Organic Traffic Increase Using Page Rank Cover Image

A 4.5x Organic Traffic Increase Using Page Rank


I’ve been a director at The Search Initiative some time now. We’ve had some loopy outcomes for a complete bunch of shoppers – all in very totally different niches.

I’m going to share with you ways my crew and I took a low-authority web site and put our foot on the gasoline to get it shifting – quick!

I really imagine there was a key ingredient that accelerated this web site, however I’m going to share the entire course of from the beginning. Why?

Each web site goes to be totally different, so it’s good to determine what your web site wants.

You must undergo the method.

Here’s a sneak peek of the expansion. Now find out how we did it…

organic traffic growth TSI

Initial Analysis

Since beginning TSI’s natural search engine optimization providers, I’ve realized that working with my very own websites is massively totally different from working with shoppers; particularly if the web site has weak foundations.

I understand how I would like my cash websites to look, so I construct them utilizing rigorous consideration to element. But in case you take a web site that’s been developed and not using a sure stage of search engine marketing data – there’s usually various on-site and off-site to repair.

Here’s how my crew broke down the preliminary evaluation:

  • Keyword Research
  • On-Site Audit
  • Backlink Audit
  • Competitor Analysis

Keyword Research

My crew tackled key phrase analysis with two primary workflows: one is used to watch the well being of a web site, and the opposite is for content material hole evaluation.

When we’re seeking to observe key phrases for a web site, we need to observe a few of the core phrases, but in addition phrases which might be having issues. If a time period is affected by key phrase cannibalization that we’re attempting to repair – it’s price monitoring this every day till it’s resolved.

Since this consumer wanted an enormous content material technique, we did each a well being verify and preliminary content material hole evaluation. This strategy included breaking down all key phrases for that trade into subjects of related phrases.

In whole, this course of took over 20 hours and included 1000’s of key phrases chunked into neat subjects. This work later helped with selecting web page titles, headings and content material.

Here’s an instance of how we did it:

Step 1. Search Broad Keywords

search broad keyword result

Step 2. Review Parent Topics

review parent topics sample

Step 3. Find Competitors for Parent Topics

Search result for Competitors for Parent Topics

Step 4. Reverse Engineer Competitor’s Keywords

Reverse Engineer Competitor’s Keywords

Step 5. Exclude Outdated Keywords

sample screenshot for Exclude Outdated Keywords

There is the choice to additionally export all of those key phrases into excel paperwork after which filter them that method. But more often than not, loads of the highest key phrases are pretty comparable.

Here’s an instance for the very best pet food time period:

  • finest pet food
  • finest canine meals
  • healthiest pet food
  • what’s the finest pet food
  • high rated pet food
  • finest meals for canines

While every key phrase is exclusive, all of them observe a singular intent. The customers are excited about discovering out what are the very best canine meals available in the market.

If you’ll be able to embody 1 – 2 actual match for every of those phrases within the textual content – you’re going to have a strong basis.

On-Site Audit

Finding all the technical and content material points with the web site requires a full on-site audit. However, whereas massive stories are straightforward on the eyes, it’s small adjustments that make the distinction.

We audited the web site and located a complete bunch of technical points, from lack of breadcrumbs, poor inner hyperlink constructions, unhealthy high quality anchor textual content and unoptimized titles.

TSI meetup 04

A full on-site audit tutorial is simply too massive for this put up (maybe coming quickly), however listed here are some fast ideas:

  • Screaming Frog – A low-cost method to frequently crawl your web site. There are a lot of methods to search out errors, redirects, and lacking metadata. You also can use a customized search to search out all references of your key phrases.
  • Sitebulb – This software is dearer and is a month-to-month recurring payment. However, it offers you a lot of additional information that may be not possible to identify manually and exhausting with Screaming Frog. An instance could be empty hyperlink references.
  • Site Search – By utilizing Google’s web site search (web and operators, you’ll find tons of of points with index administration, outdated web page titles, and a number of pages concentrating on the identical key phrase. There are loads of fast wins right here.
  • Page Titles – If you wrote your web page titles 1 – 2 years in the past, it’s possible you’ll discover that they’re outdated now. A fast web site search with “intitle:2018” will discover all of your content material that’s both not up to date or not but crawled by Google.
  • Internal Links – A main method to move relevance alerts and authority to your core pages is thru inner hyperlinks. Make positive that your pages are effectively interlinked and also you’re not utilizing low-quality anchors out of your energy pages, comparable to “click here” or “more information”.

We centered on fixing round 5 points at a time various from small adjustments like bettering accessibility, to larger adjustments like introducing breadcrumbs for a customized construct web site.

SEO site audit sample preview

Backlink Audit

The web site had a comparatively small backlink profile, which meant it lacked authority, relevance alerts and entry factors for crawling. It additionally meant {that a} full in-depth hyperlink evaluation was pointless for this marketing campaign.

When a web site has an algorithmic penalty, guide penalty or got here in unfavorable after an replace, it’s a fantastic resolution to audit your hyperlink profile page-by-page.

In this occasion, the preliminary verify revealed there was nothing to be involved about, so we moved on to technical implementation as quickly as attainable.

Had the web site skilled issues with the hyperlink profile, we might have executed a full backlink audit to attempt to get better this. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Link Distribution – Pointing too many hyperlinks towards inner pages as an alternative of your homepage could cause a lot of points. So just be sure you’re not overdoing it.
  • Anchor Text Analysis – Using actual match, partial match and topical anchors are an effective way to move third-party relevance alerts. Too many and also you’ll be caught out over-optimizing, however too few and also you gained’t be aggressive. Read extra about anchor optimization.
  • Referring IP Analysis – There are a finite variety of IPv4 Addresses, so this isn’t usually an enormous trigger for concern. However, it’s price ensuring that you simply’ve not obtained too many hyperlinks from the identical IP tackle.
  • Autonomous System Numbers – Since a server may be assigned any variety of IP addresses, these methods usually embody an ASN. This is one other method that Google may flag giant numbers of internet sites from the identical origin.

Backlinks Audit Screenshot sample

My crew did a case examine on how one can take away an algorithmic penalty, loads of these audits come included in any penalty elimination marketing campaign.

Competitor Analysis

The distinction between a search analyst and information scientist is the way you strategy the various search engines. An analyst is targeted on reviewing the SERPs and discovering what’s working finest at present, whereas an information scientist desires to grasp how issues work.

We constructed our crew to incorporate each since competitor evaluation requires a eager eye for reviewing the SERPs and algorithm evaluation requires strong information scientists.

If you need to do search engine marketing at a excessive stage, you’ve obtained to always be reviewing rivals utilizing varied evaluation instruments. You will discover that tons of finest practices get ignored within the high positions and the satan is within the particulars.

In this occasion, we discovered that each extra content material and extra hyperlinks could be required for long-term success.

competitor analysis data

Content Strategy

Building any long-term authority web site in aggressive industries will embody each an authoritative hyperlink profile and content material plan.

My crew reviewed their present content material, checked out how different web sites of their trade wished to assist customers after which addressed these 4 cornerstones:

  • User Intent – earlier than we did something, we wished to nail the consumer intent on each web page. This analysis meant that we recognized three pillars of content material for his or her web site. We’ll get into this in additional element beneath.
  • Service Pages – these pages had been devoted to explaining what service was supplied, how one can contact and what was included with that providing.
  • Blog Content – these posts had been devoted to offering non-commercial, informative content material that was fascinating to the reader.
  • Resource Center – this part was devoted to giving primary details about subjects of their trade. Instead of utilizing Wikipedia for all our hyperlinks to authority content material, we wished to make use of inner hyperlinks as an alternative.

content planning

Here’s somewhat bit about every part and our technique for them:

User Intent

The greatest mistake I see on a regular basis is the only factor to verify:

What varieties of content material is Google rating within the high 10 positions?

If you’re serving 10,000 phrases of content material in an enormous weblog put up, however Google is just excited about serving service pages with 50 phrases of content material – you’ve missed the purpose.

Another generally discovered drawback we discover at The Search Initiative is together with an excessive amount of content material in a single put up, when your rivals have a number of shorter posts.

One of the principle sights for Thailand are the yoga retreats. If you’re looking for this (yoga retreats) in America, you’re anticipating to search out locations. Let’s have a look:

user intent graph

The first place is named Yoga Journal and consists of virtually no content material apart from pictures and headings. That’s precisely what the customers had been in search of.

There are different web sites doing an identical service and may help you make bookings. While others have written a weblog and clearly labelled what they imagine are the very best retreats.

Notice that none of those pages embody info comparable to “what is yoga?”. It’s as a result of that’s not the consumer intent.

But these web sites didn’t exclude the time period as a result of no one is looking for it:

overview for yoga results

Instead, they created content material particularly designed to rank for that key phrase:

serp position history

Service Pages

The first piece of content material that we wished to create was the service pages. These are sometimes brief in content material and description your primary service.

You need to embody your contact particulars, checklist of providers, distinctive promoting factors and any niche-relevant interactive content material.

The different key level on service pages is that they don’t require a lot of content material. Often 3 – 4 bullet factors with some fancy icons can go a great distance.

This is one thing that even Google has documented.

Blog Content

The second piece of content material that we wanted to create had been informational weblog posts. There had been loads of alternatives for fascinating items of content material on this area of interest.

While the service pages had been designed to reply a purchase-based consumer intent, this was informational. It may help increase the rankings of your service web page by topical clusters, inner linking and as a buffer for tiered hyperlinks.

wordpress blog post

We wished these items of content material to give attention to ‘Top 10 Tips to deal with X’ kind queries.

Our target market for bloggers are folks that may be thought-about middle-of-the-funnel. So as an alternative of offering explanations, we wished to give attention to artistic options.

Resource Center

Lastly, we wished to create a useful resource middle for all issues to do with this area of interest. If your area of interest is technical, it’s a fantastic concept to have one among these.

Let me clarify…

One of essentially the most abused search engine marketing methods is to hyperlink to irrelevant Wikipedia articles. This tactic is used as a result of folks heard that exterior hyperlinks are good for rating. Which is true.

online resource

But we’re speaking long-term success for an actual enterprise, not flipping an affiliate web site. So, we wished to turn into that exterior hyperlink for others; the individual you’ll hyperlink towards if you wanted so as to add some context.

It additionally helped as a result of we may reply a unique set of questions. Where the weblog would reply stuff like ‘Top 10 Tips to deal with X’, this part would give attention to ‘what is X’.

It’s a really totally different user-intent and might generally be separated into a totally totally different guardian subject. Rather than cram one web page filled with 1000’s of phrases in content material, why not create two pages and make the most of the advantages of inner linking?

Link Strategy

The bread and butter for any marketing campaign is a strong hyperlink technique. This marketing campaign isn’t any totally different in that regards, however we recognized a couple of actually vital hyperlink classes for the web site.

To get essentially the most out of our hyperlinks my crew determined to reap the benefits of the PageRank algorithm. We recognized Tier 1 hyperlinks that had excessive ranges of belief after which despatched juice to them.

group fist bump

I’m going to cowl why we selected to reap the benefits of PageRank algorithm within the following part, however right here’s what we discovered would work for the web site:

  • Internal Link Building – Some of the most affordable methods to enhance rankings is by constructing hyperlinks internally. This reality is why a strong content material technique is so vital.
  • Diversity Links – Any audiophiles know there’s a relentless battle between signal-to-noise. The similar is true for SEO.
  • Outreach Links – We wished to succeed in out to massive names within the trade to accumulate hyperlink placements. We use a white-hat, natural hyperlink technique and managed to get some unbelievable hyperlinks.
  • Tier 2 Link Building – hyperlinks move extra authority the upper their URL Rating. To increase the authority handed from outreach hyperlinks we did some tier 2 hyperlinks too.

Internal Link Building

One of the initiatives that we’ve began at TSI is to discuss with inner linking as ‘internal link building.’

This is how significantly we take it.

Every nice hyperlink constructing technique consists of inner hyperlinks constructed within the supplementary content material.

Google is aware of that hyperlinks play a serious half of their algorithm, so that they monitor it intently. To bypass a few of these filters you’ll be able to simply add supplementary content material and energy up these articles too.

This is nice in your user-intent evaluation that we’ve already executed above. Now, as an alternative of 1 article, you’ll be able to have hyperlinks pointed towards 10 totally different articles all clustered.

With this marketing campaign, a easy check was to assessment the rivals and discover widespread traits within the high 10 positions. One straightforward to identify pattern was that we wanted so as to add Breadcrumbs.

However, a much less apparent discover is when you will have a number of pages focused with the identical inner anchor textual content.

This creates key phrase cannibalization, which stays one of many Top 10 Most Common Issues for brand new shoppers.

Finding that is actually easy:

Step 1. Crawl your web site with Screaming Frog

screaming frog crawl screenshot

Step 2. Bulk Export all Anchor Text

Bulk Export all Anchor Text function

Step 3. Filter By Anchor Text Containing Keyword

Filter By Anchor Text Containing Keyword sample

Step 4. Reduce Anchor Text Cannibalization

Reduce Anchor Text Cannibalization sample

BONUS: You can use the Configuration > Custom > Search function in Screaming Frog to parse particular key phrases throughout your whole web site.

It’s tremendous easy, right here’s a fast video by my Head of Strategies speaking by the method:

Directory Links

My crew at The Search Initative and I seen that listing hyperlinks had been one thing that the competitors had that we didn’t. This is a simple win and helped us to speed up the hyperlink profile quickly.

Not solely did we get to create tons of recent entry factors to the web site, enhance anchor textual content ratios and hyperlink distribution; we additionally gained hyperlink velocity.

This helped to rapidly excel the web site’s rankings and was all constructed throughout the first month.

Directory Link Referring Domains

Tier 1 – Outreach Links

After loads of analysis, my crew determined that very small numbers of high-quality hyperlinks had been going to be higher for belief on this area of interest.

We focused extraordinarily particular web sites that constructed their whole area round every key phrase we focused on the service pages.

For instance, in case your web site is within the health area of interest, there are going to be web sites centered on weightlifting, others on working, and others on food regimen or wellbeing. Rather than matching up the working domains with a weightlifting web page, attempt to preserve them on subject.

This seems essentially the most pure, so it’s the least more likely to be picked up by Google.

The trick was to put in writing the content material ourselves and give attention to offering exterior hyperlinks that made sense to the piece of content material. It’s a type of visitor posting, however as a result of these websites have a lot of visitors – content material high quality must be higher than algorithmically pleasant.

You can read this guest posting tip to get forward of the sport.

It additionally supplied us the chance to tailor our content material relevance as a lot as attainable – however the actual magic comes within the subsequent step.

We lately revealed how we transformed to a scalable white hat hyperlink constructing scheme, this reveals you precisely how my crew does outreach campaigns.

Outreach Links Referring Domain

Tier 2 – Guest Posting

Once you’ve constructed tremendous related content material on high-authority web sites, it’s good to energy it up.

A massive false impression within the trade is that folks suppose Google works on the area stage. In actuality, they’re working at a page-by-page stage.

This is named Google’s PageRank algorithm and is definitely the crux of this complete technique.

So what does that imply for you?

typing on computer

Google takes the hyperlinks pointed towards every web page and offers that web page a price. Then the variety of hyperlinks popping out of that web page can be a fraction of the facility of that web page.

This implies that even when a web page has a excessive area authority, it’s not essentially passing loads of authority to your web site.

But you’ll be able to change that with this strategy:

With the earlier step, we had already acquired a DR70+ hyperlink, however we have to give it some juice to energy up our rankings.

Since we wrote the primary tier hyperlink content material ourselves, we constructed it to rank for particular key phrases that mentioned the necessity for our consumer’s providers. This method we may construct visitor posts that may not solely assist to move authority, but in addition construct up natural visitors.

Then we may benefit from each an enchancment in natural visitors however additionally referral visitors. Truthfully, this can be a bit overkill, however we wished to see how a lot we may squeeze it.

As talked about earlier than, the component that introduced the largest bang for the buck on this marketing campaign was the usage of second-tier hyperlink constructing.

It helped us to take a comparatively small variety of hyperlinks (4 – 5 each two months) after which energy them up the next month.

So, right here’s the whole lot it’s good to find out about Google’s PageRank.

Google makes use of a citation-based algorithm that appears on the relationship between particular person pages. While referring domains are vital, it’s the referring pages which might be vital.

This diagram in Google’s patent helps us to see that PageRank is calculated by the variety of hyperlinks pointed in direction of a web page, in addition to the variety of exterior hyperlinks from that web page.

Google PageRank Diagram calculation

It’s clear to see why this technique works, however what’s the mathematics behind it?

Earlier this 12 months Majestic put out this wonderful video that goes by the precise science of how PageRank really works. This video is extraordinarily detailed.

They break down how Domain Ratings present radically totally different outcomes from URL Ratings. It’s significantly price a watch.

Why we selected it for this consumer?

My crew tailors the technique for every marketing campaign primarily based on the preliminary evaluation. So, what made us resolve that PageRank sculpting was the very best technique for this web site?

The nature of the consumer’s web site meant that bloggers aren’t actually the trade specialists that we wanted, however we all know it’s a technique that works effectively.

So we determined to alternate between first tier hyperlinks one month, adopted by second tier visitor posting the next month.

Truthfully, the blogger strategy in all probability may nonetheless have labored on this trade too.

We figured that such a belief dominated trade is likely to be price specializing in high-quality web sites somewhat than high-quantity web sites.

TSI Meetup 05

The drawback with all the time getting high-quality hyperlinks is that always you’re getting contemporary articles with out a lot PageRank (i.e. hyperlink juice) in very small portions.

They’re good – however they don’t all the time outweigh cost-to-result ratio of blogger hyperlinks.

We selected to make use of visitor posting en masse to enhance crawl charges, anchor textual content and authority towards these pages.

I counsel that you simply keep away from utilizing auto-generated hyperlink providers as your second tier hyperlinks. While they’ll undoubtedly enhance crawl charges of your web page – they’re not going to assist with authority.

You additionally run the danger of getting your first tier hyperlinks de-indexed – which isn’t what you need… and undoubtedly not what your referring domains need.

Instead, give attention to good quality blogs that may be protected in the event that they pointed towards your personal web page after which simply direct them towards these reliable sources.

In this case, we had the time and sources to provide this a shot at first of the marketing campaign as an alternative of later down the road – which garnered some glorious outcomes.


Organic Traffic

The marketing campaign has been a gentle improve after the primary month, reaching a peak by October and November.

organic traffic from 2018 campaign chart

Keyword Increases

There was an exponential improve in key phrases towards the beginning of the marketing campaign, with stability by the 12 months of updates.

Organic Keyword ranking Increase

Referring Domains

There is a direct correlation between the variety of hyperlinks we constructed adopted by will increase within the variety of key phrases they started to rank extremely for:

referring domains sample chart 2018

Traffic Breakdown

While their social media campaigns and paid search have seen some modest will increase in visitors, it’s their natural visitors that has seen a 432.69% improve when evaluating the tip of 12 months efficiency towards the month they joined.

Traffic breakdown chart from all sources


As you’ve seemingly skilled in your personal search engine marketing profession, the paradigm of “one size fits all” actually has no place in our trade.

Every area of interest is totally different and each web site has its personal specific wants.

In this specific case, you’ve seen how one can apply in depth key phrase analysis to develop a content material technique.

You’ve additionally discovered how a tiered hyperlink constructing marketing campaign can let you create an ultra-powerful, quality-over-quantity backlink profile.

Not each web site wants the identical technique, which is your job to search out out.

If you want any assist, where to find us.


Get a Free Website Consultation from The Search Initiative:



Matt is the founding father of Diggity Marketing, LeadSpring, The Search Initiative, The Affiliate Lab, and the Chiang Mai search engine marketing Conference. He really does search engine marketing too.

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