How We Rank #1 Get a Million Visitors (And Win All Our New Customers)
The battle for customer attention is real. Even more so now, with everything going on in the world, we are seeing a massive spike in new client requests for thought leadership content.
While some companies chase people around the web with ads and fill their sites with product promotions, we believe in the power of consistent content marketing to reach, engage, and convert relevant audiences to your business.
We know it works because the approach we use with our clients is the same: all our new customers come from the engaging, consistent, and customer-focused content we publish each week.
Our weekly content simply answers the questions our audience is asking, using the keywords they search for, and all with the goal of helping them to solve real problems with helpful content.
We make every effort to simply help our audience in the content we create. We believe that allows us to rank on the top pages of Google for hundreds of some pretty important keywords.
And serve nearly 1 MILLION WEBSITE VISITORS a year!
Since I launched Marketing Insider Group in June of 2015, we have been publishing articles, creating deep thought leadership in the form of e-books, webinars and in-person keynotes, and using this approach as our only source of leads, revenue, and new clients.
Yes. Thought leadership. That’s all about sharing what you know with passion and resolve to help others:
We share that content out on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and sometimes IG. And I present as often as I can to live and virtual audiences. All with one goal in mind: to teach other marketers how they can get these same results.
Some people have asked why I give away so much knowledge and the answer is simple:
It works really well. And when I discovered this secret, I just had to share it.
- It delivers ROI.
- It doesn’t cost much.
- It carries no risk.
- And it works better than anything I’ve ever tried or seen in marketing!
And so, here, in this post, I’m going to share these secrets with you, so you can apply these insights and results to your business. Because we are our own case study!
The truth is, the only marketing I have ever done for Marketing Insider Group is the actual content builder service we sell: twice weekly, customer-focused, engaging, and helpful blog content.
Organic Search Traffic and Rankings
First off, why is organic search traffic and rankings so important?
The main reason is because organic search traffic is the single largest source of traffic for corporate websites. So you should be highly focused on growing and maintaining that source.
So, how much organic search traffic do we get at Marketing Insider Group? A lot for a small little company . . .
We got just under 1 million visitors to our website in the last year. And 77% of them came from organic search.
More than 700,000 from Google, if you prefer.
The health of your website (and your brand overall) can be assessed based on whether your organic search traffic is down, flat or up.
Marketing Insider Group is barely a five-year-old company, but you can see in this image below that since we launched in June, 2015, we have increased our organic search rankings significantly since that time:
In fact, our top 100 rankings have grown 5-6x in 5 years!
- We rank in the top 100 search results for 23,305 keywords!
- We rank in the top 3 for 577 keywords. We rank in the top 10 for 1,451 keywords.
- We rank for important customer keywords such as What is marketing, Brand storytelling, How to measure content marketing ROI, Why is content marketing important, Content marketing workshop, and more…
- We get traffic and rankings similar to much larger companies with hundreds of employees, thousands of customers, and who are worth millions of dollars.
And those keyword rankings have helped us grow our organic search traffic by 6x in just the last 3 years to nearly 100,000 visitors per month:
We have dozens of pages that show up in Google’s coveted instant answers and featured snippets:
And nearly ALL our leads and new customers come from direct or indirect conversions from our website. What do we pay for those leads? Nothing.
I’d like to believe that we earn those leads by providing valuable information to our audience.
Because the people who know us, who subscribe to us, they share our content.
It then reaches more and more people every day. Some of those people link to our content. Some of those people reach out to us and ask for proposals and contracts.
We have clients that are listed on the Fortune 500. We have clients who are founders from growing startups who don’t even have a single marketing employee.
And we crush our competition because of the approach we take using customer insights to create effective content marketing plans with measurable results.
One of our clients shared this chart of the impressive 50% to 615% year-over-year organic search traffic improvements they are seeing since they started working with us!
In short, we deliver results for our clients, using the same technique we use for ourselves.
Why Does This Work?
This approach works because we know what Google is looking for: quality content, published consistently.
On our site, we started by publishing 1-2 articles per week.
Then we tested 2-3 articles per week. We tried guest posts. We tried syndicated posts. We tested 5 articles per week. We tried 7 articles per week.
In the end, what we found works the best is consistently publishing content on a few key themes. For me that includes:
- Content Marketing articles 1x per week
- Marketing Strategy articles 1x per week
- Event marketing, or employee activation articles 1x per week
What I most want you to take away from this in-depth post is that even a small company, with no budget, and one employee can achieve massive marketing results just by publishing quality content consistently.
Content That Nails It
I have published 982 blog posts as of the day I wrote this article.
We typically write about 1,000 words on each topic, but some of our posts go as long as 3,500 words!
Yes, long-form works better than short content in most of the cases, because it builds expertise, authority, and trust — what Google calls EAT!
We have had more than 111,200 shares on Facebook, 340,000 shares on Twitter, 7,300 shares on Reddit and hundreds of thousands of shares on LinkedIn (they don’t allow access to the data).
Our Most Shared Posts Ever
(Check them out, one by one. See for yourself what works!)
3. Top 25 Content Marketing Influencers (2,700 shares excluding LinkedIn)
2. Top 20 Content Marketing Blogs You Need To Read Every Day (2,800 shares excluding LinkedIn)
1. 26 Cheat Sheets Every Digital Marketer Needs (3,000 shares excluding LinkedIn)
Posts with the Highest Traffic Ever
3. Why Social Media Is Important To Your Business (182K views)
2. What is Thought Leadership and When Should You Use It (189K views)
1. 6 Examples of Genius Brand Storytelling (209K page views)
Best Articles in the Past Year
How Often Should You Blog (38K views)
10 Digital Marketing Trends You Need To Know (41K views)
If you went through these, you’ll be able to better understand…
Our Approach to Lead Generation
We have seen thousands of leads convert from the content we’ve produced. In fact,
- 438 of our articles have produced more than 1 lead in the last 3 years.
- There are another couple of hundred articles that have delivered at least one lead.
- A couple of articles have produced over 100 leads.
But the main point of my analysis into what delivered all our leads is this: no one article produced ROI. It’s the always-on approach that delivers the results. It’s because we create content that converts ALL. THE. TIME. Not an article or two, here and there, whenever we think we have time. Make sense?
We share our content on the socials. And many of our leads come directly from the connections that our content has nurtured.
We experience super short sales cycles. We have never been in a bidding war with another company.
In full disclosure, I have tried some paid. We spent a few hundred bucks last summer on paid search. Every once in a while my ego gets the best of me and I boost a post I really liked on Facebook.
How many leads have those tests delivered:
A full, round ZERO!
I’m totally OK to test stuff. But if there is one thing that is wrong with marketing today it is the amount of budget spent on activities that don’t deliver results.
Which leads me to agree with this guy:
Best way to sell something – don't sell anything. Earn the awareness, respect, & trust of those who might buy.
— Rand Fishkin (@randfish) February 4, 2015
The 7-Step Process to Get a Million Site Visitors with Zero Ad Spend
Here’s how we do it:
- We focus on the keywords our audience is using and the questions they have when they search for solutions to their marketing and business challenges.
- We plan ahead and brainstorm articles for 6-12 months in order to create a content calendar.
- We share everything we know when we answer those questions. We use examples, quotes, videos, infographics, keynotes — whatever we think will help our audience.
- We share our content to our newsletter subscriber list, and our social accounts. But we also share other people’s content. Even competitors’! Because we know that is the best way to provide value to our audience.
- We are constantly testing our nurture streams and offers to inform our audience of what we do, without being too intrusive.
- We track and measure SEO (impressions, rankings, and traffic) relative to our competitors, the mainstream media, and influencers.
- We use that tracking to identify new ideas for content we would like to publish on those keywords. And then continue the same cycle.
And oh, we stick to our plan, no matter what.
I know that if you have read this far (oh my gosh thank you!) you must be wondering if this is too good to be true. Or you might really wish you had similar results.
I hope you can see with the data and screen shots that this really is how we have grown our traffic and leads with simple, helpful and regular content.
And if you want to see these same results, we’d like to point you to our standard, end-of-post call-to-action here:
If you are ready to get more traffic to your site with quality content that’s published consistently, check out our Content Builder Service. Set up a quick consultation, and I’ll send you a free PDF version of my books (a whopping $29 value). Get started today–and generate more traffic and leads for your business.