In spring of 2019, insurance tech startup Lemonade received $300 million in additional funding. They’re putting that money toward growth as they continue disrupting the renters and homeowners insurance marketplace in urban areas. (And they’re quite disruptive indeed: they made CNBC’s Disruptor 50 list in spring of 2019.)

If you’re not familiar with Lemonade, here’s their deal in a nutshell:

Or in their own words:

Most high-growth startups put a great deal of money into advertising and neglect organic search. But Lemonade isn’t like most startups in this regard. They’ve also invested in writing educational content on the topic of insurance—which means their website’s traffic sources are pretty evenly spread out across direct, search, and social.

Bar graph of traffic sources

Lemonade traffic sources, according to SimilarWeb.

Let’s take a look at a few good SEO lessons disruptors can learn from Lemonade.

A quick map of Lemonade’s content

Lemonade website structure

Data source: Ahrefs. “Resources” isn’t a page so much as how Lemonade refers to this collection of pages in their website navigation.

At the time I write this, Lemonade’s website gets about 50,000 visits a month from organic search (per Ahrefs data) …

Chart of's growing organic traffic

Data source: Ahrefs

About 91% of that organic traffic is earned by three parts of their website:

  1. The home page (53% of organic traffic)
  2. The blog (21%)
  3. “Insuropedia,” their dictionary of insurance terms (17%)

Those are the parts we’re going to focus on in this teardown.

1. High intent trumps high volume

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of search volume for the terms “lemonade” and “lemonade insurance.”

People Google “lemonade” about 110,000 times a month. They Google “lemonade insurance” about 27,000 times a month. Data source: Ahrefs.

Before you read any further, answer this question: which term would you rather rank #1 for?

You might be tempted to go for the more-searched “lemonade.” If you’re getting the #1 result, you may as well show up in front of more people, right?

Lemonade doesn’t need to make that choice. They rank #1 for both keywords.

Google SERP with ranking #1 for "lemonade" search ranks #1 for thesearch term “lemonade.” However, most of the results (including the Google Knowledge Panel) focus on the sweet summertime beverage.


Google SERP with ranking #1 for "lemonade insurance" search

Unsurprisingly, also ranks #1 for “lemonade insurance,” and they occupy the Knowledge Panel too.

But there’s a twist.

Even though “lemonade” gets almost quadruple the searches every month, “lemonade insurance” still drives more traffic to Lemonade’s site.

Data comparing traffic generated from the two keywords

Sure, “lemonade” gets more searches … but which keyword drives more traffic?

The keyword “lemonade insurance” drives about 30% more organic traffic than the generic, high-volume keyword.

Wait … how does that work?

We’re used to hearing that the #1 result gets the most clicks—but not all searches result in the same number of clicks on results. This is a perfect example. While “lemonade” gets 110,000 monthly searches, only about a third of those searches result in clicks. (Maybe because Google’s SERP features give away the image and nutrition facts that people were curious about, which means they don’t need to click on anything else.)

“Lemonade” gets lots of search, but only about a third of those searches become clicks.

On the other hand, more than 80% of people who search for “lemonade insurance” click on a result.

… and the search volume is going up over time, too!

That’s because although there’s not as much volume, the search intent is more likely to be satisfied by a visit to Lemonade’s website. Someone searching for “lemonade” could be looking for anything: recipes, nutrition facts, images, or insurance. But the people Googling “Lemonade insurance” want to get—so even though that search is much less popular, it still drives more traffic for Lemonade in the end.

2. Comprehensive blog posts get traffic—even in competitive fields

Three standout posts are pulling most of the SEO weight for Lemonade’s blog:

These posts tackle many questions that people have on the topics of renters and homeowners insurance. (Which makes sense—since that’s what Lemonade provides.)

Each of these articles is in-depth and has sections dedicated to answering specific questions. And right up top, each post has an overview of the whole piece, with jumplinks to answers to specific questions.

This not only makes Lemonade’s content easier to navigate; it also helps Google tell where the authoritative pages on a given topic are.

Comprehensive posts like these tend to work because the more facets of a topic a page covers, the more likely it is for a page to be relevant to searches about that topic. (If you’re not already familiar with it, I’d recommend you read our beginner’s guide to pillar pages, and our guide to B2B SEO to learn more about why and how this works.)

3. Define the jargon, get the traffic

Insurance is full of terms that first-time renters and first-time homeowners have never heard before. The professionals often blow right through these terms without explaining them, which doesn’t make it easy for the people who are trying to figure out their insurance.

But Lemonade is getting a good deal of their organic traffic by changing this.

They’ve created a hub of dictionary entries that explain some of the jargon surrounding this corner of the insurance world—in plain English. So far, they’ve defined 52 insurance-specific terms that people search for. They call this hub “Insuropedia.”

The dictionary is laid out on an alphabetical grid.

Some of these entries are long-form blog posts (like this intro to deductibles). Others give short answers with more detailed explanations afterward (like this primer on landlord insurance). Still others give some examples to help people grasp some of these abstract concepts (like moral hazards).

Sidenote: the fun illustrations and the bright Lemonade-brand pinks make this feel a lot more inviting than a regular dictionary. I’d rather send a friend or reader to this website than, say, a regular entry on Investopedia.

And while Insuropedia doesn’t get as much traffic by visit count as the blog, it does bring in higher-value traffic. If you were to to try purchase Insuropedia’s traffic using Google ads, you’d spend somewhere in the neighborhood of $47,000 dollars a month. (The blog’s traffic, by comparison, would run you about $38,000.)

“Value” is the estimated cost of getting the same traffic via PPC ads. On average, each visit to the blog is worth $4.66. But each visit to Insuropedia is worth $7.07!

Lemonade is doing the work to define the terms that people are going to ask them about anyway. They’ve made a deck of educational content that they can reference in other blog posts, in chatbot conversations, in press releases—anywhere it comes up.


Lemonade’s organic traffic is on the rise, and I expect it will grow as they add SEO and content talent to their marketing team. Lemonade is a long way from reaching its SEO potential here—there’s a lot of room for their content to grow in the SERPs. They’re doing a lot of things well, and the more traction their content gains, the harder it will be for new insurance startups to knock them out of the organic results.

Want to build an SEO content strategy for your startup? We help disruptive companies plan and create content that gets organic traffic—in competitive spaces. If you’d like to talk about how we could work together, drop me a line.