Traffic up 282%, Earnings up 300%+ in 4 months: HPD DFY SEO Case Study

Human Proof Designs Affiliate SEO Case Study

If you've been following HPD for any length of time, you'll know that one of our offerings is called SEO Packages.

This service is where you can entirely outsource all aspects of SEO work to us for one monthly recurring investment.

We've been seeing some great results for our clients, and wanted to share some of those results with you.

Site #1 – Garden and Outdoors niche

This site was started in late 2013. You can see in the pic below that nothing super exciting was happening on this site for some time – until the last 4 months, that is:

Number of sessions in July 2019 – the month before we started working on the site – was: 40,014

In November 2019, after 4 months of work: 112,693

282% increase in 4 months!

The client had worked on this site for quite a number of years and was seeing some steady, but slow growth.

On Aug 1st, 2019 we began working with this customer in our Gold SEO Package.

We usually start the work with a technical SEO audit, check site speed, look at what keywords the site is ranking for, and get a gauge on the content quality and topics that are on the site. Then we ensure articles are set up for conversions, optimized display ad earnings, and more.

Once the baseline is established, we develop an approach tailored to the exact site and where it is at that moment:

Month 1 we worked on:

  1. Technical SEO Fixes
  2. Site Speed Optimization
  3. Keyword Optimizations for top 10 URLs/Keyword Research
  4. Built links to the homepage with brand/url anchors

Technical SEO:

The SEO Audit showed a decently healthy site, but definitely some technical SEO issues:

We always like to start with optimizing the site from a technical SEO Perspective first, since this will compound the benefit of all the other work that is done.

Just building solid links to a site with technical issues is not the best plan of action since it will hold the site back from the full effect of the links.

This is why we don't only offer link building services, but also the SEO Package service where we can actually do all the work a site needs to succeed.

If you're a technical SEO and confident in that area, and only need link building help we do offer link building as a separate service here.

Once we have the technical foundation optimized, we look at the content – since simply building solid links to poor content is also reducing the benefit of the links.

Site Speed Optimization

Site Speed is pretty important for a lot of reasons these days, just one of them being that in 2020 Google is going to be putting a “badge of shame” on sites that are too slow.

We aim to see values of at least 60+ on Mobile and 80+ on Desktop when running ads on a decently long post (2000 words+) with a video embed and a few images and were able to achieve decent values on this site (Generate Press theme).

We also offer Site Speed Optimization as a standalone service.

Keyword Optimization and Research

During the content audit, we noticed that while the articles were good, they weren't directly targeting some high volume keywords.

For example, we'd see something like this, where a keyword phrase with 4 words in it isn't used in the article:

This represents a good opportunity to add the exact phrase to the article.

We're also looking for things like cannibalization, keyword stuffing, keywords being used in the right places, etc.

Occasionally this also yields good content ideas as well, in situations where an article is ranking for a keyword that is sort of related but not exactly and should really be targeted in a new article.

If an article is not optimized for a keyword but is ranking for it, an article that is optimized for it should do well on the site.

We also found several good keywords for new articles to be created around by assessing the competition (Content Gap analysis).

Link Building

When we reviewed the site's link and anchor text profile, we found that only a small percentage of links (less than 15%) were to the homepage.

In general, in a natural link/anchor text profile, you can expect to see 30% or more to be links to the homepage.

For example, the anchor text profile of our own site ( is over 40% brand/homepage URL anchors:

For Month 1, we focused on building brand links.

Month 2:

In this month (Sept 2019), we tackled 3 items:

  1. Optimized the site for ad earnings/Created Videos
  2. Created Content
  3. Built Links

Optimizing Ad Earnings

The site is partially monetized with ads through MediaVine, a very solid and highly recommended Full Service Ad Management company.

The site was fairly optimized for ad placements but was not serving up video ads.

We created several videos, and they were placed on the site. This enables pre-roll video ads to run on the site, which can increase earnings per visitor quite significantly.

Since it wasn't our site, we don't know exactly how much the increase was, or what that represented in dollars to our customer; but it's safe to say this customer is pretty happy – we are now beginning work on another of their properties.

On our own sites, we have seen as much as a 20% increase in earnings just from using video ads in conjunction with display ads.

We used our own video creation service for this.

Content Creation

As I'm writing this in early Dec 2019, here are the stats for the articles we wrote in Sept 2019:

2.5K organic traffic per month from just 1 article!

Link Building

We continued our link building campaign to build more homepage links

Month 3 & 4

At the beginning of Month 3 (Oct. 2019), things started getting interesting with traffic being 50% higher than it was when we had started.

We decided to do a 50/50 Links/Content split, and did the same for Month 4.


Most of the budget went again towards building links to the homepage, and we started focusing on some inner pages that needed just a bit more link love to move.


For the content side of things, we found 10 competitor sites and did a Content Gap Analysis to find opportunities that competitors were covering and this site was not.

In combination with this, we also broadened out some existing clusters on the site. We focused 50% on affiliate content and 50% on info content.

Ahrefs chart is looking pretty good as a result of these efforts:

And Google Analytics even more so, with November closing out just shy of 300% increase over July (The month before we started working on the site):

The Bottom Line:

While we don't know exactly what the site is earning, the customer did confirm that income from the site has tripled since we began working on the site!

We've recently expanded our SEO Team capacity, and would love to work with your site as well – sign up today to let us help you grow your business!

5 thoughts on “Traffic up 282%, Earnings up 300%+ in 4 months: HPD DFY SEO Case Study”

  1. Wao super Brad….the best ideas i got for SEO this blog to boost my earning….. thank you so much…i feel very glad to read your story..

  2. It is this same strategies that I have been working on to increase passive traffic to my blog. When I started out, I only shared my site on Facebook groups and thought things would work out. But now I know better after studying how SEO works and the essence of solid on page optimization as well as backlinking

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