You’ve got great content, pour hours of your time into making an enjoyable experience on your site, and still, you’re struggling to get higher traffic levels. Even after following every tip out there to boost your ranking and drive traffic, you do not see much growth. You’re probably well aware that you need to work on Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Many of us are in the same boat, but by following these four easy steps, you can see dramatic changes in the volume of traffic to your site. The author involved in this particular SEO case study saw an incredible 600% jump in monthly visitors to their website. Their blog already had an average of 20,000 visitors per month, but by ditching some of the standard conventions for a more tailored approach, they were able to achieve these fantastic results. After making some changes in their path, the anonymous author ended two years with more than 140,000 visitors per month.

None of this is to say that focusing some of your efforts on fixing typical issues like slow loading speeds and technical issues is a waste of time. You certainly do need to ensure that people who click on your site have a smooth, enjoyable experience, or else they will not be back. The reality, though, is that a pretty website isn’t all it takes to drive traffic. So what worked for our mystery blogger?

1. Perform an in-depth audit of your site’s content

Before you can make any necessary changes, you need to see everything you have to work with. Utilizing programs like Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you can identify that content, which is indispensable to the success of your website. These tools are free from Google, and each performs a slightly different function.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics gives you – the site owner – a lot of detailed information about what people are doing on your site. For instance, you’ll learn your bounce rate, visitor demographic information, how long they spend on your website, that all-important number of visitors.

Google Analytics provides you with valuable insight into what’s going on on your site, but not necessarily why it’s working – or not. For instance, if visitors are not being directed to your latest blog because you don’t rank for keywords, you aren’t going to learn that. What you will learn is that your entire written content is languishing, and you have a problem on your hands. Or, more optimistically, you’ll find those big-hitting pages on your site that are driving all the visits you get.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is geared towards helping you with the technological aspect of ranking well in search engine results. Here you’ll find information like click-through rates and crawl errors. These tidbits help give you an understanding of how to improve your website’s visibility. Correcting the problems you find helps Google’s software go through your web pages and determine whether or not your website is the right one for the user’s query.

How it helped the SEO case study

The audit performed on the site in the case study revealed only a few posts out of dozens that drove the majority of the traffic on the site. This doesn’t mean that the quality of the other content was no good – it was. The issue with the other material was more about optimization. Those ten posts that were so popular were just right to work well with Google’s SEO criteria. Everything that didn’t direct a lot of visitors to the website was redone and republished or saved to republish at a later date after working on optimization.

The author from the SEO case study had been applying the usual templates for link building outreach that are recommended by SEO experts. The success rate of all of this effort was around 1% out of hundreds of request emails per week. This approach, while driving some meager results, didn’t justify the immense amount of time required to get one positive return on an outreach email.

To improve conversion rates on all those emails, the author made a pretty simple change, but one many website owners may be unwilling to do: he offered free memberships and courses. This adjustment in technique ramped up the number of links he got very quickly.

The concept is to provide value to the people you’re asking to add in links back to your page. By giving them something, everyone loves a bargain – you’re making it much more difficult for them to ignore that outreach email. Focusing on other bloggers who produce similar content that is very high quality and popular will help get you higher in the rankings.

3. Creating new content with SEO in mind

Before adopting his strategy, our anonymous subject approached content creation like most of us: write a great post then poke around for keywords that will work for it. The problem with this method is that keywords are the thing that gets your website viewed. A beautiful page with fantastic content doesn’t matter at all if your keywords don’t get searched by any users, or your site is number 2,845 in the search results page.

To correct this, the author began to research keywords that would apply well to his site and content before creating anything. With several, or even thousands, of related keywords to target, each piece was then worked on. Since every post was designed from the get-go to rank well for particular keywords, it was only a matter of a few months before each one ranked for hundreds or thousands of keywords.

4. An aggressive internal linking strategy

Internal links keep people hopping from one page to another on your page for longer, which is an excellent thing for your site. Google’s crawling software gets to poke around your site more, too, as a result, and that’s where all the magic happens.

Your website can’t rank well if Google has no idea it exists. Eventually, it’ll be discovered, but if you have internal links from an accessible page to others on your site, the software can easily find it and assess its ranking worthiness. This concept plays more into maximizing the value of the content you already have versus flooding your website with tons of new posts to get views.

Adding internal links to other pages on your website isn’t only about tossing in some links while writing new content. The author in the SEO case study also had to take the time to go back through the posts that were kept (remember, the majority of the content on his site was unpublished to get redone at a later date after some changes were made to improve them) and rework the internal links already present as well as add more.

Changing the anchor text, you use in your links can have a dramatic impact on the rankings of your article. Our author focused on using some of his keywords for the current post, as well as those of the ones he was linking back to. This makes more sense to users and crawling software.

One of the keys to success with this plan is to add in about ten internal links on every post. It does sound like a lot, but if your content averages around 2,000-2,500 words, it won’t look like you’re cramming links. This volume of links isn’t well suited for shorter content. You’ll need to adapt to a similar percentage of links per word count to pull it off.

That sounds like a tedious pain.

Thankfully, there are some more natural ways to go about adapting all of the internal links on your site, but, yes, it’s going to be a bit monotonous. Unless you’re into that sort of thing, then you’re in luck. Just remember, that 600% gain has to be earned. The little bit of boredom can now help a lot in the long run. Even better, for all your future content, you’ll have the winning strategy in mind and won’t be forced to redo it all down the road to drive traffic.

So, to make the process easier, the subject of the case study using the search function in their WordPress admin page. Doing this allowed them to quickly see which posts had relevant keywords for the links they wanted to use so they could add in ones that made sense. If you don’t find perfect opportunities already in your posts, you can tweak the content to make them fit.

Why this might save you a lot of effort in the long run

The effects of this SEO case study involve quite a bit of upfront work to revamp your site to increase monthly traffic. However, with this new method, the majority of that work is in trimming down articles, and other content that isn’t giving excellent results and ensuring any new content ranks well and adds value. You’ll find yourself working less on your site since your efforts will shift from constant content creation to improving what you already have.

The results this man experienced are tremendous and so easily applied. There’s no reason you can’t use them and see stellar results as well. Remember, offering a great deal to other sites to get backlinks, paring down excess content, and optimizing what you do keep is the key to success. It’s so simple. We can’t wait to hear your results.