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