+100,000 Organics / Month

+100,000 Organics Per Month in 6 Months

🔎 The backstory

Privacy.com is a consumer fintech and leader in virtual cards.

We kicked off Privacy.com’s SEO campaign in mid-2023 after being introduced to their management team by ConceptualHQ, a SaaS focused PPC agency with $100m in spend behind their belt.

In just six months, our engagement with Privacy.com has driven an increase organic traffic from 45,000 ⟶ 172,000.

With about 70ish pages of content:

❌ No backlinks
❌ No technical BS
✅ Just great content

If this sounds like a crazy outcome…….

Well, you don’t know ContentDistribution.com then.

This is the 6th brand we’ve helped add an additional 100,000+ organics/month.

⚙️ The Process

Want to know how we did it?

We can’t share all of the juicy details on this project.

But we have shared our step-by-step process on our five other 0 ⟶ 100,000 organic/month projects.

Check em’ out:

👉 0 to 103,000 organics/month (first big win)

👉 0 to 119,000 organics/month (subscription DTC)

👉 0 to 166,000 organics/month (second big win)

👉 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (biggest win for A16Z startup)

👉 Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

Then learn what it’s like working with us.

🥇 Your Turn

Fully Managed SEO

Fully managed SEO for category leaders and future category leaders with huge goals and the budget to execute. We’ll do the heavy lifting, you sit back and take the credit.

👉 Learn what it’s like working with our consulting team.

Content Ops Consulting

For startups that would prefer to develop institutional knowledge and scale up in-house,

👉 Join the 100k Organics/Month Club waitlist. 

Free Resources

👉 Read all of our free playbooks

👉 Join 13,197 marketers getting our best content in their inbox 1x/week

👉 Hang with 10,548 marketers in the #1 Content Ops Community

👉 Subscribe to our YouTube channel for hour long deep dives.

Software

👉 Hire the top 1% of writers, editors, SEOs, VAs, designers and more.

👉 Build a topical map on EZ mode.

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Working With Us

Working with ContentDistribution.com

When I started ContentDistribution.com I started at the bottom.

I was a solo-consultant.

Consulting for bootstrapped SaaS founders.

With tiny budgets.

I’m talking $500.

Not $500 per month.

$500.

Five years of consistently winning later…..

And we’ve earned the right to work with ClickUp.

And fintechs w/ $100m in funding.

And FDIC insured banks.

It took us five years of building systems and processes.

Sharpening our axe.

Winning again, and again, and again.

To be able to work with a brand like ClickUp.

And that was the plan all along.

I’m at the bottom.

I need to own the outcome on every project.

Take responsibility for every variable.

Do whatever it takes to influence a positive outcome.

Earn the right to work on more ambitious projects.

And eventually we’ll be so good.

So consistently.

The big boys can’t ignore us.

 

🥇 Best Content

If you haven’t checked out our free playbooks, open them all in a new tab.

🚀 Adding 100,000 paid customers to an A16z-backed startup

🚀 Driving millions of new users for an EdTech SaaS

🚀 +$1.6m incremental ARR for a subscription Shopify store

And if you have time, check out the rest:

🚀 Maintaining content quality at 100+ pages/month

🚀 0 to 103,000 organics/month (my first SEO project)

🚀 0 to 116,000 organics/month ($30k website flip)

After you’ve given those a read.

Learn what it’s like to work with ContentDistribution.com 

🏆 What the Community is Saying

We’ve spoken at Founders Institute, Search Birmingham, SEO Mastery Summit and on 50+ podcasts

We’ve appeared on HubSpot, GoDaddy, American Express, Canva, Zapier, and HR.com.

And we’ve had a positive impact on many of our peers.

🎮 Control of Outcome

The day I started ContentDistribution.com is the day I committed to shutting it down.

It’s not enough that some of my projects go well.

All of them have to go well.

I have too much talent, drive, and momentum to spin my wheels playing a game where my actions don’t have a significant influence on the outcome. 

The minute I’m playing a game where I don’t believe I can control the outcome, is the minute I’ll take my ball and go play a different game.

So, in the first year of CD, I sandbagged myself.

I took on a few projects and turned down everything else.

I needed to prove to myself that I could influence every campaign I worked on.

And if I couldn’t do it.

I’d do something else.

Probably go back to sales. 

And that drive to take ownership of every variable…

Even if it’s literally taking responsibility for the actions of someone else. 

Means we’re consistently consistent. 

  • 0 to 103,000 organics/month
  • 0 to 116,000 organics/month
  • 0 to 119,000 organics/month
  • 0 to 166,000 organics/month
  • 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month
  • And a ton of smaller wins that aren’t big enough for their own case study

When you take a content-focused approach to SEO, it means that every factor that influences your success is within your control.

The implications of that are huge. 

💰 ROI Focused

We have beautiful words.

But our content is a deliverable.

Companies partner with us because our content drives incredible business outcomes.

Showing ROI is the #1 lever we can pull to retain and scale campaigns. 

So, we treat SEO as closely to paid media as possible.

We’ll work with you to attribute every dollar generated to the specific pages that we influenced.

Learn how we added nearly 100,000 paid customers to an A16Z-backed startup. 

A great SEO campaign for a flower shop in Seattle can influence tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

A great SEO campaign for AirBNB can influence hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

A great SEO campaign for Amazon can influence billions of dollars in revenue.

We built an SEO ROI calculator to forecast various campaign outcomes so we spend our time with the companies that have the most leverage on our team’s superpower.

The TMS, or total monthly search volume, is generated using Ahrefs or SEMRush.

The CTR is calculated using Brian Dean’s CTR study.

The conversion rate, average first-order value, and LTV are calculated using your internal company data.

After you put in realistic numbers, ratchet all of the numbers down:

  1. Search volume is lower than expected
  2. Average ranking and CTR is lower than expected
  3. Conversion rate is lower than expected
  4. AOV is lower than expected
  5. LTV is lower than expected

Do you still have a positive ROI of at least 3x?

Great.

That’s a good campaign.

Because when we crush, it means we’re looking at 10x+ ROI.

Use our SEO ROI calculator.

❤️ SaaS DNA

Before starting CD.com, I spent my entire career in early-stage SaaS.

I started in my early twenties when I dropped out of college to ship my first SaaS. 

Tonight’s Outfit helped people make better fashion choices. 

It was pre-smartphone, a dumb idea, and had zero founder/product fit. 

But I shipped. 

We shut down Tonight’s Outfit due to lack of traction.

And we shipped again.

It went a bit better. 

MLS → Craigslist automation for real estate agents. 

Hit $6,000 MRR before imploding. 

I was in my mid-twenties, and it was time to get my first real job.

I was a regular attendee at the Seattle Hacker News meetups.

At one of the meetups, I shook hands with the founder of a small enterprise SaaS startup. 

He was hiring, and I leveraged my experience into an offer.

Absolutely insane four years.

 

8 to 200 FTEs bootstrapped.

Just straight printing.

(Source)

After 4 years, I left to re-skill my career in marketing. 

BitTitan raised a few rounds, made an acquisition, and was then acquired for a ton of $$$.

I had an ESOP with a 10-year exercise period. (Thanks, Geeman <3.)

This meant even though I left 6 years ago, I still got paid.

But the most valuable takeaway from my four years at BitTitan was the experience:

  • Working next to colleagues 20 – 30 years older at the peak of their career
  • Learning their best practices and watching how they make decisions
  • Operating at a global scale that touched millions of end-users

I negotiated legal contracts against F500 companies.

I designed and PM’d GoDaddy’s implementation of our API.

I product-managed our marketplace integrations with our CTO.

I trained AT&T’s sales team.

And Rackspace’s support team.

You probably view me as the ‘SEO Guy.’ 

But I identify as a founder, a marketer, and even as a sales guy more than I identify as an SEO. 

And this hasn’t changed since starting an SEO agency. 

Over the last five years, our team has spent thousands of hours iterating across hundreds of internal processes, and we’ve shipped the two most important SaaS products.

ClusterAi to automate keyword research.

And Workello to hire the top 1% of our job applicants. 

The combined stats across both products:

  • 7,000+ freemium users
  • 650+ paid customers, including brands like Deel, CopyAi, and Forbes
  • $400,000+ total revenue

I’m not alone on this journey.

Both products were PM’d by CD’s COO, Bojan Maric.

We also host the #1 content ops community on the internet with 10,000+ members and regular AMAs with marketers from brands like G2, Ramp, Coinbase, SEMRush, and Surfer.

We’ve grown our email list to 13,000+ subscribers. 

And our team’s content has reached millions of marketers and founders on LinkedIn.

❌ No backlinks

We don’t build backlinks.

We don’t need to. If we had hit a wall that we couldn’t push past, we would have iterated and experimented, eventually with backlinks. We don’t hit walls. We haven’t had to build backlinks to create the desired outcomes. What we do keeps working. 

Content can convert. Content can rank and drive revenue. In the way most backlinks are built, they will usually never send a single referral visitor. Assuming a finite budget, we feel an obligation to steer the budget into the activities with the most measurable ROI. 

But the biggest reason we don’t like backlinks?

Relying on backlinks means ceding some of your control over the outcome to the Google Gods.

You tithe money into a black box. 

Then you pray to Larry & Sergey.

And if you’re lucky…

The Google Gods bless you with rankings.

As a founder, I would rather compete in poker than craps. 

Which game would you rather play? 

❌ No Shortcuts

95% of the value created by SEO will happen after year one. 

Let’s break it down with math. 

A hypothetical company has a hypothetical growth rate. 

In year one, they grow to 100,000 organics/month.

In year two, they grow to almost 400,000 organics/month. 

The 492,554 visitors they generated in year one is 15.2% of the 3,228,117 visitors in year two.

Let me repeat that.

Even if we crush it.

And we grow you to 100,000 organics/month in one year.

10x more value is created after year one than is generated in year one.

Just Great Content

Many SEOs treat Google like the enemy.

Their strategy is focused on tricking Google into sending them traffic.

We think the most lucrative SEO outcomes are created by aligning with Google.

Our approach to winning big is simple.

For every page of content we publish, our goal is to create more value for the reader than any other page of content Google could show. 

Below is a graph of the top websites in the dog niche.

The key metric is column E.

Traffic per page, per month.

It’s calculated by dividing the estimated traffic (Ahrefs) by the total number of pages.

And it measures how efficient an SEO campaign is.

I built Doggypedia.

Despite being a DR9, it generated 100,000+ organics/month.

And on average, 3x more traffic per page of content than Doggypedia’s biggest competitors. 

Here is the same graph by average traffic per page per month.

Despite Doggypedia having almost zero backlinks and the other websites being hugely authoritative industry leaders. 

Doggypedia outperformed most of the biggest players in the space:

  • 3x more traffic than Certapet
  • 3x more traffic than Pet Helpful
  • 2.5x more traffic per page than Dog Breed Info
  • 1.5x more than The Labrador Site

Create more value.

Get more value.  

Learn: Get my step-by-step guide to Doggypedia’s SEO campaign. 

 

🔎 Operations

Making Data Public By Default

Most teams collaborate by ‘pulling information’

Here’s what I mean:

  • “Hey, what are you working on today?”
  • “Can you send me the latest version of the template?”
  • “What did Sally say?”
  • “Have you done this task yet?
  • “Should I do A, B, or C?”
  • “Did you see X?”
  • “Can you remind me about Y?”
  • “How do I do Y?”
  • “Did I do this correctly?”
  • “Can you check this before I submit it?” 
  • “Where is the file for Y?”

This works on a small team.

But things start to break when the team grows. 

There are thousands of micro-decisions that are made over the lifespan of an SEO campaign.

On day one as a freelancer, I knew I needed to build a team that could execute as well, or better than I could myself, to meet my goals. So, over the last five years, we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about:

  1. What context our team needs
  2. When they need it
  3. How to deliver it

So they are empowered to make the correct decisions consistently. 

Here are some of the areas in which I think we excel and punch above our weight class (company size).

  1. Making data public by default
  2. Documentation
  3. Meeting recaps
  4. Sprints
  5. Automated notifications
  6. Reporting
  7. Access control

Documentation

Creating a culture of documentation is a lot of work. 

But it’s the only way to enable people without your work experiences to execute as good, or better than you can yourself, consistently. 

We’ve built a strong culture of documentation that spans almost every organizational function. 

And today, we have over 1,000 documents in our knowledge base.

Here are some examples. 

Onboarding documentation for new team members

Step-by-step guides to kicking off new projects

Keyword research to develop the content calendar.

Managing sprints. 

Editing guidelines.

Everything is documented. 

Our culture of documentation enables our team to execute as well or better than I could myself and to be consistent across the areas that require consistency. 

Allowing us to drive successful outcomes again and again and again. 

Get my step-by-step guide for building a culture of documentation in your organization.

Meeting Recaps

Our team sends out a dozen+ meeting recaps every single week:

  1. Structured into an easy-to-read format
  2. Contains a list of discussion points
  3. Action items called out at the top with owners & due dates 
  4. Sent to all interested parties

Here’s why.

Back in 2012, when I joined BitTitan, here is what I was signing up for:

  • Working in an industry I didn’t know existed (Microsoft MSPs)
  • Using a technology I didn’t understand (data migration)
  • Through a sales channel I didn’t have any experience in (resellers)
  • In a role that I wasn’t qualified for (enterprise partnerships)

I spent one month in office.

Then went solo with our CEO on a month-long conference circuit to Vegas, Austin, and Toronto.

Drinking from a firehose is an understatement. 

One of my primary survival tactics was taking insane meeting notes.

Every meeting I took, I was typing.

Over time, I became comfortable in my role, but I never stopped taking meeting notes. 

On average, it took 9ish months to negotiate each SaaS partnership.

After the deal was signed, it took another 9ish months to go to market and start transacting with their end-customers. 

There were half a dozen stakeholders in our company and an equivalent amount, or more, in each partner org.

The only way I could manage a dozen multi-year projects with more than a dozen stakeholders each was with meeting notes.

And I brought that habit to Content Distribution and built a culture of meeting notes here.

Every time two or more people in CD jump on a Zoom call, they send a meeting recap to any relevant team members. 

Between client meetings, editing meetings, ops meetings, and PM meetings, our senior staff receive at least a dozen meeting recaps per week.

This enables our team to work async, minimize unproductive meeting time, consume recaps, and jump in with thoughts or questions on their own schedule. 

I have never worked in an organization that has done this.

And after five years, I don’t know how organizations that don’t have a culture of meeting recaps get things done. 

Get my step-by-step guide to building a culture of meeting notes in your organization.

Sprints

Our team’s work is organized into two-week sprints and tracked in Airtable.

Each record has a status, project, link to a task, person assigned, QA assignee, requestor, due date, notes, and link to SOPs or working documents. 

Automated Notifications

One of the easiest areas in which you can implement a “push data” philosophy into your company is with notification channels. 

We push data from Airtable & Slite into Slack.

Instead of asking, “Hey, what are you working on?”

Our team leads can check the #notifications-sprints channel.

For editors and PM, #notifications-content-calendar.

For editors and managers, #notifications-PTO.

For senior managers, #notifications-hiring

Each notification is hyperlinked.

Anyone in the channel can click on the activity to see metadata like due dates, notes, and links to any working documents.

This cuts down on the “Hey, what are you working on?” significantly.

Reporting

We push the data from Airtable into pre-built Google Data Studio reports that break down our team’s workload.

We can slice the data by all-up, project, and person.

Access Control

CD uses 89 different 3rd party SaaS products for:

  1. Communication and collaboration
  2. Managing content production
  3. Managing our finances
  4. Hosting and delivering ClusterAi & Workello
  5. Marketing, sales, and support.

We change and manage access to all apps in this base. 

To request access, a team member submits an access request form.

💯 Team

Recruiting

Over the last five years, our team has spent thousands of hours reviewing more than 10,000 applicants. 

Because of my belief in two things: 

  1. My success will come from building and enabling a team of people to execute as well or better than I can.
  2. The #1 decision I’ll make as a founder is who we hire because after that first decision, what happens next is easy, hard, or impossible. 

What do those beliefs look like in practice?

  1. We don’t hire based on portfolio, CV, past employers, work experience, or interview skills.
  2. We test all of our applicants on the job to be done, whether it’s writing, editing, SEO, video, or VA work.
  3. Most hiring workflows have a short unpaid test, followed by a longer paid test for applicants who excel. 
  4. We’ll evaluate approximately 300 applicants and 100 tests for each hire we make.

Retention

Once great people join our organization, we do everything we can to keep them happy and motivated.

Between holidays and PTO, our team has 38 days of paid leave per year. 

As an American, it feels like everybody is always on holiday.

But as a founder, it means I’ve built a company that doesn’t depend on a single person holding everything together.

Our team can take the time they need when they need it.

And everything continues forward.

Without missing deadlines or superhuman feats of grind.

Other benefits we’re proud of:

  • Stipend for private health insurance 
  • 3 months of paid maternity/paternity leave for team members with 2+ years of tenure
  • Overtime compensated with equivalent PTO or cash bonuses

Some benefits we’re thinking about in the future:

  • Home office equipment stipend
  • Virtual cards for Uber Eats
  • Health insurance stipend for our team’s aging parents 

📈 KPIs & Accountability 

The three big revenue milestones of an SEO campaign are:

  1. Paying back the monthly SEO spend,
  2. Paying back the total campaign spend to date (1x ROI)
  3. Hitting 5x ROI and above,

But it takes time to get there.

I needed to know whether I was on the right track.

So, I developed a set of KPIs that would allow me to know if the campaign was off-track within 60 days.

Today, I use these KPIs to hold my team accountable.

And now, you can use these KPIs to hold your SEO accountable, whether it’s us or someone else.

Over the last several years, I’ve been privileged to work on many very healthy SEO campaigns.

When it comes to KPIs, they all look the same.

A healthy campaign sees growth in the KPIs below most weeks and every single month.

Did we do the good work we said we would do? In the first six weeks of the campaign, we are accountable for being organized, thorough, reliable, and for delivering high-quality strategy, keyword research, documentation, and initial content.

Are impressions increasing? Before we can rank on page 1, we need to rank on page 6. An impression indicates our page has appeared somewhere in the first 10 pages of a search. Impressions should increase 7/10 weeks and increase month-over-month every month. 

Are we beginning to receive clicks? At some point, we’ll begin to receive clicks. The number of clicks we receive should increase 7/10 weeks and increase month-over-month every month. 

Are visitors beginning to convert? Once traffic is consistently increasing week over week and month over month, we’ll turn our attention to conversions. Is the traffic we’re generating leading to business impact?

Are conversions increasing linearly with traffic? Once we’re consistently generating conversions, is it increasing linearly with increases in traffic?

What we see when we look back at our past campaigns is that after we publish somewhere between 30 to 50 pages, impressions, clicks, and traffic all begin to increase week-over-week, most weeks, and month-over-month, every single month.

An on-track campaign is consistently hitting new ATHs.

My redline is 8 weeks.

If any key KPIs are flat for more than 8 weeks, it’s time to iterate. 

95% of flat spots are fixed, and we return to growth by accelerating scoped but not yet implemented tasks. Think site structure, internal linking, or technical SEO like site speed or GSC errors. 

👀 Forecasting Growth 

We can confidently forecast increasing impressions, clicks, and traffic once we publish the 30th to 50th page of content.

Forecasting specific traffic numbers by specific dates is a lot harder. 

  1. Every page of content we publish can rank for hundreds of keywords
  2. Each of those keywords has its own unique search volume
  3. Each of those keywords has its own difficulty
  4. And all of them move independently of one another

But top it all off.

Before we start the campaign, we don’t even know our content calendar. 

Are we publishing the page with 10,000 searches/month in month 1? Or Month 2?

Are we focusing on low-traffic BOFU topics? 

We just don’t have enough information in the beginning.

However, once we get some data in the door, we can start making educated guesses.

Here is a VC-backed SaaS we’re working with.

Reading this chart:

  • Plots out actual growth vs forecasted growth 
  • First 4 months spent gathering data
  • In month 4, we hit 6,433 visitors and put together our first projections
  • We forecasted 30,000 visitors by month 9
  • We hit 30,000 visitors in month 7

Additional context:

  1. Not pictured is the client’s conversion rate
  2. Based on existing conversion rates, when we hit the forecast of 243,182 visitors in month 16, our campaign is contributing a significant percentage of total growth
  3. Month-to-month growth rate is less important than maintaining an average growth rate above >30%
  4. For example, we only grew 17% in month 7, but we grew almost 200% the two months prior
  5. This means actual traffic is still two months ahead of forecasts

🏃 The Discovery Call

Pre-Call

We have thirty minutes together, and there is a lot to discuss. 

I want to learn more about your company, goals, and growth opportunities.

Not explain how we approach SEO. 

I’ve spent hundreds of hours formulating my thoughts so you can consume them before we talk.

At your convenience.

Read these.

🚀 Adding 100,000 paid customers to an A16z backed startup

🚀 +$1.6m incremental ARR for a subscription Shopify store

🚀 Publishing 100+ pages/month

🚀 Baby fat graphs (not big enough for their own case studies)

The Call

I have four goals on our discovery calls:

  1. Learn more about your business and goals
  2. Sanity check the opportunity using our ROI calculator
  3. If it passes, discuss our different engagement models
  4. Answer any questions you have

🔎 Engagement Overview

Full overview of our engagement.

Click the image to see it full-size.

🏃 GTM Sprint

Pre-Kickoff

Half our team has a Master’s degree in English Lit.

The other half are former English teachers.

The reason I tell you this is because structured learning is a core competency.

We have repeatable systems for transferring knowledge from you to us.

These systems have enabled us to create engaging content with the strong thoughts of stakeholders embedded into 200+ content verticals. 

Legal, healthcare, medicine, dev ops, open-source software, education, gut biomes, influencer marketing.

We’ve basically done it all.

And the stakeholders we worked with were just as nuanced, and particular about content quality as you are. 

Before our kickoff meeting, we’ll send out an introduction email to our team and a link to an intake questionnaire for you to fill out before the meeting.

Kickoff & Knowledge Transfer

We’ll cover 5 things in our kickoff and knowledge transfer meeting.

Meet stakeholders. Our team is small, and our team members working on your project have worked on our agency’s biggest wins. We will also confirm stakeholders on your side for approvals, dev requests, etc. 

Knowledge transfer. We’ve consumed your questionnaire answers and we’ll ask any clarifying questions we need.

Timeline. We’ll review our GTM timeline with the next steps and timelines, and provide a link to access it at any time. 

Enablement Documentation

In content writing, every word is a liability to get something wrong:

  • Messaging
  • Positioning
  • Tone/voice
  • Facts
  • Offers
  • CTAs

Literally every single word is a liability.

The solution?

The thing that makes it all work?

Documentation.

Everything we learned from your questionnaire answers and knowledge transfer is incorporated into 5 10 pages of documentation, internally referred to as, ‘The Project Bible’

This documentation enables us to integrate the strong thoughts you have about your industry, customer, competition, and products into every page of content. 

As we receive feedback on publishable content, this project documentation will be kept updated as a ‘rule book’.

So you only have to give us feedback about a particular issue one time.

And you never have to correct us about the same thing twice.

Content Calendar

From a high level the process looks like this:

  1. Build a list of all of the keywords your audience is using across the funnel
  2. Group the large list of unstructured keywords into discrete topics
  3. Prioritize the topics into a content calendar

We’ll take care of #1 and #2, and we’ll work with you on #3.

Everything is kept in Airtable.

Content Series Template

The content series template is another 510 pages of enablement documentation, this time hyper-focused on the series of topics we’re creating content on.

Pilot Articles

After the Content Series Template is approved we’ll move onto the pilot articles.

Regardless of how thorough we are in knowledge transfer and enablement documentation, once you see the words in publishable content you’ll have more opinions.

In this stage we will:

  1. Capture your feedback
  2. Update and re-submit the pilot articles for review
  3. Repeat until done
  4. Update enablement documentation with new learnings

You should expect to never provide feedback on spelling or grammar.

📝 Content Production

After the pilot articles have been finalized we onboard our writers and editors onto the project.

They’ll consume:

  1. The knowledge transfer call
  2. The Project Bible
  3. The Content Series Template

Then they’ll begin writing.

Content goes through a 14-step process before it gets to you.

You’ll spend less and less time on feedback with each round of revisions. 

We’ll continue to update our Project Bible & Content Series Template.

At some point between the 5th and 25th page of content, your feedback will turn into ‘Looks great folks, nice work. No additional comments.’

🤖 Tech SEO

Priority

Technical SEO is only impactful when you have a lot of content.

Spending 10 hours fixing site speed on a 30-page website doesn’t have any leverage.

Spending 10 hours fixing site speed on 500-page websites has huge amounts of leverage. 

And enormous leverage on a 10,000-page website.

Chances are your company has closer to 30 pages than 500 pages. 

We want to create as much impact as possible before making requests from your development team.

For sites with a low footprint in the SERPs, we will begin tackling technical SEO issues sometime after month three after we’ve ramped up our content production engines.

PM → Dev

We will address all technical issues until a developer is required.

Once a developer is required, we will take responsibility for scoping and PMing their workload. 

After implementation, we will QA their work to ensure it was implemented correctly. 

🫡 Communication

We’ll meet weekly to discuss:

  1. KPIs
  2. Action items
  3. Q&A

Each week you’ll receive a pre-meeting agenda calling out our discussion points. This is your chance to add anything you’d like to the agenda.

After each meeting, you’ll receive a recap with action items for us, and for you.

We’ll provide monthly reports.

And quarterly reports. 

Outside of meetings, we’ll communicate via email.

🤝 Working Together

We’re motivated by impact and scale and we want to work with the most ambitious brands on the internet.

Fully Managed SEO

This is for category leaders and future category leaders with huge goals and the budget to execute. We will do everything, you sit back and take the credit.

👉 Let’s talk.

Content Ops Consulting

For startups on a budget. We will partner with a stakeholder in your organization to build an in-house content team, develop institutional knowledge, and scale up SEO in-house.

👉 Let’s talk.

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Selling Doggypedia for $30k

Exiting Doggypedia.org for $30,000

Three years prior to selling Doggypedia.org, I had quit my six-figure tech job to sell SEO for minimum wage at a local marketing agency.

I wanted to re-skill my career from sales to marketing but didn’t have any marketing experience.

And I figured if I wanted to learn marketing, selling marketing for a marketing agency put me in the best position to learn.

So I started selling SEO to learn SEO.

All of our clients were boring local businesses, so I took over the agency’s blog. 

And grew it to 103,000 organics/month.

After two years of working at the agency, I knew it was time. 

Time to do my own thing.

But before I left, I started a side project called Doggypedia.org to continue to level up my marketing skills and maybe turn it into a real business.

⚡ TL;DR

  1. In 2019 I left the agency where I learned SEO
  2. Grew Doggypedia.org SEO traffic from 0 to 116,000 organics/month in 13 months
  3. Grew the Pinterest account to tens of millions of impressions
  4. Grew the YouTube channel to millions of viewers
  5. Tried to monetize the traffic & failed
  6. Sold the brand for $30,000 to AlphaPaw.com

📈 Background

If this is your first piece of ContentDistribution.com content, here’s what you gotta know.

We’ve taken 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month without building backlinks.

And we’ve documented exactly how we did it: 

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (first big win, where I learned SEO)
  2. 0 to 116,000 organics/month (Doggypedia)
  3. 0 to 119,000 organics/month (subscription DTC adding $135k MRR)
  4. 0 to 166,000 organics/month (B2C SaaS)
  5. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (100k+ paid subscribers for A16Z startup)
  6. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

I started Doggypedia for a few reasons: 

  1. Continue to develop my understanding of SEO 
  2. Turn Doggypedia into a standalone business
  3. If that failed, use it as a case study to grow my SEO agency
  4. Tell Tinder dates I was a puppy influencer

This is part of a 4-part series of guides on how I built and sold Doggypedia:

  1. Growing SEO traffic to 100,000+ organics/month
  2. Growing YouTube to 3,400,000 views
  3. Growing Pinterest to 44,000,000 impressions
  4. Selling Doggypedia for $30,000

❌ Failing to Monetize

At this point in my career, I didn’t have the skills to create an offer that was engaging for my audience. 

But I knew that just because I couldn’t monetize my traffic, that didn’t mean someone else with a better offer couldn’t monetize my traffic. 

So I turned to Facebook to humble brag about my failures and try and get some consulting work. 

Basically, “Comment, and I’ll put you into my marketing funnel”

The Facebook Gods blessed me with reach that day.

Also apparently I am Facebook friends with Sam Parr from My First Million.

Because Sam saw it and tagged his friend Ramon.

And Ramon DM’d me to start a conversation.

My plan was working.

🤝 The Negotiation

But Ramon didn’t want the SEO consulting I was trying to hustle.

He wanted to buy Doggypedia.

Website acquisitions are valued on a multiple of profit.

And Doggypedia had a negative profit.

Fortunately, Ramon didn’t want me to pay him money to buy Doggypedia.

But unfortunately for me, Ramon did want to use a standard (revenue per month) X (30-40x) to determine the value. 

This meant ~$150/month of Adwords revenue was worth ~$6,000 to Ramon. 

I needed to get the price higher using a model I could defend.

  1. The cost of buying a comparable website
  2. The value of the traffic to Alphapaw’s acquirer 
  3. The cost to pay someone to replicate the results

I couldn’t find any data on #1. High-traffic low-earning sites are unusual.

I didn’t have a framework for modeling #2 in a believable way. 

So I focused on #3. 

The cost to pay someone to replicate these results would cost a lot more than $6,000.

Most SEOs have taken zero projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month.

So even if Ramon had the money to pay someone, chances are he would spend all of it with bad SEOs who can’t hit 100,000+ organics/month.

And based on this logic, Doggypedia was worth closer to $30,000 than $6,000.

Didn’t work.

Turns out that people who buy websites don’t operate on logical arguments.

They operate on math and numbers. 

So I tried one last argument in a language he would understand. 

“I bet my best alternative is way higher than $6,000”

Getting more bids

I set the sale price for $15,000 and received over 72 inquiries. 

Muahaha. 

Perfect.

If Ramon didn’t buy it, someone else would. 

It didn’t take long to find someone serious. 

Their profile has $800,000+ in verified purchases on Flippa.

And looked like he was ready to go.

But I didn’t want to sell Doggypedia to Harri, I wanted to sell it to Ramon.

If you haven’t heard of Ramon Van Meer, you should.

His story is basically the American dream:

  1. Grew up a poor foreigner 
  2. Immigrated to America alone and still poor
  3. Started the biggest soap opera website on the internet without ever watching a single soap opera
  4. Sold SoapHub for $9m
  5. Bought AlphaPaw for $300,000 and grew it to $35m/year in three years
  6. Angel investor in the Hustle (acquired by HubSpot)
  7. Just recently became an American citizen (congrats Ramon!)

Go Follow Ramon on Twitter.

Ramon is a really nice guy.

But not nice enough to sell him Doggypedia for $6,000.

So I kept the conversation with Harri going to keep my leverage up while we continued the negotiation. 

But after I got a verbal commitment from Ramon at a price point I was willing to sell for — I went dark on Harri.

Sorry, Harri. 

🚀 Learn: My third project to go from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month happened while finalizing the sale of Doggypedia. Read the case study.

In a last-ditch effort to save the deal, Harri increased his bid to $40,000. 

💰 The Sale

Logical arguments didn’t work to drive the price up from $6,000.

But having a best alternative offer at a 5x higher price did.

After we nailed down the terms via email, I flew to San Francisco to complete the transaction in person.

The timing was perfect.

I had a few clients in San Francisco.

DoNotPay, which I was in the process of scaling from 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month.

And XQ Institute, a non-profit co-CEO’d by Laurene Powell Jobs.

I had a friend in SF who was helping me R&D an e-commerce product I was ideating. 

I was also meeting up with the Fam in Mexico the week after.

So I flew to San Francisco to stay with Ramon for a week.

It was a ton of fun.

I rode the BART and saw a Biggie subway ad.  

Got sweaty with Ramon in the garage gym. 

Played laser tag. 

And completed the transaction.

On March 19th, several days before the state of California locked down to prevent the spread of a viral epidemic scientists were calling COVID-19.

Read all of the installments in the Doggypedia series.

  1. The 3,400,000+ views YouTube account
  2. The 44,00,000 impression Pinterest account
  3. The 100,000+ organics/month website 
  4. How I sold Doggypedia for $30,000 (you’re here)

🤯 What Happened Next

My goal was to continue to work with Ramon post-acquisition, and unfortunately, it didn’t work out. 

I probably should have tried harder to make it work because today Ramon is at a $50m/year run-rate.

But I got super busy scaling our engagement with DoNotPay:

  1. Grew the content team from 1 to 45 writers & editors
  2. Published 8,000+ pages of content
  3. Grew organic traffic to 1,500,000 visitors each month
  4. Drove 100,000+ paid subscribers
  5. Enabling DoNotPay to go from the seed stage to a series B from A16Z in 18 months

🚀  Learn how we added 100,000+ paid subscribers for DoNotPay with SEO.

I didn’t launch the e-commerce product I was working on, a travel standing desk.

I heard Naval talk about product / market / founder fit on YouTube.

And decided to ship something that better aligns with our journey.

So we shipped Workello, the internal system we built to hire good writers on auto-pilot as a standalone SaaS. 

Today Workello has helped 150+ teams skills test 63,000+ of their applicants to identify and hire the top 1%.

🚀 Signup for Workello for free in 30 seconds

Our work taking 4 brands from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month and our engagement for DoNotPay has led to working with category-leading brands like ClickUp, Privacy.com, Skiff.com, and FreeKick Bank. If this sounds like you, check out our case studies and then book a call:

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (my first big W)
  2. 0 to 119,000 organics/month  (Subscription DTC)
  3. 0 to 166,000 organics/month  (B2C SaaS)
  4. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (A16z startup)
  5. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

We have a superpower to help companies win big at Search, but every month I talk to founders who have awesome products, and huge ambition, but are just too early in their company’s journey to engage us.  

In early 2022 we launched the Content Ops Framework for agencies and early-stage startups to use our systems, processes, templates, and SOPs with their staff. 

And since launching, we’ve helped 4 ambitious, early-stage brands hit the 100,000+ organics/month club.

🚀  Learn more about the 100,000+ organics/month club.

🥇 Get More

Join our Free Content Ops Community

Join 10,000+ marketers from brands like Deel, G2, WordPress, Quora, Shopify, Segment, Twilio, and more in the #1 community for Content Ops.

👉 Join the Community.

Subscribe on YouTube

Want hour-long deep dives into our systems? Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get our most in-depth guides.

👉 Subscribe to 100% actionable, no fluff, no BS guides to crushing SEO. 

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3,400,000 Views on YouTube

Generating 3,400,000 views on YouTube

Three years prior to selling Doggypedia.org I had quit my six-figure tech job to sell SEO for minimum wage at a local marketing agency.

I wanted to re-skill my career from sales to marketing, but didn’t have any marketing experience.

And I figured, if I wanted to learn marketing, selling marketing, for a marketing agency puts me in the best position to learn.

So I started selling SEO to learn SEO.

All of our clients were boring local businesses, so I took over the agency’s blog. 

And I grew it from 0 to 103,000 organics/month in 13 months. 

After two years of working at the agency, I knew it was time. 

Time to do my own thing.

But before I left, I started a side project called Doggypedia.org to continue to level up my marketing skills.

And maybe, turn it into a real business.

This is part of a 4-part series of guides on how I built and sold Doggypedia:

  1. Growing SEO traffic to 100,000+ organics/month
  2. Growing YouTube to 3,400,000 views (you’re here)
  3. Growing Pinterest to 44,000,000 impressions
  4. Selling Doggypedia for $30,000

📷 Background

If this is your first piece of ContentDistribution.com content, here’s what you gotta know.

We’ve taken 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month without building backlinks.

And we’ve documented exactly how we did it: 

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (first big win, where I learned SEO)
  2. 0 to 116,000 organics/month (Doggypedia)
  3. 0 to 119,000 organics/month (subscription DTC adding $135k MRR)
  4. 0 to 166,000 organics/month (B2C SaaS)
  5. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (100k+ paid subscribers for A16Z startup)
  6. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

I started Doggypedia for a few reasons: 

  1. Continue to develop my understanding of SEO 
  2. Turn Doggypedia into a standalone business
  3. If that failed, use it as a case study to grow my SEO agency
  4. Tell Tinder dates I was a puppy influencer

🔎 Approach

What I’ve learned from taking 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month is that Google Search uses UX metrics to influence reach and rankings. 

I didn’t develop a theory and set out to prove it.

This is an observation I made from consistently winning in SEO without:

❌ Building backlinks.

❌ Doing technical BS.

❌ Doing hacks or shortcuts.

✅ Just great content.

Basically, our entire goal is to create more relevant, better quality content than any other page Google could show for the keywords we want to rank for.

If you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

Everybody knows every major platform uses UX metrics to influence reach:

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook
  3. Instagram
  4. TikTok
  5. LinkedIn

And according to Mr Beast, this is how the YouTube algorithm works:

  1. Click through rate (CTR)
  2. Watch time
  3. Comments
  4. Likes

But in 2018/2019 Mr Beast wasn’t famous yet.

I didn’t have anybody to tell me what is well known.

I just knew that if I believed Google Search used UX metrics to influence reach.

Then I had to believe YouTube would also. 

🚀 Learn how I outrank websites without backlinks all day, every day. 

⚒️ Results

Doggypedia was a side project.

And YouTube was a side experiment while I built out the SEO.

Which made Doggypedia’s YouTube channel a side-side-project.

Meaning, my goal wasn’t to just create category winning content on YouTube.

I needed to create category winning content on YouTube 👉 with as little effort as possible.

That meant:

  1. Super simple to make
  2. Had huge amounts of views

And I took a few shots at goal.

Dogs barking…

…to make your dog react.

Who am I to argue with 100,000,000+ people?

My job isn’t to decide what people want.

My job is to give people what they want. 

First I watched all of the top performing videos (of dogs barking 🙁)

Next I built a list of the variables that I could both control and I believed would influence UX metrics.

Because if I could win on these variables, my content would have better UX metrics than the dog barking videos currently on YouTube, and I believed YouTube would promote my content instead. 

Here’s the list: 

  1. The thumbnail to drive higher CTR
  2. The length to keep users watching longer
  3. The number of dogs referenced to be more relevant to more people
  4. The in-video imagery that is more pleasant to look at

🚀 Warning: turn down your volume before playing. 

This video did pretty good.

Racked up a cool 3,000,000 views and 800+ comments.

Dog Names

Ahrefs indicates that more than 2,700,000 people each month search for help naming their dog.

If people search Google for dog names, would they also search YouTube?

The answer is yes.

So I made a video on dog names.

But before I did, I watched all of the top videos and built a list of the variables I wanted to do better:

  1. A better thumbnail to drive higher CTR
  2. Put a higher number of dog names in the title to drive a higher CTR
  3. Shove more dog names into the video to drive longer watch time

Again, all of the activities tie back to driving better UX metrics than my competition. 

Here’s what I ended up with.

273,000 views.

Not as good as 3,000,000.

But not bad. 

Interestingly, this video had a much higher ratio of comments to views.

237,000 views with 570 comments.

Versus 3,000,000 views with 818 comments.

Maybe comments aren’t as important as the other user-engagement metrics?

Can Dogs Eat…?

One of the classic content series for a pet website is “can dogs eat X” articles.

It seems like every pet website is attempting to rank for keywords like this.

Because according to Ahrefs, there is an incredible 5,800,000 searches/month for “can dogs eat” one thing or another.

So, if people are searching for “can dogs eat X” on Google Search, would they also use YouTube?

Well, kinda.

It turns out the biggest videos in the “can dogs eat stuff” sub-category just aren’t that big.

I did approximately 5 videos on this type of content.

And they racked up less than 50,000 views.

It turns out the biggest videos in the “can dogs eat stuff” sub-category just aren’t that big.

🎥 How to Hire Video Editors

You can learn video editing.

Or you can do your actual job.

You can’t do both.

We hired an editor.

308 applicants –> 97 skills tests –> 15 interviews –> 1 hire. 

308 people –> 1 person.

The top .3% of all applicants.

Because we believe the #1 decision we’ll make as hiring managers is who we decide to hire.

And after that first decision, everything is either easy, hard or impossible.

The truth is though.

We automated the entire process.

It didn’t take much time at all.

We automated everything with Workello.

Basically Workello is skills assessment platform that allows us to filter through hundreds of job seekers to identify and hire the top 1%.

Think of Workello as an automated CRM for hiring video editors:

  1. Use Workello’s pre-configured skills tests for video editors
  2. Get applicants from job boards like LinkedIn, Facebook, and OnlineJobs
  3. Move applicants through our hiring funnel with 1-click to test, reject, or interview

First, sign up for Workello.com.

It’s free and takes about 30 seconds.

Next, select the video editor hiring template.

It includes:

  1. Pre-written job description
  2. Pre-written skills tests.
  3. Pre-written interview questions.
  4. Pre-written candidate emails.
  5. Hand selected job boards to find the best candidates

Your job description is pre-written, so you’ll just need to make a few adjustments to align it with your company.

After you’ve nailed the job description, it’s time to edit the skills tests and interview stages.

Creating a video editor skills test

The skills test is pre-configured for you, but you need to replace the example videos in the template with videos that align with the content you want your editor to produce. 

The unpaid skills test should be extremely short and take applicants less than 30 minutes to complete.

The longer your skills test take, the less likely candidates are to do it.

Especially the best applicants.

The video we ask applicants is 37 seconds, but feel free to go down to as little as 15 seconds for best results. 

Candidates that pass the free skills test will be invited to skills test #2.

In Skills Test #2 we ask candidates to edit three 60 second videos.

And it’s paid.

This allows us to vet the remaining candidates with a longer, more in-depth assignment.

Just like you did in the free skills test, replace the example videos in the template with videos that reflect the type of content you’re creating. 

Setting up your interview

Last section to customize. 

Drop your name, email, and Calendly URL.

(If you haven’t already, setup a new Calendly event for interviews).

And you’re done.

Hit “Publish Job”

The next screen you’ll see is the hiring portal.

This is where all of your candidates will appear once you post your job ad on external sourcing websites like Facebook, LinkedIn and OnlineJobs.ph. 

Now it’s time to get candidates.

Grab the Job Ad URL.

It’s going to look something like this: https://app.workello.com/a/content-distribution-video-editor-1

This is how candidates will apply for your job.

Posting your job

What?

Workello doesn’t get me candidates?

No — getting candidates is easy.

It takes 10 minutes to post a job ad and we’ll get 100+ applicants. 

Filtering through those applicants to identify and hire the top 1% is the hard part.

You need really purpose built workflows to handle that much applicant volume without wasting hours switching between apps and copy/pasting.

And this is where Workello shines.

Your first destination is OnlineJobs.ph.

Follow this guide to post your Workello job ad URL on OnlineJobs.

This took all of 10 minutes, and should get you 100+ video editing applicants.

OnlineJobs.ph is great for general VAs. 

There’s gonna be some talent. 

But it isn’t where the BEST video editors are hanging out.

If we want to fill our recruiting pipeline with the best of the best…

We hire from Facebook Groups.

Why Facebook?

Because Facebook is where interest based communities live.

And people who participate in interest based communities, are on-average, more passionate and talented than folks who aren’t. 

This is true from backyard BBQ and baseball to video editors. 

Here are some keywords you can use:

  1. Video editors
  2. TikTok creators
  3. YouTube creators

Join all of the groups.

And post your job ad.

Say something like…

Hiring a video editor for X type of content.

Make your company sound cool.

Describe what you’re looking for. 

Ask candidates that are interested to drop a comment and you’ll DM them a link.

If you’re feeling ambitious, attach an eye grabbing image to drive more engagement. 

And do not post the job ad URL.

Facebook reduces the reach of posts with external links.

I repeat.

Don’t drop the job ad URL.

Ask candidates to drop a comment.

Repeat this process in each group.

After 2-3 days Facebook will have given you most of the reach your post will get.

And you can start dropping links to interested candidates. 

Candidates apply via the external application URL and appear in your Workello hiring portal.

Click to open up a candidate. 

Check out their cover letter and portfolio.

Then click ‘Reject’ to send the candidate a polite rejection email.

Or “Test” to send the candidate your unpaid skills test.

Candidates will receive an email inviting them to submit the unpaid video editing test you configured above. 

The rest of the process is straightforward.

And the exact process we used to filter 300 video editing applicants down to the absolute best person. 

Because we believe the #1 decision you’ll make as a manager is who you hire.

And after that first decision, everything is either easy, hard or impossible.

And if we want to create great video content.

We should hire the best video editor we can afford. 

Join hundreds of startups and agencies using Workello to identify and hire the top 1% of their applicants. 

🙏 The Acquisition 

Despite my ability to learn distribution on Pinterest, YouTube and SEO.

I failed at the most important part. 

Monetization. 

I just didn’t have the experience yet.

🚀 Learn how we drove almost 100,000 paid subscribers for an A16Z-backed startup. 

So I did what all good mediocre marketers do.

I posted a humble flex on social. 

And used my (lack of) success to nurture an audience that I could maybe eventually sell SEO to. 

The Facebook Gods blessed me with reach that day.

And apparently I am Facebook Friends with Sam Parr from My First Million.

A couple of months later, Ramon wired me $30,000.

Want to learn how the acquisition went down?

Read the final installment of the Doggypedia acquisition. 

  1. The 3,400,000+ views YouTube account (you’re here)
  2. The 44,00,000 impression Pinterest account
  3. The 100,000+ organics/month website 
  4. How I sold Doggypedia for $30,000

🥇 Copy Our Results

By working with us

We’re motivated by scale and impact, and we love working with hyper-growth startups with the ambition and budget to become category leaders. 

We don’t have dozens and dozens of mediocre clients. We work with less than two handfuls of the most ambitious companies on the internet.

And we consistently generate 5x – 20x+  ROAS.

If this sounds like you, read our other case studies, then book a call.

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (my first big W)
  2. 0 to 119,000 organics/month  (Subscription DTC)
  3. 0 to 166,000 organics/month  (B2C SaaS)
  4. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (A16z startup)
  5. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

Use the Content Ops Framework

Or if you want to do it yourself, the Content Ops Framework contains everything you need to hit 100,000+ organics/month:

  1. SOPs and templates our team uses internally
  2. We’ll source 200+ writers for you to choose from
  3. Workello to test, identify and hire the top 1%
  4. 50,000 ClusterAi credits to automate your keyword research

Since we’ve started we’ve helped four brands hit the 100,000+ organics/month club.

👉 Interested? Join the 100,000+ organic/month club.

Use our Software

Automate years of keyword research with ClusterAi..

Use Workello to identify and hire the top 1% of your applicants whether they’re writers, editors , designers, marketers, customer success, or developers.

👉 Start hiring the 1%. Signup for free in 30 seconds.

Join our Free Content Ops Community

Join 10,000+ marketers from brands like Deel, G2, WordPress, Quora, Shopify, Segment, Twilio, and more in the #1 community for Content Ops.

👉 Join the Community.

Subscribe on YouTube

Want hour-long deep dives into our systems? Subscribe to our YouTube channel to get our most in-depth guides.

👉 Subscribe to 100% actionable, no fluff, no BS guides to crushing SEO. 

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0 to 116,000 Organics / Month

0 to 116,000 Organics / Month

In 2019 I started Doggypedia.org, my third project to grow from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month. 

Building Doggypedia not only gave me my 3rd big win in SEO.

It also allowed me to understand how to distribute content on other platforms.

The Doggypedia YouTube channel has generated 3,400,000 visitors from 10 videos.

And my Doggypedia Pinterest marketing automation generated 47,000,000 impressions and 60,000 link clicks.

⚡ TL;DR

  1. In 2019 I was leaving the agency where I learned SEO
  2. Built Doggypedia.org & grew SEO traffic from 0 to 116,000 organics/month in 13 months
  3. Grew the Pinterest account to 46,000,000 impressions
  4. Grew YouTube to millions of viewers
  5. Tried to monetize the traffic & failed
  6. Sold the brand for $30,000 to AlphaPaw.com

🔎  Background

If this is your first piece of ContentDistribution.com content, here’s what you gotta know.

We’ve taken 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month without building backlinks.

Without technical BS.

Without shortcuts.

And without hacks.

We did it by creating the highest quality, most relevant page of content Google could show for the keywords we wanted to rank for and doing that over and over again.

Basically, good content at scale. 

And we’ve documented exactly how we do it: 

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (first big win)
  2. 0 to 119,000 organics/month (subscription DTC)
  3. 0 to 166,000 organics/month (second big win)
  4. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (biggest win for A16Z startup)
  5. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

I started Doggypedia for a few reasons: 

  1. Continue to develop my understanding of SEO 
  2. Turn Doggypedia into a standalone business
  3. If that failed, use it as a case study to grow my SEO agency
  4. Tell Tinder dates I was a puppy influencer

This is part of a four part series. 

  1. The 100,000+ organics/month website (you’re here)
  2. The 3,400,000+ views YouTube account
  3. The 44,00,000 impression Pinterest account
  4. How I sold Doggypedia for $30,000

📈 Approach

Based on the goals above, I needed to find a niche where:

  1. The competition was low, and I could rank a brand-new domain quickly
  2. The traffic potential was high, and I could get a fat graph
  3. The content was easy to template out, and I could re-use one template for all pages

When I analyzed the puppy niche, I found a huge content vertical that had:

  1. High volume
  2. Low competition
  3. Super easy to template out

It was mixed dog breeds.

Think Husky Corgi.

Or Corgi Retriever.

Or Labrador Retriever.

It turns out there are about a billion different types of mixed breeds.

If you take the top 100 dog breeds and assume each breed can mix with every other breed…

100 x 100 = 10,000 different mixed breeds of dogs.

Using Ahrefs, I found that the search volume for these mixed breeds was crazy high.

With almost two million keywords representing 11,000,000+ searches per month.

And the keyword difficulty was pretty low, too — generally less than 20.

🤖 Keyword Research

Alright, so we have millions of keywords representing 12 million searches a month.

There is an easy way to do this.

So let’s do it the easy way. 

Click ‘Export’ on the keyword list.

And export the top 18,000 keywords.

Then I’m going to import the CSV into ClusterAi.

And I’m done!

It’s time to sit back and relax while ClusterAi does its thing.

While I’m sipping my coffee…

ClusterAi is crawling Google for each keyword.

It’s scraping the first ten results.

And it’s comparing the URLs in common between keywords.

If at least 3 websites rank for ‘keyword A’ and ‘keyword B,’ you can rank for both keywords with one page.

And ClusterAi groups them.

If there are two or fewer websites that rank for ‘keyword A’ and ‘keyword B,’ you probably can’t rank for both keywords with one page.

And ClusterAi will separate them into discrete pages.

After ClusterAi is done doing its thing, I’m going to get a file that looks like this.

Every row represents a unique page of content.

It contains the main keyword with the most search volume in the group.

And every variation of the main keyword that can rank on the same page.

And the total search volume of all of the keywords the page can rank for.

We use this keyword structure to drive on-page optimizations, too.

  1. URL = Main keyword
  2. Meta Title = Main keyword + something clickbait
  3. Meta Description = Main keyword + something clickbait
  4. H1 = Main keyword + something clever
  5. H2s = Use variations of the main keyword
  6. In-content keyword usage = Swap for variations of the main keyword 

It seems simple.

But this trick allows us to publish thousands of pages.

Without our writers and editors “knowing SEO”

They just focus on creating the most valuable page of content Google could show for the keywords we want to rank for.

Then we make them sprinkle on a little “SEO” during the editing phase.

Et voilà — thousands of perfectly optimized pages.

Without needing an SEO to touch each one.

This is a good thing because on Doggypedia I was the SEO.

And today it’s a great thing because a team of two SEOs can support 25 writers and editors. 

If you’ve read our case study on our most recent 0 to 100,000+ organics/month, you’ll know my philosophy on SEOs.

The fewer SEOs you know, the better.

🚀  Join thousands of marketers automating their keyword research with ClusterAi. 

Want more information on ClusterAi? 

Watch the video below.

Then sign up to ClusterAi for free for more details via email.

📓 The Content Series Template

You’re probably familiar with a content brief.

It’s a brief that SEOs create for content writers.

Basically, it’s guard rails for content writers to ensure their work/effort will end up ranking and generating business impact. 

@contentdistributioncom

Want to remove the guesswork from your SEO agency’s processes? SOPs are the answer! Documentation can drastically improve your team’s output. #SOPs #AgencyLife #ProductivityHacks #AgencyGrowth #seo #contentops #seoagency #contentagency

♬ original sound – NickFromSeattle

It generally includes things like:

  1. Keywords
  2. Headings (H1 / H2s)
  3. Internal links
  4. External links
  5. Messaging / Positioning

Here’s an example from BestWriting.com

At ContentDistribution.com, we think content briefs are for people with too much time on their hands.

We have to write a lot of content.

But we don’t want to create a lot of briefs.

So we developed a concept we call a ‘Content Series Template.’

It’s like a content brief.

But for every page of content under a specific sub-topic. 

ClusterAi told me there are thousands of different mixed-breed articles.

But they’re all basically the same article.

A side benefit is if we’re only creating one CST for hundreds of pages.

We can spend a lot more time on it.

Do it meticulously.

And eliminate as much variability from the research process as possible.

🚀  How we built a culture of documentation

Today we’ve used the Content Series Template concept to publish 14,000+ pages of content across 268+ content verticals.

We’ve gotten it down to a repeatable process that enables us to come into any vertical, run knowledge transfer with stakeholders, and then create content like we had direct access to their brain.

Doggypedia has about 220 pages spread across 3 CSTs: 

  1. Specific Mixed Breeds
  2. Mixed Breeds
  3. Dog Memes

🚀  See an example CST on a 0 to 100,000+ organic/month project. 

Specific Breed CST

This CST focused on keywords like:

  1. Lab German Shepard Mix
  2. Pitbull Lab Mix
  3. German Shepherd Pitbull Mix

🚀 See Example: Lab German Shepard Mix

Basically, every keyword is structured like this: “Breed 1 + Breed 2 Mix.”

H2s. These articles are in the same format regardless of the keyword. This allowed me to pre-write the H2s. I included the main keyword in 40-60% of the H2s and left the remaining H2s unoptimized. I also jumbled the order of the H2s and the specific words in each H2 to avoid duplicate content penalties. 

Images. The dog niche is visual, and every H2 included an image. I provided instructions on how to source images from Instagram. Sourcing photos from Instagram resulted in a handful of angry emails from accounts I didn’t cite, so I created instructions on how to attribute images found from Instagram.

Tables, lists, and bullets. Structured data is easier for humans and for Google to consume. I R&D’d this on Doggypedia, and four years later and with 10,000+ pages published, all of our content includes tables, lists, and bullets. 

Internal links. The more internal links you have, the easier the content you link to will rank. Think of it like a vote that tells Google how important a page is to your website. The more internal links to a particular page, the more important it is to your brand, and the easier it is to rank. The opposite is also true. Pages with 0 internal links will be almost impossible to rank. 

External links. Every article needed at least three links to authoritative sources. I developed a process for our writers to look up science journals published on PubMed and books published on Amazon and cite them in the content. 

🚀 Learn: Get our SOPs and templates

Mixed Breed CST

The ‘Specific Breed CST” above is focused on keywords like “[Breed 1] + [Breed 2] Mixes”

The next “Mixed Breed CST” is focused on all of the types of “[Breed 1] Mixes.”

  1. Hound Mixes
  2. Pitbull Mixes
  3. Daschund Mixes

🚀 See Example: Hound Mixed Breeds

From a high level, the CST had instructions that can be summarized as: 

  1. Google “Breed 1 mix” on Instagram and create an H2 about each mix breed you find
  2. Use the images found on Instagram in each H2
  3. Google “Breed 1 + Breed 2 Mix”
  4. In each H2, write a short blurb about each type of “Breed 1 + Breed 2 Mix”

The more work you put into your CST, the better work you’ll get back from your content team.

🚀 Learn: Get our SOPs and templates

Dog Memes CST

This CST focused on keywords like:

  1. Smiling Dog Memes
  2. Dachshund Memes
  3. Pitbull Memes

🚀  See Example: Pitbull Memes

This was the easiest CST of them all.

We had our writers scour social for the best pup memes. 

🧑 Hiring Writers

The #1 choice you’ll make as a content manager is which writers you decide to hire.

Because after that first decision, everything is either easy, hard, or impossible.

Hire the wrong writer and you’ll spend tens or hundreds of hours struggling through everything.

Hire the right writer, and scaling content velocity will feel like a breeze.

Hiring GOOD writers is hard though.

The problem isn’t getting writing candidates.

Post a job ad on ProBlogger and get 300+ candidates in the next 72 hours.

The hard part is filtering out the bad writers from the good writers.

  1. Writing is the lowest barrier WFH job
  2. Anyone can call themselves a writer
  3. But even 54% of Americans read below a 6th grade reading level
  4. Writers downright fake their portfolio
  5. Or they use published content that has gone through a 3rd party editor, and doesn’t reflect what they’ll submit to you

When I say everyone has trouble hiring good writers.

I mean everyone.

95% of writing applicants are unqualified, how do you identify the top 5%?

It goes on.

And on.

And on.

So what’s the trick?

How do you evaluate hundreds of candidates to identify and hire the top 1%?

The trick is Workello.

The secret weapon your favorite content team is using to hire great writing talent on auto-pilot. 

Putting in the work up-front to hire the right person will save dozens or hundreds of hours of blood, sweat, and tears, trying to onboard, train, and mentor the wrong hire.

Here’s how it works.

Workello is a skills-testing platform that helps you identify and hire the best talent you can afford.

According to Harvard Business Review, skills tests are the #1 predictor of post-hire work performance.

More than CVs, work experience, and interview skills.

The skills test is #1.

So if you want to hire the best talent you can afford, you need to test as much talent as you can.

Workello allows you to skill-test hundreds of applicants in minutes.

So when you finally hire someone.

It’s not the best of a handful.

Or the best of a dozen.

It’s literally the best of hundreds of potential applicants.

You are hiring the best person you can afford.

Here’s a quick overview.

Getting Started

Signup for a free account on Workello in about 30 seconds.

Choose a pre-populated hiring template from Workello’s template library. Each template contains an optimized job description, writing test, candidate emails, and the best hiring resources to find them. 

Spend a few minutes customizing the pre-written job description, and skills test to align with your company and industry. 

Save & publish your Workello job. 

Then grab the application URL.

Copy/paste your Workello job ad URL into ProBlogger.

Pay for your ProBlogger ad.

Then sit back and relax as candidates find your ad on ProBlogger, complete their application on Workello, and stream into your hiring dashboard.

Learn: Need niche writers? Get our playbook for hiring community experts to write for you

From there, everything is 1-click away.

1-click reject to send a polite rejection email.

1-click test to send a request to take your writing test.

1-click to send video interview invitations. 

The best people want to work for the best employers.

One of the easiest things you can do to attract better talent is to treat your candidates better.

Workello helps you engage the top 5% of applicants to invest their valuable time into taking your writing test. 

By addressing the #1 complaint from job seekers.

Even for experienced candidates, applying for jobs feels like sending their CVs into a black hole.

Workello’s applicant timeline tells your candidates exactly where they are in the hiring process, what to expect next, and how long it will take to hear back.

Building huge amounts of trust with your best candidates quickly & automatically. 

The better your candidate experience, the more likely the best candidates are going to invest their valuable time into your hiring process. 

You wouldn’t put your sales leads through a Google Form.

Why would you treat your candidates worse?

🚀 Sign up for free in 30 seconds and join hundreds of brands using Workello to hire the top 1% of their applicants.

🚀 Performance

I’ve already told you Doggypedia grew from 0 to 100,000 organics/month in 13 months, on a new domain, without building backlinks, through a combination of

  1. The best keyword research using ClusterAi
  2. Crazy amounts of documentation to set up our content team for success
  3. Hiring the best writers and editors
  4. Using ClusterAi to optimize all of the content

Do you know what’s even cooler?

Doing it with 3x more efficiency than all of our competitors.

You see – when you follow the templates and SOPs in the Content Ops Framework.

You don’t just generate a lot of traffic.

You generate more traffic per dollar invested than your competitors.

Check it out.

I put together a list of the biggest websites in the dog niche.

I modeled their:

  1. Domain name
  2. DR / DA
  3. Monthly traffic (via Ahrefs)
  4. The total number of pages published
  5. How much traffic do they generate per page per month

Basically, I divided the total amount of traffic by the number of pages.

This allowed me to develop an ‘efficiency score’.

More efficient SEO campaigns generated, on average, more traffic per page.

And less efficient SEO campaigns generated, on average, less traffic per page.

Doggypedia generates 570 visitors per month per page.

Certapet generates 170 visitors per month per page.

This means 3.3x more traffic per page of content published than Certapet.

Even the biggest website in the dog niche, DogTime, with 3.3m organics/month, is only generating 578 visitors per month, per page.

That’s the same traffic/page as Doggypedia.org.

But Doggypedia.org is a DR9.

And DogTime is a DR77.

Not all content is not created equally. 

Content generated by us, using our systems, ranks higher and generates more traffic.

If this is your first time on ContentDistribution.com, learn why we crush:

  1. How Google REALLY works
  2. Ranking without backlinks
  3. The #1 lever to get faster SEO results

🙏 The Acquisition 

Despite my success, I failed at the most critical part.

Monetization.

I just didn’t have the experience yet.

🚀 Learn: How we drove almost 100,000 paid subscribers for an A16Z-backed startup. 

So I did what all good mediocre marketers do.

I made a humble flex post on social. 

And used my (lack of) success to build an audience.

It turns out that both I am FB friends with Sam Parr.

And the Facebook Gods blessed me with reach that day.

Four months later, Ramon wired me $30,000 for the Doggypedia brand.

Want to learn how the acquisition went down?

Read the final installment of the Doggypedia acquisition. 

  1. The 3,400,000+ views YouTube account
  2. The 44,00,000 impression Pinterest account
  3. The 100,000+ organics/month website (you’re here)
  4. How I sold Doggypedia for $30,000

🥇 Your Turn

Fully Managed SEO

Fully managed SEO for category leaders and future category leaders with huge goals and the budget to execute. We’ll do the heavy lifting, you sit back and take the credit.

👉 Learn what it’s like working with our consulting team.

Content Ops Consulting

For startups that would prefer to develop institutional knowledge and scale up in-house,

👉 Join the 100k Organics/Month Club.

Free Resources

👉 Read all of our free playbooks

👉 Join 13,197 marketers getting our best content in their inbox 1x/week

👉 Hang with 10,548 marketers in the #1 Content Ops Community

👉 Subscribe to our YouTube channel for hour long deep dives.

Software

👉 Hire the top 1% of writers, editors, SEOs, VAs, designers and more.

👉 Build a topical map on EZ mode.

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0 to 103,000 Organics / Month

🚀  0 to 103,000 Organic Visitors Per Month

My very first SEO project grew from 445 → 103,000 organics/month in 13 months.

I had no prior SEO experience.

And I approached the project in a way that would sound absolutely ridiculous in 2018.

❌ No backlinks.

❌ No technical BS.

❌ No hacks or shortcuts.

✅ Just great content.

Today, I call this approach content velocity, but in 2018, it didn’t have a name — because nobody was talking about it.

In this case study, I’ll show you how I crushed SEO without learning how to build backlinks or do weird technical stuff. 

And this strategy still works today because I’ve used essentially the same approach to take 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month.

🔎  Background

If this is your first piece of ContentDistribution.com content, here’s what you gotta know.

We’ve taken 5 projects from 0 to 100,000+ organics/month without building backlinks or doing technical BS.

We did it by creating the highest quality, most relevant page of content Google could show for the keywords we wanted to rank for and doing that over and over again.

Basically, good content at scale.

And we’ve documented exactly how we do it:

  1. 0 to 103,000 organics/month (first big win)
  2. 0 to 119,000 organics/month (subscription DTC)
  3. 0 to 166,000 organics/month (second big win)
  4. 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month (biggest win for A16Z startup)
  5. Baby fat graphs (not quite big enough for their own case study)

Learn: Open up each case study in a new tab and read them too.

⚒️ The Setup

I had spent my entire career in early-stage startups, most recently as employee #8 in a startup that grew to 200 employees in 4 years, bootstrapped, raised a few rounds, and was acquired for a lot of $$$.

I joined an SEO agency to reskill my career from business development to marketing.

Because as a future founder, I realized that marketing is a stronger skill set for founders than sales.

Sales is…

  1. One-to-one conversations
  2. Having to live in similar time zones to your customers
  3. Not creating value the minute you step away from your keyboard

While marketing is…

  1. One-to-many conversations
  2. Living anywhere in the world 
  3. Creating value while I sleep

And if I could learn SEO, I could use SEO to grow whatever business I started next, more effectively than with a sales skillset. 

So that was my 5-year plan:

  1. Sell SEO for an agency
  2. Learn SEO at the agency
  3. Build a SaaS product
  4. Grow it with SEO

I’m currently in year 6 of my 5-year journey, and I’ve:

  1. Built a content agency that employs dozens of FT team members
  2. Shipped two SaaS products to 7,000+ users and 700+ paying customers (ClusterAi & Workello)
  3. Grew a 17,000-person email list
  4. Built the #1 content ops community on the internet with 10,000+ members
  5. Generated tens of millions of views on Pinterest & YouTube

🚀 Connect with me on LinkedIn

📈 The Strategy

Leading up to this project, I had tried SEO twice and failed both times.

Both times I focused on “backlinks” and overly technical stuff.

Not only did it not get me any results.

I realized that I was not smart enough to figure this stuff out.

And so I wasn’t going to do either of those things this time around.

I was going to focus 100% on content quality.

And pumping out as much quality content as I could. 

And that’s the whole strategy. 

🌎 Brand Jacking

The agency I was working for wanted to work with more e-commerce clients.

So I thought, well, what do people with e-commerce stores search for?

They search for information related to Shopify, and probably even Instagram.

So I decided to try and outrank Shopify and Instagram for their own branded terms.

To send their customers to my website.

And into our marketing funnel.

And it worked!

Crazy well.

Well, partly.

We ended up outranking Instagram for “Instagram Support.”

And we outranked Shopify for “Is Shopify Safe?”

And we were the first result right under Shopify, for “Shopify Support.”

But it turns out that we didn’t have what I now call “audience / offer fit”.

Basically, it means we didn’t have a good offer for this audience.

And the traffic didn’t end up converting.

Which, in hindsight, is obvious.

But at the time — I just didn’t know what I didn’t know.

What I did learn, though, is how Google actually works.

And the learnings from this campaign can be found in every campaign I’ve executed since.

Want to know why Google ranked us above Shopify and Instagram?

Watch the video I recorded from 2018.

🚀Learn how we brand jack companies like Microsoft.

🤔 How Google Actually Works

Imagine this.

It’s 2023.

You’re Google.

The world’s most innovative big data company.

You own the entire internet stack:

  1. Android, the device
  2. Chrome, the browser
  3. And the analytics, Google Analytics

Then you look at all of your major platform peers.

Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook.

And they are all using user engagement metrics to influence reach.

They show new content to a small audience.

And if that content has good UX metrics, they’ll show that content to an ever-increasing bigger audience.

And they’ll keep increasing the amount of reach your content receives until those UX metrics fall off.

So knowing all of this.

You decide to use backlinks as the primary ranking factor in Google Search.

WHAT???

Google has the user engagement data across the entire internet stack.

All of their peers use user engagement data to influence reach.

Even YouTube uses user engagement metrics to influence reach.

Why wouldn’t Google use user engagement metrics to stack rank content in Google Search?

There is no better heuristic for whether one page is more valuable to a searcher than another page than the user engagement metrics on those two pages.

And that’s how Google actually works.

It’s not backlinks.

It’s content quality.

@contentdistributioncom

SEO without backlinks or technical BS. Stepping away from traditional SEO tactics, I’ve found a golden formula. By emphasizing user value, not only do you appeal to Google, but to other platforms too. Understand the magic of UX metrics. #seo #seostrategy #uxmetrics #ux #google

♬ original sound – NickFromSeattle

And it’s better this way.

Because an SEO strategy that relies on backlinks is essentially praying to the Google Gods for success.

You invest money into this black box.

And the Google Gods may or may not bless your website.

This is a really weak approach to SEO.

Because it means you don’t control the outcome.

The Google Gods do.

But with a content-focused SEO strategy…

You control 100% of the variables that dictate your success.

And if you really want to win…

Do you want to play the game where you need to send hopes and prayers into a black box to win?

Or do you want to play a game where you can control all the variables that dictate your success?

🚀 Learn more about how Google really works.

 

 

⚡ Content Velocity

The only page of content you can’t rank is the page that hasn’t been published.

And for most businesses, there aren’t a handful of valuable pages that can drive traffic and revenue.

There are hundreds or thousands of pages.

And I can prove it.

Let’s say you sell dog food.

If you use a popular keyword research tool like Ahrefs.

There are almost 500,000 keywords containing the phrase “dog food

Representing 7,200,000 searches/month in the USA alone.

If you export this list of keywords into ClusterAi you’ll find thousands of unique pages of content you need to create, to rank for all of the ways consumers search for “dog food”.

🚀 Learn why content velocity is the #1 lever to get the fastest SEO results.

If we want to rank for all the ways consumers search for “dog food”, we need to create at least 1,000 pages of unique content.

ClusterAi basically ingests large lists of unstructured keywords.

Then it crawls the first page of Google for each keyword.

And it matches keywords that can rank together and groups them into unique pages. 

What you get is a list of every page of content you need to create, to rank for all of those keywords in your keyword research.

The kids are calling this topical authority. 

🚀 Playbook: Automate your keyword research for SaaS & affiliates websites. 

Each row represents a unique page.

Each unique page contains:

  1. The main keyword (keyword with the most volume)
  2. All of the variations of the main keyword, that can rank with the main keyword
  3. The total search volume of all the keywords combined

Let’s do that exact search using “Matcha” as in, Matcha tea.

More than 100,000 keywords representing almost 2,000,000 organics/month.

If we want to rank for all of the ways people search for matcha.

We need to create at least 500 pages of unique content.

So, back to what I said earlier.

The only page of content you can’t rank is the page that hasn’t been published yet.

The faster you publish high-quality content.

The faster you can compound traffic. 

🚀 Playbook: How to publish 100+ pages per month.

 

 

⚙️ Hiring Writers

Hiring writers is hard.

It’s the lowest barrier WFH job.

Which means everybody with a crummy job and wants to WFH is applying to your writing job ad.

Now I didn’t know this at the time, but…

Regardless of where you recruit, 95% of candidates will be unqualified.

Hiring strictly in English-speaking countries won’t help either.

According to the Department of Education, 54% of Americans have below a 6th-grade reading level.

Marketplaces like UpWork don’t work either:

  1. UpWork only gives you a handful of candidates, and if you only evaluate a handful, you’re not hiring the best you can afford. You’re hiring the least bad of the handful you talked to.
  2. 5 star reviews don’t mean anything, because the person giving the review probably doesn’t have the same perspective as you on ‘good content’.
  3. Portfolio pieces are almost always edited by someone else before publication, and chances are the first drafts you get won’t match the portfolio pieces you hired the writer on.

I will let you in on a secret weapon 150+ content teams use to hire great writers on auto-pilot.

The more candidates you evaluate, the more likely you are to find the right mix of quality and cost.

But getting candidates is the easy part.

Post a Premium job ad on ProBlogger for $160, and you’ll have 300+ candidates. This is the easy part.

Filtering through those 300 candidates to uncover the right mix of quality and cost is the hard part.

This is where automation comes in.

We built Workello to enable content teams to filter through hundreds of candidates in just a few minutes.

🚀  Signup for a free account

Get up and running in minutes using Workello’s template library. Every template contains a pre-written job description, writing test, candidate emails, and interview questions.

Post your job ad where the writers you want to hire hang out using our hiring playbooks:

  1. Generalist writers
  2. Niche writers
  3. Copywriters / content marketers 
  4. VAs 

 

 

Watch as candidates from all your hiring channels appear in your hiring dashboard.

Invite candidates to take a writing test, or send a polite rejection with one click.

Now it’s time to sit back, relax, and wait for candidates to take your writing test.

After candidates submit their completed writing test, you can either:

  1. Invite them to an interview
  2. Send them a more comprehensive paid test
  3. Send them an offer

Entirely up to you using our custom workflow builder.

Add as many paid or unpaid writing tests and interviews as you’d like.

@contentdistributioncom

Say goodbye to half-baked writer test submissions! Dive into the key ingredients of a test that ensures completion AND helps you identify the cream of the crop. 🌟 #contentwriting #writertest #hiringhacks #hiringtips

♬ original sound – NickFromSeattle

What are you waiting for?

You’re 15 minutes of work away from having 300+ candidates in your hiring portal to choose from.

🚀 Sign up for Workello

🎥 Watch the Video

In 2018 I presented this project to the Seattle Search Network when traffic was only 40,000/month.

You can watch the original presentation here:

The exact playbook I described back then is still relevant today.

❌ No backlinks.

❌ No technical BS.

❌ No hacks or shortcuts.

✅ Just great content.

✅ At scale.

🥇 Your Turn

Fully Managed SEO

Fully managed SEO for category leaders and future category leaders with huge goals and the budget to execute. We’ll do the heavy lifting, you sit back and take the credit.

👉 Learn what it’s like working with our consulting team.

Content Ops Consulting

For startups that would prefer to develop institutional knowledge and scale up in-house,

👉 Join the 100k Organics/Month Club.

Free Resources

👉 Read all of our free playbooks

👉 Join 13,197 marketers getting our best content in their inbox 1x/week

👉 Hang with 10,548 marketers in the #1 Content Ops Community

👉 Subscribe to our YouTube channel for hour long deep dives.

Software

👉 Hire the top 1% of writers, editors, SEOs, VAs, designers and more.

👉 Build a topical map on EZ mode.

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Documentation Led Culture

Creating a Culture of Documentation

In the last three years, dozens of people on our agency team have contributed more than one thousand knowledge base articles to our internal documentation.

Our agency wasn’t founded with one thousand KBs, but we were founded with a culture of documentation.

I knew that in order to achieve my goals, I couldn’t do it alone. I would need to build a team.

And they would need to execute as well, or better than I could.

😍 Un-ignorable Benefits

I get it – you’re busy building a business.

Trying to keep your head above water.

But chances are you don’t know how dramatically helpful documentation can be on your journey.

I’ve never worked in a business with internal documentation until I started the content agency, and the same is true for everyone I’ve polled in our organization.

But if you’ve never worked in a company with a culture of documentation – here’s what you should know.

Documenting stuff isn’t just for agencies.

It’s for every type of business – and every business function.

When you pull it off, crazy things start happening.

You enable the people you hire to do something as well, or better than you can.

Junior level team members start to punch above their weight.

You’re finally able to hold your team accountable to executing their responsibilities in a specific way, every time.

You’ll find yourself spending less time repeating repeating yourself.

It takes your team less time to ramp up new team members.

Your knowledge transfer doesn’t walk out of the door with attrition, and new team members have a base to build upon.

Your workload gets more and more async as the need for real-time collaboration decreases.

Your team spends less time organizing work in meetings and more time working.

You start to see increases in efficiency by keeping people unblocked with clear, specific instructions.

💪 Implementation

This is the first, and most important step. Everyone on your team is busy, if you don’t make time to create documentation they won’t either. Not in the beginning.

You also need to figure out your documentation standards – the level of quality that you’re going to hold your team accountable to. You’ll only develop this by digging in, and learning what it’s like to actually create good documentation.

Expect to create the first 30 – 50 docs before you can roll out creation responsibilities to your team.

@contentdistributioncom

Want to remove the guesswork from your SEO agency’s processes? SOPs are the answer! Documentation can drastically improve your team’s output. #SOPs #AgencyLife #ProductivityHacks #AgencyGrowth #seo #contentops #seoagency #contentagency

♬ original sound – NickFromSeattle

Just Start Somewhere

There are a bunch of different approaches on where to start.

Here are some ideas to get your juices flowing.

[table “1585” not found /]

Use It

Now it’s time to get your team consuming the initial push of docs you’ve created.

Whenever anyone on the team asks a question that’s answered in the KB, link them to the KB instead of answering the question directly.

Whenever someone asks a question, makes a mistake, or improves on something that’s been documented – use that as an opportunity to make your documentation better.

Learn how to build a culture of meeting notes.

Use a dedicated app

Your internal KB needs to give your team the information they need – when they need – easily. This part is critical for adoption. The harder information is to find, the less usage you’ll see.

On first appearances, Google Docs seems to work.

But it doesn’t last long.

Discoverability begins to suffer at around 50 KBs across a handful of business functions.

  1. Google Docs lacks a nested view
  2. It’s not easy to internal link to other relevant docs
  3. The search functionality doesn’t do the job
  4. Shared drives have more friction than the alternative ways to silo information

We tried to stave off the inevitable by building an index of the Google Docs in Airtable.

But nobody kept it up to date.

We heard Notion was slow, and we didn’t need the PM level functionality because we’re already in-love with Airtable.

So we signed up for Slite.

Looping in your team

You’re finally ready to start asking your team to contribute documentation.

There’s one last step.

You need to create a doc, on how to create docs.

This doc needs to include:

  1. Naming conventions
  2. Internal linking requirements
  3. Linking to required external resources
  4. Organizational standards (where do you put the KB?)
  5. Sharing and security policies

Alright, now you’re ready.

Start with holding your direct reports accountable.

Once they’ve gotten their reps in and built a habit, you’re ready to start rolling it out to their direct reports. The rest of the people in your organization can’t be held accountable until your direct reports are held accountable.

Scope documentation into your team’s workload

You’re almost there – but you’re not there yet. Your team actually needs to start creating documentation. And the only way that will happen is if you scope it into their weekly / monthly / quarterly goals.

If you give your team a full plate AND documentation – guess what won’t get done.

Keeping your knowledge base up to date

If your team is successful, and you do build a culture of documentation – congrats!

You earned more work.

Your documentation needs to be kept up to date.

Especially in the beginning.

Your team might be creating documentation – but it won’t be as good as it could be. There’s going to be organization and naming conventions issues. People will forget internal links, and internal links will change.

Every three to six months we map out which major processes we’d like to refresh, and map these to our bi-monthly sprints.

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A Culture of Meeting Notes

Meeting Notes Power Content Operations

Meeting notes are one of the most valuable things you can do for yourself and your team.

Yet, the number of people who have sent me a recap of our meeting is closer to 0 than 1.

No one does it.

Except for me and everyone on my team, multiple times per day.

Here are a few things meeting notes will do for you:

  • Impress your manager
  • Create more value for your colleagues and peers
  • Hold someone accountable, especially people that don’t report to you
  • Communicate important rhetoric
  • Remember the conversation you had next month
  • Correct a verbal miscommunication

Take meeting notes.

Not convinced?

Here is what Michael Siebel, CEO of Ycombinator has to say about capturing notes during meetings. https://youtu.be/C27RVio2rOs?t=2030

This is one of the most impactful ways you can spend your time and multiply the value you’re already creating.

Here are the lies people tell themselves on why it’s too much work:

  1. I’ll definitely remember everything that was discussed next week, or in 3 months
  2. Everyone on the call will definitely walk away with the same understanding as me
  3. Sally will definitely remember the action item I mentioned at minute 42 of our meeting and deliver it without me reminding her
  4. This meeting was important enough to attend, but not to document

Here are a few real-life situations meeting notes have proved invaluable

Starting a new job

Joining a new company or starting a new job is often quite overwhelming. There’s so much information to take in, digest, and understand that you may feel like your head’s going to explode.

Writing things down will facilitate learning and retention, especially if you’re a newcomer to the team and don’t fully understand everything discussed in meetings.

It takes the average employee 3–6 months to ramp up to full productivity, but a new employee who accurately captures every conversation they’re a part of can add value on day one.

Impressing your manager

Managers, executives, and CEOs are likely overwhelmingly busy.

Capturing meeting notes for your manager frees them up to move onto the next thing.

Meeting recaps also allow them to stay in the loop on projects they are tracking and keep a finger on the pulse of the business, even if they weren’t physically present at the meeting.

Don’t wait for your manager to approach you and ask for information. Show initiative!

Email the meeting recap to them with all the talking points explained and all action items neatly listed. I can guarantee your manager will appreciate both the notes and the fact that you’re taking the initiative and helping improve the company’s processes.

Next time there’s talk of promotions, you’ll be at the very top of the list.

Holding everyone accountable

How do you hold someone accountable for something that hasn’t been written down?

I can tell you from experience, you really can’t.

This is especially true when the person you need to hold accountable doesn’t report to you.

It’s even worse when a project spans over several months. You can’t reasonably expect someone to remember what you said at that meeting a month and a half ago.

At that point, it’s your word against theirs. And the more someone has on their plate, the harder it is to remember all the verbal agreements.

The solution? Write everything down!

Getting commitments in writing is the foundation for holding people accountable. https://www.tiktok.com/@contentdistributioncom/video/7286779886209928480

Communicating something important

“When you’re tired of saying it, people are starting to hear it’ – Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn

Jeff goes on quote David Gergen, a recognized expert on communication, and advisor to 4 different American Presidents from both political parties, in his famous LinkedIn article,

“History teaches that almost nothing a leader says is heard if spoken only once.”

When you’re shifting the direction of your business, revamping your processes, bringing on a huge new client/account, or making any impactful changes—anything that’s particularly important, it’s not enough to communicate it once, nor is it enough to communicate it verbally.

You need to reiterate your messaging.

When you repeat something a dozen times, you reduce forgetfulness and eliminate confusion and misunderstanding. When you write it down, you don’t need to waste time and energy saying the same thing over and over again.

Taking meeting notes and documenting everything allows your team to re-read the message as many times as necessary until they understand it fully and internalize it.

Whenever you have an important announcement to share with the team, make sure to write it down!

Remembering what you did….last week

Last week I had 30 meetings. That’s approximately 6 meetings a day.

Let’s pretend each meeting is only 30 minutes. That’s 3 hours of meetings per day.

Add all other tasks on top, and by Friday, I can’t even remember my name, let alone what I discussed in every one of the 30 meetings I had.

This week looks lighter; I only have 20 meetings scheduled. But it’s only Tuesday. By Friday, this week’s schedule will probably be just as cramped.

Relying on my memory is a recipe for disaster. I talk about at least a dozen different topics every single day, and I’m blessed with a terrible memory.

But there’s no reason to let your poor memory prevent you from achieving your goals.

Rely on recaps. Save the memories for that vacation in Greece.

Did You Miscommunicate?

Regardless of what was said during the meeting, the meeting notes become the objective truth once it’s over.

Whoever writes the meeting notes controls the truth.

If I misspeak or miscommunicate in a meeting, I’m updating the meeting notes to reflect what I intended to say.

By adding a single line in the meeting recap, you can identify and correct any miscommunication issues before the communication issue becomes a problem.

That line is: “Please let me know if I forgot or misheard anything.” This encourages all the meeting participants to go over the notes and, where necessary, reply with corrections.

Skip more meetings

How often do you attend meetings where only one or two people talk, and everyone else just sits there with the “what the hell am I doing here” expression on their face?

Many people attend meetings they shouldn’t have to, where other departments talk about their projects and problems that are only relevant to three out of the fifteen people present.

A study by Doodle suggests that unproductive meetings cost businesses up to $400 billion per year.

Why would the entire team have to sit through an hour-long meeting when they could devote that time to actual work?

Meeting notes enable those people to skip the meeting and focus on something else.

How to build a culture of meeting notes

You can’t just show up at work one day and say: “I want everyone to take meeting notes from now on.”

Taking meeting notes is an inherently public action. The very first step in rolling out note-taking into your organization is leading by example.

The process needs to start from the top because meeting notes are a lot of work. Your team is busy with all of the other priorities you’ve communicated, and they won’t adopt note-taking unless you show it’s a priority to you by making time for it yourself.

Your consistency and attention to detail are going to impact how your team embraces note-taking.

If you rush meeting notes out with poor attention to detail and sloppy formatting, that’s what your team is going to do.

Dedicate the time to write detailed, well-formatted, and actionable meeting notes, and eventually, your team will pick up the habit.

Rolling this out to your team

Before you roll out note-taking to the team, we need to clearly define how the notes are taken, who needs to take them, what the process looks like, and how they are distributed.

We did this for you!

  • When notes should be captured
  • Who should receive the notes
  • When notes should be sent
  • Who is responsible for capturing notes
  • How to format the notes for clarity and information density

The best way to implement note-taking is to start with people who report directly to you. Once they get into the habit of report taking, hold your managers accountable for people who report to them.

Work your way down until everyone in the organization is taking notes.

When meeting notes should be captured

The best note-taking happens live during the call as things are discussed.

Of course, you can’t and shouldn’t write down everything. Note-taking doesn’t mean you’re transcribing everything as it’s being said.

Verbal communication exceeds the throughput of typing, so the best approach is to jot down notes as bullets, fill in the gaps, and add explanations right after the meeting.

When meeting notes should be sent

Notes should be sent the same day, ideally right after the meeting.

The idea behind the notes is to document all the crucial information shared in the meeting, to avoid miscommunication and misremembering. If you send meeting notes two days after the meeting, chances are you won’t remember everything correctly.

If notes aren’t sent soon enough, the gaps in your shorthand notes become fuzzy.

A same-day policy enables flexibility during meeting heavy days while maintaining tight expectations.

Who needs to receive the meeting notes

The answer to this question largely depends on the structure of your organization, but it boils down to everyone whose work is or will be impacted by the information shared in the meeting.

The nature of the meeting itself will also influence the decision of who to include in the email when you’re sending the meeting notes.

In general, you always want to send the notes to everyone who attended the meeting, as well as every person on the team who will benefit from the information or needs to stay in the loop.

At first, it’s best to share the information with people even if you’re not sure whether or not it’s relevant to them. As you take more and more notes, you’ll become more proficient in discerning who needs to receive the information and who doesn’t.

In our organization, I receive approximately 10 meeting recaps per week covering:

  • Systems & process changes
  • Project management updates
  • Hiring and HR reports
  • Customer meetings
  • Marketing updates

The meeting notes allow me to watch and understand the decision-making process of my team, jump in with an opinion on the things I’m tracking, and skip most of the meetings.

Pro tip: CC yourself when sending out the email. This sends the recap to your inbox, allowing you to archive it in a folder for easy later reference.

Who’s responsible for note taking

Note that this section is only applicable after you’ve successfully rolled out note-taking across your organization.

Until you’re there, it needs to come from the top: from you, to your reports, to their reports, etc.

Once all of your managers are consistently taking notes, it’s time to roll out responsibilities to individual contributors.

In most internal meetings, we’ll rotate between the most junior team members on the call.

That doesn’t mean managers don’t take notes; It means they take fewer notes. When my managers meet with their managers or me, they’re the ones taking notes.

With that said, when the need for clarity is high, the person with the most at stake will take notes.

If I’m leading a high-stakes discussion where misunderstanding or forgetfulness is not acceptable, I’m taking the notes and sending the recaps.

How to format meeting notes (examples)

Meeting notes need to be succinct, well-formatted, and appropriately structured. They need to cover all the talking points and provide a sufficient explanation of each topic that you discussed in the meeting.

Your goal when writing notes should be to format and structure them so that a person who didn’t attend the meeting could read them in less than five minutes but still get all the relevant information from them.

Here are some examples.

Example #0 – Very Bad

Good:

  • The recap was sent

Bad:

  • Everything else
  • Notes are not grouped under relevant topics
  • Action items (AC) are not consolidated in their own section and are mixed within notes
  • A follow up email indicates 99% of the discussion was not captured

Example #1 – Not Great

Good:

  • Notes are organized under relevant categories
  • Each thought is short and to the point

Bad:

  • No bullet points used
  • No action items indicated
  • No request to add any missing or misheard information

Example #2 – Better

Good:

  • Notes are grouped under relevant sections
  • Bullet points are used to communicate each thought

Bad:

  • No “Please let me know if I forgot or misheard anything”
  • Action items not called out
  • Weird, non-standardized spacing between some bullets and sections

Example #3 – Good

Good:

  • Topics are consolidated under relevant sections
  • Bullet points are used to communicate each piece of information
  • Highlighting is used to indicate action items
  • Consistent spacing between bullets and sections

Bad:

  • Does not start email with “Please let me know if I forgot or misheard anything”

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Scaling to 100+ Pages/Month

How We Publish 100+ Pages of Quality Content Per Month

The SEO conversation been dominated by backlinks and technical BS.

Today, I’m here to change that.

This 7,000-word playbook has two goals:

  1. Prove that content quality and content velocity are the most important levers in SEO
  2. Show you step-by-step how we scaled our content velocity to 100+ pages of high-quality content each month

Before we jump in, here are some stats:

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You can read our story on how we grew from a 1 to a 45-person agency in 18 months.

Here is a quick Playbook roadmap for you:

  • Part 1 will show you how we went through every step of the Playbook ourselves, with multiple successful projects
  • Part 2, you’ll be able to see our strong thoughts on the state of the SEO industry and why our approach will help you create successful outcomes over and over again.
  • To read about our entire playbook, jump to Part 3, where I’ll give you our entire software stack, our knowledge transfer process for all types of projects, everything you need to hire your Content Team, and how to delegate content editing and SEO ASAP.

Part 1: We know Content Velocity works because we did it!

Would you rather watch this article instead of reading it?

Catch our presentation on YouTube.

1.1. Our claim to fame

Content Distribution ran one of the most successful SEO projects of all time, driving DoNotPay.com from 0 to 1,500,000 organic visitors per month in just 24 months.

We created content for DoNotPay ranging from legal to fintech, to online tools and converters, to daily consumer challenges, such as accessing free trials, support, neighbor disputes, etc. 

Here is a short list of some of the things DoNotPay does:

  • Filing for unemployment
  • Suing anyone, or any company, in small claims court
  • Canceling hard to cancel services
  • Filing chargebacks
  • Securing flight compensation for delayed or canceled flights
  • Skipping the company’s phone queues
  • Scheduling DMV appointments
  • Studying for government tests
  • Communicating with inmates held in state and federal prisons
  • Send faxes without a fax machine

As a result, our team researched and produced content for over 153 verticals and content series.

1.2. What quality content means

Content velocity does not equal programmatic content.

It does not mean creating AI-generated content at scale.

It doesn’t mean publishing tens of thousands of nice words across multiple pages.

It means publishing content that drives conversions and revenue.

It is exactly what we did for DoNotPay.

I want to stress – this wasn’t vanity traffic.

This campaign helped DoNotPay go from a seed stage to raising a $210m series B valuation led by Andreessen Horowitz.

1.3. It doesn’t just work for DoNotPay

DoNotPay took their SEO campaign in-house November 2021, freeing us up to help other ambitious companies scale up.

Here is a pet food subscription company we published 300+ pages of content for.

Another campaign we did for TeachSimple.com – the Netflix of teaching worksheets.

A series-A mobile app for earning cash rewards, ramping up to 10,000 visitors per month in 5 months.

Part 2: Best SEO Campaigns are Content-Driven

Scaling content velocity doesn’t just work for DoNotPay, it works every-time we execute our playbook.

✔️ 0 to 40,000 organics/month in 6 months for TeachSimple.com

✔️ 0 to 47,000 organics/month in 13 months for AnyLeads.com

✔️ 0 to 103,000 organics/month in 13 months for LogicInbound.com

✔️ 0 to 116,000 organics/month in 13 months for Doggypedia.org

✔️ 0 to 150,000 organics/month in 13 months for NDA

✔️ 0 to 166,000 organics/month in 13 months for CampusReel.org

✔️ 0 to 1,500,000 organics/month in 24 months for DoNotPay.com

Did you notice something interesting here? We did…

No, we don’t think something magical happened in month 13 of publishing content. 

We realized you don’t need to build backlinks, and technical SEO is mostly BS.

It’s not just us either.

Most of the highest performing SEO campaigns are content driven.

2.1. The most successful campaigns have A LOT of pages

If you look at some of the most successful campaigns in the last few years, you can see that 4 out of 7 will generate less than 500 monthly visitors per page of content.

[table “1580” not found /]

This means that to catch up with, say, Kinsta, you would need to publish 50 articles each month for four years. If you want to catch up to them in a year, you would have to publish 250 pages each month.

More content = more traffic. Simple as that.

Some of the websites like WireCutter or NerdWallet will generate more – 800-2500 monthly visitors for each page of content.

But you’re not WireCutter or NerdWallet, are you?

By the way, NerdWallet has over 130 writers!

Why?

Because you can’t rank for a keyword until you have a page about that keyword.

So start publishing.

2.2. The pet space

The above example was based across different industries – let’s do the same analysis in one industry – the pet space. 

Why the pet space?

Well, I built and sold Doggypedia.org to AlphaPaw.com.

[table “1582” not found /]

Column E shows how much traffic websites in this space generate per page of content on their site. We call it Page Efficiency.

And the amount of traffic each page generates is a pretty narrow band.

On average, a top site in the dog niche will generate between 180 – 800 visitors per page of content they’ve published.

The last row — Doggypedia — that’s our project. 

We grew it from 0 to over 100k organic visitors per month by publishing 200 pages.

Read more: How we achieved this in our playbook on how to drive the fastest SEO results.

2.3. More pages equal more authority equals easier to rank

The more pages you publish, the easier all of them rank.

The concept is called topical authority.

Basically, in 2023 anyone can create a 30 page website.

And if Google let any 30-page website rank for high value commercial keywords, two things would happen.

  1. Google would send valuable traffic to a lot of shady websites created yesterday
  2. You publish your 30 page website and rank today, someone publishes their 30 page website tomorrow and bumps you off

Google confirms this.

Part 3: The Content Ops Playbook

I’ve had a devoted affiliate tell me, “I have too much on my plate, I cannot do it.”

I’ve had a niche website builder tell me, “Too many systems to set up, I can’t manage that many pages or people. I’ll start writing by myself.”

I’ve had in-house SEOs and Heads of Content tell me, “There are too many variables. It’s hard to scale.

I’ve had SaaS founders and CEOs tell me, “No way, too much product dev, cannot focus on that big of a marketing push.”

I’ve had SEO consultants and agency owners tell me, “Setting up infrastructure is HARD, I need to focus on my business.”

And they are right – systems, processes, documentation and people is the only way to make content velocity work.

  1. Systems to make the process as automated and frictionless as possible
  2. Processes to make sure every one knows what they need to do
  3. Documentation to hold people accountable to writing about something in a specific way
  4. People who care to make it all work

3.1. Intro: What you are getting yourself into

Before we dive into the strategy that will get you to 100 pages/month, I’ll show you exactly what you’re signing up for

  1. You will need to build a team to hit your goals. Content velocity is a team sport. You need editors and writers. The best way to find and hire amazing writers? Evaluate more candidates. I break that down below in the Hiring Writers section. The trick to hiring an editor who cares? Promote from within. More on that in the How to delegate Editing section.
  2. People are harder to manage than 301 redirects. SEOs tend to lean towards the technical bits, and as we’ve shown – that’s not what drives incredible outcomes.

3.2. Content Ops Software Stack

Here is what our software stack looks like.

[table “1583” not found /]

Workello helps us identify and hire the absolute best writers we can afford. (Check out a demo)

Airtable is like Google Sheets on steroids, and makes managing our content calendar possible.

Slite is our knowledge base platform, with over 1,000+ process docs we use to hold our team accountable and make our outcomes repeatable. (Learn how we built a culture of documentation.)

Wise & Payoneer is how we pay our team.

Slack is how we communicate.

Geekbot enables async reporting to eliminate meetings.

Zoom is what we lean on when we just have to jump on a call. (Learn how we reduce Zoom to a minimum with a culture of meeting recaps.)

DocuSign manages our team and client contracts.

Afi.ai backs up our Google Docs.

3.3. Knowledge Transfer

3.3.1. The Importance of Enablement documentation

The only way to hold your team accountable to doing something in a particular way is to write it down.

I cannot emphasize this enough. 

Still, I will say it one more time: If you don’t document everything, you cannot hold your team accountable.

When we start a new project, we always create Enablement Documentation.

@contentdistributioncom

Want to remove the guesswork from your SEO agency’s processes? SOPs are the answer! Documentation can drastically improve your team’s output. #SOPs #AgencyLife #ProductivityHacks #AgencyGrowth #seo #contentops #seoagency #contentagency

♬ original sound – NickFromSeattle

It is a set of 4 to 8 project-specific documents that allow consistency across different content types, workflows, and stakeholders.

These documents are dynamic, meaning we will add information and update them whenever something changes.

Here are four examples of documents that we’ve seen across all projects:

  1. Client questionnaire → Collect the answers to everything we need to know.
  2. About the project → This is the deliverable from the client questionnaire. 
  3. Project Language Guidelines → Includes voice, messaging, brand guidelines, etc
  4. Onboarding Checklist → Documents the entire GTM process. 

Here’s how to make a client questionnaire:

Step 1: You and your team sit down and write down ALL of the questions you can think of, organized by type/topic.

Step 2: Send the questionnaire to all project stakeholders and ask them to answer in as much detail as possible.

Step 3: Look at the answers and jot down additional questions and notes. Make sure to leave comments on any ambiguous information or statements that are not clear. Be thorough!

Step 4: Schedule a knowledge transfer meeting and allocate at least 90 minutes.

Step 5: Record the meeting, but take notes too. Use the questionnaire to guide the conversation.

Step 6: Create written documentation that covers everything discussed. 

3.3.2. Examples

If you are wondering, “well, what are all these questions?” 

I got you covered. 

We’ve found that if you start with these, everything else that is project-specific will fall into place:

  1. Tell me everything you know about the industry you’re in.
  2. Where do you fit in that industry?
  3. Why do your customers choose you over your competitors?
  4. What is your strong stance/opinion on the industry?
  5. How do customers purchase this kind of product?
  6. What are their evaluation criteria?
  7. How do they research solutions?
  8. What’s your tone of voice? Examples?
  9. What are the best communities for this industry?
  10. What are the best / most authoritative resources to learn more?
  11. What pieces of content, either by you or someone else that everyone needs to read?

Here is a good example of the industry positioning question and answer.

3.4. Hiring writers

Within a span of 18 months, our agency grew from 1 to 45 writers and editors

To hire 45 writers and editors – we had to evaluate 3,500 candidates. 

We’ve learned four important things:

  1. Writing is the lowest barrier WFH job and 95% of your candidates won’t be qualified 
  2. Bad candidates have good portfolios, with content that was edited by someone else
  3. The more candidates you evaluate, the better writers you’ll hire
  4. Doing it manually is chaotic, and your qualified candidates will be lost in-between the 95% that aren’t

This is our experience – but it’s also the experience of anyone who has tried to hire writers.

Most writers can’t write.

Even if I find someone good, it takes soooo much effort → too inefficient.

Writers with good portfolios aren’t passing my writing tests

The quality of the final draft was massively different from the sample & I had to redo it entirely”

“I tried it to do it manually, and it didn’t work.”

Most writers are scammers.

3.4.3. Hire better writers on auto-pilot

We built Workello to help us identify and hire the top 1% of our writing candidates.

Now more than 100+ content teams are using Workello to do the same.

Here’s how it works.

Your job description, writing assessment, and candidate emails are pre-written – so you can signup and start sending candidates into your funnel in minutes.

Candidates apply and land in your hiring dashboard, where all candidates, from all hiring channels are sorted by status.

Click on a candidate to pull up their application.

And send them a polite rejection email, or a writing test in 1-click.

Candidates that don’t receive your writing test – can’t take your writing test. 

@contentdistributioncom

Say goodbye to half-baked writer test submissions! Dive into the key ingredients of a test that ensures completion AND helps you identify the cream of the crop. 🌟 #contentwriting #writertest #hiringhacks #hiringtips

♬ original sound – NickFromSeattle

So we’ve invested heavily into Workello’s email infrastructure so 93% of writing tests that are sent – are viewed by candidates.

We’ve spent just as much time thinking about the candidate experience too.

Workello is designed and optimized to keep your best candidates engaged and invested into taking your writing test because one of the biggest complaints from job seekers is they feel like applying for jobs is a waste of time – “it’s like sending my resume into a black hole.

So Workello’s candidate status page tells candidates exactly where they are in the hiring process, what to expect next, and how long it will take.

This builds a lot of trust with candidates, fast.

And this is exactly what you need to do to keep your best candidates engaged and invested into taking your writing test – so you can hire them before your competitors do.

The better candidate experience you have, the better candidates you’ll hire.

Ready to start hiring great writers on auto-pilot?

  1. Sign up for Workello in 30 seconds
  2. Use our pre-built job description and writing assessment
  3. Distribute your job ad
  4. Sit back, relax, and move candidates through your funnel in 1-click

3.4.4. What our writers & editors look like

Hire good writers, not writers who know SEO.

Everyone in our team cares more about storytelling and the English language than rankings or on-page optimization.

This is what allows them to focus on quality and follow documentation for on-page optimization for queries.

This is what allows them to create the best possible content Google can show on the SERPs. 

No keyword stuffing. No fluff.

Besides, writers who claim they know SEO don’t really know SEO.

If they actually knew SEO – meaning consistent processes to rank content.

They wouldn’t be writers – they’d be SEOs.

3.5 How to Delegate Content Editing and QA 

When you have a team of writers in place, the next thing you need to delegate is editing and QA.

Content writing is like programming.

Every single word is a liability and opportunity to to make a mistake.

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Tone of voice
  • Messaging 
  • Positioning
  • You name it!

If you want to delegate QA and move on to other high-leverage activities, you need to hire someone who cares.

You need to hire an editor who cares.

“How do I do that?”

3.5.2. Why you should promote from within

Promoting an editor is always better than hiring an external editor.

The main reason is you cannot fake caring for 2 – 6 months before becoming an editor.

It’s a lot easier to fake caring in a 2 – 4 touch hiring cycle than it is for 2 – 4 months before being promoted to editor.

For new and growing content teams, your best writer is going to be your #1 candidate for editor.

It is much easier than you think.

Instead of hiring one full-time writer, hire five part-time writers.

Spread your work load around.

And once you’ve identified the writer that is hands down better than everyone else – promote them to editor.

3.5.3. What our editing team does

To give you a better understanding of your future editor’s workflow, let me show you what our editing team’s responsibilities are:

  1. 2-3 meetings per week with their writers and manager
  2. Monthly 1:1s with their writers and manager
  3. Reviewing tests from new writing candidates
  4. Onboarding new writers
  5. Creating project documentation
  6. Content QA

3.5.4. The impact

Everything in this playbook is from experience we’ve lived.

When our CEO, Nick Jordan started ContentDistribution.com in 2019.

He didn’t hire one writer, he hired ten.

One of them being Gordana Sretenovic.

And she was by far, the best of the ten.

So he promoted her to editor.

Then content manager.

Then project manager.

Then director of content ops.

In the process, building our entire 45 person content team.

Today, Gordana is co-founder of Workello helping companies repeat and execute our agency’s trajectory.

The more writers you work with, you have more surface area to find a Gordana.

3.6. Remove SEOs from the process

I know. It sounds so counter-intuitive.

As an editor and an SEO manager for such a long time, it hurts my heart to say it.

But here it goes…

The ability to scale content production and drive amazing organic traffic acquisition campaigns is so much more efficient without SEOs.

All you need is one SEO PM. 

Aside from myself and Nick, no one on our team had any previous SEO experience. 

The SEOs job is to empower the organization and take care of the more strategic bits:

  1. Keyword research
  2. Site structure
  3. Empowering the content team with documentation

3.6.1. Automating Keyword Research and Selecting Topics 

Keyword research is a process of discovering all the ways your target audience is searching for your product, service, or content using search engines.

When you publish a lot of pages, you have to do a lot of keyword research.

Nick had a 10+ year career in SaaS before learning SEO and starting ContentDistribution.com.

So he automated this too.

ClusterAi, our keyword grouping tool, uses data from Google to determine which keywords can rank together.

Spend a couple of minutes on Ahrefs, and get back a list of every topic you’ll need to write, to rank for all of the keywords your target audience is searching for.

1. Start with making an intake sheet. You should identify your main terms, i.e. terms that you expect to find in all keywords you want to target. Then, start adding terms that you expect to find alongside those main terms.

2. Import into Ahrefs or Semrush. In Ahrefs, paste your main terms into the Keyword explorer. Then go to Matching Terms and paste your included keywords. In the example below, we used 28 terms we identified in the “Repair” vertical.

3. Export your CSV and upload it into ClusterAi. Choose your Keyword list import type (in our case — Ahrefs) and click Submit File.

4. Receive the Keyword Opportunity Analysis. In less than 60 minutes, ClusterAi will group your keywords, and you will receive a spreadsheet with all the topic ideas you need. Every row in this list represents a page you can create. Column A contains your main keyword, and column C will contain variations that are grouped together with the main keyword.

Now you know every page of content you need to create, to rank for all of the ways people are searching for information related to the products/services you provide.

To get our entire process on Topic Selection, ask for access to our Content Ops Framework by clicking here.

That’s all you need to create a content plan.

Now it’s time to distribute the plan to your writers and empower them to execute it.

3.6.2. Document everything

Holding your writing and editing team accountable is possible only through detailed documentation.

If you are an SOP nerd like me, take a look at our Building a Culture of Documentation and How to Get Everyone Sending Meeting Recaps playbooks.

If you need a refresher on how to kickstart a project, scroll back up to read about The Importance of Enablement Documentation and Examples of how to execute Knowledge Transfer.

One of the most powerful tools a team has at their disposal is a Writer’s Brief.

A quality brief:

  • Unifies the outcomes of SEO, editorial, and brand strategies
  • Sets up expectations clearly
  • Assists the writer in research and production
  • Saves time and stress in the editing process

But, what happens if you are publishing 30…

50…

100 articles…

How do you ensure a quality content brief is delivered to every single writer?

Can that one Senior Editor handle so much work? How many briefs should that editor create?

30…?

50..?

100…?

No. And I speak from previous experience.

When our team faced this challenge when we started publishing a lot of pages, we solved it with a Content Series Template — one brief for all of the pages you will publish in one series of articles.

To get our entire process of creating and distributing Content Series Templates, ask for access to our Content Ops Framework by clicking here.

3.6.3. On-page optimization essentials

Our writing and editing teams receive instructions for on-page optimization for each content series we produce.

These instructions will be part of a Content Series Template and fall into 3 groups:

  1. Content structure and on-page basics
  2. On-page optimization for keywords
  3. Internal links

1. Content Structure and on-page basics

Make sure to give your team basic guidance on the structure itself and include some examples of competing content.

Start with basic writing requirements with clear outcomes.

Here is how all of our Content Series Templates start.

Here is a simple checklist to follow:

  • URL → use the main keyword
  • Meta Title → Make sure to make this catchy, as clickbaity if possible
  • Meta description → contains main keyword + answers intent shortly OR shows social proof
  • H1 → contains the main keyword in a creative informative context
  • First paragraph → attention-grabbing and/or proof through data 
  • H2s → use keyword variations
  • Strong (bold) tags → designed for the reader to be able to skim the article.
  • Tables → basic structured data Google can read, aim for 2 per article
  • Numbered lists and bullet points → Basic UX and structure elements. Aim for 2 per article

Text is not the only content on the page. Ensure to give instructions on using visual assets, such as images and videos.

Here is an example of directions we gave for optimizing Image Alt Text in one of our campaigns.

2. On-page optimization for keywords

How often should I use my main keyword?

Should I aim to use all keyword variations?

These are the two questions I hear most often when talking to peers from the industry or those who want to start scaling content production.

And I’ve had over 250 demo calls and who knows how many DM chats with SEOs, marketers, beginners, founders…

Heard the same 2 questions.

I found myself giving somewhat cliche answers… “Don’t stuff,” “Use when it makes sense,” “Implement variations while keeping the flow of the topic”

But I would always follow up with specific examples. 

Specific solutions my team executes daily. 

And then it would all make sense.

Within the Google doc where they will create their articles, our writing team will receive:

  • On-page basics 
  • Main keyword and the variations 

Here’s what that looks like.

In the screenshot above, 10 keyword variations are highlighted. The rest of the 60+ are not. That means: in this article, with close to 1800 words, our writer was able to use a keyword variation 10 times. The rest of the variations were not used.

[quote_tip id=8076]

This wasn’t a requirement, this is something our writers started doing for their editors. <3

Here is another example, where it was easier to implement almost all variations as the number was relatively low.

Our team answers intent without overstuffing keywords and variations.

We give clear on-page optimization instructions. But, storytelling and the flow of content come first.

That’s it.

Well, that and internal linking.

3. Internal linking

Internal links can help with:

  • Faster indexing or your pages being discovered faster. 
  • users navigate your website. help search engines see what your page and website is about → after all, that’s literally what a Google bot does on your page, it follows links.
  • building topical authority — showing the users and search engine your content covers a field or niche in depth
  • Control your readers’ journey

If you have a keen eye for detail, you’ve probably noticed the minimum and self-reported requirement fields for internal links in the screenshot earlier.

This is not a random “I-want-as-many-links-as-possible-I-don’t-care” requirement.

We plan out our internal linking network meticulously prior to publishing.

We know the minimum internal links we want to have in an article because we know which ones should go in every article of the series.

We call these internal links Mandatory links.

@contentdistributioncom

Internal links do what you think backlinks do! I’ve found internal links to be instrumental in improving page rankings. Learn about the strategy behind using them, their role in Cluster AI, and the art of planning content with linking in mind. #SEOTactics #seo #contentcalendar #searchengineoptimization #contentdistribution

♬ original sound – NickFromSeattle – NickFromSeattle

Here’s how mandatory links are designated:

  1. We select pillar page(s) that need to go into every article.
  2. We select money pages where we want to drive all our readers to.
  3. We incorporate pillar and money pages in the brief for the writers.
  4. We instruct the writers to contextually link these pages in all content we produce in that vertical.
  5. Writers include them during production even before they are published.
  6. That way, when the pages go live, these pages are already linked everywhere.
  7. We decide which links are mandatory while doing topic selection for the vertical.
  8. Our decision is based on the goals of the campaign.

Here is an example of mandatory links in our Content Series Templates.

Check out our full Guide on Internal Linking in the video below. We cover:

  1. What is an Internal link
  2. Can internal linking help drive organic traffic?
  3. What is anchor text, and how to use it?
  4. Internal linking tips you won’t see anywhere else!
  5. Internal linking tips: Basics
  6. Internal linking tips: During production
  7. Internal linking tips: Post-publishing

Conclusion: What’s Next for You

  1. Set up your project (if you don’t already have one) → Domain, server, set up basic WordPress
  2. Create a 6-month content plan → If you need help with that, use ClusterAi
  3. Create your initial enablement documentation → Use my Qs from above if you don’t have more time
  4. Sign up for Workello → Post a job ad and choose to test 1 best out of 200 candidates (it is free, you have no other commitments here, even if you receive 1000 candidates)
  5. Test more candidates
  6. Hire the top 3 to 5 and assign 1 article per week
  7. Edit those 12 to 20 articles within 4 weeks and choose your editor
  8. Have your editor create SOPs for writers (they already know everything, they worked with you for a month now)
  9. Do another hiring cycle
  10. Start publishing
  11. Scale

There is a small optional step in between any one of these → Ping Bojan Maric on Linkedin when you feel stuck.

Content velocity works. Make it work for you.

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0 to 1,500,000+ Organics / Month

One of the most ambitious SEO campaigns ever.

In this case study, I’ll show you how we took DoNotPay from 0 to 1,487,878 monthly organic visits in 24 months, drove 100,000 paying customers and helped it reach a $210M Series B valuation.

First, a warning. This is a 5,000 word article, but I promise it will teach you more about SEO, content marketing and scaling content operations than with any other piece of content on the internet.

Here’s what senior marketing and content folks said about it:

 

 

Another important disclaimer – this isn’t your typical SEO case study:

  • The traffic we generated wasn’t vanity traffic, it actually drove revenue
  • We started literally from zero, and were the only ones who worked on this project
  • Organic search was the main acquisition channel
  • We focused very little on link building and technical SEO

This is a case study on creating more value for searchers than any other page Google could show at scale only seen in media conglomerates.

I’ll share everything we did to achieve this success, will hold nothing back and by the end of the article, you’ll understand how Google really works and how you can also turn SEO into your #1 customer acquisition channel.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Background/context/setting
  • Opportunity
  • Strategy
  • Execution
    • Keyword research
    • Setting up our writers for success
    • Scaling content production
    • Building our content management system
    • Hiring and scaling our content team

Let’s dive in. It’s gonna be fun.

🔎 Background

If this was the only project we had success with, you’d be right to think that this was probably an outlier, an exception rather than a rule.

But it wasn’t. We’ve taken several projects from 0 to +100,000 monthly organic visits in a very short frame (in under a year or two):

So, this wasn’t our first rodeo, but it was the most successful one because we were finally able to fully execute on our proven strategy with more buy-in and more resources of a VC-backed startup.

And the strategy was very simple:

  • Create the most valuable page of content Google could show for the topics we want to rank for
  • Integrate product into the content as a natural next step for the reader
  • Align content & SEO strategy with business goals (revenue)

Since then, we’ve worked with clients like ClickUp, Privacy, Austin Bank, achieved similar successes and figured out the exact type of client we can create the most value for.

I’m talking about +10x ROI, greatly reduced CAC and a tenfold increase in their internet brand footprint.

The Opportunity

DoNotPay has earned the title ‘robot lawyer’, and Joshua Browder, its founder, ‘The Robinhood of the Internet’ nickname, and for a good reason.

Here is a short list of some of the things DoNotPay does.

  • Filing for unemployment
  • Suing anyone, or any company, in small claims court
  • Canceling hard to cancel services
  • Filing chargebacks
  • Securing flight compensation for delayed or canceled flights
  • Skipping company’s phone queues
  • Scheduling DMV appointments
  • Studying for government tests
  • Communicating with inmates held in state and federal prisons
  • Send faxes without a fax machine

As you can see, DoNotPay helps a very specific set of people during a very specific timeframe:

  • Just received a parking ticket and doesn’t want to pay it
  • Wants to sue someone or sue a company in small claims court
  • Needs to request a refund or chargeback
  • Wants to cancel a hard to cancel membership or service
  • Qualifies for compensation for missed or delayed flights
  • Needs a virtual credit card

This obviously informed the strategy – we went with a strong demand capture play, in a channel people turn to to understand what they’re dealing with and how to solve it – Google search.

In a nutshell, our goal was to appear at the top of search results when prospects feel the above pains, show them the best page of content in order to educate and help them, and then eventually offer them a faster, better, more reliable alternative – DoNotPay.

In other words, smoothly integrate product into content as a natural next step.

The Strategy

In 2019 New York City collected 565 million dollars in parking fines. When someone searches Google for “pay NYC parking ticket”, it’s almost guaranteed that the searcher just received a parking ticket in New York City.

In that exact moment, DoNotPay might be one of the most helpful websites on the internet.
DoNotPay’s Dispute Parking Tickets product lets users appeal parking tickets in any city in the USA and UK. And there are over 19,000 cities in the US alone.

Unfortunately, Google won’t let DoNotPay rank only one page on ‘Dispute Parking Tickets’ for 19,000 cities.

Similarly, consumers are taxed tens of billions of dollars every year by morally corrupt business practices. DoNotPay’s Cancel Subscriptions, Refunds, and Chargebacks products help consumers enforce their rights against 10,000+ of America’s most popular companies.

Again, DoNotPay can’t rank only one page on Refunds or Chargebacks for the 10,000+ companies DoNotPay helps enforce consumer rights.

If DoNotPay wants to rank in Google for ‘Seattle parking tickets’, we need a page on disputing parking tickets in Seattle. If DoNotPay wants to rank for ‘Boston parking tickets’, we need a page on disputing parking tickets in Boston. If DoNotPay wants to rank for ‘cancel Planet Fitness’, we need a page on how the searcher can cancel Planet Fitness.

And on, and on, and on 10,000 times. Why? Because we can’t make a single page relevant to 19,000 cities or 10,000 companies.

When the searcher is looking for information, they’re not even looking for DoNotPay. They’re looking for resources on how to do this on their own.

And because the user’s goal is to seek information, and not necessarily use DoNotPay, if we focused on DoNotPay at the expense of helping the user, searchers wouldn’t get what they expect.

Compared against other websites Google could show, visitors would have a higher bounce rate, lower time on site, and less pages visited. And the content wouldn’t rank.

That’s why our entire organic search strategy is based on simply being the most valuable resource Google could show a searcher when looking for a particular piece of information.

This Shouldn’t Be Controversial Anymore

I am convinced that the world’s most innovative big data company isn’t using backlinks as a primary ranking signal anymore. Along with Google Search, Google also owns:

  • Google Analytics
  • Chrome
  • Android

What other metric better measures and compares quality of content than user experience metrics? Think about it. You have two pieces of content on the same topic:

Without ever reading either page of content, you can guess the 1st one adds more value to the reader than the first page of content.

This is how Google works. Over the last 6 years, whenever we focused on publishing the highest quality, most relevant page of content Google could show, we’d win. That’s literally it.

It’s not just us either

Dan Sanchez from Sweet Fish Media, a podcast agency for B2B brands. He crushed organic without knowing SEO. By focusing on producing high quality content at scale.

Content Production is the Biggest Bottleneck to Big Outcomes

We’ve established that DoNotPay needs a page on disputing parking tickets in every city in the US. And a page on each one of the 10,000 companies they support.

So, in order to be where DoNotPay’s audience is already searching today, DoNotPay needs to create tens of thousands of pages of content.

And that means the biggest bottleneck in reaching our audience organically is the speed at which we publish content. Let’s break it down:

If we need to create 10,000 pages to get in front of 10,000 opportunities, and we publish 100 pages a month, It will take us 100 months, or eight years, to be everywhere DoNotPay’s audience is already searching Google for today.

And it’s not just DoNotPay.

If you look at the websites generating the most organic traffic it’s always the websites with the most content. Here is a breakdown of the ten largest players in the dogs/pet niche.

There are four columns:

  1. URL
  2. Estimated organic traffic (Ahrefs)
  3. Number of pages (Ahrefs)
  4. Traffic per page per month (#2 / #3)

The most important column is E, traffic per page, per month. When you look at this list, what you don’t see is a website generating 80% of the traffic with 20% of the content.

What you do see is each of the top players in this space generate a very narrow band of 170 to 853 visitors per month per page.

And this observation has held true for every niche we’ve looked at.

The Execution

This made it clear what we had to do:

  • Keyword research
  • Setting up our writers for success
  • Scaling content production
  • Building our content management system
  • Hiring and scaling our content team

I’ll now walk you through the entire process.

If Backlinks are so Important, Explain This to Me

You cannot convince me that the most sophisticated big data company in the world, the same company that owns Google Analytics, Chrome, and Android is using an easily gamed metric like backlinks as a primary ranking signal.

It’s just too unbelievable. Yes, DoNotPay has an incredible backlink profile. Their earned media has gotten them natural placements in BBC, CNN, CNBC, Vice, New York Times, Washington Post, PBS, Fox, Today Show, and more.

Some of these publications featured them multiple times. And this does make our job easier. But it’s not the primary factor behind the success of the campaign. I know this because our team has created successful campaigns with a very average number of backlinks:

AnyLeads.com was a DR33

That didn’t stop us from going 0 to 47,000 monthly organic visits.

CampusReel.org was a DR33

That didn’t stop us from taking the project from 0 to 166,000 organics/month in 12 months.

Doggypedia.org was a DR9

Doggypedia started as a fresh domain at DR0. That didn’t stop us from taking the project from 0 to 116,000 monthly organic visits in 13 months.

Remember this chart?

Doggypedia generates just as much traffic per page, per month as the websites with the highest DR in the pet industry.

Because we’ve been able to crush organic search so consistently without backlinks, we never had to learn how to build them.

And this is a really powerful approach to organic search. Because it means instead of praying to the Google Gods for a great outcome, the outcome is entirely within our control.

Technical SEO is Overrated Too

Technical SEO sounds super scary, for two reasons:

  • The most authoritative people in SEO make it sound super scary.
  • The person you’re taking advice from hasn’t achieved the outcome you want to achieve

Brain Dean’s 200 ranking factors have been shared 45,000+ times on Twitter. This article has probably been read 500,000 times.

If there were really 200 factors that mattered, I would have given up a long time ago. Fortunately for all of us, our experience taking four projects from 0 to 100,000 monthly organic visits indicates you can skip Banklinko’s article on ranking factors.

The second reason is because the SEO you’re taking advice from hasn’t achieved the outcome you want to achieve.

In 2019, Rand Fishkin, founder and former CEO of Moz ran an SEO survey. The results were shocking: most SEOs on the internet aren’t actually SEOs.

Here are the areas we spend time thinking about.

  1. Mobile speed & friendliness
  2. URL structure
  3. Internal linking structure
  4. Optimizing for user experience
  5. De-indexing thin content
  6. Diagnosing Google Search Console errors

Mobile Speed & Friendliness

Google switched to mobile-first indexing in 2020. It doesn’t matter how fast your desktop pages are. And it doesn’t matter if a majority of your traffic is on desktop. Google says mobile page speed is what they measure.

Here are two great resources to diagnose page speed issues:

  1. GT Metrix
  2. Google Pagespeed Insights

URL Structure

This is SEO 101, so we’re not going to spend much time here.

Do’s

  • Set your page URLs as domain.com/main-keyword
  • Host your content on the root domain (domain.com/blog)

Don’ts

  • Don’t use random characters in your URL
  • Don’t use categories in your URLs (domain.com/category/main-keyword)
  • Don’t use /blog/ in your blog URL (domain.com/blog/main-keyword)
  • Don’t host your content on subdomains (blog.domain.com)

Internal Linking Structure

Internal links tell Google how important any given page is to your business.

Every internal linking strategy is unique, but all internal linking strategies share these three things in common:

  1. The more internal links to a particular page, the easier that page is to rank.
  2. The further away any page is from the homepage (clicks), the harder it is to rank
  3. The more relevant the page the internal link is coming from, the more it helps the page that it’s linking to

Internal links basically do what people think backlinks do.

Sending dozens of internal links to high-value pages can significantly increase the rankings of the target page.

Optimize for user experience

Google strongly leverages user engagement data to determine which pages add more value to a user than other pages.

Align everything you do with:

  1. Keeping the visitor on the site longer
  2. Increasing the number of pages the visitor views
  3. Decreasing your bounce rate

These three aspects are remarkably comprehensive and include a lot of the other tactics in this case study:

  1. Site speed and mobile-friendliness
  2. Internal links that visitors can’t resist opening
  3. High quality, relevant content that solves the visitor’s problem better than anyone else
  4. High converting CTAs
  5. Social proof from earned media & user reviews

De-indexing Thin Content

An important metric to pay attention to is the percentage of content on a site that Google might consider ‘thin content’.

Thin content is a broad term that can refer to:

  1. Pages that will never rank for non-branded searches
  2. Pages with low amounts of unique content
  3. Pages with low user engagement metrics
  4. Pages with a low volume of traffic across all channels

If a website has a higher percentage of thin content, it is hard to grow it organically. But, if we cut out thin content, we’re giving strong pages a better chance to perform.

This practice is officially called content pruning, and even though it sounds daunting and can make content managers anxious, it is for the best. Just like you have to cut an avocado plant for it to grow fruit, you have to cut the branches that are weighing good content down.

Want more proof? Learn how Quickbooks increased non-branded organic traffic by 44% after deleting 40% of their thin content.

Want to start content pruning your site? Use Ahrefs’ content audit spreadsheet.

Diagnosing Search Console Issues

According to Google, there are at least 5.4 million pages about Google Search Console.

We don’t have anything to say about Google Search Console that hasn’t already been said.

Except — If you’re resource constrained, don’t bottleneck yourself fixing technical issues before you scale up content production. When you make a technical SEO change, it will impact your traffic in as little as days or weeks. But it takes months to create a content creation and distribution infrastructure and begin ranking. Get your content production on lock first.

Keyword Research to Uncover Opportunities & Drive Relevance

You’ve seen the opportunity size on this project. Just a single product feature had 20,000 potential relevant pages to be created.

If we had to do keyword research manually, we would need an entire keyword research department. We would have half a dozen people doing nothing but keyword research.

We would very easily spend $5,000 – $10,000+ a month evaluating, hiring, training, retaining, mentoring, coaching, and doing QA on our keyword research team’s deliverables.

This didn’t seem like the right way to do it, so we automated it.

In essence, by using data from Google, we can plan a year’s worth of content in a matter of minutes. And if this sounds crazy, it’s because it is.

Doing keyword research manually comes is still the standard practice, and it comes with many problems:

  • Experienced SEO’s are delegating everything but keyword research because it’s too hard to get right
  • Keyword research deliverables are inconsistent from person to person
  • Inexperienced SEOs know how important keyword research is, but live with anxiety because of the long feedback cycle between investment into organic and organic results

ClusterAi, our keyword grouping tool, uses data from Google to determine which keywords can rank together. How do you know if you can rank keyword A and keyword B with one page? You analyze the number of pages that rank for both keywords.

If there are three or more individual pages that rank for both keywords, you can probably rank for both keywords with one page too.

If there are two or fewer individual pages that can rank for both keywords, you probably can’t rank for both keywords with one page. You should create two pages to rank for each keyword.

This process is not intuitive. SEOs that are manually doing keyword research are constantly screwing this up.

Let’s look at two keywords:

LinkedIn Profile Examples & LinkedIn Headline Examples.

These sound like a subtopic of optimizing your LinkedIn profile to generate more business for an average person.

But if you Google each keyword. You’ll see that all of the pages are optimized for one keyword or the other. Never both.

There isn’t a single page ranking for both LinkedIn headline examples and Linkedin summary examples. This means if you tried to rank for both keywords with one page, you wouldn’t rank either. And the people that do manual keyword research are guessing.

They’re just guessing! Again, again and again. From the gut.

Now here’s how ClusterAi works and how it levels the playing field…

Because the keyword research process is algorithmically driven, the keyword researcher’s only job is to find all of the keywords that are being searched by qualified traffic anywhere in the funnel.

ClusterAi transforms keyword research from a time consuming, tedious guessing process to a vocabulary exercise. Let’s walk through the process.

ClusterAi simplifies how you do keyword research, no SEO skills needed

DoNotPay has a feature that helps reduce the friction of communicating between prisoners and their friends and family members.

  1. Write a message, or snap a photo of a handwritten message
  2. Upload a few pictures (e.g. selfies, family photos)
  3. DoNotPay will print out and mail your photos and letter to your friend or family member in prison

We want to understand all of the ways people are making searches about communicating with state and federal prisoners. Using Ahrefs, we go as broad as possible: prisoner, prisoners, inmate, inmates

Then we use Ahref’s Having Same Terms feature. This tells us there are 1,830,320 different ways that people are using inmate, inmates, prisoner, prisoners in their searches.

Most of these 1.8 million keywords do not indicate the searcher is looking for information on communicating with prisoners.

So we’re going to use Ahrefs’ Include Keyword feature to filter out every EXCEPT keywords that contain our main keywords (inmate, inmates, prisoner, prisoners) AND our include keywords. This is where the strong vocabulary comes into play.

Think of every word someone might use when looking for information on communicating with prisoners. Here is the list we came up with:

letter, letters, communicate, communication, communicating, pen, pal, pals, penpal, penpals, call, text, texting, send, sending, give, giving, video, videos, skype, zoom, call, chat, chatting, talk, talking, mail, email, emailing, mailing, envelope, envelopes, package, packages

This narrows our list down from 1,800,000 to 37,000 keywords.

That’s it. Our work here is done. We export our list. We import our list of keywords into ClusterAi. We take a nap. And we wake up to a year’s worth of keyword research. All without knowing how to do SEO. Isn’t that cool?

You can also get the step-by-step walkthrough on automating your B2B SaaS keyword research and affiliate keyword research with ClusterAi or check out ClusterAi now.

Optimizing Content

As you’ve seen, ClusterAi abstracts SEO skills from keyword research.

That’s not all. ClusterAi also abstracts SEO skills from optimizing content.

We use a simple formula to turn ClusterAi’s keyword groupings into a framework non-SEOs can use to optimize their content. All of the optimizations, and no experience required.

Here is a summary of our framework:

  1. The URL of the page is always the exact match main keyword
  2. The meta title should contain the main keyword
  3. The meta description should contain 1-2 variations of the main keyword
  4. The H1 should contain the main keyword
  5. The H2s and content should contain variations of the main keyword

This simplifies our hiring and training processes. And is probably our biggest contributor to being able to ‘do SEO’ without knowing SEO.

Setting Our Writers Up For Success

After using ClusterAi to discover and group every keyword variation our target audience is searching, our editing team works to set our writers up for success.

The more work our editing team does upfront, the better outcome we’ll get from our writing team. For each content series, we create Content Series Templates (CST).

A standard Content Series Template includes:

  1. Go-to informational resources to familiarize the writers with the broader topic
  2. 3rd party example articles that set a content quality bar we need to beat
  3. Our competitors in the vertical
  4. Which sites to collect data from and source
  5. Who the audience is and the pain point they feel when they search
  6. How DoNotPay can help the searcher
  7. What DoNotPay can’t do
  8. Mandatory H2 headings that will appear in most articles
  9. Mandatory internal links
  10. Optional H2s with a decision-making and research framework for the writer

Creating a Content Series Template is a lot of work. But you know what’s more work? Editing hundreds of pages of content from dozens of writers.

Do as much work upfront to minimize more intensive editing work later on.

Scaling Content Production

Some of our content dream team

Over the last 5 years, our content team has published 14,000 pages of content, and generated +30,000,000 organic search visits.

With a 25-person team, we’re publishing a similar amount of content as media giants like Techcrunch, WireCutter, New York Times, Washington Post, etc.

Here is what made that possible:

  1. Building our Content Management System in Airtable
  2. A documentation-oriented culture that has produced 350+ knowledge base articles
  3. A streamlined recruitment funnel that has allowed us to evaluate 1,027 writers, immediately reject 595, test 352, interview 106, ban 9 for life, hire 63 and retain 25
  4. An editing team that is passionate about great content and won’t let quality slip for any reason

Now I’ll walk you through each item in this process and show you how you can do it too.

Building our Content Management System in Airtable

I’ve previously used BaseCamp, Trello, SmartSheet, TeamWork, and Google Sheets for project management. Airtable is better than all of them.

While other PM tools require you to fit into their workflows, Airtable fits your workflow like a glove. Airtable is our centralized hub where work gets done, and powers a majority of our primary systems:

  1. Content production
  2. Project management
  3. Recruitment
  4. Team member management
  5. Managing 3rd party services

Think Google Sheets on steroids.

  1. You can sort, group, view, and color code data without any coding
  2. You can link records together
  3. You can build automations on top of it

Here’s how we’re using it for content management. Whenever a writer is assigned with writing a page of content, they get a Google doc that includes:

  1. The main keyword (from ClusterAi)
  2. Variations of the primary keyword to include in the content and H2s (from ClusterAi)
  3. Link to the project brief
  4. Link to our writing requirements
  5. A form that indicates they have met our technical writing requirements

This process enables us to take any writer and turn them into an SEO content writer able to create the highest quality, most valuable content Google could show for any given keyword we’re targeting.

Content Management

Airtable enables anyone, anywhere, on any device, to view the current status of every page of content we’ve ever published.

We have 15+ discrete stages in the content production pipeline. As writers and editors change the status, the article re-organizes itself under the new status.

Each article has 15+ pieces of additional information we need to go live:

  1. Author
  2. Editor
  3. Project
  4. Status
  5. First draft due date
  6. Main keyword
  7. Keyword variations
  8. URL
  9. Featured Image
  10. Tags & categories
  11. Meta title
  12. Meta description
  13. Page title
  14. Last updated
  15. Featured image

Project Management

Everything that isn’t content writing happens in our Activity Tracker. This view is set up to track activities by status:

  1. Idea
  2. Not Started
  3. In Progress
  4. Ready for QA
  5. Done

As an activity changes status, Airtable moves it from group to group.

On the left side of the screenshot, we set up multiple views to quickly hop between action items for:

  1. Different team members
  2. Different types of activities
  3. Activities due today / this week / this month

Recruitment Funnel

We hire writers because they’re good writers. Not because they’re ‘good at SEO’. In fact, when writers say ‘they know SEO’, This is what they mean:

We can turn any good writer into an SEO content writer, creating content that naturally ranks. What we can’t teach is:

  1. A strong baseline writing skill
  2. Passion for good content
  3. Drive to learn
  4. Consistency

What’s our secret? Quantity. That’s literally it. Quantity.

The more candidates we can source, evaluate, test, and interview, the more likely we are to find a writer that is an excellent long-term fit. Simply put, it’s a number’s game.

So how did we scale our recruitment funnel to evaluate over 1,000 candidates, test almost 600, and interview around 100? With Workello.

Workello is a hiring automation platform that helps content teams evaluate, assess, and hire better, more affordable writers with 95% less work.

Building Our Content Team

Just like the #1 lever for faster SEO results is publishing more content, the #1 lever for hiring better writers is evaluating and testing more writing candidates.

The more writers you evaluate and test, the more likely you are to find the right mix of quality, affordability and capacity.

Check out the metrics on this hiring cycle:

  • 174 candidates
  • 80 invited to take our pre-hire writing test
  • 55 submitted a completed test
  • 26 writers passed the test

We use Workello to filter through hundreds of candidates to identify and hire the top 1% in just a few minutes.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Post your job ad on Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, ProBlogger, etc
  2. Watch candidates stream into your hiring dashboard
  3. Send pre-hire writing tests to your best candidates
  4. Sitback, relax and wait for candidates to take your test
  5. Hire the top 1%

Everything in Workello is pre-written and pre-optimized so you can start accepting writers into your hiring funnel in 90 seconds.

Here are some hiring guides to get you up and running ASAP:

  1. Get 200+ writers in the next 72 hours
  2. Hiring writers for hard content (Dev Ops, SaaS, legal, martech, etc)
  3. Outsource job posts to a VA
  4. Why writer marketplaces are broken

Scaling Quality Through Documentation & Passion

We’ve grown from 1 to 25 full-time team members in just one year (between January and December 2020). When we tell people this, one of the first questions they ask is:

“How do you maintain content quality?”

Or, “a team in Eastern Europe can’t possibly write X type of content.”

After talking to or watching many founders of fast growing agencies, I’ve seen how incredibly difficult it is to maintain the quality that drove the growth spurt while the growth is happening.

There are a few reasons:

  1. The founder is no longer closer to the work, and is relying on a team without the founder’s unique skills or experiences
  2. Systems and processes to handle the increased workload grow slower than the rate of new work and team members are added
  3. The easiest thing, and oftentimes the only thing that the team can do to deal with the growing pain and aggressive business goals is to let things slide

Here is how we dealt with each of these issues.

Documentation, Documentation, Documentation

(Want our SOPs? Get em here)

When I started ContentDistribution.com in 2019, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goals for the company alone.

I spent the first 6 months building documentation to enable team members without my unique skill sets and experiences to create outcomes as good, or better than I could create on my own.

The first step was thought leadership to indoctrinate my team into my framework for understanding Google. At the same time I began creating detailed processes on how work should be done.

Our knowledge base started off in Google Docs. And that worked for about a year. But as our library of processes has grown, discovery became a major pain point. We couldn’t find the documents we had already written.

After evaluating Notion and Slite, we landed on Slite. Today we have over 350+ process documents. At this point the level of detail and sophistication is 10x more than I could have created on my own as the sole knowledge base contributor.

These documents cover nearly every aspect of every role, and every activity performed within the organization.

  • Job description and expectations
  • How to prioritize workload on a daily, weekly and monthly basis
  • How to use our internal systems and processes
  • How to do the work
  • How collaboration happens between team members and stakeholders
  • Expectations on visibility and reporting

Building a Culture of Documentation

It’s not enough to create documentation yourself. To meet ambitious goals you need to build a culture of documentation. I wrote the first 50 knowledge base articles and then my team wrote the next 1,000.

Building a culture of documentation starts from the top. I’ve never worked in a company with documentation, and neither has anyone else on the team. If you are a founder, there is no-one else that is going to build your documentation oriented culture if you don’t do it.

I get it. You’re busy, you’re really good at what you do, and you don’t have the time right now. Major growth mode.

But I can promise you if you don’t do it, you won’t be as successful as you hoped. If you’re not convinced yet, here are more things to consider:

  1. How do you hold someone accountable to something that isn’t written down?
  2. How do you change a process that isn’t written down?
  3. How much extra work, friction, and anxiety is created when someone is blocked or responsible for unblocking someone due to lack of information?
  4. How much energy are you willing to invest telling people the same thing over and over?

Alright, you’re convinced. Here is how you’re going to get started.

Create a list of all the things that you do on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Build your knowledge base skills by documenting the easiest things first. After you’ve written the first 25 – 50 knowledge base articles go back through them and update them with the best practices you learned along the way.

Next, create a KB on how to create KBs. And make all of this information as easy to find as possible. Ask your team to bookmark it. But creating documentation oriented culture is definitely not a one-time thing.

“When you’re tired of saying it, people are starting to hear it.” – Jeff Weiner

If someone asks a question covered in a KB, link them to the KB instead of answering the question directly. If someone asks a question that is not answered by a KB, update the KB and link it to the person asking.

And only after you’ve built the expectations, the standards, and the framework for documentation can you hold your team accountable for embracing a culture of documentation.

Find People Passionate About Great Content

A few of our team members

One of the best tools your team will have available to manage an unmanageable workload is letting things slide.

It’s easier for everyone involved when editors and our QA team lets sub standard content go live. But our editors are passionate, probably even elitist, about good content. Even if it’s more work.

Want to find passionate editors? Here is a demographic of our team:

  1. All of our editors joined the company as writers and were promoted for high performance
  2. All of our editors have been consuming and speaking English since childhood
  3. Most have completed, or are enrolled in a masters degree of English Literature
  4. Most of our editors haven’t worked in content writing before joining our team as writers
  5. Many have previously worked as English teachers

#1 is crucial. The more writers you can evaluate, test, hire, train, and retain, the bigger pool of candidates you can recruit your editors from.

It takes us approximately 3-6 months to train a high performing writer into a self sufficient editor. In the past, our external editing candidates we hired were good editors that just didn’t care as much as we do. If you don’t already have an editing team that cares, the #1 way to find them is to work with more writers.

The Conclusion

That’s it, we’ve reached the end. I hope you’ve enjoyed it.

I won’t say this approach to SEO and scaling content production is easy to execute, but as you’ve seen, the strategy is very simple:

  • Create the most valuable page of content Google could show for the topics you want to rank for
  • Integrate product into the content as a natural next step for the reader
  • Align content & SEO strategy with business goals (revenue)

Just a few years after this case study was originally published, AI and ChapGPT took over. A lot of folks expected a different kind of impact, but it actually just allowed more players to produce mediocre, average content.

It didn’t take long for Google to react to these new AI realities, and a lot of sites that were carelessly pushing out AI content were completely destroyed.

Seems like with every Google update and technological innovation we’re reminded of what we should have been doing all along anyway – understand our customer and double-down on producing the highest quality content Google can show.

Fully Managed SEO

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👉 Learn what it’s like working with our consulting team.

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Automating Affiliate SEO Keyword Research

Automating Affiliate SEO Keyword Research

contentdistribution.com has taken 4 projects from approximately zero organic visitors per month, to more than 100,000 organic search visitors per month.

The fastest one went from 0 to 479,000 visitors per month in just 16 months.

Combined, these projects have nearly 100,000 keywords on page 1.

None of these sites spent more than $1,000 on backlinks.

And one of the sites is a DR9.

The thing all of these projects have in common.

We used ClusterAi.

ClusterAi is a keyword grouping tool that clusters large lists of keywords into unique content topics.

ClusterAi allows us to do perfect affiliate keyword research.

Every.

Single.

Time.

And when you do perfect keyword research, your content ends up outranking competitors with higher authority, more backlinks, and bigger marketing budgets.

Doggypedia.org (DR8) ranking #1 above sites with higher DRs and more backlinks

 

BrandChamp.io (DR30) outranking their better-funded competitors with more backlinks.

 

AnyLeads.com (DR36) outranking HubSpot (DR92) and LinkedIn (DR98).

DoNotPay.com (DR56) outranking Wired (DR91), Vice (DR91), Equifax (DR87), and more.

BrandChamp crushing much larger, more authoritative competitors.

And when backlinks are needed to get the outcome you desire, you need less to get there.

Keyword Research for affiliate SEO could be a lot better

Whether you know it or not, keyword research for affiliate SEO could be better.

  1. Performing quality keyword research requires high levels of skills and experience
  2. Keyword research strategies rely heavily on gut feelings and intuition, and mistakes are likely to happen
  3. It’s a manual process that takes a long time to do
  4. Experienced SEOs have a difficult time delegating high-quality keyword research to junior team members
  5. Inexperienced affiliate SEOs know how important keyword research is, and stress about whether they did it right, or wasted their investment

When you Google keyword research there are 400 million results.

When you google affiliate keyword research there are more than 6 million results.

So who do you listen to?

  1. Ahrefs?
  2. Moz?
  3. SEMRush?
  4. Yoast?
  5. HubSpot?
  6. Neil Patel?
  7. Brian Dean?

All we see is 6 million opinions.

And no one using data.

ClusterAi in action

ClusterAi is a better way to do keyword research.

It uses data from Google to determine which keywords can rank together.

It allows us to do a year’s worth of keyword research in minutes.

And I’m going to show you how in two minutes with two examples.

DIY affiliate keyword research

Alright, let’s pretend we’re starting an affiliate site in the pet niche.

  • We used Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to look up dog
  • Then we used the ‘Having same search term feature’

This discovered 10,000,000+ ways people are using dog in their searches.

Still looking for the best SERP tracking tool for you? Check our complete list.

We want to get more specific, so we filter down to just people searching for:

dog + food

This generates a list of 455,000 variations in the way people are searching for dog + food

We exported the top 25,000 keywords by the search volume.

Then we imported these 25,000 keywords into ClusterAi.

ClusterAi grouped that list of 25,000 keywords into unique content topics.

It shows us the data by:

  1. Main keyword. This is the keyword in a group with the most volume.
  2. Total search volume for every keyword in the group.
  3. The variations that can rank with the main keyword.

To see the full list of variations, click on any cell.

Then click the icon in the right-hand corner to expand it.

That’s literally it.

We just did 1,000+ pages of keyword research.

We mapped every keyword variation on every single page.

And we did it perfectly in literally minutes.

  1. We didn’t need extensive SEO experience
  2. We didn’t need to spend weeks slaving away
  3. We didn’t need to make gut decisions on keyword variations
  4. We didn’t need to second guess our keyword research decisions

DIY affiliate keyword research

Let’s pretend we’re starting an affiliate site in the DIY niche.

  • We used Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to look up DIY
  • Then we used the ‘Having same terms feature’

This discovered 2,000,000 ways people are using DIY in their searches.

We exported the top 25,000 keywords by search volume.

Then we imported these 25,000 keywords into ClusterAi.

ClusterAi grouped that list of 25,000 keywords into unique content topics.

It shows us the data by

  1. Main keyword. This is the keyword in a group with the most volume.
  2. Total search volume for every keyword in the group.
  3. The variations that can rank with the main keyword

How ClusterAi works

I think you guys get the point.

So how does it work?

ClusterAi uses data from Google to determine which keywords can rank together.

No more using your gut and intuition.

After you import your list of keywords, this is what happened under the covers:

  1. ClusterAi scrapes the top 10 websites ranking for every keyword on our list
  2. Then it compares every keyword against every other keyword
  3. It looks for keywords that have URLs in common
  4. If ClusterAi finds 3 or more URLs that rank for a set of keywords, it groups those keywords together into unique content topics

This is as data-driven as it gets.

If 3 other websites can rank for this set of keywords with one page of content, we can probably rank for that set of keywords with one page as well.

But if ClusterAi compares a set of keywords, and those keywords have 2 or fewer results (URLs) in common, we probably can’t rank for that set of keywords with one page of content either.

And we’ll need to create two pages to rank for that set of keywords.

Doing this manually, at scale is impossible, and that’s why mistakes happen.

It’s not always intuitive which keywords can rank together, and which keywords can’t.

Keyword research isn’t intuitive & based on gut feelings

Let us give you a real-life example using two keywords.

  1. Linked Profile examples
  2. Linkedin Headline examples

To rank for both of these keywords, you need to create two pages of content.

One page about LinkedIn profiles, and one page about LinkedIn headlines.

If you try and rank for both keywords with one page, you won’t rank for either.

How do we know?

Because we Googled it.

The search results are completely different, even though these seem like related keywords.

If you were writing an article on LinkedIn profiles you might optimize your article for both.

But if you did, you wouldn’t rank for either LinkedIn profiles or LinkedIn headlines, because there isn’t a single website that ranks for both keywords with one page.

The pages Google shows for LinkedIn Profiles are all 100% optimized for LinkedIn profiles.

And the pages Google shows for LinkedIn headlines are all 100% optimized for LinkedIn headlines.

Now multiply this effort across every keyword on your list.

Comparing every keyword against every other keyword manually is impossible.

That is why affiliate SEOs developed shortcuts and heuristics that are ultimately based on intuition and gut feelings.

And when you make decisions based on intuition you make mistakes.

The content calendar for your affiliate site is bigger than you think

Want to know what every single top affiliate SEO site has in common?

Boatloads of content.

Don’t believe us?

Let’s look at the pet space.

We analyzed all of the top dog publishers.

Column E is the publisher’s efficiency score.

This is the total traffic divided by the total number of pages.

Every top publisher generates between 170 to 870 visitors for every page of content on their site.

There is no publisher generating 80% of the traffic with 20% of the pages.

Quick side note – take a look at pet website #11, Doggypedia.org.

Doggypedia is a site we referenced at the beginning of the article, one of the projects we took from 0 to 100,000 organic visitors per month in 11 months.

We competed with the top publishers in the pet space, with a smaller budget and fewer backlinks.

One of the core reasons we were able to punch above our weight is because of ClusterAi.

We were more relevant for the content we wanted to rank for.

And if you know how Google actually works, you know that being more relevant can help you rank with fewer backlinks.

Here are a couple of other notable examples:

CreditKarma.com generates an insane 7,768,000 organic visitors per month.

But they published 24,660 pages. 

NextLuxury.com is an affiliate site in the fashion niche generating 1,345,000 organic visitors each month.

From 13,453 pages.

How much time and money do you think these sites spent:

  1. Mapping out 10,000 – 20,000 unique pages of content
  2. Doing keyword research on a page by page basis

Hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of hours.

Forecasting costs and ROI

ClusterAi’s groupings make forecasting costs and ROI really simple.

Referencing our dog food keyword groupings above, the top 299 pages represent approximately 2,946,000 searchers per month.

Now we can sanity-check our costs against income on varying levels of success.

Here the variables we need to decide:

  1. What % of the searchers can we capture?
  2. How many searchers will click an affiliate link?
  3. What % will purchase?
  4. What is our average payout?

We built a guide walking through each of these variables, and build an automated calculator to help you estimate varying outcomes on your affiliate SEO investment.

Get our guide and SEO ROI calculator here.

Turning any writer into an Affiliate SEO writer

The rankings and traffic you saw at the beginning of the article were not written by SEO content writers.

Those articles were written by good writers that we turned into SEO content writers.

Regardless of whether the writers we work with know SEO, we need their content to rank.

So we’ve created systems to enable writers without our background to create outcomes as successful as we could create ourselves.

We provide our writers with:

  1. Everything they need to know about the project and target audience
  2. Our writing standards (that have gotten us 65,000 page-1 keywords without building backlinks)
  3. A list of all the variations they should use within their content

Writer instructions:

Keyword variations from ClusterAi are provided in the Google Doc:

Get the exact template we use to turn any writer into an SEO content writer producing content that naturally ranks

Working on other projects?

ClusterAi automates keyword research for every vertical and niche.

Check out our example of keyword research for:

  1. B2B SaaS keyword research
  2. B2C SaaS keyword research (coming soon)
  3. E-commerce keyword research (coming soon)

Our best content

Want to learn how we’ve grown 4 websites from approximately zero to 100,000 visitors per month, with the biggest one doing 500,000 in just 17 months?

We share it all.

  1. How Google actually works (based on 65,000 page-1 keywords)
  2. How to find and hire the highest quality, most affordable writers on the internet
  3. How to turn any writer into an SEO content writer
  4. Forecasting SEO ROI
  5. How we crush B2B SaaS SEO
  6. How we crush B2C SaaS SEO
  7. How to rank without backlinks
  8. Brand Jacking (ranking for your competitor’s brands)
  9. The #1 lever to get the fastest SEO results
  10. The greatest SEO case study of 2020: 0 to 479,000 monthly organic in 16 months

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Automating B2B SaaS Keyword Research

B2B SaaS Keyword Research is Broken & How to Fix it

Keyword research for B2B SaaS companies is broken.

contentdistribution.com has taken three projects from 0 visitors/month to 100,000+ organic search visitors per month.

In the last year.

Our greatest project hit 479,000 organic search visitors/month in 16 months.

Here is another

And another

And keyword research sucks.

  1. It requires a high level of skill to do correctly
  2. Decisions are made from the gut and the process is prone to human error
  3. It’s a manual, tedious process to cluster keywords into unique pages
  4. Deliverables are inconsistent from person to person

Keyword research for B2B SaaS companies requires high levels of skill

High quality keyword research, like most things, requires repetition to become proficient.

If you don’t have these reps in, you’ll have to be OK doing subpar keyword research.

Subpar keyword research limits the impact of your SEO investment, because poorly optimized pages don’t rank well.

And it’s really easy to make mistakes.

And making a mistake on the foundation can impact the ROI on your entire SEO investment.

Check out the next section to learn why it’s so easy to make mistakes.

Keyword research for B2B SaaS is an art, not a science

One of the primary goals of keyword research is to identify:

  1. Main keywords to create content around
  2. Variations of the main keyword to use in the content

In order to rank well, you need to optimize your content for your main keyword, and all of the variations of that main keyword people use in their searches.

If you choose the wrong keyword variations the impact of your SEO investment will be minimal.

Here is an example.

You have 2 keywords:

  1. LinkedIn profile
  2. LinkedIn headline

This might seem like two ideas in one article.

But in order to rank for both keywords you need to publish two pages.

Not one.

Why?

Because there aren’t any pages ranking for both keywords.

Check out the search results.

Best Linkedin Profile

Best LinkedIn headline

There isn’t a single page ranking for both keywords.

Look at the URL, meta title, and meta description.

The search results for each keyword is optimized for one keyword or the other, not both.

And if you optimized one page for both keywords you wouldn’t rank for either.

Because the space to drive relevance to the keywords you want to rank for is limited to:

  1. URL
  2. Meta title
  3. Meta description
  4. H1
  5. H2s and other headings
  6. Internal links
  7. External links

And if you waste your limited real estate to drive relevance by optimizing for the wrong keywords you’ll be outranked by pages that used their limited space to optimize more effectively.

In fact, being more relevant is one of our top strategies for outranking stronger, more powerful domains.

Learn more about the importance of relevance and check out how how Google really works.

Check out this example of a piece of content we published for AnyLeads, which is currently outranking Hubspot for the keyword ‘Linkedin inmail templates‘.

We don’t have:

  1. Higher domain authority
  2. More backlinks
  3. A bigger budget
  4. A bigger team
  5. Better writers

But we’re more relevant to the query than HubSpot’s page.

Learn how we rank above competitors with bigger brands and more backlinks.

Using ClusterAi To Perform Expert Level Keyword Research For Your B2B SaaS

ClusterAi is keyword grouping tool that helps B2B SaaS companies map out every opportunity they have to drive qualified traffic, and more.

  • ClusterAi makes expert level keyword research accessible to anyone, regardless of SEO experience
  • Keyword decisions are made based on data from Google, so your keyword research is perfect each time.
  • ClusterAi enables you to map a 24 month content calendar, down to the exact keyword variations you’ll use on each page, in hours, not weeks

Here is how ClusterAi works:

  1. Perform keyword research using your favorite SEO tool – Ahrefs, SEMRush, or Google Search Console
  2. Import the list(s) of thousands of keywords you found that can drive qualified traffic to your website
  3. ClusterAi scrapes Google for each keyword and retrieves all of the websites ranking on the first page
  4. ClusterAi analyzes and compares websites that rank for multiple keywords
  5. And when a pair of keywords has 3 or more websites ranking for both keywords it groups those keywords together into a unique content topic.

If 3 or more websites rank for a pair of keywords with one page, you probably can too.

But if there are 2 or fewer websites ranking for a set of keywords with one page, you probably won’t be able to rank for both keywords with one page either.

Example Keyword Research for FreshBooks (B2B Invoicing Software)

FreshBooks helps hundreds of thousands of small businesses send invoices more easily.

And they are crushing organic search with 500k+ organic search visitors every month.

Their secret to success?

Publishing velocity, publishing velocity, publishing velocity.

FreshBooks has published more than 2,200 pages of content.

Of these 2,200 pages, 390 pages, or about 15% are focused on invoices and invoicing.

Why did FreshBooks publish 390 pages about invoicing?

Because nobody, including Freshbooks, can rank for every way people are searching for invoice and invoicing with one page.

Not even one hundred pages. 

FreshBook’s SEO is being led by the very awesome Steve Toth @ theSEONotebook.com. Neither Steve or FreshBooks is a Content Distribution customer, nor did they contribute or participate in this blog post in anyway, we’re just Steve Toth’s #1 fans. 🙂

(And think he would have saved a ton of time with ClusterAi).

Look how easy this is.

Search Ahrefs for invoice, invoices and invoicing.

Ahrefs not the best SERP tracking tool for you? We’ve tested +35 alternatives for you.

Click ‘having same search term’.

This shows you every single way people search using those keywords.

And there are nearly 400,000 variations in the way people are searching Google using these words.

If we asked you to

  1. Identify 390 unique opportunities from a list of nearly 400,000 keywords
  2. Keyword research for each of those 390 pages
  3. Record the keyword research in your project management stack

How long would it take?

SEOs can spend weeks mapping out the content funnel for their site.

With ClusterAi this takes minutes.

After you’ve built your keyword list, export your keywords from Ahrefs.

Import your keywords into ClusterAi

After a few hours of processing (it takes several hours to scrape and group your keywords) you’ll receive an email to download a CSV with your ClusterAi keyword groupings.

ClusterAi provides:

  1. The main keyword
  2. The total monthly search volume for the group
  3. The variations of the main keyword

Knowing the total monthly search volume across all of the keywords in a group allows you to better prioritize your content calendar.

Plan your content calendar

There is probably going to be some irrelevant groups in your groupings.

That’s OK. Just skip them.

Next, count the number of opportunities you’ve identified.

It’s likely in the hundreds.

Now multiply that number by your cost to produce content.

This is your total content cost.

Forecast your SEO outcomes with our SEO ROI Calculator

Now you can decide how fast you want to publish.

Do you want to publish all of the pages needed in 6 months? 12 months? 18 months?

Divide the total number of pages by your desired publishing timeline.

Learn why the #1 lever you can pull to achieve the fastest SEO results is rate of publishing

Here is an example of what this could look like.

Let’s say we identify 200 opportunities to get in front of our target audience across the funnel.

200 opportunities to drive qualified traffic * $150/page content cost = $30,000 content cost.

If we want to tackle these opportunities in 6 months, we need to budget (200 / 6 = 33 * $150) $5,000/month.

And to write 33 pieces of content per month, we need approximately 8 writers.

Now you know:

  1. Your total content cost
  2. Your monthly budget
  3. The number of pages of content you need to publish each month
  4. How many writers you need to recruit

Knowing the total content cost gives you a lot of insight into the total cost of your campaign and allows you to forecast a variety of outcomes using contentdistribution.com’s SEO ROI calculator. 

Get the keywords to your writers

Now that you’ve developed your targets and priorities, you need to communicate this information to your writers.

At contentdistribution.com we’ve automated the steps below.

Our focus on automation and streamlining processes has allowed a core team of 3 to scale to 100 pages+ of high quality, high impact content per month.

First, we import the excel sheet linked in the email into Airtable.

Then our automation creates a Google doc and adds to the link to the record in Airtable.

This Google Doc contains everything the writer needs to get started.

  1. A link to another Google Doc with everything the writer needs to know about the project
  2. A link to our standard writing guidelines for any content written for contentdistribution.com
  3. A guide on sourcing and image attribution
  4. The keyword variations for the article
  5. A checklist the writer must be complete before submitting the work that allows them to self certify that they’ve followed our writing guidelines to the T.

And you know what?

This enables us to turn any writer into an SEO content writer, producing naturally ranking content.

Remember the screenshot above of AnyLeads outranking Hubspot?

That article was written by a writer with no SEO experience, and edited and optimized by an editor with no prior SEO experience.

By, you guessed it, using a process doc.

Learn how to turn any writer into an SEO content writer

Our best content

Want to learn how we’ve grown 4 websites from approximately zero to 100,000 visitors per month, with the biggest one doing 500,000 in just 17 months?

We share it all.

  1. SEO ROI Calculator
  2. How we crush B2B SaaS SEO
  3. How to find and hire the highest quality, most affordable writers on the internet
  4. The #1 lever to get the fastest SEO results
  5. How Google actually works (based on 65,000 page 1 keywords)
  6. How to turn any writer into an SEO content writer
  7. Brand Jacking (ranking for your competitor’s brands)
  8. How we crush B2C SaaS SEO
  9. How to rank without backlinks
  10. The greatest SEO case study of 2020: 0 to 479,000 monthly organic in 16 months

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SEO ROI Calculator

Calculating the ROI of an SEO Campaign

Through our experience helping brands build massive audiences with organic search, we’ve developed an SEO ROI formula to help brands understand the return on their SEO investment.

Then we turned that formula into a calculator to make it easy and quick to model various SEO outcomes.

In the next 5 minutes you’re going to learn how to:

  1. Forecasting the ROI of your organic content distribution (SEO) project
  2. Forecasting costs to execute on that outcome
  3. Forecasting best, middle, and worst-case outcomes

The formula to understanding different SEO ROI outcomes is:

Total Monthly Searches * Click Through Rate * Conversion Rate * Average Order Value = SEO ROI.

What are the variables in the formula for calculating SEO ROI?

Total Monthly Searches

Total monthly searches is a super simple variable.

TMS is the sum of the monthly search volume across all of the keywords you found that can drive qualified traffic.

You can figure out the Total Monthly Searches by doing keyword research using your favorite SEO tool.

Once you’ve found every keyword across the funnel, add up the number of monthly searches for each keyword.

If you’re using ahrefs, you’ll need to export this keyword list into excel, then highlight / select the ‘volume’ column.

Click-Through Rate

CTR is the percentage of searches that result in a user clicking through to your website.

Your CTR is a reflection of where your website ranks for the keywords you’re targeting.

The closer to #1 you rank, the more traffic you will receive.

In a large study by SEO superstar Brian Dean, Brian found that keywords in position #1 received roughly 30% of the clicks.

Keywords in position 5, half way down the 1st page, receive about 9.5% of clicks.

And keywords in position 10, the last result on the 1st page, receive roughly 3% of the clicks.

Some keywords are going to rank higher than other keywords, so the # you choose needs to be a blended average across all of the keywords you are targeting.

We generally forecast conservative outcomes using a CTR of 9.5%, representing an average ranking of #5 for the keywords we’re targeting.

Learn how we’ve accumulated 65,000+ page 1 keywords without building backlinks or doing complicated technical SEO

Close Rate

Conversion is the percentage of visitors that convert into a customer.

If you have existing data on organic search conversion rate, great!

But make sure you filter branded searches from your analysis.

This means only measuring your conversion rate on pages that don’t rank for your brand name.

Examples of pages that do rank for your brand name, and need to be filtered from your analysis include your homepage, contact, about or FAQ pages.

An easy way to figure this out is to Google your brand name, and see which pages appear.

If you don’t have existing data conversion rate data you can use, that’s OK too.

The variable you choose represents a blended conversion rate across hundreds or thousands of keywords.

But some keywords will convert at 10%+

And some will convert at .01%.

This variance is driven in large part by how much intent to purchase is behind the prospects search.

Keywords at the top of the funnel generally have higher search volume and more traffic, but lower conversion rates.

Keywords at the bottom of the funnel generally convert at very high rates, but also have the least amount of searches.

We use .005% in conservative forecasts. 

This is pretty low.

Life Time Value

Life time value is the dollar amount each customer is worth over the life time of their relationship with your company.

You can also use the Average Order Value of each purchase, but we prefer to use LTV because it more accurately forecasts ROI.

Other Variables You Might Use to Calculate SEO ROI

Average Order Value

Brands with more aggressive timelines for recouping their SEO investment, might use AOV instead of  LTV to calculate the ROI of the campaign.

Conversion To Lead

You may not allow customers to purchase directly from your website.

In this case, you may want to reflect that in your ROI calculations by adding an additional variable called ‘Conversion to Lead’.

This attribute represents the conversion from website traffic to sales opportunity.

So the new formula looks like:

TMS * CTR * CTL * CR * LTV = ROI

We built a version of the calculator to calculate this extra variable.

Calculating SEO Costs

The #1 cost for any SEO campaign is generally content.

There are hundreds, or thousands of unique pages you need to create in order to rank for all of the ways your target audience is searching across the funnel.

If you are engaging an SEO agency, and content isn’t the biggest cost, I would be very skeptical.

Why?

Because how fast you publish content is the #1 lever you can pull to get the fastest SEO results.

Don’t believe me?

We’ve helped 4 companies go from approximately zero to 100,000+ organic search visitors per month.

Here are two of them.

And this is DoNotPay, the biggest one, which we grew from 500 to 479,000 monthly organics in 16 months.

Combined, these 4 projects have over 100,000 page 1 keywords, and generate nearly one million visitors per month.

And we did it without building backlinks or doing complicated technical SEO.

We did it by focusing on publishing large amounts of high quality content.

Learn why publishing velocity is the #1 indicator of SEO performance

Here are the hard costs of a campaign.

  1. Content
  2. Editing
  3. Meta descriptions
  4. Featured image
  5. Importing into WordPress
  6. Post-publishing content updates

Everything on this list scales with the # of pages published which makes estimating costs easy.

And in order to minimize the complexity of estimating cost, we’re not factoring in the time required for:

  • Strategy
  • Management
  • Cross team collaboration
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Reporting & analytics

The reason is these costs are fluctuate from project to project, company to company and person to person depending on things like

  • Size of org
  • Type of org
  • Impact on org
  • Importance to org
  • Experience level of teams
  • Ease of cross team collaboration

We have all of these calculated because our systems are consistent and repeatable, but if you’re driving your own SEO campaign you’ll need to calculate these on your own.

Content

Content costs are calculated by multiplying your cost per page multiplied by the number of pages of content you need to publish.

One thing most SEOs have trouble with is forecasting content costs.

Why?

Because it’s very difficult to estimate the number of pages you need to write by looking at a list of thousands of keywords.

Don’t believe me?

Look at this list of 25,000 keywords related to invoicing.

If you’re invoicing software company FreshBooks, how many pages do you need to build to capture that volume?

Well, they built 390 pages targeting slightly different variations of the keyword invoicing and invoices.

Looking for the best SERP tracking tool? We’ve reviewed +35 of them.

And the fact FreshBooks had to publish 390 pages about invoicing to capture all of the variations in the way people search for invoicing is why content is the biggest cost to any organic search campaign.

You simply can’t rank for all of the opportunities to generate qualified, valuable traffic with one page.

Or a dozen pages.

In FreshBooks case, not even 390 pages.

FreshBooks has published over 2,000 pages of content.

And it’s paid off.

Freshbooks is generating 500,000+ qualified visitors each month.

FreshBook’s SEO is very talented, and spent a lot of time

  1. Grouping all of the ways people search for invoicing into unique pages
  2. Identifying variations of the main keyword to use within the content

But you don’t have to.

contentdistribution.com’s keyword grouping tool transforms large lists of keywords into unique pages.

ClusterAi does this automatically.

And it does it using data from Google to determine which keywords can rank together.

It does this by scraping the search results for each keyword, and comparing the pages ranking for each keyword.

If there are 3 or more pages that rank for a set of keywords, it groups those keywords together.

And if there are 2 or less pages that rank for a set of keywords it separates the keywords and looks for new matches.

Why?

Because if 3 or more other websites rank for 2 keywords with 1 page, you probably can too.

But if 2 or less websites rank for 2 keywords with 1 page, you might not be able to rank for both keywords with 1 page.

Check out ClusterAi.

SEO Pros

ClusterAi is going to save you a ton of time. And you’re going to be able to delegate keyword research to junior team members without your level of experience, and they’re going to do it perfectly.

Non SEO Pros

ClusterAi is the only viable way to do perfect keyword research without having a strong SEO background.

So how much do writers cost?

A lot.

The average content marketing salary in Austin is $50,000/year, before benefits, taxes, and paid holidays.

And the average content writer in Austin is probably writing 1,500 words per day.

This comes out to $.24 per word, or $620 for per page of content @ 2,500 words.

And at $620 per page, it’s going to be hard to execute an ROI positive SEO campaign.

Unless you have a very high conversion rate, very high search volume, and very high AOV.

Or, if you don’t have those things.

You have systems to source, evaluate, and hire the highest quality, most affordable writers on the internet.

Learn how we hire seo content writers at .05c per word

The cost of everything else

Once you understand how many pages of content you need to write, you can calculate the costs of everything else:

Editing

We generally scope 1-2 hours per article for editing and QA.

Meta descriptions

These can be batched out and we generally estimate 5 – 15 minutes per meta description.

Featured Images

We hire dedicated featured image creators. They are paid per image.

If you have designer resources on hand, calculate about 5 minutes per featured image if your designer is using an app like Snappa or Canva.

Uploading

We’re publishing hundreds of pages of content per month.

It just makes sense to have a dedicated post publishers (we write in Google Docs).

Post uploaders are paid per upload.

Here is a quick table you can copy into Excel:

Cost Unit 1 Page 20 Pages 50 Pages 100 Pages
Content Per word $
Editing Per page $
Metas Per meta $
Featured Images Per image $
Uploading Per upload $
Total $ $ $ $

How Our SEO ROI formula can be improved

Our calculator is very helpful for forecasting outcomes, but it’s not perfect.

Here are the areas I’d love to improve.

Blended conversion rate

Today the conversion rate variable represents an average across all of the opportunities in your funnel.

I would love to figure out how to assign conversion rates to specific keyword groupings at scale.

I think this is probably the #1 improvement to accuracy we could make.

Timeline

The average SEO timeline for a contentdistribution.com project looks like this:

  • We begin to see results as early 30 to 60 days after we begin publishing
  • We start seeing a good amount of results 4 to 8 months after beginning to publish
  • We start to see a lot of results in months 9 – 12

Learn how we’ve gone from 0 to 100k in less than a year on 4 different projects

It would be really great to integrate timeline forecasts into our estimates.

This would allow brands to forecast things like revenue expectations leading up to month 12 of the campaign, or potential year one totals.

It would probably have to be a different chart that models the % of Total Monthly Searches that click through to the website and how that variable increases over time.

This is tricky, because timelines are 100% dependent on publishing schedule, and how quickly content is published.

Because you can’t rank for a group of keywords until you have a page about that keyword.

And you have to create 390 pages about invoicing. 🙂

Our best content

Want to learn how we’ve grown 4 websites from approximately zero to 100,000 visitors per month, with the biggest one doing 500,000 in just 17 months?

We share it all.

  1. Forecasting SEO ROI
  2. How we crush B2B SaaS SEO
  3. How to turn any writer into an SEO content writer
  4. How to rank without backlinks
  5. Brand Jacking (ranking for your competitor’s brands)
  6. How we crush B2C SaaS SEO
  7. How Google actually works (based on 65,000 page 1 keywords)
  8. How to find and hire the highest quality, most affordable writers on the internet
  9. The #1 lever to get the fastest SEO results
  10. The greatest SEO case study of 2020: 0 to 479,000 monthly organic in 16 months

What else would you improve to better forecast organic search ROI? Drop a comment below

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Brand Jacking Your Competitors

Use Brand Jacking To Put Other Company’s Customers Into Your Marketing Funnel

Brand jacking is when your website appears in the search results while searchers look for information about another company’s brand.

And it’s an incredibly powerful technique.

The company you are brand jacking is putting their customers and prospects in your funnel.

The more money they spend on marketing and the more people Google their brand name, the more people end up on your website, where you can capture their contact details.

Or follow them around the internet using a LinkedIn or Facebook pixel.

Here are two examples.

Brand Jacking Microsoft

Archive360 wants to build awareness with the audience that is searching for information about a specific feature in Microsoft’s Office 365.

Archive360’s page about that feature is the first search result after Microsoft.

In order to rank well, Archive360’s page needs to give users what they’re expecting – to learn more about the Office 365 journaling feature.

Then the page transitions to educating the reader about deficiencies in Microsoft’s solution and scenarios where organizations seek 3rd party solutions like Archive360.

Learn how we consistently rank above bigger brands, with larger budgets and more backlinks.

Brand Jacking Ubisoft

Uplay is Ubisoft’s digital distribution platform. Ubisoft generated $1.7B in 2019 with a market cap of $8.2B.

Every month, tens of thousands of people google for some variation of uplay support.

And for a lot of those terms, searchers will find DoNotPay.com ranking above Ubisoft.

DoNotPay is an iPhone app that uses a robo-dialer to connect humans to a real human being at giant companies like Ubisoft without waiting on hold.

People looking for Ubisoft support are exactly the same type of people who download, use and subscribe to DoNotPay.

This makes sense if you understand how Google actually works

Who can I Brand Jack?

There are five things you need to align to implement an impactful brandjacking campaign.

Competitors OR complimentary brands

Brandjacking works best when you’re targeting competitors (self-explanatory), or complementary brands.

Complimentary brands are brands that your customers often use in conjunction with your product.

In the Archive360 example above, using Office 365 is a prerequisite of using Archive360 – they are an add-on that sits on top of Office 365.

Think about your customer’s software stack and identify overlap in buyer persona and audience.

Aligning your offer and audience

The brandjacking targets you pick must generate an audience that your offer will resonate with.

I’ve implemented campaigns that successfully generated tens of thousands of visitors searching for Instagram and Shopify branded terms.

But the traffic didn’t convert because our offer didn’t resonate.

Do 3rd party websites already rank?

If other 3rd party websites already rank for the branded search term we’re targeting, that indicates there we can also rank for that branded term.

The fact that GetHuman.com, a DoNotPay competitor, Reddit, and TrustPilot rank for uplay customer support indicated to us that we could also rank for this term.

Likewise, the fact that non-Microsoft pages were ranking for Office 365 journaling told us we could rank for that branded term too.

You need to satisfy search intent to brand jack

Google Analytics is deployed on every website that matters.

And Google uses this data to understand how users react to the pages it serves in its search results.

Pages with better bounce rates, time on site, pages visited, referral traffic and overall engagement will rank better than sites with lower user engagement metrics.

If your page doesn’t satisfy a user’s intent behind their search, Google will bounce you off the first page.

Your content needs to rank

Most companies have problems with content distribution. According to Sirius Decisions, 70% of B2B content created by marketing organizations doesn’t add business value.

And I suspect there is a similar percentage of underutilized content investments in B2C organizations.

We’ve worked with companies that have spent $250,000+ on content over 4 years created by very talented, and knowledgeable writers, that Google Analytics indicates has been viewed less than 20 times in the last 12 months – from any channel.

When your content aligns with what people are searching for, you’re creating a company asset that will create business impact 6, 12, 18, 24 months after making your investment.

Learn how to turn any writer into an SEO content writer

How do I Brand Jack?

I accidentally discovered brandjacking after outranking Instagram and Shopify for ‘Instagram support‘ and ‘is Shopify safe

This technique was featured in Josh Fechter’s growth hacking bible, with over 2,100+ upvotes it was the #1 product of the week.

You can find it here on page 274.

Or you can watch the video I made below.

I highly recommend you subscribe to stay in the loop on more actionable tactics you can begin implementing while you learn.

You can Brand Jack too

The examples shown above aren’t flukes.

Brand Jacking is consistently successful when:

  1. You’re targeting a competitor or complementary brand
  2. Your offer aligns with the audience you’re generating
  3. Other 3rd party websites already rank for the branded term
  4. Your content matches the searcher’s intent
  5. Your content ranks

The final tip I have is Brand Jacking works best at scale.

Any given piece of content may or may not rank, but if you push out dozens and dozens of pieces of content, you will see week over week and month over month increases in qualified traffic.

Discover the #1 lever you can pull to get the fastest SEO results

What does Brand Jacking at scale look like?

Brand Jacking at scale is a beautiful thing.

Especially when you’re Brand Jacking some of the largest technology companies in the world.

And the traffic is converting like crazy.

Brand Jacking B2B Brands

Brand Jacking Dell

Dell has a market cap of $29B and we’re Brand Jacking them on multiple product lines in the email space.

Dell EMC SourceOne

Dell EMS MessageOne

Dell EMC EmailXtender

Brand Jacking Symantec

Symantec was acquired by Broadcom for $10B in 2019.

Symantec EV Cloud

Brand Jacking MicroFocus

MicroFocus has 14,000 employees and $4.5+B in revenue.

MicroFocus Gwava Retain

Get the process docs we use to turn any writer into an SEO content writer

Brand Jacking Consumer Brands

This tactic also works really well against consumer brands.

 Mojang support

Rockstar game support

Ubisoft customer support number

Calculate the ROI of a Brand Jacking campaign

Interested?

The next step is to forecast potential ROI on your Brand Jacking investment.

Check out our SEO ROI calculator to forecast various outcomes.

Our best content

Want to learn how we’ve grown 4 websites from approximately zero to 100,000 visitors per month, with the biggest one doing 500,000 in just 17 months?

We share it all.

  1. How to turn any writer into an SEO content writer
  2. Brand Jacking (ranking for your competitor’s brands)
  3. How Google actually works (based on 65,000 page 1 keywords)
  4. How we crush B2B SaaS SEO
  5. How to find and hire the highest quality, most affordable writers on the internet
  6. How we crush B2C SaaS SEO
  7. How to rank without backlinks
  8. SEO ROI Calculator
  9. The #1 lever to get the fastest SEO results
  10. The greatest SEO case study of 2020: 0 to 479,000 monthly organic in 16 months

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The #1 Lever To Get The Fastest SEO Results

The #1 lever to drive the fastest SEO results is publishing velocity

We choose the projects we work on carefully.

We have to.

  1. We want to enjoy what we do, and the stress of under-delivering doesn’t lead to loving life.
  2. We enjoy the recognition of our peers and clients for doing great work.
  3. We won’t earn the right to work at larger and larger scales if we’re not successful at our current scale.
  4. A successful outcome that doesn’t lead to twice as big opportunities in the future isn’t worth the short term revenue. We’re spinning our wheels doing our best work.

The two most important considerations are always:

  1. Does this brand yearn to be a leader in their space, and want to be everywhere their target audience is searching?
  2. Are we confident we can absolutely crush it?

If the answer is no to either one of these, we have to say no.

And we’re in a good spot where we can prioritize long term growth over short term business needs.

Publishing velocity

We’ve had success across B2B SaaS, B2C SaaS, mobile apps, marketing services, fashion, pets, and outdoor equipment.

And the biggest lever we have to accelerate or decelerate outcomes is publishing velocity.

In every project we have taken on in the last two years, the faster we publish content, the faster we generate rankings, traffic, and business impact.

Learn why we consistently outrank stronger websites with bigger budgets, stronger domains and more backlinks

It’s pretty intuitive — you can’t rank for a keyword until you have a page about that keyword.

And once you publish, it takes 6 – 9 months for that content to fully mature in the search results.

So if your content calendar is 100 pages of content published over a year, content published in months 7 – 12 won’t add the maximum business impact a year after beginning your organic content distribution campaign.

At that publishing velocity, it will take 18 to 20 months after the start of your campaign for your content to fully mature.

But if you front-load your content calendar and publish all 100 pages of content in 4 months, most, if not all of that content will be mature by month 12.

Pushing backlinks, updating your site structure, decreasing page load time, doing on-page optimizations will all begin to impact your rankings and traffic within weeks instead of the six month maturation time of content, plus the time content spends sitting in your content calendar queue.

So, let’s get into it.

Our worst performing project of all time.

ContentDistribution.com’s worst-performing campaign of all time

This anonymous project is our worst performing campaign of all time.

In the 11 months after beginning our engagement, we grew non-branded organic search traffic by 93%, from 887 to 1,717.

In the 11 months before our engagement, organic traffic grew by 14%, from 775 to 887.

That means non-branded organic search traffic grew 664% faster after beginning our engagement than before.

Nearly every page we published is ranking and generating traffic

But we only published 19 pieces of content in 11 months. 

When we could have easily achieved 5,000, 10,000 or more qualified visitors each month in this same period.

Very successful outcomes require high rates of publishing

The time it takes to work through your content calendar, and the time it takes for content mature are your two biggest bottlenecks to seeing the business impact from your organic content distribution investment.

The most common reason brands can’t meet publishing velocity goals are:

  1. Senior management inserts themselves in the content review process. This will always fall at the bottom of their priority list.
  2. Too many revisions are requested by too many people at the pay rate provided.
  3. The person responsible for reviewing and editing the content doesn’t report to a campaign stakeholder, AKA the metrics your editor is evaluated on aren’t largely influenced by the success of your campaign.
  4. Budget. Although the rate comes out to less than the salary of a content writer whose words won’t rank.

Learn how we source, test, hire and retain the highest quality, most affordable writers on the internet.

How much content are we talking about here?

There are at least hundreds, but probably thousands, and often tens of thousands of keywords that can send your business qualified traffic.

But you won’t rank for every keyword by writing one page of content.

Or two pages of content.

Or ten pages of content.

To capture all of the qualified searches across your funnel and truly be everywhere your target audience is searching, you probably need to publish hundreds of pages of content.

Let’s say you’re Tensor Social, an influencer analytics SaaS.

If Tensor wants to get in-front of brands, marketers, and agencies, there is a lot of surface area to cover.

There are over 87,000 different ways brands, marketers, and agencies use influencer and influencers in their searches.

If we only analyze the top 3,000 influencer related keywords, that represents over 100 unique pages of content.

Learn how to turn any writer into an SEO content writer publishing content that naturally ranks

Real life example of faster SEO results

These are a few of the projects we’ve driven over the last three years.

What we see again and again and again.

Is that companies that publish faster, see better results.

And you know what?

Despite whatever success you see below, each of these projects could have 3x’d their outcomes by 3x’ing their content velocity.

In each project, we’ll also include:

  1. The time-frame of the campaign
  2. The number of pages published
  3. Some extra context when it makes sense

DoNotPay.com (B2C SaaS)

  1. 430 pages published in 11 months (50% published in last 30 days)
  2. 0 to 479,000 in 16 months
  3. DoNotPay announces $12mm Series A @ $80mm valuation from A16 & Peter Thiel, here’s the full case study

Doggypedia.org (Publisher)

  1. 200 pages published in 6 months
  2. 0 to 116,000/month in 13 months
  3. Sold to AlphaPaw.com (case study coming soon)

Learn how we grew Doggypedia to 18,500,000 Pinterest impressions and 5,700 hours of YouTube watch time in 2019.

CampusReel.org (B2C SaaS)

  1. 300+ pages published
  2. 1,500/month to 166,000+/month in 12 months

Are you looking for B2C SaaS SEO? Check out our CampusReel case study.

AnyLeads (B2B SaaS)

  1. 70 pages of content published in 5 months
  2. 0/month to 47,000/month in 12 months
  3. 81 credit card required free trials signups in most recent month

LogicInbound.com ( B2B services)

  1. ~100 pages published in 4 months
  2. 500/month to 103,000 visitors/month in 13 months
  3. Generated SQL from Amazon

Ahrefs estimated traffic under reports LogicInbound.com by~50%.

Bonus Examples

It’s not just us, and it’s not just the projects we work on.

Every single website crushing organic search is publishing large volumes of content.

The graph below shows the top publishers in the dog niche.

The #1 thing they have in common?

They all have published a crazy amount of content.

Column E shows how much traffic they generate per page of content on their site.

And it’s all in a pretty tight band.

On average, a top site in the dog niche will generate between 180 – 800 visitors per page of content they’ve published.

There isn’t any website that is generating 80% of the traffic with 20% of the pages.

Quick side note, Doggypedia.org.

It has a DR 9.

That project is ours, and was highlighted above. 🙂

Learn how to rank without backlinks

And it’s not just puppies either.

The websites that generate the most traffic in any given industry tend to have significant amounts of content.

Let’s go for a ride.

InfluencerMarketingHub.com

  • 892 pages
  • 344,210 visitors per month

Still looking for the best SERP tracking tool for you? Check +35 reviews here.

Zapier.com

  • 1,648 pages
  • 383,338 visitors per month

TheHappyPuppySite.com

  • 1,496 pages published
  • 645,784 visitors per month

NextLuxury.com

  • 13,453 pages
  • 1,345,944 visitors per month

CreditKarma.com

  • 24,600 pages published
  • 7,768,510 visitors per month

How much should I budget to crush organic content distribution?

The cost to crush Google and turn organic search into a company asset is dependent on three things.

The number of pages you need to publish

We’ve been using ClusterAi internally for over a year.

ClusterAi is keyword grouping tool that turns large lists of keywords into unique content topics.

Most grouping tools do this by grouping semantically similar words.

But ClusterAi crawls Google for each keyword and groups keywords that have 3 or more URLs in common into unique pages.

Get our Content Ops Framework 

When three or more URLs or pages rank for a pair of keywords, that means we can probably rank for both keywords with one page also.

But if there are two or fewer pages that rank for both keywords, we probably can’t rank for both keywords with one page and will need to create separate content topics to rank for both keywords.

Import thousands of keywords into ClusterAi and get back groupings based on actual search data.

The groupings include the main keyword, variations, and the number of monthly searches across all keywords in a group.

This ClusterAi is for the matcha boys at TenzoTea.com.

Automate your keyword research:

  1. Automate your B2B SaaS keyword research
  2. Automate your B2C SaaS keyword research
  3. Automate your affiliate keyword research

Required content quality

None of this works without content quality.

The timeline you want to publish in

Total Pages * Content Cost / Months

For example:

  • 100 pages of content
  • $150 per page
  • 5 months

100 pages of content * $150/page = $15,000 / 5 months = $3,000/month at 20 pages/month.

If you want to reduce risk to your production schedule, and only give each writer one article per week, you need 5 writers to produce 20 articles per month.

What’s the ROI?

The formula to understanding different SEO ROI outcomes is:

Total Monthly Searches * Click Through Rate * Conversion Rate * Average Order Value = SEO ROI.

We’ve reviewed hundreds of projects and built a handy calculator in Google Sheets to help us understand how driving large volumes of qualified traffic will translate into business success.

Get our SEO ROI calculator to forecast costs and ROI of a successful organic content distribution campaign.

Building Your Content Team

Here’s the deal.

Just like the #1 lever for faster SEO results is publishing more content.

The #1 lever for hiring better writers is evaluating and testing more writing candidates.

That’s it.

The more writers you evaluate and test, the more likely you are to find the right mix of quality, affordability and capacity.

Check out the metrics on this hiring cycle:

  • 174 candidates
  • 80 invited to take our pre-hire writing test
  • 55 submitted a completed test
  • 26 writers passed the test

We use Workello to filter through hundreds of candidates to identify and hire the top 1% in just a few minutes.

Here’s how it works.

  1. Post your job ad on Reddit, LinkedIn, Facebook, ProBlogger, etc
  2. Watch candidates stream into your hiring dashboard
  3. Send pre-hire writing tests to your best candidates
  4. Sitback, relax and wait for candidates to take your test
  5. Hire the top 1%

Everything in Workello is pre-written and pre-optimized so you can start accepting writers into your hiring funnel in 90 seconds.

Here are some hiring guides to get you up and running ASAP:

  1. Get 200+ writers in the next 72 hours
  2. Hiring writers for hard content (Dev Ops, SaaS, legal, martech, etc)
  3. Outsource job posts to a VA
  4. Why writer marketplaces are broken

Our best content

Fat Graph Content Ops CommunityJoin 4,500+ systems focused content marketers and SEOs, and catch weekly AMAs with marketers from brands like Shopify, Intercom, Quora, Coinbase and more.

0 to 1,500,000 Organics Per Month: Without building backlinks or doing a bunch of technical BS.

How a 45 Person Content Agency Hires WritersWe spent 1,000+ hours automating our hiring funnel so you can copy us in 3 minutes.

How to publish 100+ pages/month of good content. Systems, process and staff you need to scale your publishing velocity.

Get 200+ Writing Candidates & Hire the Top 1%: Get candidates, test candidates, hire better writers.

Automating Keyword Research: AI perfect keyword research, without any SEO skills.

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Ranking Without Backlinks

How to outrank your better-funded competitors with bigger teams, bigger budgets, and more backlinks

In our previous post on how Google works, we told that out of the 65,000+ page 1 keywords our projects currently hold, we almost always have the lowest domain authority, least amount of backlinks, the smallest budget/teams, and the newest domains.

Across B2B and B2C.

SaaS, mobile apps, services, e-commerce and publishers.

Regardless of what type of business it is.

First, we’ll explain why. Then we’ll show you two dozen examples.

Why less authoritative sites with fewer backlinks outrank more authoritative sites with more backlinks

Google doesn’t publish schematics with how it works, but our experience indicates any of these three things will help you outrank stronger sites with more backlinks:

  1. User engagement metrics
  2. Referral traffic
  3. More internal links

Sometimes, you only need to nail one of these things to rank well, but the more competitive the target, the more important it is to nail as many of them as possible.

Better user engagement metrics

Google has 99.99% market penetration with Google Analytics, and they own 70% of the web browser market.

Google is at its heart, a big data company.

They would be absolutely foolish not to use data from Google Analytics, and even user data from Chrome to determine how users respond to one page vs another page.

If your page has a lower bounce rate, higher time on site, and more pages visited than your competition, that’s a pretty good indicator your page better services a user than pages with lower metrics.

And if you think about it, user engagement metrics much more closely measure user satisfaction and value than an easily gamed metric like backlinks.

Our goal with every page of content we publish is to provide more value than any other page Google could show.

By focusing on reader value, we should generate better UX metrics than a page that provides less reader value.

Referral traffic

Google has a kajillion pages in its index, and it’s discovering hundreds of millions of new pages every single day.

Most of these pages won’t ever be viewed by a real human.

So if Google notices (through Google Analytics) that your page is receiving a significant amount of referral traffic from other websites, social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, email, or really, any other source⁠—that’s a pretty good indicator the page being viewed has value.

Whenever we push referral traffic from one of the above sources to a new page, that page tends to rank quicker than pages we don’t drive referral traffic to.

More internal links

Internal links tell Google how important a page is to your brand. The more internal links point to a given page, the easier that page is to rank.

The inverse is also true, the fewer internal links point to a page, the harder that page is to rank.

BrandChamp.io is ranking #1 for the most valuable keyword in their industry.

Check out the BrandChamp B2B SEO case study

It also has 37 internal links pointing to it.

Looking for the best SERP tracking tool? Get +35 reviews from the top 1% SEO agency here.

Higher click-through rates (CTR) from search

Through trillions of searches, Google has a really good idea of what percentage of clicks each page will capture based on where it ranks.

If users are consistently skipping over higher results to click on your page, that’s a pretty good indication that your page is better fulfilling a user’s search than other pages Google is showing, and Google will reward you with a higher position.

Generally, when we write our meta titles and descriptions, we aim for one of two things:

  1. More social proof than any other page ranking
  2. More contrarian than any other page

More social proof than any other page

How can we create more social proof than any other page ranking?

This requires really understanding who your audience is. How can we build more trust than anyone else while being limited to 155 characters?

In the case of Archive360.com, we’re highlighting some of the most famous brands in the world that trust us. The brands we listed don’t work with just anyone, and the fact they chose Archive360 means you can trust us too—we’re pre-vetted.

More contrarian than any other page

When everybody is going left, we go right. When everybody is going right, we go left.

Look at this example from Doggypedia.

Every first-page result is focused on how cute and cuddly Corgi Huskys are.

We went the other direction.

“Hey Reader, here are 3 reasons you SHOULDN’T get the breed of dog you’re interested in.”

Being more relevant

The more relevant you are to what a searcher is looking for, the easier it is to rank.

But, the real estate you have to drive relevance is precious and limited to:

  1. URL
  2. H1 / H2s / H3s, etc
  3. Meta title & meta description
  4. Anchor text on internal links
  5. Backlinks

You have complete control over 1-4, but #5 is trickier.

AnyLeads.com is outranking Hubspot for ‘Linkedin inmail templates’ because Hubspot isn’t as relevant as we are to the query.

They still rank well due to their incredible authority and well-written content, but in this case, being more relevant was enough to beat them.

More examples

As we said, 65,000 page-one keywords and our projects have less authority, fewer backlinks, smaller budgets, smaller teams, and newer domains than the pages we rank above.

This could be the longest blog post in the history of the internet.

So we’re going to limit it to a few dozen examples.

Outranking stronger B2B domains

BrandChamp.io

Need help with B2B SaaS SEO? Learn how we did it for BrandChamp.

Ambassador Program Marketing

How to create a brand ambassador program

Brand ambassador program examples

Brand ambassador program template

Successful brand ambassador programs

How to start a brand ambassador program

Learn how we helped BrandChamp outrank stronger, more powerful competitors and how we can help you with your B2B SaaS SEO campaign.

Archive360.com

Salesforce archive

Symantec enterprise vault

Mimecast alternatives

Ranking above B2C websites without backlinks

DoNotPay.com

Free trial credit card

How to sue uber

Ca DMV appointment

Uplay customer support

CampusReel.org

Need help with your B2C SaaS SEO? Learn how we helped CampusReel grow from 1,000 visitors/month to 166,000 visitors/month in 12 months.

UCLA dorms

Texas tech housing

VCU vs UCF

Compare colleges

College acceptance calculator

Need help with your B2C SaaS SEO? Learn how we helped CampusReel grow from 1,000 visitors/month to 166,000 visitors/month in 12 months.

Doggypedia.org

Corgi mix

Corgi memes

Husky Corgi mix

Husky mix

Husky poodle mix

Forecasting the ROI of your SEO campaign

If you think organic search is a viable acquisition channel, your next steps is to forecast potential impact on your organization.

Use our SEO ROI calculator to model varying levels of outcomes.

Our best content

Want to learn how we’ve grown 4 websites from approximately zero to 100,000 visitors per month?

We share it all.

  1. Brand Jacking (ranking for your competitor’s brands)
  2. How to turn any writer into an SEO content writer
  3. How to find and hire the highest quality, most affordable writers on the internet
  4. SEO ROI Calculator
  5. How we crush B2C SaaS SEO
  6. How to rank without backlinks
  7. The #1 lever to get the fastest SEO results
  8. How we crush B2B SaaS SEO
  9. How Google actually works (based on 65,000 page 1 keywords)

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How Google Actually Works

How Google (really) Works

Learning how to generate business impact from organic search effectively is hard.

Like really hard.

Most people who try fail.

Those that succeed did so accidentally and aren’t entirely sure how to reproduce their success.

Why is that?

It’s due to two reasons.

The first reason is that you don’t know the credentials of the person from whom you’re taking advice.

And the barrier to entry for giving bad advice is zero.

And the second reason is that even great SEO professionals make SEO a whole lot more complicated than it needs to be.

I’ll give you a great example.

When you Google ‘ranking factors,’ the #1 post is from Brian Dean.

Brian Dean is a big deal in SEO.

He is up there with Rand Fishkin and Matt Cuts in name recognition.

And his article lists over 200 different factors that can impact your rankings.

When you’re learning how to crush organic search and you stumble across this article, it makes SEO sound really hard.

200 ranking factors!

How is anyone going to find the time to learn 200 different things just to rank in Google!

They think, welp, time to give up.

Or maybe they try to start implementing some of the ranking factors they find and give up because it’s too technical.

But the truth is that Brian Dean didn’t list those rankings factors because they actually matter, or because they’re things he worries about.

He listed those 200 ranking factors in that article because he knew that one of the most effective things you can do to rank higher is writing more content than the pages currently ranking.

Why does writing more make it easier to rank?

Because longer content generally has better user engagement metrics than shorter content.

Let me back up a second and explain.

Like I said above, the barrier to providing bad SEO advice is nearly zero, so allow me to cover my credentials briefly.

Content Distribution has over 65,000 first-page keywords right now across the projects on which we’ve worked.

And we consistently rank above pages which are on more authoritative domains and which have more backlinks.

Here is one of 65,000 examples:

Get 25+ examples and 5 tactics we use again and again to rank above competitors with higher authority, larger budgets, and more backlinks.

For folks who aren’t exactly sure what you’re looking at:

  1. That is a screenshot from the #1 SEO tool, Ahrefs.
  2. The ‘DR’ column stands for ‘Domain Authority’ and is Ahrefs proprietary measure of how powerful a domain is. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter are 100s. The site you created yesterday is a 0.
  3. The backlinks column is how many backlinks Ahrefs has discovered that link to the page highlighted, brandchamp.io/how-to-start-create-a-brand-ambassador-program

So why does BrandChamp rank above pages with more backlinks, and more authority?

Well, it’s because you’ve been lied to.

Backlinks, complicated technical concepts, and 99% of the ‘ranking factors’ listed in Brian Dean’s article don’t actually matter much.

That’s because Google’s goal isn’t to show the page with the most backlinks.

Google’s goal is surprisingly intuitive.

Google’s goal is to show the highest quality, most relevant search results for any given keyword.

Why?

It’s because Google generates 100 billion dollars per year from Google Adwords.

That means a 1% loss in market share represents over a billion dollars in high margin revenue and potentially a further erosion of market share and revenue.

So Google has a fiduciary duty to maintain its reputation as the best search engine.

And how do they do that?

We do that by consistently providing the highest quality, most relevant search results for any given search query.

So, let’s continue to think through this for a second.

What’s a better heuristic for whether a piece of content is higher quality and more relevant than other pages that Google could show for a given keyword?

  1. Backlinks?
  2. User engagement metrics (time on site, pages visited, bounce rate, overall site engagement, etc.)?

Well, Google knows that backlinks are easily gamed.

It’s all SEO guys talk about.

Backlinks this, backlinks that.

Backlinks, backlinks, backlinks.

There are over 16,000,000 search results about how to get backlinks.

And when you really think about it, sure, backlinks can be a heuristic for relevance and quality.

That’s because good quality content should attract more backlinks (naturally or via outreach) than lower-quality content.

But ultimately, user engagement metrics more closely measure the quality and relevance of a piece of content.

If you spend as much time in Ahrefs as we do, you’ll notice that the first time you hit the first page for an important keyword, you generally don’t just stay there.

Google bounces you on and off the first page a few times before you end up sticking somewhere.

What’s happening here?

Why does Google do this?

Google is testing and stack ranking your user engagement metrics against the other pages it could show.

When you stick on the first page, it means that you’re ultimately servicing the searcher better than pages below you.

That means your user engagement metrics were better.

And when you bounce off and stick on the second page, or maybe the third, it means you didn’t quite hit the mark with your content.

For some reason, your content didn’t quite answer the reader’s question as effectively as the content that is sticking on page one.

Even when you do stick on the first page, every once in awhile, you’ll bounce off before returning to it a few days later.

That’s Google making room on the first page to test another piece of content that it found and that it believes might be a viable candidate.

How Google actually works is GREAT news for you

Why?

Because it means that crushing organic search and generating a ton of business impact is accessible.

You don’t have to be a technical wizard (I’m not).

And you don’t have to rely on figuring how to convince (or pay) other people to link to you.

  1. You know your industry well.
  2. You’re not an idiot.
  3. It’s likely you already have all the skills you need today to create higher quality, more relevant content than the pages Google is currently showing for the keywords you want to rank for.

You just need someone to show you what actually matters.

Learn how to turn any writer into an SEO content writer (even if neither of you have SEO experience)

More good news

When you create content that is higher quality, and more relevant than that of your competition, instead of relying on backlinks and complicated technical concepts, it means your site is algorithm proof.

Sometimes, Google pushes an update, and everyone freaks out about decreases in traffic.

Meanwhile, you’re continuing to see improvements in traffic, rankings, and revenue.

Because ultimately, Google’s goal with each of their algorithm updates is to better surface higher quality, more relevant content to its users.

So what are the important ranking factors?

We’ve achieved our 65,000+ first page keywords by focusing on three things:

  1. Writing higher-quality content than other pages currently ranking
  2. Optimizing that content to be more relevant to the keyword we want to rank for
  3. Internal links

Quality

Higher-quality content provides more value to the reader than lower-quality content.

That means better answers to the searcher’s question.

The way you figure this out is by Googling the main keyword you want to rank for, reading the pages that are missing and:

  1. Identifying things they didn’t cover that they should have
  2. Identifying room for improvement in terms of angle. Should they have provided more detail, or maybe less detail in a particular section?

But that’s quality from a user’s perspective.

Google doesn’t understand quality the same way as people do.

Google isn’t an AI (yet), and Google can’t naturally understand whether a piece of content is better than another piece of content until they’ve checked the user engagement metrics.

But, through trillions of searches, Google has been able to develop a model of the characteristics that content with better user engagement metrics has that content with poor user engagement metrics lacks.

Let’s highlight this with an example.

If I showed you two pieces of content in a language you can’t read, which piece of content would you assume is higher quality, providing more value to the reader?

  1. The piece of content with 1,000 words in one giant paragraph?
  2. Or the piece of content with 3,000 words, a table of contents, lists (1,2,3), bullets, embedded pictures and videos, tables with structured data, internal links to provide more context, and external links to authoritative sources backing up claims?

You would pick the second piece of content.

Even if it’s in a language that you don’t understand.

Google does the same thing.

When it crawls your site and discovers a new piece of content that has the characteristics of content with high user engagement metrics, it ranks and tests your page on the first page quicker than if your content is missing those characteristics.

So not only do we analyze the first page of search results to provide more value to the reader.

We also structure our content with the things that Google knows is a characteristic of high-quality content.

That means we write our content with more:

  1. Words
  2. Lists
  3. Tables
  4. Bullets
  5. Pictures
  6. Videos
  7. Internal links
  8. External links

Than any other page that Google is currently ranking for the keyword that we want to rank for.

And to be perfectly honest, sometimes just having the characteristics of high-quality content is enough to drive better user engagement metrics than other competitive pages.

That’s even true if the human evaluated quality is questionable.

Let me give you an example.

We work with ambitious, fast-growing brands much larger than ourselves.

These brands have the budget to hire the writers we need to produce the level of quality that the brand needs.

Learn how build a hiring funnel to find high quality writers at $0.05/word

But when we do our internal R&D projects for reverse engineering Google, we spend as little as possible on content:

  • We’re publishing 200+ articles and over 500,000+ words in just a few months.
  • We’re a young company with a finite R&D budget. The less expensive our content is, the more surface area we have for testing.

Regardless of the quality from an actual human’s perspective, the fact that it’s structured in a specific way tends to keep users engaged longer than content that isn’t structured in this specific way.

Relevance

Relevance means how relevant Google thinks you are to the keywords that you want to rank for.

The real estate you have to drive relevance is pretty limited:

  1. Your URL
  2. Title
  3. Meta title
  4. H1
  5. H2s
  6. Internal links
  7. External links
  8. Pages linking to you

#8 is hard to control, but you have 100% control over the other seven.

Becoming more relevant to a keyword that you want to rank for doesn’t mean you should be keyword stuffing everywhere you can.

It means using variations of your keyword in the areas you have available to you to drive relevance.

If I want to rank for ‘brand ambassador program,’ I’ll use that keyword in a bunch of different ways across the real estate that drives relevance:

Don’t ‘get cute’

Google isn’t a mind reader.

You need to be explicit in what you tell Google your content is about.

If you try and ‘get cute’ with the limited amount of real estate you have available, and that you can control, to drive relevance, you’re not going to achieve your desired outcome.

Here is an example.

Archive360 is a big data company.

The author of the blog post below chose to use their limited amount of real estate to drive relevance to keywords that are completely and utterly unrelated to their brand.

Example 1

The URL of this page is /dammit-jim-im-a-doctor-not-an-ai-healthcare-and-ai

And there is only one keyword this page is indexed for, ‘dammit im a doctor

What’s the best SERP tracking tool? Here’s our list.

Example 2

The URL of this page is /call-an-uber-for-your-medical-data

The keywords that this page is indexed for are related to Uber.

Internal Links

Internal links tell Google how important a given page is to your brand.

More internal links to a page lead Google to believe the page is more important to your brand.

Less internal links lead Google to believe the page is less important to your brand.

The more important Google believes a page is to your brand, the easier it will be to rank.

Remember that picture above of BrandChamp outranking more authoritative domains, with more backlinks for a highly valuable keyword?

That page has 37 internal links pointing at it.

That’s because we went through and linked to the ‘ambassador program’ page from 37 blog posts.

Learn how we helped BrandChamp turn a handful of key pages in their B2B SEO campaign into a $100k ARR marketing channel.

What Next?

Want to learn how to crush Google without building backlinks or doing super complicated technical SEO?

Check out these free guides

  1. https://contentdistribution.com/hire-writers
  2. https://contentdistribution.com/seo-content-writer
  3. https://contentdistribution.com/outranking-better-funded-competitors/

Work With Us

First things first

We only have time to work with ambitious brands that want the fastest seo results possible.

Use our SEO ROI calculator to forecast the impact of organic search on your organization.

Want to crush Google and appear everywhere your target audience is searching?

We deliver successful outcomes to ambitious brands again, and again, and again. If you want to be everywhere your target audience is searching, let’s talk.

Our best content

Want to learn how we’ve grown 4 websites from approximately zero to 100,000 visitors per month, with the biggest one doing over 500,000 after 17 months?

We share it all.

  1. How to turn any writer into an SEO content writer
  2. How we crush B2B SaaS SEO
  3. Brand Jacking (ranking for your competitor’s brands)
  4. How to find and hire the highest quality, most affordable writers on the internet
  5. How Google actually works (based on 65,000 page 1 keywords)
  6. SEO ROI Calculator
  7. How we crush B2C SaaS SEO
  8. The #1 lever to get the fastest SEO results
  9. How to rank without backlinks
  10. The greatest SEO case study of 2020: 0 to 479,000 monthly organic in 16 months

Rather do it yourself?

Get our systems, processes, and playbooks to build a content distribution system in your company. This program is built from the ground up to enable you to learn, delegate, and scale successful organic search outcomes for B2B SaaS, B2C SaaS and e-commerce brands.

Want to learn more about us first? Join our Facebook Group.

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0 to 167,000 Organics / Month

B2C SaaS SEO for CampusReel

In February 2019, we signed a contract with CampusReel. At that moment, their site was receiving around 1,000 visits per month.

Just 12 months later, their traffic exploded to 166,000 monthly organic visits.

In this case study, I’ll walk you through the exact programmatic SEO strategy we executed on this project to make this happen.

It’s also important to know that this project was done with minimal resources, no human writers and I was paid $1,500 for it. Meaning, you can almost certainly accomplish the same. Let’s dive in.

🔎 Background

If you’re reading a Content Distribution article for the first time, here’s what you gotta know.

We’ve taken several projects from 0 to +100,000 monthly organic visits in a very short frame (in under a year or two):

On most of these projects our strategy is the same:

  • Create the most valuable page of content Google could show for the topics we want to rank for
  • Integrate product into the content as a natural next step for the reader
  • Align content & SEO strategy with business goals (revenue)

We almost completely skip technical BS, building backlinks, hacks and shortcuts.

Having said that, this project is the biggest outlier, because it’s the only project where we really doubled-down on programmatic SEO and published no human-made content. It was a cool experiment done with minimal budget, and it paid off for the client massively.

Since then, we’ve worked with clients like ClickUp, Privacy, Austin Bank, achieved similar successes and figured out the exact type of client we can create the most value for.

I’m talking about +10x ROI, greatly reduced CAC and a tenfold increase in their internet brand footprint.

Estimated Organic Search Traffic

If you’re familiar with Ahrefs, the #1 SEO tool in the world, you can skip this next section. If you’re not, keep reading.

Ahrefs provides SEOs with data to make intelligent campaign decisions.

One of the core pieces of functionality Ahrefs provides SEOs with is estimated organic search traffic of any website on the internet.

Ahrefs estimated organic search traffic isn’t going to exactly match Google Analytics traffic, but the reason I’m showing you Ahrefs estimate organic traffic instead of Google Analytics is:

  • Ahrefs data is public and can be viewed by anyone with an Ahrefs account
  • Google Analytics data is private & generally our clients don’t want this data made publicly available (although some don’t mind)
  • Ahrefs data is more accurate than SimilarWeb, Moz, SEMRush, and any other tool that exists to estimate organic search traffic

Here is what Ahrefs has to say about the difference between their data & Google analytics:

You can read the full article here.

The Opportunity

CampusReel helps highschool students evaluate the universities and colleges they’re interested in attending with actual interviews, reviews, and virtual tours from real students.

When they approached us, they thought organic search could be a major growth lever, but didn’t have a clear path forward.

It’s no wonder. The SEO industry loves to overcomplicate things and make it inaccessible to people outside the space. When you Google ‘ranking factors’, you find Backlinko’s article with over 200 different ranking factors.

And like most small bootstrapped startups, CampusReel didn’t have the bandwidth to learn, test, and iterate, or the internal expertise on their team to delegate.

But their hunch was good. Their competitors were generating massive amounts of traffic:

UsNews.com

PrincetonReview.com

CampusReel’s competitors are generating these enormous amounts of traffic by ranking for the brand names of the schools they have data on.

When you Google any school in the country’s name, one of these competitors almost always show up:

Niche.com

UsNews.com

GreatSchools.org

The Challenge

CampusReel competitors produced very little content by hand and mainly focused on programmatic SEO, creating pages about every school in the country with information they scraped about the school from the Department of Education.

CampusReel didn’t do that.

Their angle on education reviews was interviews, reviews and walkthroughs from real students attending these schools by paying them to create user-generated content (UGC).

And because this means a lot of work and CampusReel is a small bootstrapped startup, they only had content from hundreds of schools, not tens of thousands like their competitors.

The next challenge was that Campus Reel mostly had video content. Their pages had almost zero written content.

Outside of a few websites like YouTube and Pinterest, Google prefers to rank websites that are rich in written content.

And so, we had to adjust our strategy to fit the needs and context of CampusReel:

  • Small, bootstrapped startup with limited resources
  • Nearly zero written content, mostly video content
  • The number of schools they had content for is measured in the hundreds, not tens of thousands

Execution strategy

In order to execute the campaign with the budget CampusReel had allocated we had the following limitations:

  1. We needed to work with the content CampusReel had today, meaning no scraped data from the Department of Education.
  2. While hiring writers to write high-quality content is less expensive than you would expect, manually producing the volume of content we needed for hundreds of schools wasn’t an option.
  3. We had to focus on areas that could be done once, but create an impact on a site-wide basis.

Sitewide Optimizations

The more relevant we are to the keyword we want to rank for, the easier it is to rank.

But Google’s ranking algorithm can’t read minds, and if we want to be relevant to a particular school, we need to be explicit in what we tell Google our page is about.

And the areas we have to drive relevance are limited to:

  1. URL
  2. Title
  3. Meta title
  4. H1
  5. H2s
  6. Internal links
  7. External links
  8. Pages linking to you

#1 – #7 are accessible to us, whereas #8 is generally outside of our control unless your organization excels at earned media, or has the budget to pay for backlinks.

URLs

CampusReel built their app in Ruby on Rails, and when we took over the project they were using random strings in their URLs, which looked like this:

CampusReel.org/05da0d06-4814-4de4-8d5a-dc47b0534610.html

We changed the URLs to:

CampusReel.org/colleges/school-name

Internal linking

The closer a page is to the homepage, the more important Google believes that page is to your brand, and the easier it is to rank.

But we can’t link +300 universities from the homepage without wrecking the user experience.

So in order to reduce the # of clicks, it takes to get from the homepage to any school on CampusReel we created ‘hubpages’.

Hubpages are groups of similar pages under one ‘hub’.

This allows us to reduce the # of links on the homepage to a manageable amount, while still reducing the # of clicks it takes to visit any school on the site.

This was implemented in both the header and footer of the site to align with SEO best practices, but also improve the user experience.

We linked to these hub pages in the header:

And footer:

Clicking a hub page takes you to a list of all the schools tagged with a particular ‘school type’ attribute:

School pages

Previously all of the videos on a page were mixed together.

Fortunately, CampusReel had tagged each type of video on the back-end, so we sorted the videos by type and added a table of contents to the top, based on how prospective students search for information.

There were other opportunities that we wanted to cover, like GPA & SAT scores, but CampusReel’s content was primarily focused on dorms, campus social life and dining halls.

So we made due with what we had.

Metadata

CampusReel has over 300+ university profile pages, and thousands of individual video pages.

The only way this was going to work was to generate the metadata for each page programmatically, so we created a structure for each page type:

[School Name] campus reviews and video tours. Get a video tour of [School Name] life. You would never guess what [School Name]…..

We implemented a clickbait cliffhanger at the end of each university’s meta description.

Our goal here was to create something searchers would scroll down past higher search results and click through to, even if CampusReel wasn’t ranked #1.

Content

There are very, very few websites that rank well in Google without much written content. The odds were pretty much against us:

  • CampusReel had almost zero text content – most of their content was video UGC
  • We didn’t have the budget to create written content for 14,000+ pages
  • Even if we did, managing the manual creation and placement of that much content would have been a long, logistical slog

So we got creative. We instructed CampusReel to run all 14,000 videos through an API based transcriptions service that takes audio/video and provides written transcriptions of the content, then pushed the transcriptions all at once to 14,000 pages.

And just like that, we were able to align the site with what we know Google likes, in a massively cost-effective way.

Notice we hide text behind a button to keep the page UI clean.

This is a valid tactic, and works, as long as the text loads with the page. If the text does not load with the page, you reduce the effectiveness of hiding the text behind the button.

Gateway pages

The success of the automated page build out proved organic search was a viable acquisition channel, and CampusReel began expanding the scope of their ambitions.

The next keyword targets they executed on were:

  1. Calculators for college prospects
  2. Transferring to universities in their database

Once users land on the page, they are funneled to video reviews of that college.

And the page does a great job at structuring their content.

Internal linking.

And increasing user engagement metrics via embedded calculators.

Conclusion

This was a very unusual project to work on, and very fun.

It was our first project trying to rank a site with very little written content, and we’re very proud of what we were able to achieve on a shoestring budget.

Since then, we’ve figured out our sweet spot when it comes to our offering and market fit, started focusing more on publishing great content at scale and achieved successes even bigger than this one with clients like DoNotPay, ClickUp, Privacy, Austin Bank, and others.

Still, this case study serves as a reminder that you can achieve great success in SEO when you get creative, even with very limited resources.

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Turning Any Writer Into an SEO Content Writer

How Any Writer Can Write SEO Content

Content Distribution publishes 400+ pages of content per month.

Our clients specifically seek to work with us because of our skill set in generating an audience through organic search.

We hire our writers because they’re good writers, not because they know anything about SEO.

Usually, when writers say they know SEO, what they mean is they’ve read some stuff and watched some videos.

What they never mean is, they have a consistent process to ensure the content they write ranks again and again and again.

When we look at their portfolio, none of their work is generating traffic from search.

But that’s OK.

So, how do we take great writers and enable each of them to create content that ranks every time?

We do it the same way that we publish 200+ pages of content per month.

We do it with processes, documentation, and systems.

If you don’t want to see:

  1. Proof that all you need to have to rank is excellent content, not backlinks or technical SEO
  2. Awesome Facebook groups to recruit great writers from
  3. How much you need to pay
  4. How to keep your writers happy and productive

And you only want the process document, then scroll to the end

What is SEO content writing?

We believe that Google’s #1 goal is to show the most relevant, highest quality content for any given search query every time.

Why do we believe that’s Google’s #1 goal?

  1. Alphabet generates 95% of its revenue from Google Adwords
  2. Google Adwords makes 120 billion dollars a year
  3. A one percent loss in market share represents over a billion dollars in high margin revenue.
  4. To maintain their brand as the #1 search engine, they need to provide better search results than everyone else

We didn’t just make up this philosophy of organic search distribution.

We’ve published hundreds of pages of content across the projects we’ve worked on, and have over 65,000 first page keywords.

Not everything ranks and not everything ranks fast, but when we publish vast amounts of highly relevant, high-quality content, it has never failed to work.

High-Quality Content

Google isn’t an AI, and it can’t intuitively identify quality content as we can.

Instead, Google relies on heuristics.

We believe the strongest heuristics of content quality are user engagement metrics, and how they compare to those for other pages that Google could show for a given keyword.

  1. Bounce rate
  2. Time on site
  3. Pages visited
  4. Overall site engagement (button clicks, CTAs, etc.)

If you closely monitor your rankings, it’s common to see your page pop on and off the first page before ultimately settling somewhere.

That is Google testing and stack-ranking your page based on user engagement metrics.

And through trillions of searches, Google has developed a pretty good idea of the characteristics of high-quality content.

Think about it this way.

Imagine we showed you two pieces of content on a topic about which you knew nothing.

Say, quantum physics, or quantum computing.

The first piece is 1,000 words in one giant paragraph.

The second piece of content is 3,000 words and has:

  • A table of contents
  • Bullet Points
  • Lists
  • Tables
  • Embedded YouTube videos
  • Pictures
  • Important sentences in bold
  • Internal links to relevant content
  • External links to authoritative websites

Even if you didn’t understand the topic, which would you assume is the better piece of content?

You’d pick the one with a ton of structured data.

So, when Google crawls your site, and it finds a ton of structured data like lists, tables, and bullet points, it assumes that the quality of your content is high.

It then tests you on the first page quicker than it would without these characteristics of high-quality content.

Relevance

Being relevant to a given search is just as crucial as having high-quality content.

Every day, people create content that will never rank nor attract eyeballs because Google doesn’t believe it’s relevant to a given keyword.

You only have so much real estate to drive relevance.

  1. URL
  2. Meta title
  3. Meta description
  4. H1
  5. H2s
  6. H3s
  7. Internal links

Being relevant doesn’t mean using the same keyword again and again and again across your available real estate.

It means using variations of the keyword for which you want to rank.

In this article, my core keyword is ‘seo content writer.’

But I’ve also optimized the content for variations of this core keyword:

  • SEO content writing
  • SEO content writers
  • Writing SEO content
  • Writing web content for SEO

You have to be careful when you pick the variations because if you choose the wrong variations, you might not rank for anything.

It’s very counterintuitive, and today doing keyword research is more of an art than a science.

If you write a post about ‘the best LinkedIn headlines & profiles,’ your post will neither rank for ‘LinkedIn headlines’ nor for ‘LinkedIn profiles.’

Go ahead and Google each term.

The pages ranking on the first page are optimized for just one of those keywords.

LinkedIn profiles

LinkedIn headlines

They use the:

  • URL
  • Meta title
  • Meta description
  • H1s
  • H2s
  • H3s

To drive the relevance for one keyword or the other, not both.

Being relevant at scale

Today, people choose their keyword research using a ‘gut feeling.’

Over 20 SEO professionals replied to this post and gave their opinion.

Not a single one based their opinion on data. They all gave advice ‘from their gut.’

It takes a lot of time to figure this out. It’s more of an art than a science.

We weren’t satisfied with the keyword research process being an uncertain art, which takes a significant amount of time for every piece of content produced.

We turned keyword research into a science that’s based on data, not on our gut. That way, we can generate a year-long content calendar in less than an hour.

How it works:

  • Import as many as 10,000 relevant keywords to your business
  • The tool crawls Google and
  • Figures out which keywords can rank together
  • Then groups the keywords that can rank together into discrete content topics
  • With the exact variations to use in each piece

Here’s what that looks like:

Notice how ‘hiring writers’ and ‘hire content writers’ are separate?

Look at the variations. I see one keyword that doesn’t include ‘content’ in the ‘hire content writers’ keyword group.

Google both keywords, and you’ll see that each of the different search results contain different pages optimized for one keyword or the other.

Comparing each keyword against other keywords to get this right is tedious to the point where it’s simply not done.

So, people guess. When they screw up, they don’t rank for either keyword.

When more relevant, higher quality content isn’t enough, and why you should make it anyway

Content may not be enough if you’re operating in:

  • Gambling
  • Finance
  • Dating
  • Healthcare
  • Cancer lawsuits

But for most businesses, and most industries, content is enough.

That isn’t to say that backlinks don’t help, they do.

A lack of backlinks has never stopped us from ranking well before, but having a lot of backlinks makes our job easier.

Even when backlinks are necessary, highly relevant, high-quality content requires fewer backlinks to rank than less relevant, lower-quality content.

Below are examples showing the impact of content that is more relevant and higher quality than that of the competition.

In every example, you’ll note our page has less domain strength and fewer backlinks than the competition that we are beating.

Examples:

  1. Web content
  2. E-commerce content
  3. B2B SaaS content
  4. Mobile Apps content

Writing web content for SEO

Doggypedia is America’s favorite website to learn about different mixed breed dogs, with over 200 unique articles.

This keyword represents 23,000 searches a month.

Here’s a little context about what the numbers mean.

We only highlighted the columns you care about.

  1. DR
  2. Backlinks

DR stands for Domain Rating. It is a proprietary metric that measures the strength of a domain based on the backlink profile.

YouTube, Facebook, and Google are all 100s.

The site you created yesterday is a 0.

It’s not a metric that Google uses. It’s a metric created by Ahrefs, the tool from which we took all of the screenshots that you’ll see here.

Even though Google does not use it, it’s still a very useful metric to understand how powerful a given domain is.

Not only does Doggypedia’s domain have the weakest backlink profile as indicated by the DR (domain rating) score, but of the nine other pages, only 1 page has fewer backlinks.

And it’s not just that keyword. It’s hundreds of them, 504 position-one keywords, and thousands of keywords on the 1st page.

SEO Writing for E-Commerce

Hobanco is an outdoor e-commerce brand selling knives. We built and sold this website a few years ago.

Quick note: If you want to learn how to leverage sponsored YouTube videos as an acquisition channel for your e-commerce store, you need to read this post. Otherwise, keep reading.

When someone searches for [state knife laws], that searcher generally already owns a knife or is looking to purchase one. Our research showed that people who buy knives to carry around have a lot of knives.

Of the ten 1st page search results, Hobanco has the second-lowest DR, and the second-lowest number of backlinks – yet it outranks pages on stronger domains with many more backlinks.

By the way, that featured snippet means we appear as shown below.

Well-structured content gets you lots of featured snippets.

This site hasn’t been touched since April 2018, and yet it grows month after month after month.

That’s the power of great content.

B2B SaaS SEO Content

BrandChamp.io helps e-commerce brands create and scale ambassador programs to thousands of participants.

It’s a seriously impressive product but lacked awareness of the buyer’s life cycle.

Each customer is worth anywhere from $3,000 per year to tens of thousands per year.

This blog post alone might be worth $100,000.

But it’s not alone.

The brands that are the most successful with search don’t create one piece of content and hope it ranks. They create a piece of content for every opportunity across the buyer’s life cycle.

And again

Learn more B2B SEO tactics we’re using right now to outrank bigger brands with larger budgets

Writing SEO Content B2C SaaS companies

DoNotPay is a San Francisco based startup backed by Peter Thiel that has created the world’s first AI robot lawyer and has helped over 200,000 people dispute and beat their parking tickets (among a bunch of other cool things).

Remember what I said above about how backlinks aren’t necessary, just helpful?

This is just one of the hundreds of pages DoNotPay has page 1 keywords for.

When you create a lot of high-quality content, you can stop paying attention to individual rankings, and you can focus on:

  • Do we have more keywords on the first page this week than we did last week?
  • Did we have more organic search traffic this month than we did last month?

Calculate your ROI using our SEO ROI formula (Google Sheet)

17 months into this campaign DoNotPay has grown from approximately zero to 500,000 organic search visitors per month.

This isn’t a fluke.

Before this, we took CampusReel.org to 166,000+ organic search visitors per month, in about 12 months.

Learn why we crush B2C SaaS SEO projects

Hiring writers (that don’t know SEO)

If you’re like the businesses we work with, your core team is best equipped to create the highest quality content, but they have the least amount of time to write it.

Writing the type of content you need to have to rank isn’t easy.

At a minimum, it’s going to take a few hours.

And if you find the time to write one page here and there, you’re not going to achieve the outcome you wanted from organic search.

So you need to hire writers to write your content for you.

Before we give you the template to turn any content writer into an SEO content writer, let’s help you find awesome writers with whom to work.

Pay your writers per word, not hourly

Paying your writers by the hour is ineffective.

They won’t be motivated to write.

The truth hurts. Every person I’ve met who pays their writers hourly gets less content for the dollar than those who pay writers per word.

For most of the content we create, we pay our writers a minimum of five cents per word, but it can go as high as ten cents per word for our enterprise SaaS projects in highly technical industries.

You won’t find the quality you’re looking for with the reliability you need for less than five cents per word.

Hiring good, affordable writers on auto-pilot

Here’s the deal.

Just like the #1 lever for faster SEO results is publishing more content.

The #1 lever for hiring better writers is evaluating and testing more writing candidates.

That’s it.

The more writers you evaluate and test, the more likely you are to find the right mix of quality, affordability and capacity.

Check out the metrics on this hiring cycle:

  • 174 candidates
  • 80 invited to take our pre-hire writing test
  • 55 submitted a completed test
  • 26 writers passed the test

We use Workello to filter through hundreds of candidates to identify and hire the top 1% in just a few minutes.