Growth Study: The Exact SEO Strategies Used To Grow A 1,500,000 Visitors/Mo Website
This strategy isn’t right for everyone…
It is designed for aggressive online businesses that sell info products or are ecomm. If you want to grow to millions of monthly visitors, hundreds of thousands of leads, and tens of thousands of customers each year, then THIS is the system for you to do it.
We grew the site to now over 1,500,000 monthly visitors and around 13,000,000 annual visitors… organically, and became THE leader in online personal finance.
This doesn’t include other websites built into the sales funnel or other traffic sources.
In this article I hope to show you exactly what is working in SEO to grow a major ecomm and info product online business.
The info below is not theories or assumptions, but cold.hard.facts about one of the biggest players in this space.
Are you ready?
Link Building (Do Not Skip To This Part. Read the post first.)
CONTENT UPGRADE HERE
While there are numerous factors to our explosive SEO growth, there are only a handful that were heavily focused on religiously:
- Masterpiece Levels Of Content
- Link Building To Epic Proportions
- Insane Engagement From The SERP’s
This list above is what I would consider the 20% in the 80/20 rule.
And in this article, I’ll be sharing 95% of our secrets. More on that 5% later. 😉
Once we got the traffic, we created highly optimized optin’s for their audience to enter their emails and become leads. This has allowed them to grow their email list an additional 828,062 this year. Yeah… re-read that number again.
Enter, The Horse’s Mouth Explosive SEO Strategy
Their (the clients) team decided to put crazy focus on content marketing and SEO efforts. They have nearly 350 employees.
50% are on the content team.
The keywords that we are ranking for the highest are big head sead keywords.
(This screenshot is from Neil Patel’s free seo tool, Ubersuggest. It’s legit. Go check it out)
This is a KW that we rank #2-3 for.
These are difficult keywords to go after and to have so many of them begs the question…
How the hell did we grow to 1,500,000 monthly unique visitors?
Before I answer that question, I have to say something…
Yes, I know SEO changes more times in a week, let alone a day, than we can keep track of.
Yes, I know SEO is not exactly simple, and often (most) times quite complicated.
Yes, I know there are many SEO strategies out there that work or at least claim to..
All I’m here to do is share whats worked for us repeatedly, time after time.
Our process is simple, repeatable, and freaking gets results… As long as you start with the right foundations.
So, back to the strategies that grew us so quickly?
These foundations are not exactly the norm, so don’t read this aloud wherever you are right now…
The first one is…
We listen to our customers.
<iframe src=”https://giphy.com/embed/tMPSeKEplOfK0″ width=”480″ height=”360″ frameBorder=”0″ class=”giphy-embed” allowFullScreen></iframe><p><a href=”https://giphy.com/gifs/jim-carrey-tMPSeKEplOfK0″>via GIPHY</a></p>
Many SEO’s out there start with maybe looking at the competitors and seeing what they are doing.
They might, as most do, start with keyword research and intent.
Or even start with SERP intent (if you start here… respect).
But, we start with interviews of our paying customers. We really try to understand them, where they are coming from and the problems they so desperately need solved.
I am looking for their perceptions of why they think we are their answer and how they perceive their problems. Re-read that last paragraph again.
I mean actually re-read them because it all starts there.
Why would you want to start with all these keywords that you ASSUME will lead you to understanding your customers problems when you can just ask them?
We ask them simple questions like (make sure you record the calls with permission):
- Why did you buy X product?
- How did it help you?
- What were you expecting it to help you with?
- Why us vs anyone else?
There are about 12 total questions we ask all for the purpose of understanding their problems.
OPTIN FOR THE FULL 12 HERE
But, the interesting thing is this…
As you talk to them and begin to understand what their problems are and what they need solved…. THEY literally give you keywords you can actually use for research. 🙂
I would recommend interviewing as many people as possible. We always do at least 10 – 45.
Once you have that info you can easily take your research online.
For this research we used tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, Similar Web, Ubersuggest and other various keyword research tools, but those are the big ones.
This is not a post on keyword research, so I am not going to get into that much more. Here is a great post by Nick Eubanks though on the topic. His process is oozing with legit sauce: https://ftf.agency/keyword-research-now/
By now, you should have a list of keywords. Most good SEO’s will now try to understand the KW (keyword) intent, which is needed, but you shouldn’t stop there because months later after you produced all your content, built your links you may discover you are still not ranking…
So how do you avoid that?
As SEO’s, we all do research to try to discover what the KW intent is.
But, these are just assumptions. Now your assumptions at times can be spot on, but they may not be.
So, when mapping out a new SEO campaign most SEO’s will say something like this to you (does this sound familiar?):
“Ask any content marketer or SEO how to get bulk organic traffic to your website, and they’ll tell you this:
- Find link-worthy content (content that’s already generated a lot of links.)
- Make something even better (longer, more up-to-date, better designed.)
- Do link building to get it to rank on the first page of Google (email site owners that have already linked to similar content.)
That’s an old strategy from 2013.
The competition for content is so fierce now, you could link build for months and never see results. And even if you do get it to work, you have no clear strategy for how to get that traffic to convert into sales.”
Again, this strategy I’m laying out for you yielded 13,000,000 visitors in the last year.
Now, one of the biggest steps we have taken to ensure our contents success is by trying to understand the SERP intent of said KW.
That makes sense, right?
Ok, so for example…
Who is smarter at understanding the users KW and what they are really trying to solve with their search?
An SEO with all their softwares (data not from Google) or Google’s algorithms that they have spent billions on developing?
You guessed it. Google for the win.
Google is constantly changing their algorithms based on their users behaviors and many other factors.
The best way we can figure out the SERP intent is to take your KW’s and simply enter them into Google.
Note: For this step, we use VPN’s and search in browsers that we normally don’t use to avoid our personal behavior interfering with the SERP.
When we type in “how to build a pc”. We, the SEO’s might think “oh this person simply needs to learn how to build a pc”.
But Google, understands that people who search that are going to be total noobs at building a PC and are probably not into this space at all.
How can I tell that?
I looked at this SERP:
See Google’s first words after PC in the search were “from scratch” and then “for beginners”.
And then in the “People Also Ask” section, they try to answer other questions total noob PC builders will also have.
And Google knows exactly the BEST content that serves these searchers.
At the beginning of the year I built my first PC ever.
And you know what? The content I learned from to build my first PC are the same top two pieces of content that still out rank everything for that KW.
Are you still tracking with me?
Now what is this SERP telling me?
The people who type in that KW don’t want to learn from a text post.
They want to learn from a video.
Again, how can I tell? I looked at the SERP.
Google knows best the content that is working for your KW. So look at it, emulate the SERP content and make yours a masterpiece.
Most people don’t produce content based on SERP intent, let alone orient their entire strategy around it.
One way to do this is by forcing yourself to identify the stage of the funnel and at least a preliminary intent for every keyword you research. Aaron Orendorff does this with two columns in every keyword Google Sheet prior to writing a single word.
Check out the dropdowns in columns F and H: