21% More Traffic Without Any “New” Content

SEO case study

In this SEO case study I’m going to show how I increased my organic search traffic by 21% without creating any “new” content.

Let’s be honest for a second:

21% growth doesn’t seem like much.

However, 21% growth equates to an extra 3,000 organic search pageviews per month for Gotch SEO.

The focus of this case study is about my “backlinks” guide. This guide ranks for the ultra competitive head keyword “backlinks” and countless other variations of that primary phrase.

I’ll probably create a separate case study on how I ranked for “backlinks”, but for now, let me explain how I was able to drive even more organic search traffic to this page.

Step #1 – Restructure

The first thing I did was think about how to restructure this blog post. I haven’t changed this post at all since it began ranking a few years ago, so I knew that there’s plenty of new value that I could add.

I also knew I wasn’t targeting every keyword variation I could on this page.

That’s why I opened up Answer the Public and starting looking for new topics or ideas that I hadn’t covered in the guide.

Answer the Public

The end result was a huge unvetted list of ideas.

I then narrowed this list down to only the most relevant keywords/ideas. Then, I searched my old blog post to see how many times these phrases were mentioned. Most weren’t mentioned at all.

The next big decision was to figure out how to inject these into the asset itself.

Some ideas were perfect for new sections such as “When to Build Backlinks” or “Harmful Backlinks to Avoid”.

Sections

While some micro variations such as “inbound link” and “external link” didn’t need separate sections and can be naturally added to the content.

Keyword Variations

Lastly, many of the ideas I found such as “backlinks decreasing” or “are backlinks important” are perfect for an FAQ section because they don’t require super long answers.

From there, I just began moving sections and writing new copy for the new topics or sections and also to reflect changes in my thought about backlinks.

Restructuring was the first phase. Now let me explain the second phase.

Step #2 – Consolidate Similar Assets

The second phase of this process was to consolidate another blog post into an already massive guide. The blog post was about my link opportunity prioritization method called The Relevancy Pyramid.

Relevancy Pyramid

This post had a good amount of blog comments and traffic, but I felt it was too thin of a topic to be a stand alone post. That’s why I decided to consolidate into this guide.

Consolidation

All I did was add this blog post to the “Backlink Quality Indicators” section because it was a perfect fit.

Then I had to:

  • Edit the copy to make it flow
  • 301 redirect the original article to my backlinks guide
  • transfer all the blog comments from that post using a Copy/Move comments plugin for WordPress.

This small amount of work added nearly a thousand new words to this page, which has definitely helped with the growth.

In fact:

I call that little process I just outlined The Cake Technique.

The Cake Technique

This is a strategy I go into great depth in within Gotch SEO Academy.

But in short:

It’s the process of consolidated pages targeting very closely related keywords into a single mother asset. It works extremely well when executed correctly.

Step #3 – Add an FAQ Section

The last big content change was that I took the ideas I gathered from Answer the Public and created an “FAQ” section that tackles some common questions and backlinks.

FAQ

Step #4 – Upgrade & Update Graphics

Then last big change I made to this guide was upgrading the graphics.

Unique and higher quality graphics likely doesn’t have a direct ranking impact, but it has a slew of other benefits such as improving your brand’s perception and making your page appear more trustworthy, which will likely improve user engagement for your content.

Better user engagement is good for SEO.

I also added one more video to the asset. I love adding video because it increases dwell time and user engagement on the page.

After all these changes were completed, I changed the publish date and just waited to see the impact.

The Results

Within about 30 days, the organic search pageviews increased by 21%, This equates to an additional 3,000 pageviews per month.

21 Percentage Growth

And I know this will continue to grow over time as this page builds more authority. If you’re wondering, the changes I’ve outlined went live on 9/14/2018.

Annotations

Here’s a recap if you want to emulate what I did:

  1. Use Answer the Public to find new topics and content ideas
  2. Brainstorm how to restructure your content to incorporate these ideas in a natural way
  3. Edit and upgrade your copy reflect changes in opinion and the industry
  4. Identify relevant assets that are candidates for consolidation using The Cake Technique
  5. Upgrade and update your graphics and add video
  6. Change your publish date and promote your newly improved asset

The biggest takeaway I hope you’ll get from this is that there’s a much better ROI and return on time trying to improve existing successful assets.

As opposed to creating entirely new assets, which take a ton of time, effort, and resources to rank.

So, that’s it for today.

Thank you so much for reading and if got a lot of value out of this little SEO case study, please let me know by sharing it with your friends and colleagues.

One last thing:

Gotch SEO Academy, my extensive SEO training program with over 500 students will be opening for enrollment on 1/8/2019.

Please join the waitlist now because you’ll get the best offer when we open up.

Have questions? Leave it below because I respond to every single one.

SEO 101 Course

About the Author

Author
Nathan Gotch

Nathan Gotch is the founder and SEO director at Gotch SEO. Listen in to our new podcast, The SEO Life or watch some of our actionable SEO training videos on YouTube!

Comments

  1. Hi Nathan,
    Nice article – would like to get your take on the August Google update that’s just devastated many rankings..

    1. Hey Justin,

      I’ve talked to many people in your shoes. It’s still early to tell what the big factors are, but I’ve been running a few tests since the update. Should have my findings out soon

  2. Hi Gotch,

    Awesome post! Little off topic, but when I’m doing the “Merger Technique” can I 301 the root domain today and then 301 the inner pages some other time like in 3 weeks or 301 all links at once?

  3. Hi Nathan, you say that it’s better ROI to focus on improving existing content that already ranks for stuff. Make it better and it will rank for more, and faster.

    And you’re right, I too would rather update a page than create a new one.

    But here is a problem with this, of course.
    Whatever you do .you can’t change how much people search for something. So at some point you will have to create new assets, to continue growing.

    Cheers Nathan! I’m off to share this on Growth Hackers:)

  4. Hi Nathan,
    Thanks for sharing this strategy, my website has a lot of similar posts and I can combine them to make one article, it will help the article will get high quality and traffic.

  5. I have most of the useful On-Page SEO Tactics, but still not getting satisfactory organic traffic. I have not built enough backlink & never tried for Guest Posting too. Can I rank my website only with On-Page Techniques?
    According to new Google Search Engine algorithms, I have found that Google gives priority to quality content rather than backlinks.
    Give some suggestion.

    1. Thanks for the comment! It’s possible if your website has a lot of authority and you’re targeting low competition niches. But in most cases, you’ll need backlinks

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