Growing our traffic from 500 visitors to 70,000+ visitors per month

April 3, 2021

In this case study, I will show you how we grew a new site’s organic traffic to 70k+ unique monthly visitors in less than a year.

I will be showing you the strategies we have put in place to reach this goal.

The Starting Point

The website was fresh off the press, with no authority and no trust from Google whatsoever. The first step was to create a content foundation on which we could build trust.

We had 30 visitors on a good day and 8 visitors on weekends. Most of these were probably bots.

We had to scope out a way to build our organic traffic consistently over time.

The Strategy

We can break down our strategy into:

  • Identifying low-hanging fruit keywords
  • Building out free tools with high traffic potential
  • Increasing our trust through HARO link building
  • Building links consistently through guest posts and brand mentions

Identifying low-hanging fruit keywords.

Keywords with low competition are the best path of action for a new website. Here is what we did to discover keyword opportunities:

  1. Export our top 10 competitors’ keywords through Ahrefs, and compile a master list
  2. Identify keywords with low competition and high buyer intention
  3. Build out articles around these topics

Along the way, we discovered that many brands and agencies were searching for “top [x] influencers in [y] city.”

We subsequently rolled out an SEO play to mass create pages using our SaaS data to power these internal pages. We spawned 3000+ unique pages through this SEO play.

We pulled “most popular hashtags” and “influencer biographies” for each profile to avoid creating pages with thin content.

We then structured these pages in a way that the top pages interlink with the bottom pages in a way to pass authority across all of these pages.

Here is an example of a URL:

The structure goes like this:

platform -> niche -> country -> city

You should always keep an eye for potential mass-page SEO opportunities.

Here are some potential playbooks that might be worth pondering:

  • Glossaries
  • Free [keyword] calculator / Free engagement rate calculator
  • Top [niche] [service] in [year] / Top Cryptocurrency podcast in 2021

These structural SEO opportunities allow you to scale your content production efficiently. If you happen to discover an opportunity like this one, I recommend you roll out a plan to make it happen. The long-term payout for a successful playbook like this one is enormous.

Increasing our trust through HARO link building

HARO is a service, which allows anyone to connect with journalists looking for quotable material for their article. It’s a great way to get do-follow links on trusted, relevant websites. We assigned resources to build a great link foundation through HARO.

Ranking for new keywords becomes much easier as the website’s authority grows.

Building free tools with high traffic potential

One of our most successful SEO plays was to roll out two free engagement rate calculators for Instagram and TikTok. We interlinked to these tools while building backlinks to them from reputable sources.

Building links through guest posts and brand mentions

We consistently built backlinks to our articles, our free tools, and our homepage.

We used guest posts and article brand mentions to power this part of the strategy. A brand mention (sometimes called niche edits or link inserts) is built by asking a blogger to add a link from their blog back to your website.

To be successful in this strategy, you must either:

  • Have a kickass resource that outshines other similar resources
  • Pay for the mention
  • Exchange a mention on your website for the mention

Paying and exchanges are what some would consider grey hat, in the sense that they are against Google’s guidelines. Having said that, many SEOs will account for the fact that it works. You be the judge of how you want to do your SEO.

Thinking in terms of systems

Successful SEO is about creating a systematic approach to building your organic footprint. You need:

  • A process to find SEO opportunities
  • A process to write content and/or create tools
  • A process to build backlinks
  • A process to optimize your efforts based on your data

SEO has a tipping point at which point momentum carries you forward. Your output to input ratio increases significantly at that stage.

The goal of any new site should be to build towards that tipping point. The efforts you put upfront won’t generate the results you might expect.

What’s Next?

We’ve built-out a content calendar for the year 2021, and we have identified flywheels, which we can leverage to gain more organic traffic.

Here is an overview of our roadmap:

  • We identified “Top [niche] influencers in [location]” pages for which we had a disparity between clicks and impressions inside the search console. We will be optimizing the on-page of these pages.
  • We will create individual pages for influencers and all their metrics to capture long-tail keywords such as “charliedamelio engagement rate”
  • We will rollout other free tools, such as an influencer cost calculator, and a Snapchat engagement rate calculator.
  • We will increase our link velocity to relevant money pages
  • We will increase our content cadence to 8 articles per month