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1700% Traffic Increase with a Simple Digital Marketing Strategy

Would you like to know about a digital marketing strategy that can revolutionize your business?

How about a strategy that is extremely simple and cheap?

You might think that I’m cheating somehow…

… and that’s exactly how I felt when I saw the kind of results I managed to achieve.
After all, multiplying your traffic by 18 times is a remarkable result.

Allow me to explain what happened and how I achieved these results.

No Job, but Willing to Work

I was working as a digital marketing strategist for a company when I was forced to resign by the owner.

Suddenly, I had no job…

… so I decided to turn my attention back to an old site I had never invested much time in, just a few moments here and there. I had never made a commitment, so the traffic it received was pretty pathetic – just like the revenue it produced …

Traffic before my digital marketing strategy

My website had very low traffic…

Fortunately, I had some money put aside for this kind of situation, but considering the high cost of living in San Diego, I had to start getting results as quickly as possible.

I needed to plan a digital marketing strategy that would deliver results quickly.

How to Evaluate a Digital Marketing Strategy

There are many digital marketing strategies, but they are not all equally effective and efficient.

The specific strategy that should be used varies from case to case. What works well for one person may not work for someone else. That’s why, when you don’t know what strategy to use, you should ask an expert.

In my case though, the people in my niche were not inclined to share content on social media. Furthermore, paid traffic was not a viable option for several reasons.

After analyzing all the possibilities, I found only two ways to look for customers:

  • Google
  • YouTube

Both were valid strategic choices, but writing articles takes me a lot less time than producing videos, so I opted for attracting customers to my site through Google – I would develop a digital marketing strategy for YouTube only after I’d exploited the full potential of the search engine – which is exactly what ended up happening … but that’s another story 🙂

That’s why I had to find a digital marketing strategy that would get me traffic from Google… no easy feat!

A Simple Digital Marketing Strategy That Has Multiplied My Traffic by 18X

The plan was simple: since I had already obtained some backlinks to my site in the past, all I had to do was maximize my return on what I already had.

Of course, there were many other competing sites with far more links than me… but my strategy was definitely more effective in the end.

Here’s what I did …

For 15 months I focused on a very simple strategy: writing articles with the most profitable keywords.

And here’s the result of such a simple strategy:

1700% increase in traffic with my digital marketing strategy

Not bad at all 🙂

Warning: Just because this strategy is simple does not mean that it’s commonplace. In fact – fortunately for me – this content marketing strategy is greatly underestimated.

Also, just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy …

… not at all!

There aren’t many people who could follow this strategy without having much more detailed information about it.

So, for that reason, I will now explain the steps I took…

The 3 Steps of a Life-Changing Digital Marketing Strategy

As I mentioned, this digital marketing strategy is simple. So simple, it can be defined in just 3 steps.

1. Find keywords

First of all, it was necessary to find keywords. No keywords, no traffic from Google.

So I went to work and, through the following tactics, I found the keywords I was looking for.

a. Search keywords through SEMRush

No offense to fans of the Adwords keyword tool, but I consider SEMRush to be a superior tool – and since I’m paying for it, I should really get my money’s worth 🙂

Also, the Adwords keyword tool has recently stopped showing the exact traffic for keywords (unless you have an active Adwords campaign) and I don’t like that.

Adwords approximate numbers

This is totally unuseful…

So I started searching for as many ideas as possible to come up with keywords:

Keyword research in SEMRush

From there I started extracting the keywords and adding them to an Excel file.

Building a keyword database

Simple, yet very useful.

This is a first keyword search. Very superficial, but still promising and useful. Let’s move on…

b. Competitor research through SEMRush

Then I continued to take advantage of SEMRush‘s power to pull all of my competitors’ keywords.

Reverse engineering my competitors' keywords

Your competitors already did the heavy lifting for you 😉

Unfortunately, many of these are absolutely rubbish.

But there are others that are more interesting… and occasionally I strike gold…

Useful keywords... and striking gold

You’ll find some very profitable keywords here and there.

I did not limit myself to simply searching for the keywords of my major competitors, I also did it for smaller ones: the big players are probably indexed on Google regardless of any keywords they use… but the little guys don’t have this advantage; if they want to survive they have to get creative and find alternatives. So, by analyzing the smaller competitors, you can sometimes find very useful keywords.

Smaller competitors hide great keywords

At the beginning (when your site has not many links), your smaller competitors will be your best friends for keyword research.

You should also know that for each domain you look at, SEMRush also indicates other sites that are similar (some of which you certainly never would have found otherwise). So it’s a good idea to take a look at those too.

Huge list of competitors

Here, you’ll find many website that you did’t know.

c. Search beyond the competition

At this point, you may have a clever realization: so far we have limited ourselves to finding common keywords – those that are already used by other sites.

The problem with these keywords is that they are likely to be inflated, which means you still have to fight off the bigger sites to get on the front page of Google.

This is where my love for SEMRush reaches whole new levels…

In the less competitive niches, nobody (or almost nobody) uses it. And almost everyone who uses it fails to fully exploit it. So taking full advantage of it gives you a big competitive edge

Here’s what you can do.

Look for your competitor on SEMRush, just like you do when searching for their keywords. At this point, when you find an interesting keyword, click on it to see related ones.

Finding untapped keywords

You get new ideas, starting from your competition’s keywords.

With a bit of patience, you can find yourself with a nice list of rarely used keywords.

Then there is another very interesting thing you can do. Again, looking for info about your competitor on SEMRush, click on “Pages” in the side menu.

SEMRush's Pages

This SEMRush’s features is priceless.

At this point, you will be presented with the pages of your competitors that generate the most search engine traffic – precious information in and of itself! Just click on the results in the “keyword” column for a page and you will find all the keywords for which that page is indexed by Google.

Finding the keywords in your competitor's most popular posts

From here, you can know the keywords for which a post is raking in Google.

Non-optimized keywords

A post can be optimized only for a small number of keywords…. the others may be good opportunities for you.

And guess what…

This page is only optimized for some of these keywords 🙂

And guess what else: some of these are rarely used … if at all!

Untapped keyword

None of the search results here is really optimized for the keyword.

At the end of this research, I found myself with a nice database of useful keywords.

Full keyword database

Of course, this research takes time … there’s no need to try to complete it in a single day. But you can start creating your posts even if you only have a partial database – you just need enough keywords to plan an effective digital marketing strategy.

2. Make a Publishing Calendar

I know that you’re eager to start writing and posting your material so you can start seeing results …

… but wait …

… patience is very important when it comes to establishing a strategy for digital marketing. If you skip steps you risk compromising your results.

It is crucial to have a publishing calendar to properly execute this content marketing strategy with maximum results. I would never have succeeded without it.

a. Identify the keywords to use

So you’ve found several keywords … well done!

Unfortunately, not all of them will work for you. You have to keep in mind that there are various dynamics behind each keyword.

Let me explain…

… if I search Google for “gardening tips”, then I obviously have a garden and am interested in maintaining it. I might be interested in buying gardening tools, but that isn’t a given … what is certain is that I’m among your target audience if you have a gardening site.

If you sell gardening tools on your site, then it makes sense to target these keywords because I might also be interested in what you sell – or I could bring you other customers.

… if I look for “gardening tools”, it’s almost certain that I’m interested in buying – though not necessarily right away. That’s why this is a more valuable keyword than the previous one: you’re making sure you attract potential customers to your site.

… but if I look for “garden flowers” it does not necessarily mean that I have a garden. Maybe I’m looking to buy flowers as a gift … or maybe I need some flowers for indoor pots … or maybe I just want to see some flowers. So even though this keyword has 2900 monthly searches, these are not strictly related to your target audience or potential buyers. Therefore, it is better to skip this keyword – at least until you’ve used the most important ones.

To take account of this, open your keyword database and discard the ones that have a low degree of interest for you.

Discard low priority keywords

b. Prioritize your keywords

Of all the selected keywords, we will prioritize those with the lowest level of competition while still having a sufficient level of traffic.

How do you identify the level of competition?

A method that has always given me great success is to type the keyword I want to analyze in Google.

At this point, I analyze the results on the first page based on 3 criteria:

  • The domain in question
  • The degree of keyword optimization on the specific page
  • The content of the page

If one of the search results has a low DA (Domain Authority according to Moz), it will be easier to surpass its ranking.

Low DA search results

It really depends on the niche… but, usually everything with DA below 40 is easy to compete with.

If the keyword isn’t in the title, then the page almost certainly hasn’t been optimized for it. If the keyword is also missing in the metatag of the search result, then this is a very good situation for me.

Non-optimized search results

A well-optimized post can beat these competitors.

Finally, if the page content isn’t great, then I know I can easily write a better article – and thus get a better position.

Quality influence search competition

With the right knowledge and some efforts, you can create superior content.

Analyze all the results for a keyword on the first page of Google with these 3 criteria to get an idea of the degree of competition you will be facing. If at least one of the 3 criteria above is missing, then I define the search result as “weak”.

Generally, I use the following scale:

  • 4 or more “weak” results = go for that keyword now!
  • 2-3 “weak” searches = give this keyword a high priority
  • 1 “weak” search (or none at all) = give this keyword low priority

Do this for all the keywords in your list.

At the same degree of competition, you will give greater weight to keywords with the most monthly searches.

Also, make sure not to use keywords with only a few monthly searches – it’s not worth the effort. The specific numbers change from niche to niche … but as a general rule, I would avoid all keywords that have less than 480 monthly searches.

At this point, you are ready for the final touch.

c. Put together your publishing calendar

You know what keywords are useful and which have the highest priority. Now you just have to fill out your publishing calendar.

In my content marketing strategy, I planned to publish an article a week for the first year. Then I slowed the pace to an article every two weeks – since the priorities of my business had changed.

My winning publishing calendar

The publishing calendar that got me crazy results.

To make your calendar you can just do what I did: use Excel.

Excel publishing calendar

Making a calendar in Excel is easy – and it gives you tons of customization possibilities.

Set the days when you’ll post your content.

Mark your publishing days in your calendar

Here’s how your calendar will look like if you decide to publish a blog post per week, on Wednesday.

Then choose your keywords for each day – starting with those with the highest priority.

And that’s it! Your publishing calendar is ready.

Now you just have to create the posts…

3. Creating Your Posts

If you know how to write a blog post that resonates with readers, you can be sure that you will get results.

There will be bigger sites with more links, but you have nothing to fear…

… because you don’t need more links to beat the competition … just more brain power 🙂

In fact, many of my articles rank well above competitors with more links than me – and with more years on the market.

Fewer links than my competition

I got fewer links than my top competitors do… but as you can say from my traffic, I’m ranking pretty well 🙂

The reality is that backlinks are ONE of Google’s ranking factors. In reality, as the time passes by, Google weights content more and more.

That is why you should put effort into writing your posts.

But apart from writing individual articles, there are some very important considerations that you should keep in mind.

a. Patience and Faith

If we look at the traffic trend for my site, we’ll notice something very interesting.

1700% increase in traffic with my digital marketing strategy

Do you notice anything?

Do you see it?

Look closer. Let’s zoom in:

Slow start for my digital marketing strategy

The traffic increase is very low in early days.

At first, the increase in traffic to my site was almost imperceptible.

If I based my success purely on what I was seeing in those early days, I would have quickly given up.

But I didn’t. I pushed on.

Why?

Faith.

If you have faith in yourself and what you have to offer, then there is no “if”, only “when”.

When you know your message is important, you find a way to spread it.

b. Persistence and Discipline

Let’s be honest: Respecting a publishing calendar isn’t easy.

It requires discipline. You have to commit yourself to writing with some regularity.

Sometimes you’ll have to write when you have writer’s block. Or maybe you will have to force yourself to write when you don’t want to … or when you are tired and don’t have the energy.

True…

… taking the first step is never easy …

… but writing the 26th article, after more than 6 months, might be even more difficult.

At that point, you can decide whether to give up or push on.

You know what awaits you if you push ahead though. You’ve seen it in my Google Analytics screenshot 😉

Not Just Traffic, Sales Too

You may be wondering if I saw any other results, other than the dizzying traffic growth.

The answer is yes. I also got an increase in sales – and therefore profits.

Not just traffic, sales too

Quite a nice bump in sales, isn’t it? 🙂 Dates are in european format day/month/year.

And that’s what happens when you adopt the right digital marketing strategy. The results are obvious and they change your life.

The problem is that if you adopt the wrong digital marketing strategies, none of this will happen.

Want some advice?

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See you soon!
Andrew Morrison

Andrew Morrison
 

Founder of Dotcom Gains, and serial digital entrepreneur. Has been an online business owner since 2011, but he didn't get to work on a tropical beach yet... so he's now wondering if he's a workaholic :-)

  • Gaurav Kumar says:

    Hi Andrew,

    That is an impressive case study. Writing the post around the focus keyword using LSI keywords and maintaining keyword density can be useful.

    Some people talk about using keywords, but they do not know how to optimize it efficiently.

    Thanks for sharing.

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