This is a case study on however I engineered a web site that receives over one hundred,000 guests per month, in but one year, while not disbursement $1 on advertising.
This was done 100 percent through SEO and content strategy.
Before we tend to dive in, enable American state to clarify a number of things:
The website reached over 100,000 guests in nine months.
This was a brand new domain, registered simply one or two months before launch.
This was wiped out a language I don’t scan nor speak (Japanese).
Japanese may be a non-roman character language, creating it nearly not possible to use most of the popular SEO tools.
The purpose of this post is to steer you thru exactly however my team and that i reached this milestone, the approach we tend to took, and show however technical SEO combined with content strategy will deliver serious results.
Key Drivers of Traffic Growth
There were a number of key components that LED to the widespread and sustained growth of the project, these vary from commonsensical to technical, however come back right down to 3 main focus areas:
Math – we have a tendency to took a mathematical approach to coming up with AN analysis model that might enable U.S.A. to measure opportunities supported their potential returns. Ultimately this LED to the creation of what we have a tendency to currently decision our keyword chance analysis, that may be a monetary model that measures the approximate output (traffic) supported a finite set of inputs, as well as components like average prosecutor, range of links / linking domains, age of website, content footprint, etc.
Analysis – mistreatment our fresh engineered formula we have a tendency to ought to testing, making websites to check content patterns and design. we have a tendency to were fast to declare defeat inside verticals while not traction, and paid shut attention to wherever the traffic was growing the foremost. The formula began to form ANd once roughly three months was able to establish inside an order of magnitude the number of traffic we have a tendency to may acquire for a given set of prices.
Pumpkin Hacking – this is often a term that I came upon (thank you Peter prosecutor Vanzo) that appears to explain specifically what we have a tendency to did to still grow our traffic by double and even triple digits, month once month. The core idea is simple; focus resources on building what works. What this meant for U.S.A. was being attentive to the search verticals and content that received the foremost traffic, most comments, most social shares, and being fast to chop the twine on traffic that didn’t perform.
First Month once Launch
With zero promotion and no advertising, we have a tendency to had an honest initial month, transferral in over two,000 guests. This was largely as a result of our pre-launch strategy – that I’ll make a case for additional later during this post.
Nine Months once Launch
After solely nine months we have a tendency to were three months sooner than schedule to pass a hundred,000 guests with no signs of fastness down.
As you’ll be able to see within the screenshot higher than, organic search drives the foremost good portion of our traffic. Referral traffic is sort of entirely from blogs and business publications, and campaigns is representative of the ads that we have a tendency to place, solely on our web site, to check totally different language and decision to actions to drive conversions.
Building a Keyword info
This is an evident undertaking for all SEO’s, however, in contrast to most search campaigns – this was a giant keyword info, to the tune of fifty,000 keywords.
The main plan here was leave no stone un-turned. Since we have a tendency to were of the mind to check everything and let the performance metrics dictate wherever to portion resources, we have a tendency to had to urge inventive with question combos.
We initial went through all of our target search verticals, as determined by our chosen go-to-market classes, that i feel was roughly nineteen to start out. successive step was to spot the highest a hundred highest search volume terms among those verticals and scrape the highest a hundred URL’s that were presently ranking.
From here we have a tendency to began what taken off as AN thorough method of evaluating the opportunities for every keyword, so aggregating opportunities to distinguish that classes we would have liked to specialise in to grow traffic.
Essentially we have a tendency to targeted the low-hanging fruit; keywords known by our model that might generate a minimum level of traffic in three months or less, with a minimum investment in content development.
I watched (obsessively) that phrases and topics generated the foremost traffic.
As presently as a subject began to grow legs, we’d focus further keyword analysis on finding ideas and phrases that were each complimentary and contextually relevant.
Designing a Content Strategy
This is the one hardest a part of any content-focused web site or project.
The key to success on this specific project was taking a page out of Jeff Bezos’ book, and turning into dependent on our customers.
We not solely began AN aggressive a/b testing schedule, however we have a tendency to perpetually reached resolute our users for feedback.
We asked robust queries, starting from what users’ liked and dislikable (colors, fonts, and layouts) however additionally the particular parts of the web site they found to be but ideal or maybe ‘sub-par.’
We took the responses seriously, creating changes as they came in, attempting to require one thing constructive from every bit of feedback, and pushing as several as ten deployments per week.
It began to work.
Once we have a tendency to saw the needle begin to maneuver on our user engagement metrics; time on web site, pages per visit, and direct or branded traffic, we have a tendency to affected onto successive part of our strategy; analyzing our audience.
Targeting the correct audience is most tougher than it sounds.
I will honestly say from the expertise of acting on this project it’s nearly ne’er because it appears. we have a tendency to began with targeting a awfully massive phase of users (remember that point I talked a couple of keyword info of over fifty,000 keywords?) however once a number of months it clad our largest (and most active) United States of Americaers were finding us from solely some of targeted classes.
Information design with SEO in Mind
Please enable Pine Tree State to preface this by spoken language that i’m bias; in my opinion the design of a web site is important to achieving SEO success.
My largest fortunate SEO comes have come back as a result of a range of things, however tend to come back all the way down to three core parts of architecture:
Scalable design is an evident one; you wish a system that may grow as massive as you want/need it to.
Crawlable is nothing unaccustomed anyone in SEO; this merely means the structure of our pages allowed for all of the foremost vital content to quickly and simply be crawled and indexed by program robots. It really sounds easier than it is… making certain that the content is rendered (code wise) within the most ideal format for robots to take apart takes additional thought than simply birthing out your div’s to properly render your styles.
To do this properly you wish to form positive all of your code is within the right place, and additional thus, check however every crawler sees your page.
Take each chance to DRY out your code the maximum amount as attainable, keep in mind fashionable code is intended to cascade for a reason.
Information tiering… could be a idea I even have long-time preached to anyone UN agency has ever talked with Pine Tree State, at length, about SEO. It means your computer address design ought to be inbuilt the simplest way thus authority flows upwards through your directories.
For example, if I wished to make authority around a core idea, i’d focus my domain on it idea. If I then wished to make connexion around specific locations for that idea, i’d structure my URL’s in order that all relevant content for that location fed upwards to a location specific directory.
So let’s say I had AN SEO firm with locations in many cities across the U.S., i’d style AN design that may afford location-specific info to feed upwards through my directories.
So one thing like NicksSEOFirm.com/Philadelphia/Specific-Location-Content. the particular location content might be the team, any value-add competencies, something geo-specific that was relevant to operations at that location, flowing relative authority upwards to the parent directory of /Philadelphia/.
Link in sub-directories will feed authority to parent directories.
A perfect example of this is often native sitelinks for well-liked categories; tertiary directories with the foremost links and content that cause their upstream sub-directories to receive authority translating into higher rankings and native sitelinks.
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