Dan’s Early Traction With The Keyword Golden Ratio

Today we have a special guest on the blog once again.

Dan Carpenter is a current customer of HPD's content service and he's recently been implementing the Keyword Golden Ratio from Doug Cunnington. This is a strategy we've loved championing and the early results of Dan's site is the exact reason why.

Even though we're in the beginning stages of his site, it's great to see Dan along side the other success stories from HPD.

Without further ado, take it away Dan!

In December of 2017, I decided there was still room in the outdoor industry for 1 more review site (I know, I know). I ordered content from Human Proof Designs, just in time to get their special “end of the year” content pricing, and boom, my website was born. 

The Flywheel of Traction

Then in about late January or early February, I read Doug Cunnington’s post about the Keyword Golden Ratio. In short, he taught that new sites could gain early “first turn of the flywheel” type traction, by finding and creating content for keywords with uber-low competition. I decided to put it to the test.

Using a combination of Ahrefs.com and some good old fashion Google searching, I made a list of all the sub .25 KGR qualifiers (Doug explains this methodology very simply in his posts and videos). To do this, I first set the Ahrefs.com Keyword Difficulty filter for less than “5”, to pull back an initial list of potential KGR qualifiers.

Note: You can also use KWFinder to do this, which is a less expensive version of Ahrefs. HPD also has a discount code here for you.

Updated Ahrefs Ideas

Then I tediously did manual searches in Google to see how many results came back (yes, this probably took an hour or more). 

Updated SERP Validation

Because I already had several bigger pages being written for me, when possible, I tried to find KGR opportunities that would “nest” down the URL string from the bigger pages.

Traffic Trickling In

Armed with my list, I set out to begin writing the posts. Because I figured that the threshold was pretty low, I figured that these posts need not be too long or in-depth (a few that ended up being over 1,000 words, but many that were more like 800 or 600).

After writing them, I set the posts to go live every 5 days. In my mind, I feel like consistency is probably a more important signal to Google than an “all at once” content dump, and then crickets (I really haven’t read or researched this, just my own personal belief). So I spent a considerable chunk of time building out the content queue. I have since increased the frequency, because my queue of content is robust enough to keep consistent with it (you can see in the screenshot below, the frequency is now at 3 days).

Before long, my pages were indexed. Little by little, traffic started to trickle in. And I do mean trickle.  I posted my first KGR page on March 2, and literally had 1 visit for a couple weeks. The first week I actually started seeing a legitimate handful was the first week of April. 13 views.

In the month of April, that page got 67 views. In May, the visits continued to slowly grow, Then, shock of all shocks, I actually started seeing Amazon sales.

While you can’t see the actual numbers above those green bars on the right, the highest day so far is still only $14. But what’s most important to me is that it’s actually working. Even cooler is that when I look through Amazon’s “Items Shipped” page, I can verify that some of the things featured on my site are in fact being purchased.

Complete loop.

Admittedly, it is still very early in a very long game. But the Keyword Golden Ratio has definitely delivered on it’s promise of “initial traction.” It is exciting to see the small wins (even though the numbers are teeny-tiny), and it gives psychological fuel to keep going.

16 Comments

  1. Hi, Kelvin

    First of all, thank you for this practically explained article. Is that possible to rank these keywords without backlinks? Because, according to the Doug Cunnington, these keywords can be ranked without them.

    I want to know your experience.

    Please reply!

  2. Hi, great post!
    Some questions:
    did you create any backlink to your site?
    Is your domain new?
    What is you DA?

    Thank you

    • Dan Carpenter

      Yes, the domain is brand new (touched on it briefly above) and I believe the DA per Ahrefs is 19. As far as link building goes, yes, I have tried to build several links—profiles, commenting, guest posts, and a little paid amplification.

  3. Nice little write-up. SEO is a very loooooong game but after 6 months or so Google seems to really reward those with top content and you’ll see the hockey-stick growth begin.

    What are your current earnings to date now?

    • Dan Carpenter

      Hi Chris, Earnings have fallen off a little bit… The month of May was like $90, but I think I’m about $45 for June…

  4. Thank you for this inspiring article! It gives hope to those just starting out and waiting for traffic to start flowing more and more. Its interesting to watch as things grow on the timeline and how fast things seem to move when your busy learning and working on a site though. Great job! I’d be curious to hear about things go for the 4-6 months for you also.

  5. This post is very helpful in showing the steps you took, making adjustments to make a system work for your topic, and seeing how your ideas lead to success.

  6. Congratulations that things worked out for you.
    It’s time to try it too to see how it goes for ourselves.

  7. Dean Deal

    Thanks for the article! I think this will support the new users desire for further proof that KGR will work. In my mind, KGR is the perfect tool to defeat those hard to rank subjects. I love the idea of an article that pontificates upon a hard to rank keyword subject but whos traffic is driven to it on the cheap (comparatively speaking) by easy to rank related subjects. Thank you Doug Cunnington and thank you, Dan for your insight!

  8. Thank Kelvin for the great info.

    1. Do you use only “best” keyword?
    2. How many words per article?
    3. How many articles already,
    4. How long it took you to get 13 views a day.

    Thanks

    • Dan Carpenter

      Hi Tomasz,

      This is Dan here. Thanks for reading and reaching out.

      1. Yes, for the “first crank of the flywheel” traction that I’m looking for with this stuff, the goal is to narrowly target deep purchase intent searchers. “Best” is a great indicator of this. You might also experiment with using “buy”, “top”, etc.
      2. I mentioned it in the article, but my reviews were 600-1000 words.
      3. At the time this was written, I had about 40 articles live.
      4. Also mentioned this above, but it took about a month for the KGR article to hit a 13 view day.

      DC

  9. I have come across so many live YouTube videos with Doug Cunnington. But the difficult part of that was finding out the keyword with low keyword volume(below 250 searches). Your tips for key word search with Ahrefs is great. I never tried this option. It is very easy way to find out the low volume keywords. When we keep the keyword difficulty below 5, I found it very helpful to search for KGR.
    No doubt, I will try this method of scheduling of post also. Thanks for a great tip.

  10. I have come across so many live YouTube videos with Doug Cunnington. But the difficult part of that was finding out the keyword with low keyword volume(below 250 searches). Your tips for keyword search with Ahrefs is great. I never tried this option. It is a very easy way to find out the low volume keywords. When we keep the keyword difficulty below 5, I found it very helpful to search for KGR.
    No doubt, I will try this method of scheduling of post also. Thanks for a great tip.

  11. Nice post. While it may not feel as “big” as people reporting earning gobs of money, your experience is almost exactly, minus the scheduled posts, what I’ve gone through and what I’ve experienced.

    You’re a smart man to be using a good tool like AHRefs 😉 It has given me an advantage (much more keywords and potential ideas) than other tools do.

    I also use Doug’s KGR method then extend upon it. Additionally, I make sure to optimize my content with additional keywords as in fact I’ve learned that those additional keywords are what help drive traffic – not just the focus keyword. Get every ounce of SEO potential out of them, I say.

    Thanks for the nice post!

    Hopefully this will inspire others to push forward, take the first steps, and to stay on the right path and give their sites time to grow and succeed.

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