Okay, this feels like cheating to a certain degree because I'm so familiar with these guides. That's probably one of the main reasons they are so good though, they're effective.
Blue Bottle Coffee's "Brewing Guides" were one of the first resources I turned to when I wanted to start learning about brewing my own coffee at the house, in a manner that wasn't just absolutely horribly appalling in quality. Not only did they teach me how to brew more effectively, they did their primary goal and made sales for Blue Bottle Coffee. I ended up buying multiple brewing devices and bags of coffee beans from their site, to try out new methods and tastes.
I love them, and here I am writing about them, go figure!
From learning to use a French Press to mastering the art of latte.. art.. Blue Bottle Coffee's Brewing Guides give detailed:
Step-by-step guides to everything you need to know in brewing. And at the beginning of each guide they have links to the needed ingredients (pictured above) from the inventory on their site. For example, for this Cold Brewing guide they have links to their Filtron set that they sell that is essential for cold-brewing.
Why is this so special?
The need for brewing guides will never go away, and as new brewing machines are created over time, there will only be more potential to add to this list of brewing methods. Resources like this are the most fundamental framework of "evergreen content" or content that will always be relevant and needed. This is the kind of content that sticks in Google, and sticks out to users like a sore thumb (but that's not a pleasant metaphor, more like sticks out like a foam heart in a latte).
Basically Blue Bottle Coffee realized the opportunity for people who really want to learn about certain brewing methods that they sell inventory to, and so they went down the list creating content that would rank, be socially shared, linked to, and talked about that would eventually lead to more sales on their products. It's the barebones of content marketing, and that's what makes it so effective.
Value + Creativity + Free = Exposure
The execution of these guides as you can see from the screenshot above is perfect, the only thing I'd add to a few of these is videos. Videos would tremendously help where the subtly in some steps aren't caught in photos, such as latte art – that's a pretty tough one to get right, and the images don't really show the minor variances of pulling down then back up on the steamer jug when using the steam wand. That's the only bit of execution I'd say is off, but if that's it, they are in damn good standing!
They have great social sharing opportunity on-page, links to products, and damn good tutorials. That's about as good as it gets on this type of content. Ecommerce stores should take note, I'm actually probably going to be writing about this example too on the Shopify blog (our favorite e-commerce CMS, and we're certified Shopify marketing experts – their blog rocks, check it out).
To be quite plain, these pages kill it on Google. They have hundreds of links cumulatively, thousands of social shares, and outrank base-domains that are literally entirely about the topics they are focusing on.
They dominate niche-based long-tail keyword phrases like "latte art brewing guide"
As well as very broad keyword phrases like "coffee brewing guide"
To wrap this up, this kind of content works, and I'm basically shocked that more ecommerce stores haven't caught on to the trend. Focus on the storytelling, focus on the biggest pain points or gripes, focus on the execution, and your guides will also dominate your niche.