Eight SEO strategies we used to get 4 million organic hits from Google

Love to learn the secret of hitting the #1 spot on Google? Discover the eight SEO strategies we used to get over 4 million organic hits from Google.

When we launched Talented Ladies Club in 2013, no one knew who we were. The first few days after we announced we were live on social media, a few curious friends and family visited our site. But after that… crickets!

For weeks we received barely any traffic. After a while we started to get hits from Twitter, but it took nearly a year to start building organic search traffic. And once we did, our rankings on Google grew, and grew, and grew.

Today we’ve had over 4 million visitors from organic search and rank top for over 300 search terms. We also passed a thorough SEO audit last year with flying colours. So how did we get here? And what SEO strategies did we use that might be helpful for you?

How we became self-taught SEO experts

The first thing we need to be clear about is that we did this all ourselves, with no paid SEO help. Instead, we learned as much as we could about SEO before we even launched our site, and have consistently applied ‘white hat’ strategies ever since.

While we were still in planning stages for Talented Ladies Club we realised that we’d need traffic from search engines, so needed to understand how SEO works. And early on I was lucky enough to stumble across a simple explanation of SEO – one that revealed the psychology behind how it worked and shared simple explanations.

Once I understood the real psychology behind SEO, I was able to use my intuition and common sense about what actions to take, and I was able to avoid falling for the black hat tricks that have seen many websites penalised by Google.

Eight SEO strategies we used to get 4 million organic hits from Google

To help you get more organic search traffic from search engines like Google, here are eight of the SEO strategies we used to get 4 million organic hits from Google.

1) Post regularly

From the very start of Talented Ladies Club, when our only regular readers were family and friends, I was adamant about posting content every day. I knew waiting until we had a big readership to create regular content was a mistake – we needed to create regular content to grow a big readership.

That persistence eventually paid off, and has helped us significantly ever since, as fresh content is helpful for SEO: “… the more frequently you update your website with articles, downloads, and new web pages, the more frequently a search engine will stop by to visit your website. When search engines look at your site more frequently, you have the opportunity to achieve higher rankings based on the content you provide.”

Regularly updating your content also lets Google know your site is alive and therefore your content more likely to be current.

My SEO tip for you

Update your site regularly (blogging is the easiest way to do this). Pick a frequency of posting you can realistically manage and commit to it. You don’t need to post daily like us, unless you are a content site.

2) Use topic clusters

While we feature articles on a wide range of topics on Talented Ladies Club, there are some subjects we frequently write about. And as a result, we’ve created topic clusters.

Topic clusters are a number of pages or blogs about a common topic. They’re good for SEO because they indicate you might be an expert in this area, plus you can add internal links between pages or blogs, and people are more likely to explore more of your site as a result. This sends positive signals to Google, which helps with your ranking.

My SEO tip for you

Is there a topic or a small number of topics that you can write in-depth pages or blogs on? Ideally these pages or blogs will all be linked out to from a central page (known as a ‘pillar’).

3) Use keywords properly

Luckily I had already got used to writing for SEO as a freelance copywriter before starting Talented Ladies club so I already knew how to use and place keywords properly. But I’d never had to research them before. So once we started planning our site, I considered which keywords we wanted to rank for – and just as importantly what type of keyword.

And it’s paid off – we now rank on the first page of Google for thousands of keywords, and in first place for over 300.

My SEO tip for you

Have a clear keyword strategy. Decide what types of keyword you want to rank for and then research the ideal search terms. Then ensure you use keywords across your site according to best practice.

4) Get your website basics right

There’s no point spending hours writing in depth blogs and pages, building topic clusters and using the right keywords properly if your website isn’t properly optimised for SEO. So we’ve always made sure that our website meets the standards expected by the latest Google algorithm updates. Along with following the updates, the experts at Weekend Growth also suggest checking your Core Web Vitals and making any necessary adjustments to improve your site speed and overall user experience.

While this can seem a complex and ‘techy’ side of SEO there are some simple changes you can make to your website yourself that will ensure that it’s able to be crawled by Google and that will help it to rank higher.

My SEO tip for you

Make sure your website is optimised for mobile and check your site speed. If you need one, submit your site map to Google and request that Google crawls your website. Other quick wins include claiming your Google My Business listing.

5) Get quality backlinks

This is something else we’ve worked on diligently over the years. Right from the start we’ve known that getting links to our site on high ranking websites will help spread the word about us, send traffic our way and, just as importantly, help with SEO. We’ve achieved this predominantly through writing guest blogs for other websites, PR and creating great content that other sites want to link to and share.

My SEO tip for you

Backlinks are too important to leave to chance. So plan a proper backlink strategy. Work out which sites will help you, and how you can get a link on them.

6) Share your best content

One of the best SEO tips I learned when I was planning Talented Ladies Club was to share your best content. When you understand the psychology of SEO you realise that making your best tips publicly available in thorough, well researched and written articles (or videos) is far more powerful than sharing scraps and hoping to attract people who’ll pay to learn more.

When you do create great content, people will love and engage with it more, and will be more likely to share and link to it – and send signals to Google that it should rank your content more highly as a result.

My SEO tip for you

Don’t create content for the sake of it, and certainly don’t skimp on value. Be generous and share genuinely useful knowledge and insights and create content both your audience and Google will love.

7) Write longer articles

One natural result of sharing our best content was that our articles got longer. Many of our in-depth investigations are well over 2,000 words long, and we begin to notice that our long articles were the ones getting ranked by Google.

We weren’t alone in this discovery. It’s well known now that longer content ranks higher on Google. Just look at this graph showing the content length of articles and their position on search rankings:

As you can see, all pages are over 2,000 words. And the higher the number of words, the higher their ranking.

So why does longer content rank higher? According to research, long form content has a greater probability of earning quality backlinks. And as we know, backlinks are important for search rankings. Good long form content also tends to be more useful than short content, answering more questions in greater depth and providing more value.

My SEO tip for you

Don’t worry, that doesn’t mean every page or blog needs to be over 2,000 words long! But if there is a page or blog you really want to rank, it’s worth making it an authority piece and trying to get to over 2,300 words.

8) Don’t try to game the system

This advice applies to several of our tips, but it’s important enough to deserve its own mention. When you’re trying to climb up the search engine rankings, especially early on when reaching page one of Google seems impossibly far away, it can be tempting to take short cuts. But trust us, it’s not worth it.

Because even if you find an SEO loophole now, you can guarantee that Google will see it at some point too. And when they do, they won’t just close it, but they’ll penalise anyone caught using it to artificially rank higher.

You may have noticed we mention the ‘psychology’ of SEO quite a lot. And this is important. Because when you understand how SEO works and what Google wants from it, you realise that gaming it doesn’t work. And instead you can intuitively guess what WILL make Google (and the people who use your site) happy.

It’s how we’ve always approached SEO and why we haven’t yet been hit by any penalties in eight and a half years.

My SEO tip for you

However tempting it may be, never try an SEO shortcut. And if anyone tells you they know a trick to hack their way to the top of Google, don’t believe them. And certainly don’t take their advice (I’ve met many people who’ve lost their web traffic overnight after being hit by a penalty).

Instead do the right thing, and play by the rules of SEO. It’s not complicated. Yes it requires commitment, hard work and consistency. But if you know what to do and put the work in, you’ll be rewarded with a higher position on Google – and won’t need to worry about losing it all overnight if Google announce a new algorithm update.

Why you NEED to rank on page one of Google today

SEO has been important for us as a content site. But every business that has a website also needs to understand and use SEO properly.

Gone are the days when SEO was a luxury only businesses with the budget to pay an agency could afford. If you don’t know how to rank for the right search terms on Google, you are missing out on business every day. Just look at these SEO statistics:

  • 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine. 
  • 53.3% of all website traffic comes from organic search. 
  • 92.96% of global traffic comes from Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps.
  • SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media.

SEO has also become much more competitive. Today 96% of all clicks happen on the first page of Google, and 28% of all clicks are on the top result of page one. So if you aren’t ranking on at least page one of Google, you may as well not bother.

Love our help to climb the Google rankings?

Luckily, as search traffic has grown, so has the number of search terms people are looking for – and your opportunities to rank. So it’s easier than you may think to hit page one of Google… as long as you have a strategy!

And that’s exactly what you’ll get on our four-week SEO course, SEO Kit. We’ll explain the psychology of SEO then teach you the basics and essentials, to ensure your website is Google-friendly.

Then we guide you as you plan your keyword, content and backlink strategies with easy-to-follow lessons and actions. And, to ensure you implement your new strategies we give you simple monthly tasks and checklists to keep you on track.

It’s the easiest (and cheapest) way to do your SEO and help your website to hit that all-important spot on page on of Google for the right search terms.

So if you’re ready to plan your SEO strategy for the next year in just four weeks, come and join us inside the SEO Kit now.

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