SEO for Startups: How to Grow Organic Traffic in 6 months

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A quick guide on SEO for startups to help you grow in the first six months.

Every startup owner wants more traffic to their website and they often try different methods to grow their platform and get more visitors.

However, most of the people landing on their pages don’t convert into customers, which makes that traffic absolutely pointless.
That’s why the most natural and effective way to grow your audience, which also comes at no cost compared to paid social media advertising, for example, is to focus on driving organic traffic.

Leave your ad campaigns behind, forget about direct or email marketing traffic for a while, and allow search engines to do what they can.

By following the steps below, you will allow the right type of visitors to come to your site and blog by typing their queries in search engines and choosing to land on your platform. In fact, you can even double or triple your traffic in 6 months. Here’s how:

1. Do keyword research.

Keyword research is where it all begins. Why? Because it allows you to make sure the niche you’re about to enter is actually profitable, the topics you cover on your blog or the products you want to build are in demand, you can rank on top of Google and thus get most of the organic traffic for certain keywords, and more.

Neil Patel is even convinced keyword research is the most effective part of digital marketing and every decision we take about our business and website from here on should be based on it.

Let’s see how to properly research and find the right keywords with the help of one of the most popular tools on the market – Ahrefs.

Ahrefs.com is a toolset for competitor analysis, backlink checking, keyword research, and more. One of the most common ways SEO experts and digital marketers use it is to analyze their competitors. You can see what keywords they rank for and even make a list of those you can easily outrank.

Here’s what you’ll see once you sign up for the service.

Make a list with your competitors.

It’s time to see the biggest competitors in your niche. Click ‘Site Explorer’ in your Ahrefs dashboard.

Add your website to see your biggest competitors, or fill in the domain of a website whose content or strategy is closest to yours.

For this example, we’ll use one of the most popular blogs in the Blogging niche – ProBlogger.com.

Ahrefs then shows you all kinds of data.

To find your competitors or those of the website whose backlinks you’re most interested in, click ‘Competing Domains’ in the left column.

We now see ProBlogger’s biggest competitors.

Export this data and then put each of these URLs in Ahrefs, so you can see the exact keywords the domains are ranking for.

When doing that for your competitors, focus on those with lower domain authority.

If your website has a domain authority of 22, for instance, anything from 21 and below is a web page you can outrank with less effort.

Now, that’s valuable information as your efforts might be time-wasting if you go after the keywords more popular sites are targeting and try to rank for them.

You can see the organic traffic that a given keyword is bringing to them each month.

Here’s how that looks for lifehacker.com

Choose one that’s bringing them a decent amount of traffic and at the same time is relevant to your business. Let’s assume anything less than 200 visits per month from a single keyword is too low and not worth it.

The conclusion here is that by spying on your competitors, you can pick easy keywords and that can lead to growing your traffic in 6 months or less.

Ahrefs offers other amazing features too, such as finding opportunities for backlinks.

Here’s what Mario Peshev from Devrix says:

“Another sweet spot of Ahrefs is collecting backlinks to resources that rank well. Lots of those articles are roundups or sources that can include your new article, too.

Upon building a competitive piece that’s more thorough than the original one, reach out to magazines and bloggers who have linked to your competitors. Take it a step further and prepare a custom paragraph if they are too busy to come up with a good intro themselves.”

2. Check all top ranking pages for the keyword you chose.

So, how can you use the data you just gathered about your competitors in the most effective way? By creating better content than them so you can rank for the keywords you’re targeting and steal the visits they receive each month.

Your goals for the content are to make it more informative, more interesting, easier to understand, more detailed, and longer than all the other pages on the first page of search results.

Here are some tips on how to do that.

To create better content for your competitors, you first need to study theirs. Pick a keyword from the data we last discussed from Ahrefs and visit the URL that’s ranking for it.

Carefully go through the content on that page and notice all the details. Check the word count so you can write a longer piece. See how the title is structured and create one for your blog post that evokes more interest.

Check out each of their subheadings and think how you can organize your long-form content better and include more points so you can cover anything related to the subject.

Make a list of similar keywords and keyword phrases and include them throughout the page.

Make the piece visual by embedding videos and GIFs and adding high-quality images and infographics.

Format it better than your competitors by using short sentences and paragraphs. Make it practical by doing your research and including stats and linking to relevant sources so that it can bring the reader more value.

Once you’re ready to publish your content, don’t just wait for it to outrank the other pages before it in the search results. Give it some SEO boost by going back to Ahrefs to see what other sites are linking to your competitor’s URL, then reach out to the owners of these websites and let them know you’ve created a more detailed resource.

Such pages you’re trying to rank high should be updated frequently. Don’t be afraid to improve formatting, add new links or even remove paragraphs when you come back to them every few months. That will encourage Google to crawl it again and maybe rethink its position in SERPs.

The point of your content is for it to be 10 times better than what your competitor has created. That means investing more hours into outlining, researching and writing it, formatting and editing so it’s easy to read, optimizing it for the keyword, including visuals to provide a great experience for the reader, and creating a distribution strategy that’s better than anything else you’ve tried so far.

New sites will eventually create content around this keyword too, so check Ahrefs often to see your ranking position and what other URLs are popping up for this term.

With these techniques and the help of Ahrefs for competitor analysis, you are sure to outrank those with lower domain authority and grow your organic traffic in just a few months.

3. Build a few links to your content.

The most important thing is to focus on pages that are already ranking on top 100 without any links! It’s tedious task to try pushing pages that are not showing in SERP.

I assume that you’re on a budget and I’ll give you fast, easy and cheap ways to build the links.

Slow, difficult and more expensive ways to build link of higher value:

  • Guest posting – You know that contextual links from guest posts are the best links. They’re not easy though because it takes time to do a research, reach to bloggers/webmasters, then to write the content. Focus only on the best blogs that are allowing dofollow links. Read my article on How to choose sites for guest posting.
  • Resource Page Link Building – If your page is a valuable resource, then try to reach out to webmasters that have resource pages on their site and ask them if they would include your page among their resources.

Fast, easy and cheap ways to build links of lower value:

  • Quora – First, go to Quora and answer one or two questions which are relevant to your business. Try to give the best answer from all the others. Don’t forget to link to your target page on your site.
  • Blog comments – Do 1 or 2 comments on the most recent article that are relevant to your page. Don’t forget to link to your page, either in your name or directly on your comment.
  • Content Curation Sites – Curate the content from page to sites like scoop.it, growthhackers.com, zest.is, list.ly and etc.

To learn more about other ways to grow, schedule a time to chat with our growth marketing agency about taking your startup from idea to sustainable business.


Author bio:

Georgi Todorov is a digital marketer. He recently started his own blog about digital marketing called DigitalNovas. His passion is to help startups grow and thrive in a competitive environment. Hit him up on  Linkedin or Twitter under @GeorgiTodorovBG.

Jim Huffman

Founder & CEO GrowthHit. Startup mentor at Techstars, General Assembly, and Sephora Accelerator. Author of The Growth Marketer’s Playbook #1
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