Disclaimer: I still prefer not to disclose the domain name for this case study. However, I will show you examples and strategies implemented on the site.
Table of Contents
Background of the case study
I started this site almost 11 months ago.
It took around 9 months to go from 0 clicks/day to 177 clicks/day.
Here are some key stats:
- Started: April 2022
- Niche: Tech career guide
- # of articles published: 56 articles + 33 glossary pages
- Content frequency: 4-5 articles/month
- Content type: Human written
- Last 28 days traffic: 3450
- Last 28 days impressions: 101,000
Here are some of the key strategies I used to grow this site:
1. Building glossary pages
A glossary page is simply a definition page that answers queries like ‘What is X,’ ‘Definition of X,’ and ‘Meaning of X.’
Normally, these types of queries have high search volume, and high ranking difficulty as mostly the authoritative sites rank for these head terms.
Still, I started my site with technology glossary pages for two main reasons:
For every new website, it takes time for Google to understand what this website is all about and the expertise of the website.
By building glossary pages of related terms, concepts, and entities, the goal was to help Google associate the site with related entities in the technology career field.
When you have a dedicated page for key terms in your niche, it makes your job easier to create a relevant internal linking strategy.
Here’s a similar example from Mailchimp, where they use glossary pages to improve internal linking strategically:
1.1 How I planned and structured glossary pages for my site
Phase I: Planning
- I started my research from the Wikipedia page. For example: visit a Wikipedia page and notice all the internal links (potential entities for your niche).
Here’s an example where the main term is ‘recruitment.’ This page lets you understand related entities associated with the main topic.
- Also, did competitor research and took inspiration from existing glossary pages.
- If your main topic has published books on Amazon or courses on Udemy or any other platforms, dig into the chapters and subjects – This will allow you to find related terms that you may have skipped.
Phase II: Executing
- After the planning phase, I’ve got a list of potential key terms closely related to my tech field.
Some structure guidelines I followed:
- Every glossary definition will have a dedicated page (not a single glossary page displaying definitions of all terms).
- Instead of creating thin content (200-300 words), I considered at least 800-900 words so the page could cover related questions and subtopics, improving the overall knowledge base.
- Every glossary page is connected with each other via internal linking – that means if you visit a glossary page, you will find links to other glossary pages on that page.
- Each glossary page covers the related PAA questions – used tools such as AlsoAsked.com and searchresponse.io.
- Page titles of most glossary pages are optimized with a format like Definition of term X: What is term X
- The URL structure follows:
Glossary page URL: domain.com/glossary
Term X definition page URL: domain.com/glossary/term-x
2. Contributor quotes with dedicated pages
Here’s my favourite part of the content strategy: Involving experts in your content strategy
One of the key areas for a new site is to build EAT (especially expertise).
Here’s one way I worked on improving the expertise and trustworthiness of the site:
- Creating a list of subject matter experts through LinkedIn and Google searches.
- Outreached these subject experts via social media and asked for a contributor quote (opinions on the blog topic).
- The conversion rate for getting quotes from contributors is more than 50% – everyone likes to get featured with this little effort.
- Once the post is published, I share the page URL with contributors. In most cases, they also share the guide with their audience.
This is a common strategy by many authoritative sites. However, I took this approach one step further.
- I’ve created a dedicated contributor page that is linked from the respective blog posts.
Here’s the visual illustration:
Some benefits of this approach:
- This helps Google to associate your brand entity with industry experts and subject matter experts
- Your content has a differentiation strategy by using expert quotes
- Improves the credibility of your site when you share insights from experts
- Also, you can even rank for contributor’s name search as you already have a dedicated about page
- Most of all, it is a win-win situation for contributors, and the site’s EAT
Tip: I used these contributors’ about pages to showcase expertise, educational qualifications, and everything that improves credibility.
3. Keyword research
Diving into the entire keyword research process is a topic for another post. However, I will discuss one point that helped me drive valuable traffic from keywords with high CPC value.
Prioritize keywords and drive high-value traffic (business value/ CPC).
Here’s how you can do this:
Case I. If you’re doing keyword research for a business (SaaS, eCommerce, B2B, etc.), consider adding a column for ‘business value.’
Then label the column as:
- High (your product/services are highly related to the search query)
- Medium (your product/services are moderately related to the search query)
- Low (your product/services are indirectly related to the search query)
Higher the business value, the more qualified traffic you’ll generate.
Here’s an example:
Case I. If your website has no product or service, consider adding a column for the CPC value of keywords.
This will help you prioritize keywords that people are paying for via PPC. So CPC value will give you an overview of the commercial intent of keywords. Also, helpful for sites monetizing with display ads.
Here’s one of my sites driving traffic worth $1,278 (the keyword research process includes the keyword value or CPC):
Less traffic + high traffic value (/high business value) > High traffic + low traffic value(/low business value)
Here’s the traffic chart of this site:
According to the Ahrefs chart, the site receives traffic worth $1,278 for the monthly traffic of 1,761 (which is way lower than the exact number).
4. Internal linking
- The blog archive page displays the latest 21 posts (most sites make the mistake of displaying only a few recent articles. This approach makes it difficult for crawlers to crawl older pages)
- Optimizing blog archive page with internal links to category pages
Here’s an example:
This will help users quickly find articles from their desired category. Also, it reduced the crawl depth.
- Every article is integrally linked with articles under the same category. That means if there are 10 articles under ‘category X,’ all of these articles are linked via internal links. This also creates a silo structure for content hubs.
- Descriptive link text. The site has no generic link text (such as click here, read more, visit here, etc.).
Here’s the site structure visualization of the site:
As you can see, this internal linking strategy has helped to build an organized site structure.
There are still plenty of opportunities to improve the SEO performance of the site. Here are some of the opportunities I will explore soon:
- Content update: By auditing the GSC report, I can find out pages with a decline in traffic over the last three months. These are the pages that need improvement to regain the ranking and clicks.
Here’s an example:
By updating these pages, I can drive additional traffic from older pages.
- Increasing content frequency: The more content I put, the more keywords the site will likely rank for. Since I already have dozens of new keywords researched, I can increase the content frequency from 4 articles/per month to 8 articles/per month.
- Contributor quotes: By scaling the ‘contributor quotes’ approach, I can get dozens of new contributors weekly. This will improve the content quality and build the credibility of the site.
- Link building: As of now, I have only built three links via guest posting, and that too on average authority sites. Soon, I will focus on the link-building process (active or passive) and see how it impacts the results.