We all love successful people — many of them are our heroes. We love hearing about how they achieved their amazing results. Now and then, we can use their success for our own purposes. And this post is going to be all about that. I’m going to teach you the secrets of search traffic, specifically in terms of popular blogs in the areas of marketing and blogging.
Thanks to the analysis of 106 of the best blogs, you’ll be able to:
- find keywords with lower competition and create better content
- find out what kinds of posts bring more traffic and why
- understand the strategies of link building and use this knowledge for yourself
- get the data on how many words you need to write
- see a lot of other statistical data you’ll need to achieve success
I’m giving you the opportunity to download your reports now — for free! You don’t even need to become my subscriber to do so. Since this traffic is not mine, I feel a bit guilty about showing you the inner workings of other people’s blogs.
Get Access to the Google Sheet with the secrets surrounding 106 of the best blogs!
BLOG / ORGANIC SEARCH TRAFFIC * data by Ahrefs
A Small Prequel — Why This Blog Post Was Brought to Life
I’m a regular person.
Sometimes I’m a marketer. Sometimes I’m a blogger. And sometimes, I’m an SEO specialist.
I’m not a guru, nor am I an influencer.
You’re a regular person too. (I know it!)
And we need help.
My biggest passion is helping other people by sharing my knowledge and experience.
To be honest, it’s quite difficult.
You need to know how to teach. How to write. How to communicate.
I’m far from perfect, as I’m only at the beginning of this road.
That’s why I decided to analyze the search traffic of the blogs I respect the most.
The basis of search engine traffic is keyword research verified by real data.
In the beginning, I only ever thought about myself.
Understanding what to write about in your posts is as important as the air we breathe. This knowledge should be supported by keyword research.
After many years of experience, I’ve found that keyword research based on real data is best.
Not on the numbers indicated by Google Keyword Planner (which has been experiencing some problems lately)…
…but on the real data based on the traffic you can get.
If you already have search engine traffic of more than 1,000 visitors a month, you definitely need to conduct an SEO audit and use Google Search Console.
If you don’t, then you may need to use tools. In fact, you probably should.
Initially, SEMrush was my favorite tool. (Yes, it’s pricey, but it’s worth the cost! + You can always use the free options.)
To estimate my probable traffic, I type a search query in Google. And then I attach some pages for analysis in SEMrush:
This way I can see roughly how much traffic I can expect (for example, for the post you’re reading right now).
Don’t fall victim to a widespread problem of many bloggers and sites.
My research will help you avoid the most widespread problem that bloggers face:
Lack of traffic.
The basis of getting search traffic is keyword research, content and links.
Those of us who lack organic search traffic tend to make this mistake:
Sure, it’s cool that I know SEO.
But we already have Brian Dean, who has 7,000 unique referring domains!
It doesn’t matter how good of a specialist I am — I won’t be able (at least for now 🙂 ) to win the war of collecting the links to my blog.
So what do I do?
Be realistic about estimating the SEO possibilities of your blog.
Here’s what you need to pay attention to:
- What rating your domain has (DR – Domain Rating by Ahrefs; DA – Domain Authority by MOZ)
- The average amount of backlinks that your blog posts get (or are able to get)
- Always evaluate the strength of your competitors based on the selected keyword:
- What ratings your competitors have (domain and page)
- How many unique referring domains they have
- What type of content they create
- How many words they include in their articles
- If you see that the sites in the Top 10 search results have hundreds of backlinks, and you only get 5 on average, go searching for another keyword.
- If their DA/DR is way higher than yours, go searching for another keyword.
Sure, there are many factors that might affect the rankings, but this basic evaluation will help you save a lot of time and act strategically.
Make sure to install at least one of these Chrome extensions:
They will help you make the right decisions.
For example, I can’t defeat Brian Dean by this query [keyword research]:
Even though I know that this query brings him a huge amount of traffic.
That’s because it’s doubtful that 500 unique domains will be linking to my article.
The ratings of my domain and page aren’t as high as of those who are already in the TOP 10.
Try to find dependencies in SERP and use them for your own purposes.
It’s a constant rush for visitors who come from search engines.
Even though I have a great deal of experience in SEO, search traffic is still not the #1 source of traffic to my new blog.
I assume the same applies to you and your blog?
You’re not alone. There are a lot of us.
Even such experts as Bryan Harris and Mariah Coz get some miserable search traffic.
However, they still earn hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars every year! (But trust me, they spend a lot too!)
The point is that I’m conducting an experiment.
I don’t use any of the most popular tactics. All the backlinks that I have so far, I’ve gotten thanks to my friends and the interviews. I don’t have a lot of them. (To be precise, I have 88.)
To be honest, I feel ashamed that as an SEO specialist, I still have such a small amount of traffic. (I need a bit more time to overcome my insecurities.)
But because I love analysis, it’s time to find out why everything is the way it is.
First. SEO takes time. A huge amount of time. On average, it takes a link 10 weeks after it’s been created to take effect (data by MOZ).
Second. Correct keyword research. It’s really necessary nowadays. In my opinion, the main mistake of many bloggers is the wrong choice of topics for their posts and articles.
Make sure you can rank for your keywords.
Third. Estimation of competition.
It’s really not that hard to estimate whether you can get into Google TOP. The fundamentals of ranking will help you do this:
- Authority of your domain. It’s influenced by quality inbound links.
- Authority of your post, article, or page. (Links again — both internal and external)
- Relevant content that answers the users’ questions
- Social signals (Social shares)
- Engagement (Comments, amount of time that a user spends on your page)
There are hundreds of different factors that affect your ranking. But these are the key indexes!
When choosing your keywords, look not only at their monthly search volume, but at your competitors’ too.
Fourth. Only create awesome content.
As you can see below, my research shows that high-traffic pages all have amazing content. (In most cases, they almost always have some long-form content!)
Experiment, and share your research and cases. Try to fully explore your topic.
Your readers will be grateful, and search engines will appreciate it too!
What do you do if you have something to say on a topic that interests you, but your competitors are too strong?
You have two options:
- Have a plan on who will link to your content (and how).
- Create some useful content in spite of high competition.
If you choose the first option, know that it involves a great deal of work.
Many bloggers don’t do this because it requires a substantial amount of time and connections. All the techniques have been around for a long time and haven’t changed in years.
The problem is that link building should be worth the time you spend on it.
If you have your own product or an affiliate business, then these expenses will probably pay for themselves.
But chances are, you don’t have your own online course that you are selling for thousands of dollars just yet. (If you do, then you’re already doing link building.)
With enough search traffic, the only thing that these articles won’t bring you is internal links to other pages that are important to you (and we’re only talking about search engine traffic here, not traffic from social media). Isn’t that cool?
Many people tend to forget about the power of internal links.
My recent research has proven it.
On one of my niche blogs, I created 10 basic articles and 15-30 other posts that linked to those 10 articles.
As a result, I got the Holy Grail: search traffic for keywords with tens of thousands of queries.
To be absolutely honest with you, I saw a small amount of competition and decided to seize the opportunity.
And this is in spite of the fact that I wasn’t doing any link building, and my pages got only 10-15 external links that were created naturally.
Always conduct experiments like these.
Here’s the data that I got from my research:
Interesting data and statistics on the search traffic of 106 blogs in the area of marketing and blogging
First, I wanted to know how quickly these blogs load (as this gets a lot of attention nowadays).
Using GTMetrix, I measured their page load time.
The average load speed of these 106 blogs was 2.17 seconds!
A lot of people also talk about switching to https, so I also wanted to know how many blogs followed this recommendation.
Only 30.47% of the 106 blogs had https.
Do you need to consider switching? No, not if you don’t sell online courses or other products directly from your blog (when safety should be your first priority!).
For each of the blogs, I picked three pages that get the most of the traffic. (I was mainly interested in blog posts).
So I had 315 pages for further analysis.
The average blog post contained 4,772 words.
They conducted their research in many different areas, whereas my results are based only on the niches of blogging and marketing.
It’s hard to admit, but if you have a blog devoted to these topics, you need to focus on creating longer content. (I’ve started doing this with all of my recent posts.)
The average Title Tag length – 60 characters.
Everybody follows this advice on on-page SEO. You should try to abide by this habitual rule too.
But here’s what’s become the most interesting to me:
- The average referring domains – 71
- The average backlinks – 269
- The average domain rating – 59 (*data by Ahrefs)
This makes the average traffic – 3,317 visits.
Note: to measure the word count, I used a tool called Bulk Web page Word Count checker. To extract the Title Tags, I used Meta Tag Extractor by Buzzstream. I highly recommend that you use these tools to quickly evaluate your competitors.
Why I gave away 40 hours of work, just like that:
The main task for me was to find golden keywords to write my articles.
The easiest ones, with low competition and high traffic.
In the process of analyzing Brian Dean’s traffic statistics…
…I realized how silly it would be not to share the results. Anyway, I still can’t write as many articles as he can. 🙂
I had a long list of 106 blogs! (My list is based on the blogs that I always read, and the updates I’m subscribed to).
The main topics of these blogs are Blogging and Marketing.
Download these reports to find easy keywords with high traffic.
For each of the blogs, you’ll get three reports. (The entire analysis was done using Ahrefs.):
- Top pages
- Organic keywords
Top pages. Here are listed the main pages that receive the most search engine traffic.
Organic keywords. Here you’ll find the keywords where the target website ranks for the top 100 organic search results, along with its current ranking and the amount of traffic each query brings every month.
Backlinks. Using this report, you can study the strategy of getting the backlinks. You can contact any of the owners and offer your resources. But I’d recommend that you just make friends with the most interesting owners of these resources. In my opinion, the future of link building lies in friendly relationships, blogger outreach, and networking.
Note: Each of the reports has up to 1,000 rows. I limited the selection by keywords (at least 90 monthly searches); Dofollow links. Also, please know that those aren’t precise traffic numbers, and that this is the data provided by Ahrefs rather than Google Analytics. In my experience, these numbers can be multiplied by 3-5 for the blogging and marketing niche.
Access your reports here! (No opt-in needed.)
How to use search traffic statistics to find your easy keywords:
The main index that will let you filter the keywords is called KD (Keyword Difficulty Score by Ahrefs).
Here’s what Ahrefs says about it:
Let’s open the reports.
For example, you opened the Organic Keywords Report for the blog Writtent.com.
By default, the data in this report will be sorted by the amount of traffic that the specific keyword brings.
I was interested in one keyword — newsletter ideas, its difficulty index = 8.
While the post is occupying the 3rd position, this keyword brings it approximately 170 visitors.
Let me check who else is in Google’s TOP 10 with this query:
If I see that the competitors are at approximately my level, and that other pages also have a small amount of referring domains, I move on to the next stage.
I look at another report (Top Pages) and see how much organic search traffic flows to this target URL.
I get back to the Organic Keywords Report and locate all the keywords that this post is ranked with (filtering the data by URL).
Many of them can be employed in your content, but if they’re used organically, they will be helpful to the user in terms of understanding the topic better.
Don’t forget that this is not the precise traffic data, but only what is estimated by Ahrefs.
After that, I’m interested in the backlinks to this page.
Here’s where the report with the pages linking to this target URL comes in handy.
This is how I created a list of more than 60 easy keywords I can use to write new blog posts. I will share them with you too!
To access this list, open the common spreadsheet with all the reports. (The sheet’s called Easy Keywords.)
In the results of the analysis, we can clearly see the dependency of search traffic on the amount of received links and long-form content.
When we speak of high-frequency queries, chances are that you’ll have competitors you won’t be able to defeat in that domain.
You need to understand one thing:
To get more organic search traffic to your blog, you need to be at the same approximate link level as your competitors.
It doesn’t mean that everything is lost!
Newbies and semi-experienced bloggers can still achieve amazing results. Don’t forget to be scrupulous in analyzing your competitors and conducting keyword research!
I hope that you’ll find your golden keywords in my reports (no opt-in required!). That you’ll create your content and get some decent positions in the TOP search results.
I’m really looking forward to hearing your opinion on my research. Please write your comment and share this post with your friends.
Thanks for your help!