In October 2016, exactly one year back, we had an inbound traffic of 2.4 million visits per month on Organic Facts. Most of it was from Google Search. We wanted to increase it as some VCs were showing interest in acquiring the website.
Since we had a good know-how about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) we decided to focus most of our energy on the same.
The first thing that we did was to get the website audited from different project managers of my SEO agency, Growisto, which helped us come up with an exhaustive to-do list. We then aggressively increased our team strength to 10 for carrying out these activities.
Well, exactly one year later, we managed to double our monthly traffic and we touched 5 million visits in Oct’17! How did we achieve this? How do you double the traffic of a website that already gets 2+ million visits? I thought, sharing what we did, will benefit others.
Without much ado, here is the secret to how we optimized our website to double the traffic.
1. Publish awesome content more frequently
From 3 new posts a week, we went to 20-25 new posts per week. Within a year of increasing the rate of adding new posts, the amount of the content on our website grew by about 50%!
This not only helped us get more visits on the new pages, but also gave a signal to the search engines that our website gets updated regularly.
2. For easy readability on SERPs, we changed to user friendly title tags and meta descriptions
All of us have heard this repeatedly and it is for a reason, improving your title tag and meta description does increase your CTR on the search engine ranking pages (SERPs).
We tried out different formats for the meta tags on few pages for a couple of months, we narrowed down to one format that showed best results and updated the same across all the posts on the website.
Well, withing a couple of days of implementation, we saw a whopping 16% increase in our CTR and on Google Search leading to a jump in traffic in the same proportion!
3. Extensive A/B testing of website design to improve session time and engagement
In order to increase user engagement and improve session time we modified our template, homepage, category page designs, color, font type, font size, rectified grammatical errors on several pages and added a related posts bar in between the content.
This resulted in an increase of 15% in the average session time because of the user friendliness of the content and page.
4. A simple trick helped us attract double the backlinks to skyrocket our authority
Any backlinking activity was futile for Organic Facts due to the already high number of backlinks that we get naturally. Therefore, we had to figure out a way that would increase the backlinks either in quality or in sizeable volume.
Earlier, the website had over 9,000 references to scientific research, however, all this was linked through anchor texts within the content, leading to many users thinking that the content is not based on scientific research.
We decided to provide a separate references section at the bottom, this improved the trust in the content and doubled the rate at which other websites were linking back to Organic Facts.
The outcome? We get links from about 800 more domains now on a monthly basis.
5. We worked on critical but often ignored on-page SEO aspect – internal linking:
We all know that internal links play an important role in SEO. This was one area where we had not worked on Organic Facts since the beginning.
So we introduced a mega-menu, added links to important pages on the homepage, added automated internal linking, and improved our breadcrumbs structure.
It was difficult to measure the outcome of the entire activity, however, we did see an increase of about 160% in the hits on our internal links when we increased the number of keywords linked.
6. Optimizing browser notifications help us get a new source of traffic
Apart from SEO, what helped us significantly was working on browser notifications. We tested different tools and narrowed down to ‘One Signal’. We then monitored the efficacy of our browser notifications by observing the open and uninstall rates for different sending frequencies and types of topics.
Over several months of testing, we found that sending one notification daily on trending or ever-green popular topics helped us get most number of page visits from the notification.
Presently about 6% of our daily traffic comes from browser notifications alone.
Next target – 10 million!
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