22 minutes | Sep 22, 2019

#25 - Matthew Woodward - Case study: 14 x Organic traffic in just 8 months

Matthew publishes blog content and case studies on his personal website and on his company website. The case study that we talked about is published here with much more information and all the tiny details. You can also find Matthew on Linkedin or Twitter. You can also watch the whole presentation on YouTube Here is the transcript of the podcast: Matthew: One of the biggest wins we had was with the homepage where we deploy I think around 10,000 words of content. Peter: This is the time for marketing. The marketing podcast that will tell you everything you've missed when you didn't attend the marketing conference. Peter: Hello welcome to the time for marketing podcast the podcast that gives you all of the information that you have missed when you didn't attend your marketing conferences. Welcome to episode number 25 my name is Peter and I'll be your host for today before we go to our guests. I'm not going to tell you to subscribe to the podcast I'm going to tell you and ask you something else tomorrow when you go to work. Yes, I know you work with a lot of marketing people when they leave their cell phones on the table take them open their podcast app and subscribe them to my podcast, that's probably the easiest way to tell people to subscribe to the podcast thank you. All right and now let's go to the guests that we have this time hello Matthew Woodward how are you doing? Matthew: [laughs] Hey, thanks for having me on. I love your little tip there a very blackhat approach so to speak I think I might steal that one for myself of next conference [laughs] Peter: Well, people don't randomly talk about podcast and mention podcasts to other people that doesn't happen. We have to give them specific advice this is always a marketing thing be very specific on what people should do click here, subscribe other people to my podcast. Nice to have you here on the podcast, Matthew. Matthew: Thank you very much. Peter: Matthew people know you. You have a very known blog that is matthewwoodworth.codit.uk and you are also the director of search logistics. Tell me what are the fun things that you do in your line of work? Matthew: Well, my line of work all of it is fun from top to bottom. I've been doing SEO since before link-building existed and I've been following my passion ever since. The fun things I get to do every day is just nerd out on what I love doing and that is SEO and digital business and everything like that. Honestly, it doesn't matter if I'm doing like some like boring data entry tasks or planning a new promotion [laughs] I love it all. Peter: All right. I invited you to this podcast because you were in Barcelona, how is Barcelona? Matthew: Yes Barcelona a beautiful city. I don't usually like cities, but Barcelona was pretty cool. The Affiliate Summit Conference is one of my favorite conferences because it attracts such a wide variety of people rather than just SEO or just the ECOMAS guys and so forth. It's a great conference and I put together a great presentation for them which I'm hoping to boil down and share with you guys today. Peter: I feel that affiliate marketing is, similar to SEO, it has been pronounced dead a couple of times in the past. Matthew: Yes.[laughs] Peter: It's still there and it still works very well right? Matthew: Yes, as long as there are things to buy there'll be affiliates and as long as there are search engines to search they'll be SEOs. [laughs] Peter: All right let's not beat around the bush that's what we do. Let's go directly to your presentation, your presentation was a case study on how to increase your search traffic for 14 times? Matthew: Yes, we took search traffic from 2,700 a month to 38,000 in just eight months with an affiliate site in the health niche. Peter: All right. I think we have to take our five minutes so that you can explain to us how you did that so that we can repeat that for our own websites here you go. Matthew: Look SEO doesn't have to be complicated. One of the things I know as popular SEO blog owner is that people always like looking for the secret ingredient or the supersecret to SEO. The truth of the matter is it just doesn't exist. There isn't a super-secret to find, there isn't a super ingredient, there isn't that one thing that's going to push you over the edge. It just doesn't work like that. It's a combination of factors that will help to elevate your search traffic. The problem is most people are only focused on one of those factors which is building links. It's very easy to get lost in the technicalities and complications of SEO, but look it boils down really to a very, very simple three-step process. That is, first of all, take a look at technical SEO. You've got to build the structure of a solid and healthy website structure that not only Google loves, but people love as well. The second step is you've got to create content that actually helps people. It's actually, got to be relevant people actually want to engage with it. It's got to be the content that when people read it they want to share it. No one wants to link to a lemon and many people don't produce good enough content that's worthy of attracting links naturally it's a common mistake. The third step is link building and that just acquiring links from relevant websites. That is 10 times easy to do when you've taken care of content creation and your technical SEO and on-site experience. Those three pillars the healthy site structure, the content and the link building those three pillars if you pay attention to them and work them together have absolutely incredible effects. You don't need SEO to be complicated just take care of the basics and Google will reward you. The problem is many people don't want to take care of the basics. Honestly, that's all we did in this case study we 14 times search traffic in a highly competitive health niche and we only built 76 links. Over that period the site actually attracted around 350 links. Now the reason it was able to attract 280 links was that because we paid attention to site structure and content before we went out to do the link building. now if you had to budget for those additional 250 links in the health niche you'd probably have had to spend around a hundred to 150 dollars per link. Not only from an ROI perspective is taking care of your technical SEO and quality of content important. It's important for your users, it's important for Google your rankings your traffic and conversion everything relies on getting those three pillars right, but so many people are blindly obsessed with link building they can't see the woods for the trees and then they use all of their effort and all of their resources building links which they're not getting the maximum value from those links because they haven't taken care of the other core pillars and when you take care of all of them they all work together and it's the most cost-effective way of increasing your search traffic. Now the case study site and I've got a very detailed case study that drills down into all of the technical differences that we could simply not cover in five or ten minutes. If you want to check that out there's a full post on my blog along with a video that goes through all of the real nitty-gritty technical bits it leaves no stone unturned. We faced a common problem with this site that many people might face and when we were trying to rank it the search results were dominated by huge brands huge, huge, huge brands and that's quite scary when you're looking at it. What we noticed is the brands that were ranking specifically the pages that were ranking were only ranking out of the strength of the domains Authority. They were not ranking because of individual page level metrics like backlinks that men that if we focused on page-level metrics we had an opportunity. For example where a site like Holland and Barrett might be ranking number three, but with zero links to the page. Yes, if we build a page it's got 15 links to it we've beaten them on page-level metrics and that gives us an opportunity to compete in the search results. That was the common theme of this case study we were looking for search results where sites were purely ranking out on the main level metrics rather than page level and then we optimized all of the page level metrics in order to compete. Now the health niche is seriously, seriously competitive, but that approach allowed us to find lots of opportunities that once we approached it with that mindset and that's how we got the competitive advantage with the entire strategy that was really the foothold that allowed us to take control. Once we identified the opportunity, it was in just a case of looking at our competitors seeing what they were doing why they were doing it how they were doing it. We were looking at what they did that we liked, what we didn't like where they're using trust signals on the page was the content aligning to intent we really just did a very manual observation of the search results to see what we felt. Now, manual observation, the power of observation is one of the most underutilized skills you can have as a human being, like in general life. Not only in SEO but we can learn so much as by observing and in the SEO world, we're often distracted by big data and tools and analytics and all these other things that actually stops us from just using the computer between our ears. Quite often you can just look at a search result and just ask yourself questions, why is this ranking and look through the data and come up with your own observations rather than just looking at what a tool says. That's important to do because you really start to get a feel not just for the SEO of the niche, because every niche is different, but also who your competitors are. Why are they your competitors, what they do good, what they do bad? It becomes more of a business exercise and it's something that's lost on many SEOs and people skip ov
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