (13.5% of all posts during the period).

    Many of these updates have had an incredible impact on search traffic too.

    For example, it republished its post about participles in July 2022. Shortly after, organic search traffic shot up from ~1.5K to ~16K per month.

    Estimated organic traffic to Grammarly's blog post about contractions shot up after the post was updated and republished

    Grammarly’s support subdomain only gets around 0.7% of the company’s total organic search traffic. But this is quite impressive when you consider how little content there is.

    Right now, according to the Site structure report in Site Explorer, it has 399 pages.

    Grammarly's support section has 399 pages, according to Ahrefs' Site Explorer

    But the impressive part is that it took minimal effort to get this traffic, as much of this content is super short. 

    For example, according to Content Explorer, the top-performing support page gets an estimated 26.8K monthly visits despite being just 77 words long. 

    Most of Grammarly's support pages are quite short, according to Ahrefs' Content Explorer

    In fact, 76.5% of the support section’s organic search traffic comes from just 20 articles comprising 4,023 words in total. 

    Pretty much all this traffic comes from branded search (e.g., “add grammarly to word”). But that’s to be expected, as content on this subdomain answers questions about the tool. 

    Grammarly has recently started creating short introductory guides to topics that link to related blog posts, otherwise known as content hubs

    Here are the four “hub” pages it currently has:

    It seems to be working well so far. Most of these pages are already attracting a few thousand organic search visits per month. 

    Grammarly's "hub" pages seem to be attracting a good amount of search traffic, according to Ahrefs' Site Explorer

    Final thoughts

    Grammarly’s search performance has been on an upward trajectory for years, and there’s a lot to learn from it. It will be interesting to see where its SEO team goes from here.

    Got questions? Ping me on Twitter.

    Article Performance
    • Linking websites
      55

    The number of websites linking to this post.

    This post's estimated monthly organic search traffic.