Here’s something we hear often: I want to be the thought leader in this specific space. When people search for this content, I want my website to come up first, and I want people to know that I am the go-to resource for that specific subject.
It’s a tall order, but with enough planning, time, and resources dedicated to a mindful strategy and high-quality content, it’s possible.
In fall 2018, the founder of an informational website approached Growth Machine with a similar ask. They wanted to become the premiere content destination for gig economy workers. They had the goal of getting to 100,000 monthly visitors as soon as possible, so they contracted Growth Machine to start their blog from scratch, co-create an SEO strategy, and write the content.
And within six months, we got them to 100,000 monthly visitors. Here’s how. (But if you prefer audio, listen to our podcast episode about this case study.)
We often meet clients who have set up their website incorrectly, and simply fixing the errors offers them a huge advantage. Some common mistakes include sloppy site structure, not using categories or tags to organize content, or ignoring meta descriptions and title tags — which mean their content won’t show up in the preview of Google’s search results.
When a website owner sets up their site incorrectly, it’s possible to fix, but it requires substantial time and investment. That’s why we encourage clients to start their site the right way — with a clean, well-organized, and easy-to-navigate framework that sets them up for ranking success. Because our client was starting from scratch, we were able to advise them on this proper site structure.
If you haven’t yet set up your site, it’s worth doing the research to make sure you set it up correctly from day one. Learn more about how you can do this in our step-by-step guide to setting up your blog for SEO success.
Typically in our client engagements, we suggest 8-12 articles per month. That will ensure you develop 100-150 great pieces over the course of a year, amounting to a healthy library that can dominate the key topics in most industries.
But because this client wanted to reach their 100,000 monthly visitor goal as soon as possible, we created at least five articles per week for three months prior to launch.
This aggressive content production schedule allowed our client to quickly build domain authority and effectively catch up in a crowded category. Having all that content on the site at launch helped signal their reliability and trustworthiness to both readers and Google’s algorithm. It made the site look substantive, and not like a “startup,” and gave readers reasons to stay on the site beyond reading just one article (thus reducing bounce rate, a ranking factor for Google).
The site launched with 75 articles, and this amount of content paid dividends: They went from zero to 19,000 sessions within six weeks. By month four, they were up to 60,000 monthly visitors.
And then 105,000 monthly visitors by month six.
Our client’s goal was to achieve a huge influx of traffic in the shortest time frame possible, and they had a strong vision for what the overall content would look like.
To best meet their goal, we implemented a “scorch the earth” strategy. With a clear list of desired topics, we covered any and every topic and subtopic laddering up into a master theme that had meaningful search volume.
It was a lot of content. But the topics were guided directly by keyword search volume and intent. As we did the research to come up with a strong list of keywords, we ensured these keywords met the below criteria:
If you’re rethinking your own SEO strategy, this “scorch the earth” method may or may not be a fit for you — what works well for an informational site that has a lot of competitors will not work for a niche how-to site. For some additional guidance, be sure to check out our post on research strategy: How to Find Great Target Keywords for Your Content.
It might sound scary to sign a large SOW for a yet-to-be-proven part of your marketing strategy, only to cross your fingers and hope that the agency delivers on their promise.
Since we were creating a substantial amount of articles before being able to see a hard metric, like pageviews or keyword rankings, we focused on delivering content that:
If you have a similar arrangement with a vendor where you’re paying for a lot of output before the overall program has launched, consider ways you can reasonably hold that vendor accountable. Since they can’t guarantee you traffic or conversions, perhaps you can agree to a set amount of deliverables in defined time frames.
Our client approached us with topics and an overall strategy in mind, and we designed a thorough keyword research plan to support that editorial vision. Once we confirmed our strategic alignment, we were able to quickly execute content.
Part of this upfront strategy included creating a matrix of “keyword starts” which included: What is X, how to use X, how much does X type of worker make.
Fleshing out that overall framework enabled us to write 75+ articles much faster.
Since 2019, this client expanded their content strategy to include adjacent topic areas, as well as new kinds of content, such as newsletters, e-books, and training courses.
They also have plans to continue to branch out and expand their business.
"Unlike many other agencies, Growth Machine didn't lock me into a long-term contract and then skimp on quality. Working with them was a completely seamless experience and while a bit expensive, they have a premium offering — the content is great and they drive results. Growth Machine truly cares about their clients and it's refreshing to finally work with an agency that works with you as a partner instead of just as a vendor," says the founder and CEO.
If you want to roll up your sleeves and start your own site from the ground up, you can. Check out our free 7-part series that walks you through the entire process from choosing a website host all the way to promoting your content.
But if you want to see faster results, fill out our contact form, and we’ll get in touch with you within 24 hours.
There’s no chance Growth Machine would be the company it is today without her.
As marketers, it’s easy to get caught up in the creation hamster wheel — only wanting to create, create, create. But even if you write the most poetic, Pulitzer-worthy piece, no one will read it if they don’t know it exists. That’s where content distribution comes in.