Vectara goes zero-to-one to drive a 900% increase in organic traffic in 8 months

Vectara is a Palo Alto-based retrieval augmented generation platform that enables brands to build generative AI capabilities into applications and use their own data for ChatGPT-like functionality with minimal hallucinations.


In December 2022, Engine partnered with Vectara early in their journey, with the goal of building content and an organic presence that could drive brand awareness and traffic for the entrant GenAI startup.

Vectara leveraged content to grow organic traffic by over 900% in 8 months, achieve page 1 rankings for high-value keywords, drive organic-assisted signups, and position itself as a trusted industry source.

The Challenge

When Vectara first approached Engine, they had recently come out of stealth mode. The website had only been live for a few months, had very few product-related pages and content, and was only ranking for branded terms.

To make things more challenging, OpenAI had just released ChatGPT to the public — Vectara was exiting stealth mode and entering a space that almost overnight had become wildly popular and competitive.

Knowing the space was evolving at breakneck speed, Vectara wanted to quickly build out their organic channel to increase brand awareness, drive traffic and signups from developer and engineer ICPs, and position themselves as an expert on generative AI, large language models, and other related topics.


After understanding Vectara's product and go-to-market, we decided our strategy should be heavily-focused on building out content. We wanted to start with expanding the site's top navigation with product-related pages that would help market Vectara's offering while tying back to keywords decision-makers searched.

We'd then focus on competitor comparison content to get Vectara into the conversation and GenAI platform consideration sets.

Lastly, we wanted to build out a library of high-value, technical blog content that was aligned to both the product and developer and engineer ICPs. This content would provide expert insights on GenAI and LLMs, showcase the product's value as it related to building and implementing generative AI, and let the brand get ahead of discussions around emerging topics ICPs were interested in.

But because Vectara was early and the generative AI space was evolving so quickly, both the product and its positioning were shifting in order to keep up with the direction of the industry, technology, and demand. Our strategy was sound on paper but when it came to execution, we'd have to think outside the box.

Foundational product-related pages for an evolving product

For new product-related pages to add to the top-nav, we had to keep any future product and positioning shifts in mind that could render new pages irrelevant. So we focused on use cases and industry pages rather than core features and solutions. While features and the product's underlying technology could evolve, the applications of it and industries it served best would largely remain the same. These pages would give us the best shot of building out the site's navigation and getting pages on the board for relevant terms, while making sure any pivots didn't render these pages irrelevant.

After publishing these pages, they helped get Vectara on the board for key use-case related terms and drive traffic from queries like "workplace search", "site search solutions", and "neural search engine".

Building a library of high-value, high-authority blog content

The next content play was focused on ToFU and MoFU blog post content around jobs-to-be-done and industry insights. This would accomplish 4 things: 

  • provide expert-backed insights on generative AI and how-to topics for developers and engineers
  • push Vectara into the conversation as a solution for generative AI implementation
  • publish content around early and trending topics that were being discussed on GitHub and StackOverflow but not yet through traditional editorial content found in search. These topics had low search volume, but the way the generative AI space was evolving we wanted to get ahead of any future surge in search demand.

Engine and Vectara both agreed that any blog content published should be written by Vectara's own team of product marketers, developers, and engineers. This way, we could make sure the brand's voice and authority on highly-technical subjects was as authentic as possible and content would actually resonate with ICPs.

We began publishing in March and Vectara's rankings quickly surged, going from ranking for just 7 terms in December to over 1500 in June. Blog content won key top 10 positions for terms like "reduce llm hallucinations", "llm code generation", "best large language models", "rag database", and "neural search", plus Featured Snippets and People Also Asked results for terms like "code generation", "reranking", "llm use cases".

Keyword Rankings Growth

This blog content and new SERP positions won helped Vectara quickly increase organic traffic by over 900% and the site see a rapid surge in clicks and impressions. This blog content also assisted with increasing product signups by 358%.

Organic Traffic Growth

Clicks and Impressions Growth

Organic-Assisted Product Signups from Blog Content

Competitor comparisons: a needle in a haystack

After getting the blog content engine going, we also turned our sights to competitor content. The landscape was crowded, with multiple competitors going through the same evolutions that Vectara was. So we focused on competitors who were a) most similar to Vectara today and had a likelihood of remaining so in the future, and b) which of those had search volume for BoFU terms. This narrowed it down to two competitors to create comparison content for.

We targeted "[competitor] alternatives" terms and People Also Asked questions to harvest traffic from in-market ICPs and decision-makers, get Vectara into the conversation, and increase brand awareness. This content subsequently ranked on page 1 for "[competitor] alternatives", we wanted, were featured in over 10 People Also Asked boxes for "[competitor] pricing" and feature-specific questions, drove over 600 clicks, and contributed to a 208% increase in free-trial signups.

Clicks and impressions to competitor pages

The end result

After 8 months, Vectara had a clear top-level navigation of relevant product pages, valuable competitor pages that assisted with conversions from organic traffic, and a library of high-value content written by subject matter experts that ranked for key terms ICPs were searching.

This helped the brand quickly establish itself in the channel as both a powerful solution for generative AI implementation and an industry leader with content that spoke directly to ICPs. Combined, these efforts helped increase Vectara's organic traffic by 900%, rank for valuable keywords in top positions, and assist with increasing signups from organic by 566%.


Ready to win at search? 

If you're interested in building out search or want to learn more, feel free to reach out.

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