17.56 Million Organic visits in 3.5 Years starting "from scratch".

I love high growth case studies. They show what can happen when you have patience and resources.

See that I wrote "patience" first, because with SEO, you shouldn't be thinking in months, but in years.

Even if you can get results in months.

In August 2018 I started working with a startup that has a successful app, 2nd in its category, and with around 300k users per day on peak days. Now they wanted to focus on search to capitalize the massive traffic potential there was.

The challenge was competitors are very big businesses with 20+ years of online presence and billions of dollars in profits.

As you can imagine they also have a lot of authority (sounds familiar? Check my other case study from 312 to 1.2 million in 2 years).

Just to give you an idea here’s a snapshot from the top competitor — Ahrefs metrics.

Some Website facts:

** The website has a small number of pages: 101 pages TOTAL as I write this.

** It’s in 14 languages (so 14 landing pages).

** US traffic accounts for 15.39% of the total traffic.

Source: Google Analytics.

Check this short video where I go through the website's traffic growth

If you have competitors that are well known, you’re in luck. You can capitalize on their brand name to drive very valuable traffic to your website (not everyone can but you’ll know if it applies to you really quick).

In some other cases, not only could you drive valuable traffic (qualitative), but a lot of traffic as well as we have seen (quantitative).

What’s the “aggressive” and “untaped” method?

Simple.

Writing about your competitors. Specifically reviews.

Why is it aggressive?

Because it could be confrontational.

It depends on your niche and the behind the scenes things that go with your specific industry or company (company focus, internal politics, potential issues…).

Now to be clear.

These types of reviews are not created to bash, criticize or bad-talk about your competitors.

That would be the wrong move for you to make and it could backfire pretty quickly.

This type of review has a specific structure and it breaks down into 3 steps:

Feature the good stuff about the competition. The reason to do that is that talking bad about a company, brand or service is distasteful, and if they’re big brands, they have been able to become one by doing something good (sure there are exceptions).

You don’t want to be known as the company that talks bad about others.

Visitors can smell BS from a distance as well.

2 Feature what they lack or what they can improve. We know that all companies can improve something and it actually feels natural to talk about what other companies can improve after addressing the good.

Fill the gap with what you offer. In theory, your product or service should have the good and also fill in your competitor’s weak points. Or at least have an angle that gives your company an edge over your competition.

If it fills the gap or has an edge that is good enough, you have a high probability to siphon visitors to get their credit cards out with your company instead of your competitors.

So if you’re competing with Nike (which we’re not) and your directly competing with their shoes (don’t know who in their mind would do something like this… Anyone from Adidas reading? :D) a “review type” title could go something like this:

The Nike Shoes Review You Didn’t Know Existed

Or

The Nike Shoes Review You Always Wanted To Read

Now, this may or may not be a good example, so how do you know if you’re on the right path?

We did something that may or may not be obvious. It’s based on how Tim Ferriss chose his 4-hour workweek book title: Running ads.

We run a couple of hundred bucks in Google Ads to see if people were interested.

And they were, so we wrote the content afterward.

That’s how we’re getting a lot of growth and traffic, ranking for competitor’s keywords and bringing people to the business instead of having them go to the competition.

IMPORTANT: BE CAREFUL about the content, the ad, what you say and so forth. Do your due diligence unless you want to get sued. Here’s an article about it.

We also had months at the beginning where we grow traffic by 50% week over week?

We got multiple featured snippet for the biggest keywords we’re targeting, sometimes in multiple languages.

I mean, imagine getting a snippet for “Nike shoes”… or “best Nike shoes” like these guys have in their affiliate site:

According to Keywords Everywhere they have 12,000 searches per month.

Now imagine the same for a 240,000+ searches per month terms…

That’s pretty much what happened.

The more interesting part?

There was no snippet before (and it obviously had a pretty short life span).

** By the way, talking about featured snippets, look at what I found doing some keyword research on January 27th. Have never seen a double snippet so big on Google before.

I also want to point out that we didn't go for "easy" keywords, this was a massive effort going after some of the most competitive keywords out there. Keywords with competitiveness of 90 out of 100 (according to Ahrefs) and millions for searches per month.

Here's an example of the keyword you see as 2nd and 4.1 million searches per month on the previous image (the volume difference is based on averages).

According to Ahrefs you'd need to build 1,197 backlinks to the page that contains that keyword to rank it in the top 10.

And that's all. A summary of what it was done:

  1. Competitive analysis.
  2. Creating high quality informational landing pages in multiple languages.
  3. Building content clusters to build authority
  4. Create a ton of quality links

The results speak for themselves.