Ranking a million search a month e-commerce keyword with link building case study

Ranking a million search a month e-commerce keyword with link building case study

Let me let you in on a little secret.

Ranking on the first page of Google for any major keyword is hard. Extremely hard.

And with the constant updates, unbelievable amounts of competition, and the psychological warfare that Google wages, most people believe that it’s impossible to compete with established sites and get onto page 1.

And most people are wrong. Case and point.

A client with just modest domain authority reached out with 2 goals.

To rank for the 2 biggest terms in his industry.

350,000 monthly searches and 1.5 million searches a month. (WoW)

When we started, he had a domain authority of 30 whereas every ranking competitor was already in the 60s. He was on page 3 for one of the keywords and not in the top 10 pages for the other.

And today?

And this:

This wasn’t luck, it wasn’t random chance, and it wasn’t the result of any secret tactics or techniques.

It was a simple, tactical approach to link building that relied on three key components.

Yes, our strategy will take hard work, it will take time, and most of all patience.

But if you are willing to put in the work, I can all but guarantee that you will see results and rank your website for competitive keywords faster than you ever thought possible.

Today, I am going to take you through the exact process that we followed from start to finish.

I am going to reveal the month-by-month actions that we took to reach page 1 and I am going to share simple strategies to help you do the same.

So pull another shot of espresso and keep on reading…

Month 0 – Analysis

We start with the analysis process and measure where they currently stand organically.

As an ecommerce site, they were doing somewhat well for some long tail keywords and product skews of their 2 main lines.

Their overall referring domains are much lower than the competitors on page 1. Some are much higher, but it the next closest one that ranked well was a bit more than double theirs which is a reachable goal with the proper budgeting.

Our primary goal is to close this gap with the most relevant and high quality links.

Our Simple 3-Step Strategy for Achieving First Page Rankings

At OutreachMama, we use a simple, 3-step strategy to rank any website on the first page of Google.

Custom Blogger Outreach for Links

OutreachMama is primarily a blogger outreach company.

Blogger outreach is coming up with pitches, prospecting for quality blogs, getting the relevant bloggers interested via outreach and then working to acquire the link.

It’s long, hard work and the basis of what our business does.

This one simple tactic is at the core of our entire strategy and case study and whenever we look to rank a website, it typically comes in the form using custom blogger outreach to get links on Domain Authority (DA) 20, 30, 40, 50, or 60 sites.

So *queue surprised face* this was the primary strategy that we relied on during operation “Rank the Shit Out of a 1.5 million searches a month keyword”.

Skyscraper Blogging and Link Outreach

We love the skyscraper content strategy.

We love it more than most teenage girls love Justin Bieber and we use it on a very regular basis.

I can already see some of you scratching your head and asking “Ajay, what in the hell is skyscraper blogging?”

Here’s the basic process.

  • Identify the very best content in your industry that has tons of referring links and high authority
  • Figure out how you can create something even better and then publish content that kicks way more ass
  • Reach out to all the people who linked to the original piece of content and [kindly] ask for some of those tasty links.

Simple but effective.

Guest Posting

Besides custom outreach, our other primary offering is a guest posting service.

Over the years, our inventory of real bloggers who are willing to accept our content numbers grew into the hundreds.

A huge part of our 18-month campaign required utilizing these contacts to secure high level guest posts from high DA websites.

Phew…

That’s the intro.

You still with me? Good.

Now, before we deep dive into the nitty gritty of the case study and I reveal the exact ways I implemented these tactics, let’s recap.

If you (yes you, beautiful) want to get your website to rank on the first page of Google for [Insert Desired Keyword] then here is the only strategy that you need to follow.

  • Follow a consistent blogging and editorial link building schedule
  • Skyscrape the crap out of a few great pieces of content
  • Reach out to other bloggers in your niche requesting links
  • That’s it.

No really… Don’t believe me?

Well, without any further ado, here is the 18-month case study revealing exactly how we did it and the measurable results that we achieved.

Month 1 – Checking the Site and Laying the Groundwork

STOP!
Wait a minute. (Fill my cup put some liquor in it?)
Before I start blasting you with the strategies and data that I used, let’s take a second and layout how we measured our progress over the 18-months.

When we began this process, we decided to forgo the unnecessarily complex measurement strategies followed by so many other SEOs and keep things simple.

So…
We used keyword rankings.
While we still kept track of additional metrics like organic traffic, keyword rankings provided the most concrete and simplest way to determine our success or failure.

So since we are on the same page…. Let’s rewind to that fateful day start date.

This company mostly hired us for off-page SEO but we still need to check some high level onsite stuff, to make sure our efforts aren’t being blocked by something major onsite.

The client wanted better rankings for the 350,000 searches page, so that’s our starting point.
Step 1: Analyze the SERP for the 350,000 searches a month keyword to estimate how many links we need to build and what the final anchor text percentages should look like. You can use Linkio to calculate this.

Step 2: Split up the 10 links in Month 1 between our guest posting and blogger outreach service.

Guest Posting

With guest posting, we tap into previously existing relationships with bloggers that we’ve formed over the years so they turnaround times are faster whereas blogger outreach takes a month just a setup and built interest.

So we allocated all 10 links to guest posting service.

Here’s a sampling of the metrics of those links to give you an idea:

Custom Blogger Outreach

For blogger outreach, the 2 months are just for building up the first prospecting list of 300 blogs and starting the outreach. Month 3 is when the links start coming.

For the first month’s outreach campaign, we mined competitor’s links and created email sequences to either get the client’s links into existing pages or for new guest posts.

A few quick notes about the process.

After 2 weeks of prospecting, we send the initial email and 4 follow-ups roughly 3 days apart.

First email asks to be added to the existing article if that’s an option and the third email suggest a new guest post instead.

We do the outreach from OutreachMama’s email as we’ve learned bloggers have become familiar with us and the response rates improve over time.

In terms of the success rate of this type of outreach, the positive results start to snowball as monthly pitches start to compound.

It’s important to give the process a few months to really take hold before giving up on pure manual outreach.
In preparation for the following month’s outreach, we also had a Skyscraper article published that targeted the same topic as the 350,000 searches keyword with heavy interlinking up and down the product silo.

In addition, although we were mostly focused on off-page activities, we made some important onsite recommendations throughout the engagement.

In month 1, we helped them move their blog from a subdomain to a subdirectory, primarily to keep the link juice and relevancy across a single domain instead of being split across and root and subdomain.
To recap:

  1. 10 Guest Posting Services links to the 350,000 searches a month page
  2. Starting doing custom blogger outreach for competitor link opportunities
  3. Wrote and published a Skyscraper article for which outreach will begin next month

Let’s end this month with a baseline of how the 350,000 search a month keyword was ranking from day 1 to 30.

A highly competitive keyword bouncing around between page 2 and page 3. A website with much lower domain authority than whoever is on page one.

Buckle up, we’re about to head into month 2.

Month 2 – Onwards We Go

With the excitement of the initial onboarding and the positivity from the possibilities starting to shift into the rear view mirror, these next few months are usually the most crucial for staying on track.

This is where all the activity that occurs feels like it isn’t working.

All the tweaks, all the content, all the links, and no movement on rankings or traffic.

If you’ve been doing SEO for a long time, you know by now that this is just par for the course.
A core tenant of SEO is that it takes time.

That being said, let’s get some onsite housecleaning out of the way before we jump into the meaty off page SEO stuff.

Onsite

We provided a list of 404 errors the website has along of instructions on how to take care of each error, usually through a redirect to the proper page.

We delivered some page speed insights, with most slow downs attributed to the lack of image compression.
We also provided a keyword opportunities report which is basically a list of high value keywords that aren’t currently optimized for on the site.

Many of these centered around long-tails for their main product term – adding words like affordable and other adjectives all had substantial search volume that warranted a new page on the site based on how Google returned URLs.

Guest Posting

Continuing to leverage our existing niche relationships, we met our target of 10 guest posts in month 2. Three were in the DA 30s, 4 in the DA 40s, 1 in the DA 50, 1 DA 60 and 1 DA 20.

All posts linked to the 350,000 searches a month keyword while maintaining a natural and diversified anchor text. The topic of most of the articles were specifically about the product in question, thus sending additional relevancy signals.

For an existing relationship to be considered a quality contact, they need to be niche relevant and have both good organic traffic metrics as estimated by Ahrefs or SEMRush and a strong Trust Flow to Citation Flow ratio, as estimated by Majestic.

To go after sites that don’t have all these metrics and only focus on Moz’s Domain Authority metric can be extremely dangerous, as Domain Authority is a very easy metric to game.

Running each blog partner through a series of metric evaluations means a much lower likelihood of building links from spammy sites.

Here was the breakdown of those links acquired:

Custom Outreach

For the custom blogger outreach, we launched an additional outreach campaign focused on getting links to the Skyscraper article we published in Month 1.

In addition, the outreach emails from the prospecting done in Month 1 continue to go out and in month 3 we’ll turn on the link building.

Other Stuff

We also started writing a second skyscraper article.

And it would also be helpful to mention that this client had the help of a PR company as well.
The PR company’s efforts led to about 5 or 6 homepage links a month from high authority niche sites – definitely extremely helpful since it allowed us to focus on internal pages.

Checking in on Rankings


Not much to see here yet in terms of gains. Just like two months in the gym doesn’t make a bodybuilder, we’re just getting started here with the SEO campaign.

Long term mindset + quality = success.

Let’s move onto Month 3.

Month 3: The Client’s Question

As we kicked off month 3, I received an email from the client who asked this question:

“Good day! I found a competitor whose ranking is increasing rapidly.

SEO traffic from 1k to 24k within 9 month.

Can you tell what SEO strategy that they are using to boost their ranking so quickly? I have never heard of this website before and it is a site that was built not too long ago.”

I loaded up with black coffee and hung psychedelic paintings to inspire my creative juices and got to work digging into this competitor.

I found they’re doing blackhat/greyhat stuff.

Most links are from Web 2.0 sites and auto-generated content and probably using an automated link building tool to do it.

I said it’s not a path worth trying to replicate and he agreed.

This month, we doubled our link output to 20.

Guest Posting

15 guest posts. Here’s a sampling:

Custom Outreach

Our custom outreach service now is in month 3, so links are starting to come in. For this month, we started with 5 links.

Here’s a sampling:

Overall, that’s 20 links built.
All to the 350,000 searches a month product page.

Rankings

Here in the third month, this keyword made its first substantial increase, moving to position 14.
Progress!

I love when this happens this early because the client starts to build some confidence and buy into the process.
Let’s move forward into Month 4

Month 4: Another High Point

Month 5 started with another interesting client email.
“Hi Ajay,

I have been monitoring the ranking of our keywords. The good news is that we finally got ranked within 100 for the keyword “1.5 million searches a month keyword”, the bad news is that the wrong page is ranking.

The landing page for wedding should be: [private]
but currently, the result is this page: [private]

Do you have any suggestions on how we could change it? Thanks.”
In this case, the page that was ranking was the 350,000 searches a month page.
The 1.5 million search keyword was unrelated to that page so his confusion made sense.

My advice to him was simple:

“Not surprising. We’ve been pumping a lot of link juice to the [private] page so the jump in authority is predictable. Google gets a bit confused sometimes so showing the wrong page in rankings is a regular occurrence, especially when an SEO campaign gets rolling.

So far we haven’t pushed links to [1.5 million searches a month page].

After we start doing that, the pages should eventually swap.”

He decided he did not want to take resources away from the current keyword and would consider adding budget later on.

Let’s get into the 20 backlinks deliverables, starting with guest posting.

Guest Posting

15 links was the goal and 15 links was achieved. Here’s a sampling:

Custom Outreach

Custom Outreach

5 links were the goal and what we achieved. Here is a sampling:

You’ll notice sometimes, we’ll be OK with lower DR sites. We do this especially when the link is from a local business site that is directly within the client’s niche.

These types of sites can pass a lot of relevancy value and have low outbound links considering they don’t get pitched often.

It’s a great way to get links in places where competitors don’t bother.

Rankings

After a roller coaster of rankings for month 4, the end of the month settled to the highest position yet at #13.

Over 4 months, going from a starting point of 23 to 13 isn’t too shabby.

Not pop the champagne and rage hard time yet, but progress non-the-less.

Let’s push forward.

Month 5: Awwwww Shit! Man Down!

Month 5, we continued with the process.

15 Guest Posting links, 5 Custom Outreach links pointed at the 350,000 searches a month keyword page with using anchors that added up to percentages that top ranking competitors had.

The past 2 months saw new highs, but if you’ve been in the industry long enough, you know that a keywords trajectory is rarely ever just one direction.

Rankings

After topping out at 13 at the top of the month, the rankings fell all the way back down to position 23 on page 3. Basically where we started.
5 months in…ouch!
Right?
Not always. Not if you’ve been building links that are quality and niche relevant.
If you’re confident about that, then the keyword is probably just experiencing the Google dance.
Keywords jump around like they’re at a House of Pain concert in 1992 when an active SEO campaign is running.
It’s important to remain calm and consistent.
That’s what we did.

Guest Posting

15 was our target and 15 we built. Here’s the sampling:

Throughout the strategy, we try to publish articles that have the keyword in the title and/or URL of the backlink to pass some extra relevancy our way.

Custom Blogger Outreach

5 was the target and 5 is what we built. Here is a sampling:

All of these actually had the main niche keyword in the root domain – a massive relevancy boost. That’s the value of custom outreach over time. The opportunities really start to become targeted.

Let’s see if month 6 leads to better rankings than month 5 did.

Month 6: Is All This Really Worth It?

How long does SEO take to work?

6 months is what most SEOs will say.
Well it’s judgement day so did it pay off? Let’s check the rankings.

Rankings

Hmm…6 months ago started at 23. Now we’re at 17. It’s an increase sure, but this isn’t really making a business impact yet.

The client should be preparing to pull the plug and cut his losses, right?
Well..2 things.

It’s a competitive keyword and their authority is much lower than the incumbents, so 6 months is a stretch to begin with.

And more importantly, like you’ve learned from every 90’s boy band pop song, true beauty is found deep within the surface.

Let’s look a little deeper to see if any of this link building activity has had any positive impact at all.
After all, it’s been 90 links so far directly to this silo category page.

If we take a deeper look and look at the aggregate impact these links had on the subpages of the silo, we start to see some encouraging trends.

When we started the campaign, we tracked the main keyword and also about 100 related long tail keywords as well.

The percent of those keywords that are in the top 10 in Google went from 50% at the start to around 63% now.
In addition, the estimated traffic forecast of the keywords went up 30%.

Perhaps this is best illustrated with a year over year comparison of the past 6 months straight from Google Analytics:

Blue line is this year and the Orange line is last year. The traffic improvement over the past 6 months is clear, especially in the past 4.

You might ask, why did traffic go up even though the main page isn’t on page 1?

As the main page grows in authority and relevance, two things happen.

1) Link juice trickles down to subpage and 2) the relevance Google grants you for that category topic increases.

Those two factors combined will raise the rankings of subpages without the need for direct links.

It’s the “rising tide lifts all boats” principle.

We’ll keep an eye on this trend periodically as we continue.

Guest Posts and Custom Outreach

This was the month where we started switching our link volume from guest posting to custom outreach.

Before this, we did 20 guest post service links and 5 custom outreach links.

This month, we did 10 guest posts and 15 custom outreach links.

With the custom outreach pipeline pretty huge now from 6 different outreach campaigns and our existing connections starting to get spent, it made sense to switch the volumes.

Month 7 – 8 – 9 : Work begins on 1.5 million Searches Keyword

You know when you’re watching a movie and the good guy beats the bad guy but then the bad guy’s boss comes and kicks your ass?

Well in our movie, the good guy is still fighting the bad guy (350,000 searches keyword) and then the bad guy’s boss (1.5 million searches keyword) also shows up.

Alas, we also had reinforcements in the form of increased budget. =)

Let’s dive in.

Rankings

Though not yet on page 1, the rankings are stabilizing at the upper part of the 9 month channel.

The client remained encouraged by the long-tail improvements seen in month 6 and continued onward.

In the 9th month, he also increased the budget from 25 links a month to 35 links a month.

This was because we were adding another competitive silo into our campaign, the 1.5 million searches a month keyword.

So let’s see how this keyword started off in terms of daily rankings.
If you recall back to Month 4, this is the same keyword there the client was happy that it had popped up into the top 100.

About 5 months later, without receiving direct links, it’s risen into the teens!

Next, let’s recap our link building in months 7, 8, and 9.

In this time period, we started introducing more diversity in the pages we target. Here’s how it looked:

  • 350,000 searches a month keyword page
    • 6 related product subpages
    • 3 related Skyscraper articles
  • 1.5 million searches a month keyword page

Guest Posting

Here’s a sampling:

Custom Outreach

And here’s a custom outreach sampling:

Month 10: Page 1? YES!!

Are you still with me?

Hang in there tiger, I know that this case study is pretty lengthy, but I promise it will be worth it.
So during the first 9 months of the campaign, we experienced our up, down and sideways rankings.

Google deployed its psychological warfare, danced our rankings around, and left everyone (who didn’t know what was happening) scratching their heads on if this would ever pay off.

But we kept our chins up and continued doing what we were doing because (as you should remember) I knew Google was just taking its sweet time recognizing our efforts.

And I was right.

Rankings

Just like James J. Braddock in the final round of Cinderella Man, our team kept swinging, and finally landed some solid punches, pulling our client back into the ring and putting it on the first page of Google.

Over the past 10 months, Domain Authority has risen from the low 30s to the mid 40s.

Most competitors on page one still had DAs of 60+, but the consistent links from our efforts and additional links from their PR team, plus strong thematic relevance all combined to help push the needle.

In fact, let’s review some of the overall increase of referring domains trends to date – at the domain, homepage and important pages level over time.

(add charts to show backlink growth over time)

Let’s also check in on our 1.5 million searches a month keyword:

Just hanging out in the low teens for now.

In terms of activities, we’re up to 40 links a month now. Here are the pages we targeted:

  • 1.5 million searches page
    • 2 product subpage
    • 1 related skyscrapers
  • 350,000 searches page
    • 4 product subpages
    • 1 related skyscraper

Guest Posting

15 links this month. Here’s a sampling:

Custom Outreach

All the way up to 25 custom outreach links now. 20 of these custom outreach links were new article placements and 5 were updated a relevant existing article with this client’s links.

Here’s a sampling of those:

Month 11: 350,000 Search a Month Keyword Enters The Top 5

Try to imagine this client’s competitors for a moment.

Lounging together in a swanky room, cigars in hand, enjoying the traffic and sales Google has been feeding them and laughing arrogantly at something.

Then suddenly a small unknown brand starts taking some of that highly commercial, highly free traffic.
They’re not laughing anymore. Now they’re paying attention.

That’s the story of Month 11.
We’ve entered the top 5.

Rankings

“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.” – Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

Nothing fancy here.

The same link building approach we started with back in month 1 is simply what we’ve continued doing here while expanding volume and our target pages from 1 to many.

It takes time to gain steam, but now with a top 5 ranking keyword that gets 11,666 searches PER DAY, the increase in free traffic becomes a game changer for any business.

And let’s check in on the 1.5 million searches a month keyword next.

Of the 40 links build this month, this keyword page received 20 of the links.

Google is still slowly digesting this data and we haven’t seen the big jump yet.

Overall, this was the breakdown of pages we targeted for links:

  • 5 million searches page
  • 350,000 searches page
    • 2 product subpages

Guest Posting

Here’s a sampling of the 15 links built via our guest posting service.

Custom Outreach

And here is a sampling of the 25 links built from our custom outreach service. 14 of these custom outreach links were new article placements and 11 were updating a relevant existing article with this client’s links.

Month 12: The 1.5 Million Searches Keyword Hits Page 1

Ok, I’m going to be really honest with you.

I’d love to sit here and say that 12 months ago I was twirling my metaphorical mustache assured that I’d be able to rank a 1.5 MILLION searches a month keyword that wasn’t even in the top 100 to page 1.

Like seriously, if I was sure of something like that, I’d own my own island by now.

All that to say, I was just as shocked as the rest of you are about to be.

Rankings

Checking in on the 1.5 million search page, the page we just started building links to 3 months ago…

…Just.Hit.Page.One.

And the way I found out was even better.

A 7 am phone call from a very excited client.

That’s a client call I’ll take any day of the week.

Meanwhile, our other keyword decided to take a chill pill this month.

In the past 12 months, this keyword started on page 3, and for the better part of 2 months has been sitting on page 1.

When we started the campaign this page had 50 dofollow and indexed referring domains and now that total is up to 250.

Like last month, 20 of the 40 links went to this page. Overall, this is how we split up the links:

  • 5 million searches page
    • 1 product subpage
    • 2 related skyscrapers
  • 350,000 searches page
      • 2 product subpages
      • 1 related skyscraper

Guest Posts

Here’s a sampling of the 15 guest post links.

Custom Outreach

Here’s a sampling of the 25 custom outreach links. 18 of these custom outreach links were new article placements and 7 were updating a relevant existing article with this client’s links.

Month 13: New Year New Strategy (JK)

Kicking off Year 2 of this campaign, not much of the strategy has changed.

We’re still targeting the silos of our 2 main keywords and both have seen traction of the past year. Let’s check in on the rankings.

Rankings

The 350,000 searches a month keyword has decided everything is just “too much” right now and has locked itself in its bedroom this month.

That initial push onto page 1 has been very stressful for our introverted keyword and it needs time to recoup.

Meanwhile, the 1.5 million searches a month keyword has been enjoying it’s newfound page 1 popularity.

With regards to link building activities, we reached our goal of 40 links again this month.

This month, we focused all the power on just 1 of the silos. The targets were:

  • 1.5 million searches page
    • 2 product subpage (only to subpages)

Guest Posts

Here’s a sampling of the 15 guest post links.

Custom Outreach

Here’s a sampling of the 25 custom outreach links. 17 of these custom outreach links were new article placements and 8 were updating a relevant existing article with this client’s links.

Let’s keep the link building train rolling here into month 14.

Month 14: 1.5 Million Searches Keyword Breaches The Top 5

I received an email about midway through the month. Our client, who watches his rankings like a hawk eyeing its prey, saw his dream keyword breach into the top 5 of Google.

It was short lived (for 1 day to be exact) but it happened and it was glorious. Moments like this are what keep the motivation and hunger for SEO going after so many months.

Meanwhile, our other keyword is still hanging out in it’s room meandering in the 5-10 range.

40 backlinks was the target again this month. These were the target pages:

  • 1.5 million searches page
    • 2 product subpage
    • 1 related skyscrapers
  • 350,000 searches page
    • 4 product subpages
    • 1 related skyscraper

Guest Posts

Here’s a sampling of the 15 guest post links.

Custom Outreach

Here’s a sampling of the 25 custom outreach links. 20 of these custom outreach links were new article placements and 5 were updating a relevant existing article with this client’s links.

Let’s continue next month.

Month 15: It’s Like a Broken Record Now

Echoing sentiments from last month, the 350,000 searches a month keyword continued floating around in the 5-10 position of page 1.

And the 1.5 million searches a month keyword had more exciting developments since it has started to consistently bounce around in the 5-7 position of the SERP.

Surprisingly, it’s actually ranking better than the other keyword we’re working on, even though we started focusing on this 8 months later!

It’s hard to predict this stuff. Quality and relevance is what you can control and hopefully you have the runway to keep at it until it pays off.

Taking a step back, here are the average rankings for all the keywords we’re monitoring that are in the 350,000 searches a month silo.

At the start of the campaign, most of these keywords were in the 30s and now, 15 months later, the average position for the terms is in the top 10.

Here’s how it impacted the Google Analytics Silo traffic year over year for the month:

That looks pretty impressive, but if we wanted to attach a real dollar value to it, we could compare it to how much the same would cost in Google CPC traffic.

In this vertical, a click is about $1. There were 34000 new users to the site from search engines in this 350,000 searches a month keyword silo compared to the previous year, which is a traffic value of an additional $34,000 per month.

In retrospect, numbers like that make SEO a no-brainer, but of course it’s the initial uncertainty that cause analysis paralysis.

I respect this business owner for being willing to invest this way in his business.

Moving on, let’s look at how we did with the 40 links we targeted this month. These were the pages we linked to:

  • 5 million searches page
    • 1 product subpage
    • 2 related skyscrapers
  • 350,000 searches page
      • 2 product subpages
      • 1 related skyscraper

Guest Posts

Here’s a sampling of the 15 guest post links.

Custom Outreach

Here’s a sampling of the 25 custom outreach links. 16 of these custom outreach links were new article placements and 9 were updating a relevant existing article with this client’s links.

Month 16: Seeing Signs of Future Movement

Rankings for the 350,000 searches a month page are settling in to the middle of page 1. A good sign for future growth.

The 1.5 million keyword is in a similar position so not much to report new this month.

Let’s check in on the 40 links targeted this month. These were our page targets:

  • 5 million searches page
    • 2 product subpage
  • 350,000 searches page
    • 2 product subpages

Guest Posts

Here’s a sampling of the 15 guest post links.

Custom Outreach

Here’s a sampling of the 25 custom outreach links. All of these were new article placements.

Month 17: A Look At Overall Traffic Impact

Month 17 is similar to month 16, which was similar to month 15 in terms of rankings for our 2 main terms.

We saw several long tails in the 1.5 million searches a month category that weren’t ranking in the top 100 jump up to page 2, 3 & 4. The main keyword itself continues trading in its 5-10 position channel.

When you zoom out with aggregate stats, the picture appears much more interesting. Here are organic traffic estimates according to Ahrefs from before the start of this campaign to now.

Over the past 12 months, we published 425 links and 6 skyscraper articles.

Key rankings grew, long tail rankings grew more and organic traffic really started getting stronger.

Let’s finish off this month with the rundown of the 40 links. First, our page targets:

  • 2 product subpage of the 1.5 million searches page
  • 2 product subpages of the 350,000 searches page

Guest Posts

Here’s a sampling of the 15 guest post links.

Custom Outreach

Here’s a sampling of the 25 custom outreach links. 14 of these custom outreach links were new article placements and 11 were updating a relevant existing article with this client’s links.

Month 18: Yes! Both Keywords Reach Position Number 2

It’s celebration time! When we started out, we wanted these main keywords to be consistently in the top 3. And so here are the rankings charts, first for the 350,000 searches a month keyword.

And next, for the 1.5 million searches a month keyword.

Awesomely, both managed to reach the number 2 position in Google in pretty much the same month.

Our entire team was super excited and, honestly, kind of in disbelief. Ranking for such massive terms doesn’t happen every day.

And our client was through the moon for sure.

I also talk about the importance of relevance and how it can be even more important than authority in my Do’s and Don’t section.

To break this down further, let’s inspect the balance of relevance and authority for the main 350,000 searches a month page we ranked to the top 3.

Overall, the page had 305 Dofollow and Indexed referring domains.

This is how the relevance breaks down:

Total Referring

URDomainsRelevant DomainsRelevant domain %
0-291707443.50%
30-1001351813.30%

Relevance in this case is defined by domains that are specifically catering to this customer’s niche.

Top 3 rankings were achieved with actually using more 0-29 UR domains than the 30-100 counterpart.

In addition, the lower UR domains had much higher relevancy rates, due to the nature of those blog owners being more open to third party content requests.

Phew. You’ve made it this far down? You are an impressive human!

But kind of like the ending of Breaking Bad, we were sad to see it end but it was time to go..

So let’s wrap up here. Comments or questions, leave them below.

If you have a keyword you’d like a strategy plan for, schedule a free consult from our dashboard.

Cheers!

Ajay Paghdal