We acquired this 11 month old site on the Flippa marketplace for $XX, XXX in November of 2020.
This site is in the technology niche and was monetized with only adsense and an affiliate offer at the time.
In the first full month of owning the site (December 2020) it made just $757.
By September 2021, we had grown the site to $7,976. This case study will go over exactly what we did to grow the revenue to this level.
What We Did to Grow It?
We were quite busy with other projects so the first few months after buying the site we didn’t do much work on it. We started working more on the site in early 2021.
One of the first things we did was hire a developer to make a custom theme for the site. Not only was the homepage very outdated, but the speed was not that great. After the site redesign the homepage looked nicer and provided a better user experience. The speed also improved a bit. We shoot for a load time under 2 seconds on all sites.
Technical SEO has gotten much more important in the last few years and we always do a quick technical audit of every site that we are working on. The main tool that we use for this is Screaming Frog, but we also use Ahrefs extensively.
We fixed all technical issues like missing meta descriptions, missing alt tags, deindexing thin content, etc.
We also performed a content refresh on all pages that hadn’t been updated in the last 6 months. These pages can be found by using the following search operator: site:domain.com > tools > custom date > input date 6 months prior to current date. This operator filters for all pages that have a last modified date within the specified time frame.
Content refreshes are best performed around 2x per year for most niches, and 3x per year for more competitive niches.They usually result in a fast increase in traffic of about 5-10%.
Our keyword research process looks roughly like this:
- We use Ahrefs to make a master list of every competitor in the space.
- Then we get the DR and traffic of these competitors using the ahrefs bulk analysis tool.
- Once we have the metrics recorded, we do a content gap analysis, starting with the lowest DR competitors first
By starting with the lowest DR competitors we are able to rank much faster by not having to build many, if any links to the new articles.
We added a total of 19 articles to the site which amounted to 23,383 words. The topics were chosen strategically to both: provide more relevance to existing articles, as well as to have the best chance of ranking without much link building.
Throughout the years, links have remained as arguably the top ranking factor in Google. The overall authority of the site was (and still is) quite low so we worked to start building links as soon as possible.
We built a total of 27 high authority links to the site.
Our process looked like this:
- Use Ahrefs to export all the sites that have linked to the competition
- Use Mailshake to reach out to these sites and negotiate a link to our site as well.
We were able to get the DR metric in Ahrefs up to 12, while it was previously 5.
Page improvement checklist
We have an internal checklist that we use on each page to determine any issues that may prevent it from ranking. We utilized this checklist on all pages to increase their rankings.
The checklist contains everything that could possibly hold a page back from ranking. We identified that many high search volume articles had a lack of internal links. The meta titles and H1’s were also poorly optimized. After fixing these issues we saw good increases in traffic.
Initially, most of the site’s revenue was coming from adsense. Adsense pays much less than other networks.
By far the most important thing we did to grow the revenue was to switch from adsense to ezoic. Switching to ezoic skyrocketed the revenue.
The site reached a high of $7,976 in September with $7,088 coming from Ezoic and the rest from a VPN affiliate offer.
Awesome case study. please also share the following:
1. Traffic at start and now
2. Monthly active users before and after
3. Page views per month before and after
4. Avg. time per page before and after