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How I Grew My Organic Search Traffic 1465% in 12 Months

In this article I share how, by following a specific strategy, I grew my organic search traffic by 1,465 percent within just 12 months. That’s nearly 16 times the amount of traffic I had before.

In terms of the actual data, 12 months ago I had just 52 visitors arriving at my site after clicking through from a search engine. Last month, this had grown to 814 visitors. And it’s likely to just keep on growing…

So what’s the strategy?

In brief, it involves creating and publishing content to my blog on a weekly basis, coupled with sharing it on social media. So nothing too out the ordinary. Yes, basically, blogging. But with a bit of magic sauce thrown in. What’s the magic sauce? Thought you’d never ask…

Firstly, I followed a specific content creation strategy that I’ll share with you shortly.

Secondly, I’ve also been repurposing the content by turning the posts into articles (like this one) for publication on different sites, creating presentations for SlideShare, videos for YouTube, and more.

This helps build up a rounded link profile to support the ranking of my posts in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

Plus, of course, it attracts additional traffic in its own right.

YouTube for example is the world’s second largest search engine. SlideShare is in the top 200 sites worldwide and another source of high quality traffic.

Repurposing also provides more content I can share on social to keep in front of my social audiences and build more authority and credibility.

If you want online visibility, content repurposing is where it’s at.

My Content Creation Strategy

For the posts on my blog, I have developed a five-point content creation strategy to maximize my search visibility.

1. Keyword Research

I don’t do keyword research for every post I create, but it can be helpful for determining what to write about so that you potentially reach the maximum number of people.

For example, I may have a rough idea of the topic I want to write about. Some keyword research will help indicate a particular keyword to focus on, where there’s a higher potential for me to rank and attract traffic.

I’ll use the Yoast WordPress plugin to help optimize the post for the keyword.

But at all times, my No. 1 priority is value for the visitor. I write for the reader, not the search engines. And paradoxically, that helps you rank well.

2. Create Longer Content

Research shows that longer content ranks more highly in the search engines. This could be for a number of reasons, for example:

• Longer content will keep people on the page for a longer period of time, which helps rankings.

• It provides more value and more reasons for other sites to link to and share the content, again helping rankings.

I, therefore, focus on creating posts that are at least 2,000 words. Often they go over 3,000 words and can be up to around 5,000 words.

This isn’t about stretching out a thin topic to breaking point for the sake of reaching a predefined word count.

But it is about:

(a) Writing on a topic that’s meaty enough to reach a high word count naturally; and

(b) Providing lots of value to the visitor by going into the topic in depth, and providing as much helpful information as I can.

3. Use Images

I always add images into the post, and particularly a ‘Featured Image’ that shows at the top and elsewhere on the site.

The latter helps with engagement on social, so means more people click through to the content, they’re more likely to share it, and so on.

The Featured Image is also useful when repurposing the content. For example, it can be re-used as the thumbnail for YouTube video, the cover page for a SlideShare presentation, and as a cover image to use when posting the content to LinkedIn Pulse and elsewhere.

I include other images within the post itself to help break up the text and to provide more value to the reader. For example, I might provide an image of using a site I mention, or a chart that helps visualize some data.

4. Optimize for Opt-Ins

Of course, attracting traffic to your site is of little use unless it has some benefit for your business.

The key is to maximize the number of visitors you are able to convert into leads for your business.

One way to do this is to create content upgrades for your posts. This offers content of additional value, directly relevant to the post in question, in exchange for an e-mail address.

It can be as simple as a PDF version of the information in the post. Or perhaps some additional information that is only available to those who choose to opt-in.

5. Adjust the Meta Description

In WordPress, you can use the Yoast plugin to adjust the meta description for each post. The meta description is what can show for the web page when it’s listed in the SERPs.

Through careful crafting of the text, you can boost the number of people clicking through to your webpage, rather than that of competing sites in the SERPs. This can help your ranking to improve over time and attract more traffic longer term.

The most important factor though is to publish content on a consistent basis. This builds the authority of your site, and means you develop lots of content over time, giving you more rankings across a wide range of related keywords, and more search visibility.

By following this strategy and combining it with content repurposing and social media, you create the type of website that is almost pre-programmed to attract increasing amounts of traffic over time.

About the author


Steve Shaw

Steve Shaw is the founder of vWriter.com, the content creation, management and distribution platform that helps your business grow traffic, build engagement, and ‘Be Everywhere.’ Get your copy of his Be Everywhere online marketing blueprint, and find out how to create your own Google-friendly authority site that will stand the test of time and come to dominate its niche - https://www.vwriter.com/blueprint


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    • Thank you so much for such simple and authentic tips. I am setting up my blog as we speak and I looked to similar blogs in my space and they all write short posts – 1500 max. I thought I had to do the same but reading what you’ve said makes sense. Thanks!

  • Thank you for sharing this information. I am a subscriber of your mailing list and each time I get the email of new posts, I must open and get the information. I am glad I found this so helpful. I am looking for the cheapest or even free keyword research tool which one do you use? What about email marketing as a strategy for content promotion?

  • “Create Longer Content”, this is the best advice because mostly people fail to capitalize on this.It is very helpful to know.

  • Hi Steve,
    A very Nice and detailed article.
    I completely agree with all your points especially with “Keyword research” and “Create longer Content”. By keyword research we come to know what people are looking for on internet and this way it becomes easy for us to feed their need and we get huge traffic. People attracts to the longer content rather than the article which has 300 words.
    Overall a very informative and useful article! Thank you for your time to share this with us

  • Thank you, Kalpana 🙂 Glad you found it helpful.

    Yes, steady traffic growth that stands the test of time is what you’re looking for. Always focus on (1) what your intended audience are looking for, and (2) providing it to them from a standpoint of quality and value.

  • Hi Steve,

    Your article does not give any detailed or new information about the traffic. Your article is explaining outdated techniques of traffic and seems to be boring. You said you always create 2000 to 5000 words post but above article is not even 1000 words.

    I am pasting your lines below:

    (I, therefore, focus on creating posts that are at least 2,000 words. Often they go over 3,000 words and can be up to around 5,000 words.)

    Apart from this you were saying use images to break the content but you used only one featured image in 1000 words…

    You yourself is not following your own ideas in the article and preaching like a genius and thinking you are Matt Cutt.

    You totally wasted my time…

  • Hi! Yes, i’m agree! Today it’s very important to write long article, with nice and interesting text, image, video, ebook downloaded, ecc. Good Content is essential for any strategy that want to bring organic traffic on the website! Bye

  • Hi Gajender

    To clarify, this site is of course not my blog. This is an article repurposed from a post on my blog, which is nearly 5000 words long, has a lot more detail, and is already attracting traffic based on the techniques shared here.

  • Hello Dear Steve,
    It’s really Nice but Short Information can you please share the Full Plan for it?
    Sagar Ganatra

    • Hi Sagar
      Sure, if you click my name for this comment, I have linked to the original post that provides a lot more information – I hope that helps you 🙂

    • Absolutely! Though I always work to build up traffic through other channels too. While search is indeed a great source of valuable traffic, can be dangerous if you’re too dependent on it.

  • We are using blogger much more nowadays, as we have neglected it previously. Images YES, we are now putting then in every article. On Twitter I tend to open Tweets that have images, so that proves your point nicely…!

    Also just launched our own Wordoress service developing and hosting responsive sites there for clients to use the CMS service. I like they way this is shaping up, as WordPress looks much better now than it did last time I tried it!

    We have found huge success with a strategy that works, without dodgy backlink services!

    Glad to read an article that follows our own philosophy.

    • Good to hear it, and good luck with the venture you mention. If you focus on the content, quality links build up naturally.

      Thanks for leaving your comment!

    • Hi Charles, thanks for your comment – you might be interested in the original post this article is based on, where I talk some more about content repurposing and the role that now plays in building traffic. Hope that helps 🙂

  • Thanks for your article. Do you have any content promotion tips? I think this is where we could all use a hand. Your writing techniques are good and remind me of Brian Dean’s basic approach – 1. write about what ranks high in search engine results 2. write long detailed posts 3. Use good images to promote your post. I think people are getting the hang of the content creation portion of getting higher rankings, but content promotion now seems harder.

    • Thank you, Matty! Brian Dean’s got some great content of course, and a very sound approach.

      For content promotion, it’s important to now not just publish content on your blog, but to repurpose content for a range of different content platforms where the content often gets much higher engagement levels.

      For example, there’s some nice engagement here, but the content has also been published to LinkedIn Pulse, and as a presentation on SlideShare, which have attracted dozens of shares and thousands of views. I would never have got close to that kind of reach had I just left the content on the blog alone.

      For promoting blog content on your own site, which you need to do as well of course, there’s some more tips here which I hope you find helpful.

  • Your post is a lovely reminder that I should do more on social sites etc to get more traffic to my site – but that said, I’m also quite happy to rely mostly on natural search engine traffic for now – even though you say one shouldn’t rely on just search engine traffic – I do hear you – it’s time management I struggle to “hear” 🙂 I need more time in my day to also implement offsite traffic strategies 🙂

    I totally agree with keyword research, writing for the reader, using Yoast plugin, and writing longer pages of content.

    Two years ago my site was averaging 200 pageviews a day (145 unique visitors a day).

    Now it’s averaging 700 pageviews a day (480 unique visitors a day).

    I love on-page SEO.

    I see some people may think your post is boring or doesn’t have much new in it. I think your post is perfect – it’s not often enough that people consider to just stick with what works (so reading more posts about it may help them) – there doesn’t have to be something new – if people just get the basics / “old stuff” right, it will work.

    • Hi Teresa, great to hear you are seeing the traffic rise for your blog, and just shows what happens over time. Congratulations!

      Social gives you another powerful traffic channel, allowing you to effectively create ‘traffic at will’ rather than waiting for your content to rank for example, so is worth investing in if you can. Plus it helps with rankings, though more indirectly.

      A few people will keep on chasing ‘bright shiny objects’ and never really get anywhere, but good luck to them. I prefer to stick with what actually works! 🙂

  • Yes content is King as they constantly keep telling us. It just amazes me however how sites that just produce random content not even related to their industry still seem to be climbing the Google search rankings. I guess because its a bot and not human it still fools the Google bot as long as a few keywords are tossed in.

  • Nice article Steve!
    Actually we should work honestly on our webpage,if we provide informative content on our website then people definitely like to visit again as well as recommend it to others.

  • Very useful article. According to your advise, I have installed and activated Yoast SEO plugin on my website. Incedentally, it says this plugin clashes with already installed google XML plugin on my website and will hinder performance in the search engines……please help on this issue. Thank you.

  • Thanks for this, good honest quality writing helps, there’s a lot of rubbish out there. My blog has been around for a while and got steadily more traffic. I’ve only recently realised the potential it has as a tool for business.

  • 1465% is a big number. Long content and social signals are replacing the links now. According to recent studies, average content of a site ranking on first page was 800+ words. This is definitely something to be taken seriously.

  • Getting bunches of information regarding to organic search traffic which are more influence of websites.

  • That’s really helpful, thank you so much!
    I think I’m going to follow your advice and strategy for my web design company.
    Especially the first step, finding keywords is the most necessary element to keep in mind.

  • very good article for increasing traffic for websites. as a beginner i learn so much from this post thank you for sharing this much information.

  • Hi Steve,
    A very Nice and detailed article.
    I completely agree with all your points especially with “Keyword research” and “Create longer Content”. By keyword research we come to know what people are looking for on internet and this way it becomes easy for us to feed their need and we get huge traffic. People attracts to the longer content rather than the article which has 300 words.
    Overall a very informative and useful article! Thank you for your time to share this with us .. Thanks for everything..