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From the beginning of 2016 through the end of 2017, our organic traffic increased. Then, once 2018 hit, it plateaued in the following months. At that point, I was hyperaware that our growth had stagnated. We needed to fix that.
As a result, starting in May 2018, our team implemented a series of changes that helped us right the ship. In September, our traffic started to climb then leveled off again.
Finally, in July 2019, our traffic jumped. Then, it jumped again in August. It’s been continuing to climb ever since. At our current pace, by the end of November, we will have doubled our organic traffic in 6 months. Here’s how we did it.
How to Double Your Organic Search Traffic in 6 Months
Right before our traffic plateaued at the beginning of 2018, we were trying some innovative tactics on our website to better track marketing attribution. These tactics had unforeseen consequences, however, hurting our organic search results by creating website errors.
That May, we made our first step towards increasing our organic traffic by fixing these crawl errors. Fixing existing errors right off prevented us from having to worry about their impact later down the line — although those corrections alone didn’t drastically change our results.
Next, I looked into how we were tracking toward our 2018 goals as they related to our marketing funnel. I already knew that generating more traffic was something we needed to address in the coming year. If we maintained our 2018 traffic levels moving into the new year, we weren’t going to grow. So, I set aggressive traffic and revenue goals for 2019, and we tried to ideate ways to increase our number of organic visitors.
One of the first solutions we proposed was diversifying our keyword strategy. I had looked at our existing blogs and noticed a trend — almost every post was trying to squeeze in a handful of specific keywords that directly related to New Breed and our solutions. Ultimately, we want our blogs to position us as a solution, but I thought producing too much similar content was hurting our website rankings.
We weren’t writing about enough topics to expand our potential reach. So, we needed to start creating content with an SEO lens in mind. At that point, we decided to target more terms.
I pulled together a list of relevant keywords that we hadn’t mentioned in our existing content. I also created a list of terms that we already had plenty of content about and were to avoid discussing until we expanded our content library.
After developing the lists, I realized that if we remained committed to our existing blog posting schedule, which was twice per week at the time, we weren’t going to have enough posts to cover everything we wanted to.
I also recognized that our current posting cadence was not sufficient to reach our traffic goals. I knew each blog would take time before it was indexed on search engines, climbed search rankings and started driving significant traffic. To counteract the time it would take individual posts to produce traffic, we needed to create more posts, adding to the number that could produce traffic.
Of course, posting more regularly would also solve the issue of diversifying our keyword strategy. By writing more blogs, we would have a larger pool of topics we could cover. So, we made the decision to begin publishing blogs every weekday.
After the beginning of 2019, I began to perform a thorough audit of our existing content. I found that we had a number of blogs that had driven traffic previously but dipped in performance since. I wanted to make changes to these existing posts to reignite their performance.
Around that time, I also read an article by Moz that discussed a framework for content optimization where you rank posts as high, medium or low performers based on a series of metrics and other factors (such as their URL).
From there, the article suggested you take steps to improve your overall content library, attempting to pull low performing posts to medium performers and medium performing posts to high performers.
We decided to adopt this content optimization strategy, and we began updating, optimizing, rewriting and unpublishing content to refine our blog as a whole.
We also diversified our reliance on our highest performing posts. Before, we had a small number of high performing blog posts, and if they dropped in views, our entire traffic amount would go down with them. Now, if one of those posts declines, it’s not ideal, but it doesn’t dramatically hurt the performance of our website as a whole. While our top blogs are admittedly the most important for our traffic, our site no longer lives and dies by their performance.
Once we started creating more content and optimizing older posts, we also identified a need to connect all of our content with internal links. We had always linked out to our existing posts from each new post we created. But, we didn’t have a good process for adding links to our new posts from our existing ones. We adopted a procedure where we consistently revisited content, adding links from our existing posts to newly published posts in an attempt to help our blogs rank faster.
Overall, at the end of 2018, we set aggressive goals for our 2019 performance, establishing substantial growth targets for our organic traffic and online revenue. While it took a while to see results from our SEO initiatives, we eventually gained traction and saw a surge in our organic visitors.
As for revenue, we exceeded our online goal so early because of the dramatic increase in organic traffic that we had to re-evaluate how we assessed our performance moving forward. The year isn’t over yet, but we are currently on pace to double our online revenue from 2018. We hope to continue that growth moving forward.
After rolling out our SEO initiatives, it was a heavy investment to revitalize our organic results. We had to hire people to facilitate the added volume of content production and optimization. Lots of time and energy was put into each post and our entire website. We had to rely on best practices and be patient, trusting results would come. Of course, they eventually did.
Ultimately, there are a number of key practices that worked for us that you too should leverage. Those practices included:
- Fixing site errors
- Tracking conversion rates throughout the funnel and setting aggressive goals
- Diversifying keyword strategy
- Producing quality content more frequently
- Leveraging content optimization
- Linking content internally
- Remaining consistent and patient
While you may be nervous that such investments won’t yield results, here at New Breed we can attest to SEO efforts paying off. We plan on continuing to implement best practices and to drive more and more visitors to our website moving forward.
Guido is Head of Product and Growth Strategy for New Breed. He specializes in running in-depth demand generation programs internally while assisting account managers in running them for our clients.