Playbooks

daydream Editorial Team

Jun 12, 2024

Payscale uses pSEO to bring in more than 530,000 organic visits per month

Payscale, a platform offering compensation tools for businesses and salary intel for job seekers, receives more than 750,000 organic visits to its website each month. 

The most impressive aspect of Payscale’s organic success? Nearly 70% of these visits are from pages that are created nearly automatically using programmatic SEO (per Ahrefs). 

Payscale uses its set of compensation databases to scale the development of thousands of search optimized landing pages. Using five core templates, Payscale has published more than 212,000 pages which generate close to 530,000 organic visits each month (per Ahrefs).

Let’s take a closer look at Payscale’s strategy and how they could achieve even greater success by leveraging a strategic pSEO partner like daydream. 

A breakdown of Payscale’s pSEO page templates

Payscale uses its compensation database, publicly available data, and five core page templates to create more than 200,000 search-optimized pages in a near-automatic way. 

Template 1: Job pages

These pages break down salary expectations for different job titles and are designed to capture traffic for keyword phrases like “How much does {occupation} make?” and “{Occupation} salary.” 

Payscale has published about 120,000 job pages across 99 country-specific subfolders, drawing around 350,000 monthly organic visits (per Ahrefs). Within each country-specific subfolder, Payscale publishes salary information in the country’s local currency; however, the distribution of pages is largely weighted toward the US. Almost half of Payscale’s job pages (54,000) are published in the US subfolder.

Template 2: Employer pages

These pages provide the average salary for different employers and are designed to capture traffic for searches like “{Company} pay and benefits” and “{Company} hourly pay.” 

Payscale has published about 90,000 employer pages across 99 country-specific subfolders, drawing around 125,000 monthly organic visits (per Ahrefs). Similar to the job pages, most of Payscale’s employer pages (~58,000) are published in the US subfolder.

Template 3: Cost of living calculator

These pages provide the average cost of living in different cities and capture traffic for searches like “{City} cost of living” and “Is {city} an expensive place to live?” 

Payscale has published about 3,000 pages, drawing in around 50,000 monthly organic visits (per Ahrefs). These pages are only published in the US subfolder.

Template 4: College salary pages

These pages provide a breakdown of the top schools by state based on expected salary at graduation and the best schools by major based on expected salary at graduation. These pages are designed to capture search terms like “highest paying majors” and “best schools for {major}.” 

Payscale has published 180 pages, drawing in around 7,000 monthly organic visits (per Ahrefs). These pages are only published in the US subfolder.

Template 5: College ROI pages

These pages provide a breakdown of the best “value” colleges by major and the best “value” colleges by state based on expected ROI from attending the college. These pages are designed to capture search terms like “best schools for {major}” and “best schools in {state}.”

Payscale has published about 90 of these pages, drawing in around 2,000 monthly organic visits (per Ahrefs). These pages are only published in the US subfolder.

A closer look at Payscale’s job pages

Payscale’s job pages are its highest-performing organic pages, drawing in almost half (47%) of its monthly organic traffic. 

Using its proprietary database and publicly available data, Payscale created a robust page template that automatically populates with key data and information that job seekers and employers are looking for. 

In addition to creating pages for a specific role type, Payscale also accounted for longtail searches based on city, experience level, and unique skills. Ultimately, Payscale is able to use a single template to optimize for thousands of longtail searches:

  • Average {job} salary

  • Average {job} salary in {city}

  • Average {job} salary with {skill} 

  • Average {job} salary with {experience level}

Let’s examine how Payscale’s job pages meet search intent for both job seekers and employers while optimizing for conversion. 

  1. Conversion buttons: Payscale sells its software and data platform to businesses, so its primary conversion target is employers; however, Payscale also relies on employees and job searchers to create its robust database of employee-submitted salary information. Payscale uses distinct conversion buttons to convert both audiences. 

  2. Pay section: This section uses Payscale’s database of salaries to generate an average base salary for a particular job. Payscale is able to automatically update this information in real-time as market data shifts to ensure content is always optimized with accurate information. 

  3. Job details and skills: Besides understanding compensation, job seekers also want to know if their skills and experience align with expectations for a particular function. The job details and skills sections match the search intent for job seekers who are looking for details about role requirements. This section also interlinks to other longtail pages like the “Average {job} salary with {experience level}” pages and other “Average {job} salary {experience level}” pages. 

  4. Popular career paths: This section shows job seekers how they might progress in a particular role to achieve their career aspirations. The career path flow chart links to other “Average {job} salary” pages to improve interlinking on the site. 

  5. Job listings: This section provides job seekers with active job listings for the job they are searching for. These listings link to outside resources like Zip Recruiter, LinkedIn, and other job boards. 

  6. Salaries by city: This module links to “Average {job} salary in {city}” pages to improve interlinking on the site. 

  7. Employers section: Job seekers often want to know of employers who frequently hire for a particular position. This section provides an overview of employers that hire for a particular role type and also provides an overview of the employers with the highest compensation bands. This section links to Payscale’s employer pages to improve interlinking on the site.

How Payscale’s job pages compare to competitor pages 

Salary.com, another B2B employer compensation platform, has published about four times as many job salary pages as Payscale, resulting in more than 1.1M organic visits (3X that of Payscale). 

Here’s an example of a job salary page on Salary.com.

From an organic traffic perspective, Salary.com’s and Payscale’s pages seem on par (average organic visit-per-page is about equal). However, Salary.com’s overall volume far exceeds Payscale’s with limited traffic degradation as the pages become more granular and longtail. 

This is an interesting trend because it indicates that Payscale could have similar success using its template to generate more longtail traffic opportunities. For example, if Payscale has supporting data, it could automatically generate pages for:

  • Average {job} salary in {state}

  • Average {job} salary with {degree}

  • Average {job} salary with {years of experience} 

Another opportunity for Payscale is to create more country-specific job salary pages. For example, right now, Payscale only houses around 8,000 job salary pages in India. These pages perform well with more than 36,000 monthly organic visits (per Ahrefs).

A closer look at Payscale’s employer pages

Payscale’s employer pages are its second-highest-performing organic pages, drawing in about 16% of its monthly organic traffic. 

Using its proprietary database and publicly available data, Payscale created a detailed page template that automatically populates with key data and information that job seekers are looking for. The pages also help employers gather competitive intel about other companies in their industry. 

In addition to creating average salary pages for each company, Payscale also accounted for longtail searches based on city and job title to optimize for long tail searches like:

  • Average {company} salary

  • Average {company} salary for {position}

  • Average {company} salary for {city}

  • Average {company} salary for {city} + {position} 

Let’s examine how Payscale’s employer pages meet the search intent of both job seekers and employers while optimizing for conversion.

  1. Conversion buttons: Payscale uses distinct conversion buttons to convert both employers and job seekers. 

  2. Overview: Provides an at-a-glance overview of the company’s average salary, bonus, and employee reviews to meet search intent for company salary information.

  3. Salaries: Offers average salary at the company by job function. This section interlinks to longtail employer pages (i.e., “Average salary at {company} for {position}.”

  4. Employee reviews: This section provides an overall satisfaction rating for the company based on employee reviews as well as reviews for “appreciation,” “company outlook,” “fair pay,” and “learning and development.” 

  5. Most common benefits: In addition to base salary, job seekers also want information about company benefits to understand total compensation.

  6. Company overview: The “about” section collects information from Crunchbase to generate high-level details about the company. Payscale uses its own database to populate the average years of experience held by employees, gender breakdown, popular degrees held by employees, and popular locations for the company. 

  7. Job listings: This section provides job seekers with active job listings for the company they are searching for. These listings link to outside resources like Zip Recruiter, LinkedIn, and other job boards. 

  8. Similar companies: This section links to other Payscale company pages to improve interlinking. 

How Payscale’s employer pages compare to competitor pages 

Salary.com has published about 10 times as many employer salary pages as Payscale, resulting in more than 266,000 organic visits (only 2 times that of Payscale). 

Here’s an example of an employer salary page on Salary.com.

Overall, Payscale’s employer pages are better optimized for search compared to Salary.com’s in a few key ways:

1) Payscale’s pages are easy to read and digest 

Payscale uses clear headers and the company logo so visitors know right away that they’ve landed on a page that matches their search intent. Meanwhile, Salary.com’s employer pages lack a company logo and include dense paragraphs that make it difficult to scan for information. 


2) Payscale’s pages include more details to capture more search terms

In addition to the average salary, Payscale also provides employee reviews, FAQs about the company, its common benefits, information about the average employee (years of experience, gender, popular degrees), current job listings at the company, and popular locations. All of these details help Payscale’s pages attract organic traffic for related search terms. 

Meanwhile, Salary.com’s employer pages only include average salary and hourly wages and current job openings.

3) Payscale strategically places its CTA buttons to incentivize conversions

Payscale includes several contextually relevant CTAs and form fills throughout the page to convert employers into customers and employees into data contributors. Meanwhile, Salary.com is inundated with buttons and links for users to click — many of which do not lead to conversion pages. The page is also littered with banner advertisements which clutter the page and distract the visitor.

Payscale’s approach to internationalization

Payscale has created country-specific subfolders for 99 countries. The content within each subfolder is adjusted with the local currency; however, the pages are not translated into the local language. 

Take, for example, the salary page below that lives within the PH (Philippines) subfolder. The page includes localized data but is not translated into the local language. Payscale can further optimize its SEO performance by localizing its content.

Payscale also has an opportunity to expand its pSEO templates to more countries. For example, its cost-of-living calculator pages could be expanded to international cities outside of the US along with its college salary and college ROI pages. 

Work with daydream to bring your pSEO strategy to market

Payscale’s templated pages are a testament to the power of pSEO to create high-value content programmatically; however, the company’s current gaps and missed opportunities also demonstrate how difficult it is to constantly spot new opportunities, optimize content, and scale a pSEO program to reach its full potential.

Configuring databases, identifying new keyword opportunities, and optimizing pages as search engines evolve require interdisciplinary experts working in tight coordination. The good news is that daydream makes it easy for your team to execute a robust, durable, and optimized pSEO engine without burdening your internal resources.

If you’re interested in using daydream and joining our growing list of customers including Notion, ProductHunt, and Tome, email us at [email protected] to start the conversation.

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© 2024 daydream Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.

© 2024 daydream Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.

© 2024 daydream Labs, Inc. All rights reserved.