At the end of April 2018, I took at look at the Google Analytics stats for my ASMR blog. Traffic had been flat for a few months. I had been adding content, but I was doing the bare minimum and I was only adding random videos. I wasn’t sticking to my content marketing strategy.
I decided to focus some more attention on that site by using Serpstat to grow my traffic (see my guide to using Serpstat here). Since then, I tripled the pageviews over a 9 month span (well, 2.9x to be honest).
***Note from Chris: Be sure to read to the the end of this post for an awesome BONUS!
Here are my Google Analytics stats from April 2018:
And here are my Google analytics stats from January 2019:
As you can see, my pageviews jumped from 4,083 in April 2018 to 11,754 in January 2019.
In this blog post, I’ll show you step-by-step how I grew my organic traffic over this time using the following steps:
- Review your rankings and identify target keywords to improve
- Upgrade existing content and add supporting content
- Identify new keywords to target
- Create new content
- Review and repeat
The steps are pretty easy to follow and can be done with just an hour or two a week.
Step 1: Review Your Rankings
The first step is an easy one. Head over to Serpstat, search for your domain, then click on ‘Organic keywords’. I like to sort my list by decreasing Volume Google (the number of monthly searches for the keyword).
On this report, I pay attention to the red and green arrows/numbers in the position column. The position column shows your Search Engine Rank Position (SERP) and the colored numbers show whether you’ve recently moved up or down in the rankings and by how many positions you’ve moved.
I love this column for two reasons:
- It shows me what content is moving up the SERPs. You can use this as a guide for other content you create. You can also look to upgrade this content to further improve your rankings.
- It shows me what content is moving down the SERPs. This is content you’ll want to upgrade, which we’ll cover in the next section.
I like to make a Google Doc with some of these keywords. I typically pick keywords with a higher position and volume to start with, as they’ll have the most impact. I especially look for positions in the 11 to 20 range. Improving these rankings can land you on the first page of the Google search results.
Next, we’ll look at upgrading existing content to get a ranking boost.
Step 2: Upgrade Existing Content
Looking at my list of keywords from Serpstat, I see that my blog has moved up 27 spots from 54 to 27 for the term “gentlewhispering”. GentleWhispering ASMR is a popular ASMRtist. I often post her videos, so I decided to post more of her work.
I also upgraded her tag page.
Any time you use a tag in WordPress, it makes that tag a clickable link within your post. When you click on it, it takes you to page that shows all of the posts containing that tag.
Many bloggers don’t realize though that they can add content that will appear above the list of posts. If you navigate to Posts > Tags in your admin panel, you can click on edit for any tag and add in some unique content in the ‘Description’ field.
Note: some themes may not show this content, so your miles may vary.
Here is how my tag page looks now:
I also added links to this page in my header and sidebar, making it easy for visitors to find popular artists.
Looking for another keyword from the Serpstat list, I see that my blog has dropped 5 spots from 15 to 21 for the term “What is ASMR”. This is one of the top keywords that I want to rank for and represents a piece of my cornerstone content on the site.
As I had previously upgraded the content on that page, I wanted to look for other ways to improve the rankings. One way to do this is with supporting content.
In this case, I created a roundup post of popular artists explaining the meaning of ASMR, with a link back to my “What is ASMR?” post.
These are just two examples, but this method can be repeated over and over for each keyword you wish to improve.
Step 3: Identify New Keywords To Target
I covered this topic in more detail in my How To Use Serpstat post, but I’ll give you a quick overview here.
Navigate to Serpstat, and enter your base or seed keyword. This should be something simple and generic. We’ll use ASMR for this exercise, as it’s the base keyword for my blog.
Once you hit ‘Search’, you’ll be taken to the keyword overview screen.
Click on ‘Organic keywords’. On this screen, you’ll see a sortable table of keywords.
The first thing I like to do after searching for my base keyword is to set a filter for the number of results. I like to set this to less than 100,000.
This will help you find a keyword that isn’t overly flooded with competition.
Next, I’ll look to sort by Keyword Difficulty (KD) and export the report to Google Docs. Depending on what level account you have, you may be limited to the number of results you can export.
Step 4: Create New Content
The first step in creating content should always be research. Google your keyword.
Now, take a look at the top ten results and make note of the following:
- Number of words in each article
- Topics covered
- Headlines used
You should use these results as research for your post. Google already did the leg work and found that these sites well represent your keyword. Your job now is to one-up them.
Once you know what Google considers to be good content, go ahead and get to creating your post. Hit the key topics, make it longer and more thorough, add some images, video or infographics, use your term (as well as similar keywords and variants), and make it the best blog post for your keyword.
That last point should always be your goal. You can’t expect to get near the top results without putting out a better article. This might be the golden rule of content creation, even though it’s often overlooked.
For more information on creating great content, see my post on Content Creation.
Step 5: Review and Repeat
Now that you’ve checked your SERPs, updated your existing content, and created both new and supporting content, it’s time for some patience.
Depending on your blog, it could take Google a while to crawl and index your new content. It could take even longer for Serpstat to update their databases.
My rule of thumb is to wait 4 to 6 weeks before looking for SERP changes in Serpstat. After that time, you can see what worked, what didn’t work, and what new SERP changes you can find. From there, it’s just a matter of repeating the process.
In this post, I showed you the method I used to triple my traffic in 9 months. I did this putting in an additional one hour a week, but you can certainly put more time in and see even bigger jumps in traffic. If you try this method, please reach out and let me know how it worked for you.
For those of you who read through this entire post, I have an awesome bonus for you in the next section.
BONUS – Book A Free Strategy Call With Me
If you need some help getting started, I’m offering a free 20 minute strategy session just for being a reader. Use the calendar below to book your session. There are no strings attached, just a free one-on-one chat about keywords and content.