0 to 1,000,000+ Monthly Organic Visitors in 24 Months [GUIDE]
0 to 1,000,000+ Monthly Organic Visitors in 24 Months [GUIDE]
How do you grow organic traffic? It may seem like a lofty goal, but going from 0 to 1,000,000 in purely organic traffic per month is quite achievable. I have put together this guide to show how I would approach this. In the course of this blog, I will detail the various tactics and strategies I would employ. In addition to that, I will talk about the various soft factors, like team management, that you need to keep an eye on, to make this possible.
- 1 Why growing organic traffic is so darn important
- 2 Requirements to grow organic traffic
- 3 A keywords boot camp – Research and clusters
- 4 Content Planning, content velocity and content length
- 5 The importance of a strategic internal linking process
- 6 Utilize user engagement metrics to grow organic traffic
- 7 Content Scaling, Team Building And Training – Hiring writers, editing, quality control
- 8 Repurposing, redirecting, and combining content
- 9 Conclusion
Why growing organic traffic is so darn important
Organic traffic is cheaper than paid traffic
I have run a lot of ecommerce businesses. Some of which I owned but most of which I was hired to manage via my agency. The one common thread I noticed, across almost all industries was that, PPC is expensive. And it has to be. Think about it. We are all essentially bidding for those keywords. The more money you are willing to give to Google on a cost per click basis, the better your chances of having someone click on your ad, and thus you getting traffic.
But this has been and will always be a race to the bottom. It has now become a question of who can give more of their profit to Google, in the form of more ad spend.
I always hated this part of traffic acquisition. So I dove deep into alternative means of acquiring traffic that did not rely on the bidding contest. In particular, I focused on organic traffic. I realized that, organic traffic done right, could be way cheaper than paid traffic. Taking the time to grow organic traffic could generate great returns.
Organic traffic is recurring
Another benefit of organic traffic is that, it is recurring. With Ads, once you stop spending money, the traffic stops. So your business depends on you to keep feeding the marketing Ads machine. With organic traffic, once your pages start to rank and get traffic, there is a good chance that they will keep getting that traffic for a long time.
They become automated traffic machines
Basis for business growth
Starting and running a business has always been challenging. And the most challenging part of it all is finding customers. Organic traffic however solves this. If you take the time to build an audience before you launch your product, or you pay focus on your content strategy, you will realize that organic traffic is an asset. This is because it has the capability of stimulating demand and introducing you to customers.
All those people who are coming to your website, can be easily converted into customers. This will put you miles ahead of your competition who have no other tool in their war chest but spending money on Ads.
In addition to that, organic traffic, helps existing businesses to put their sales on steroids essentially. Again, that traffic can be leveraged, with the right know how to provide customers.
Sometimes maybe you don’t want to sell something. But you may still want to grow your organic traffic. Maybe you just want to get the word out. Organic traffic provides the perfect and affordable mechanism for activists and influencers out their to reach people and touch hearts and minds. This could be climate change awareness or initiatives in Africa.
Blogging is still a very legitimate way of generating income. Think about it this way, once you are able to win hearts and minds through your content, how valuable is your online space? Brands are going to be beating a path to your door to try and reach your audience. This will give you a wonderful source of extra income. Hobby bloggers make anywhere from 0 to USD 2,000 while the really established guys top USD 10,000 easy. There are some outliers who even make multimillions from their blogs. The sky is the limit if you make the time to grow your organic traffic.
There is also the additional monetization Chanel that is affiliate income. You can suggest products and services to your audience and the brands will more than gladly share some of their success with you.
Requirements to grow organic traffic
So what do you really need to go from 0 to 1,000,000 in organic traffic? What are the various tools you could employ to achieve this goal?
A keywords boot camp – Research and clusters
If I was to get a website from 0 to 1,000,000, and grow the organic traffic, the one area I would really place my bets is on keyword research. Keywords are really the basis of all things organic traffic. You need to know what sorts of keywords work and how to use keywords. And before you do all that, you need to know how to actually find these valuable keywords. As you are about to find out, keywords research is essentially like drilling for oil or gold.
All you need to know about keyword research to grow organic traffic is three concepts.
No one keyword tenent can stand on its own. You could go for high volume keywords but little do you know that the competition is insane. Or you find keywords with really good volumes and low competition but they are far away from being relevant to your business.
Personally, I start off the keyword research process with the tool Answer Socrates. This is an excellent tool that is actually free. What it does, is that it helps you discover real life questions that real people are searching for on Google. It is able to achieve this by taking your main seed keyword and generating a list of long tail question keywords. And these long tail keywords are segmented into various segments like questions, prepositions and letters.
Let us look at Answer Socrates and how to use it to grow our organic traffic from 0 to 1,000,000.
Once you go to the Answer Socrates webpage, you will get a landing page that looks like this.
From here you are able to input a topic into the search bar, select country, language and you are ready to go. In this example, I used the topic, CBD. Let us see what it some up with.
Almost immediately, I have a series of questions that people, and I mean normal people like you and me, are actually searching for.
You will then be required to export the data to csv. This can be done via this option right here;
Then you need to create a spreadsheet document and export your data onto the spreadsheet. By the end of it your excel file should look something like this.
Now we have our topics and keywords organized really neatly. As you can see, we did not have to go through the exhausting manual brainstorm. We can save our brain power for the next few steps
With this information, You and I should be ready to create content. But there are two more steps remaining. We need to find out the sheer level of competition we will face and the actual volumes of people searching for those particular topics. This is important because, there are some companies and websites who we just will not be able to beat. No matter how optimistic we are. So our focus here is to get enough insights so that we can pick our battles well.
The best tool I would recommend to get volumes is Google Keyword Planner. Why? Its actually free and its part of the Google ecosystem. So the data in it is as accurate as it gets. But here is a key tip. Only use the keyword planner for accounts that spend money on advertising. I noticed this weird thing where, when I used Keyword planner for an account that was not connected to a credit card, the estimations I got had a wide range. When I used the Keyword Planner on an account that I ran ads on, the numbers were very accurate and not in a range. You can test this out on you own.
So where is the Keyword Planner? When you sign into Google Adwords, at the top right corner, you will see the tools options, click on it and you will get a drop down with the Keyword Planner option.
The landing page will look something like this.
You need to then select the Get search volume and forecast button;
Remember the spreadsheet document we imported the Answer Socrates data earlier? You can select the entire questions column and copy paste it into the text area.
From there you click get started and you will be easily able to see the actual search volumes for each individual keywords/question
As you can see from the above screengrab, some topics have really good volumes of 1,600 searches per month and some have almost no searches. The secret to grow organic traffic is to aim for those keywords.
You can then easily prune the big list of topics and focus on the ones that have high search volumes and are actually relevant to you particular business.
Something that you have to keep in mind is the competition. My take on that is simple, there are going to be really good authoritative websites that will also make a play for the keywords that you have selected. That should not scare you. With enough time, your blog can also get to the level that they are. Although it will take a long time to grow your organic traffic and get to that level.
Answer Socrates and Google’s Keyword planner are just examples of tools that can be used in the keyword research process. There are some things I left out such as comparing Domain authority and content length among high ranking SERP results. However, we will not get into that as this blog is already very long.
Content Planning, content velocity and content length
The next phase is where we need to really sit down and think strategically. This is the part we need to get right to grow our organic traffic. We want 1,000,000 organic visitors to our website every month. What does that look like? Let us break it down.
On average, a well aged blog article has the capacity to bring your website around 500 unique visitors. This is the power of SEO. And this is just the average. It could be lower or higher depending on the particular industry.
So if we are going to aim for the one million mark, we need to divide one million by five hundred. Let us assume our articles will max out at 500 visitors each. We get two thousand. So if we are truly conservative, we know that we need 2,000 pieces of content on your website to get to that level. 2,000 is discouraging, at the end of this section I will talk about why you actually don’t need 2,000 articles. Bear with me before we get to that section.
Now that we have that figure, we can start to meditate on what we would need to achieve 2000 pieces of content. Most certainly, it will take too long to do it alone. You will need help.
From my experience, I have noticed that a motivated writer can churn out 4,000 quality well researched words per day. These 4,000 words can be broken down into 4 articles each 1,000 words long. Or 2 articles each 2,000 words long.
Normal working days in a month are 20. So 20*4, that is 80 articles a month. 960 articles a year. This is for one full time person. Now comes the question, what do SEO writers earn in a given year? A quick Google search away, I discovered in San Francisco, they make around USD 63,000/= per year. Basically, it is going to cost you USD 63 per article. 63 multiplied by the 2,000 articles we require, we have a budget of USD 126,000/=.
Is USD 126,000/= worth it to grow organic traffic?
Lets us let math decide.
We now know that we have to spend USD 126,000/= for our plan to come to fruition. I don’t know about your funding sources or your industry but 1,000,000 organic visitors a month is quite powerful. You will be able to generate, thousands of leads for your own products or even generate a lot of affiliate income.
My conservative estimates, at a minimum, you should be able to generate USD 100,000/= per month in revenue. This could be product sales, affiliate programs or even advertising.
The best part is that, the USD 126,000 is not an ongoing expense. Essentially after getting your 2,000 pieces of content, you are done, everything can be put on autopilot and you can now focus on monetization.
Let us also analyze the pay per click numbers and compare them to our math. If you go back to the Keyword planner, we can see that most of our keywords have a top of the page bid of USD 1. Meaning it takes a dollar to get the best chance of someone clicking on our ad to get to our website. So to get one million people, how much would we need to spend? One million dollars. Even if we could get a click at a quarter of the cost, that is 25 cents. We could still need to spend USD 250,000 per month. Every month.
Numbers don’t lie. Organic traffic is worth it. If it was up to me, I would sink the USD 126,000 into content strategy. It is a relatively small investment to grow organic traffic.
Velocity vs length
Velocity is simply the number of pieces of content that you publish in a month. If you publish 10 pieces of content, your velocity is 10. There is always the questions of which is more effective, longer content or high velocity. It depends. As you are starting out, you have very little domain authority, so you need longer articles to get Google’s attention. And you definitely need Google’s attention to grow organic traffic.
As your domain authority grows, you can get away with publishing shorter articles, and they will still rank.
So it really depends on your capacity. If you can manage a high velocity, you don’t need to place a high focus on the word count. Eventually, your content will rank simply because of your sheer velocity.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, the sooner you are able to get content out, the sooner the ranking process can begin. If you are able to front load all the 2,000 pieces of content, then, you will achieve the one million organic traffic within six months to a year.
Why you actually don’t need 2,000 articles
2,000 is actually a very high estimate. You actually don’t need 2000 pieces of content to grow organic traffic. There are additional strategies like backlinking that can help you get to 1,000,000 without putting out that much content.
Internal links I have come to discover can be a really great way of “boosting” certain pages. It is the super power to grow organic traffic. Think from Google’s perspective. You have a blog with really great and helpful content, which have links that point to a select group of pages and posts. Naturally, you would come to the conclusion that these pages are really important.
A great internal linking strategy can be very effective in highlighting key pages. These can be anything from pillar posts to landing pages and even ecommerce product pages.
You need to come up with a cluster of key pages that you feel should get more attention from users and add as many links as possible to that page
Creating effective funnels
Internal linking can help you create really effective funnels to funnel users to the parts of your website that you feel they should see. In addition to that, all that you should seek to optimize the traffic by collecting emails and other contact information.
The lead magnet
The lead magnet is a piece of value you give to your visitors in exchange for their email info. Getting one million visitors a month and not collecting emails at that point is simply leaving money on the table. There are so many types of lead magnets that you could employ, for example;
People love information. They want to know more and more about certain topics. If you can create an eBook with topics that are not available on your blog, you potentially could get tons of email sign ups.
Who does not love to save money. If all it takes to get a discount is to receive high quality emails then that is a good deal for most people. Take into consideration that they actually want to hear from you, so the discount code is just icing on the cake.
Utilize user engagement metrics to grow organic traffic
User engagement metrics have an impact on your ranking. There are some factors like time spent on website that have a direct impact on whether you are able to beat your competition. Also, it affects whether the traffic you are getting will be sustainable, meaning that you will keep receiving the same level of traffic years to come.
You need to create your content keeping in mind that, at the end of they day, you are doing it to provide value for your users. Getting traffic is a by product of providing solutions to visitors.
People need to find exactly what they are looking for on your website. So you content has to be highly relevant and easy to digest.
East to digest
Let us talk about what it means if your content is easy to digest. Attention is fickle. Your biggest challenge in content strategy is going to be boredom. Keeping the consumers of your topics engaged and interested is not easy. Here are some tips to make your content more interesting and prevent low dwell times;
A lot of people are visual people. They like to see what it is you are talking about. If you are able to provide good diagrams and visual aids, you stand a better chance of keeping them interested.
Tables and charts
Data can best be represented in the form of information or charts. This makes the data less intimidating. If your content includes statistics, it is best to represent them in the form of tables.
Also, use graphs and charts. They really help in proving a top level glance at what your data is all about.
Content Scaling, Team Building And Training – Hiring writers, editing, quality control
Like I mentioned 2000 pieces of content is a lot, but it is certainly doable. Depending on your content velocity, you need systems and processes in place to ensure schedules are being met and quality standards are being upheld.
You are going to require proper documentation of all your systems and structures. New team members need to be brought up to speed easily. The less time they spend figuring things out, the more time they can dedicate to getting work out the door.
Also, good documentation allows you to standardize your processes. This means that there will be quality in your output. In addition to that, documentation allows you to remove yourself from the process. I don’t want to be a pessimist but its good to remember that you could fall sick or something could happen that could make you unable or incapable of performing. If you have good documentation that highlights your process from keyword research to last minute checks, you could ideally step away from the process and still have everything run smoothly.
How to hire writers
Writing is a difficult job. With the rise of platforms like Upwork and Fiverr we have gotten the impression that anybody can write and writers are cheap. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Remember the higher quality your work the higher your chances of delighting your consumer
It would be very difficult to delight your consumer if your content was created by people who never really cared. Two thousand articles with lets say one thousand words. That is more than two million opportunities for spelling mistakes. In addition to that, rewriting and proofreading content is going to slow down the machine and add to your cost.
I would advise people to hire really good and really talented writers who actually care. These class of writers will make the effort of actually doing the research and learning about whatever topic that you are writing on. In addition to that, they put more care on their work, which results in less mistakes and less time spent looking for and removing mistakes.
You want to hire a writer who actually writes for a living. Avoid part time writers. It is true, you can’t serve two masters at the same time. Writing is a skill that takes years to develop and nurture. Not just anybody can do it. You need people with experience.
The SEO writer
There is a class of writer who specifically write for SEO. If it is possible to get such writers on your team then go for it. Writing for SEO rankings is a bit different that doing say, academic writing. What we mean by writing for SEO is knowing how to use keywords and how to write content that Google will deem to be high quality. Writing for SEO rankings is a skill that also takes a while to nurture.
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
You might be really tempted to hire one person full time and give him/her the responsibility of delivering on your content strategy goals. This is a rather terrible way of doing things. Unless you are willing to keep an eye on the person on an hour to hour basis, you are flirting with disaster. The 80 articles a month number I had given earlier are only possible if your writer creates content non stop, every single working day.
Should something come up and they become unable to deliver, your schedule is going to be off. If they are unable to deliver their quota for the week, that means that you have to add an additional week to your schedules.
Try as much as possible to have small quotas. Its much better to have many writers producing around two pieces of content per week. In the event one of them goes MIA, your schedule doesn’t get a huge hit.
Pay people well
I had mentioned earlier the on average, an SEO writer earns USD 63 per blog article. This may seem high. And there are many people who could do it for way less. But again remember, you get what you pay for. If you are really interested in cutting down the cost, the better alternative is to outsource to a foreign country that has lower living costs.
This will reduce your spending but still enable you to maintain quality standards and have motivated people working for you.
Utilize individual project manuals
Every project should have its own small manuals. Make sure to give your writers small swipe files detailing the instructions for each individual post and the keyword clusters that need to find their way into the article. This will give them a clearer sense of direction with regards to where do you want the post to go.
Also, its saves time because the are not constantly looking for keywords. You topics should be clear and concise. Don’t leave it to them to decide what topics to write on. You have done the research and you know the topics that are going to rank. Their job is to simply put words on paper.
About AI and Automation
In my experience I have found that AI can really help in some areas. Areas such as keywords research and topic generation. However, the are in which I find AI weak is in creating content. It does seem very tempting to use some of the AI tools out there. They promise to give you the ability to create content is a matter of seconds. But think about it. Google is the largest AI company out there. They have all the funding in the world. If they could build and AI tool that automatically creates content wouldn’t they have already done so?
We could all be Googling and getting non human blog posts and content. But we don’t. Because technology has yet to develop that capability. Most AI tools out there simply use data from existing website to create content.
There is no creativity, simply very complicated paraphrasing technology. All it does is to regurgitate the same information available across the web. This is a bad way of approaching things. It goes against the user first ideology.
You goal should be to ADD to the world more information. More useful information. Soon enough, the algorithms are going to shift and they are going to give more prominence to unique and novel content.
Long story short, when it comes to content creation, stick to humans.
Repurposing, redirecting, and combining content
At scale most content machines face one crucial problem. They start running out of material. You can only write so much about a certain topic. But the cure here isn’t to divert to topics that are not related to your main topic. The solution is to dig deeper and unravel the thread further.
You need to analyze your previous content. There is a good chance that there is a good number of content that have aspects you are yet to expound on. You could take the sub topics or the topics within them and dig further.
Another tactic you could use is to do independent surveys and polls to get first hand data. This data is going to be different and unique from everything that is out there. As a result, it will provide the user with more value.
Interviews are also a really great way to get data that you have not yet covered. An interview an industry insider will give you great insights for content that you can create.
A key strategy of content marketing is to repurpose content. A great blog post can make for a topic for a video. It can even form the basis of a podcast.
As you have just seen, growing from 0 to 1,000,000 organic views is entirely possible. You just need to put everything into perspective. Your timelines simply depend on your content velocity. If you want to achieve results quicker then you are going to need a higher velocity. But at minimum you would need 2 years.
For a one off investment of USD 126,000, you can generate traffic that would have otherwise cost you tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars each and every month into perpetuity.
You should definitely give content strategy a try.
Here is a good read on how to handle the technical stuff.