S2E1: How Brian Dean improved Backlinko’s organic traffic by 80% (using one SEO tactic)

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If you’ve searched for “top SEO experts to follow,” you’ve seen Brian Dean’s name for sure.

He is responsible for coining terms such as “The Content Roadshow technique,” “The Skyscraper Technique,” and more.

In the first episode of our second season, The man behind Backlinko has joined us to talk about his latest case study on how he grew his organic traffic by 80% (roughly 1 million visitors a year).

In this episode, you’ll learn Brians’ full case study process, why you should mix SEO and social optimized content in your calendar, how to get buy-in from your ex-team for your next SEO experimentד and more.

Our main takeaways

Start with analyzing and reviewing

Instead of chasing after the latest SEO buzzwords & trends, Brian starts his process by looking into what was already going on his website. By looking at his organic traffic breakdown on Google Analytics.

After he saw 5% of his content brought by 95% traffic, he started digging in to to see what makes some content successful and other not as much.

Next thing you’d want to do is try and understand why

Is your old content up to date with the latest SEO best practices?

One of the things that stood out to Brian and his team analyzed his website, is that some of his old content was just not up to date with the latest Google Search requirements.

Some of the content was very keyword focused, but not intent focused. 

These days, Google is way more focused on the user’s intent than on keyword stuffing. 

What worked in the past might not work now. 

When you’re not ranking on SEO, there is usually one option or the other:

  1. you don’t have enough authority to rank for that keyword
  2. A lot of times is more about your article, not being a good fit.

What should you be looking for?

Instead of focusing only on how much traffic a keyword is bringing to your site, focus on how is that keyword ranking for you.

Also, Brian focused more on looking internally at his content and decided to optimize everything that not in his top 10 organic traffic pages.

Content ReLaunching: 

Brian and his team decided to relaunch some of his old content but now optimized to the user intent that the keyword stood for. 

Instead of focusing on long blog posts stuffed with potential keywords, they now made sure that they are focused on better and relevant content. 

Also, they focused on deleting or tweaking content but keeping the old URL for SEO benefits. 

How does Brian recommend you analyze the user intent:

Look at the keyword and look for a clue – try to understand what they are trying to learn by asking those questions.

Sometimes they are very obvious (backlinks strategies, Kim Kardashian age)

There are some tricky ones – for those you’d want to look at the first page results, and by the “best results” or “top results” content, you can see what has been working so far as the right answer.

Sometimes it can be a blog post, but sometimes it can be a tool (“backlinks checker”) or something else.

It’s important to understand that if you cannot supply a relevant asset to the user’s intent, sometimes it’s better to let that keyword go (Are you going to create a tool if needed?)

SEO VS Viral Content

Bringing viral and SEO intent-based content rarely goes together. 

Case studies are a great example of content that can do amazing for shares, retweets, and social virality, but wouldn’t work well in terms of SEO. 

You need to have a mixture of content types in your content calendar to build brand and traffic. You’ll need content that 

“If you’re stuck on ranking at #14 and your content has been out there for a few months, some small on-page SEO tweaks are not going to cut it” – Brian Dean at Strike Gold Click To Tweet

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A big thank you to Elad Levy for joining me this week. Until next time!

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