Hello – welcome to the case study. I think this will be a great way to start off the launch of this website. Everyone loves a good case study. There are a number of niche site case studies out there, but most of them are outdated by at least a year or more, and the ones that aren’t are, quite frankly, pretty boring to read – at least that is my opinion.
I have a few goals with this case study. First, I want to experiment and see how Google is treating websites right now. If you’re doing SEO regularly, you know that things have changed dramatically over the last year, regardless of how you do SEO.
My second goal with this case study is to show the exact steps I will use to take a website from $0 to $1,000 per month. Finally, I hope that you will be able to learn from it and start your own experiment. I also hope that it will encourage and motivate you to take action.
Let’s get right into the details of the site. To protect its identity, the site is based around the “food and drink’ niche. It has a branded domain name, and it was registered on July 7th, 2014. The site had a single page of content, with roughly 1,000 words, but recently, I had some pages of content added, so it has about 8 total pages of content now.
The content has been on the site since it was made. The site is about 9 months old already, which is important for you to know. Basically, the site has just been sitting for about 9 months indexed in Google and not really doing much. The new pages were added less than a month ago. Let’s look at the webmaster tools and analytics data.
The webmaster tools from Google only shows data from the last 3 months. You can see the impressions started to rise a bit since about two months ago. I’ll explain why the impressions are starting to spike upwards over the last week or so. First, let’s look at the analytics traffic data.
The analytics data above is for the entire lifetime of the site. As you can see, now much going on. Virtually all of the traffic is from Organic Search, aka Google, Yahoo and Bing — but mostly Google.
In the webmaster tools data, you can see the impressions start to spike over the last week, and the traffic is starting to increase.
Link building Done For The Site
On April 17th, 2015, 11 in-content, contextual links were built from 11 sites in a private link network. To create these links, a small network of 11 sites were purchased and setup with a single page of content. The single piece of content on each of the link network sites is laser-targeted to be relevant to the case study site.
All of the links were built to the homepage of the site, and the anchor text used were partial-match keywords that I’m trying to rank the site for. All of the links were built at once, in a single day. The site has a handful of random links from ‘stat websites’ but nothing else. No links have been built to the site until now.
Target Keywords And Rankings
Here are the rankings from SEO RankTracker. I’m tracking about 62 keywords. The first row of numbers is the monthly exact search volume for each of the keywords. The next row of numbers is the current ranking in Google for each of the keywords. It’s hard to believe that links from a private network can have any impact almost instantly, but take a look at these keyword movements for the site below.
As mentioned earlier, the links were built on April 17th, 2015. You can see the ranking jumps were quite large, and they’ve even continued to improve over the last few days. These are just a few examples. Virtually all of the keywords I’m tracking for the site saw some movement, some more than others — which is obviously because of the anchor text used.
Some more background information on the 11 links from the link network. The sites are mostly pagerank 3, but some might be pagerank 2, and there is one pagerank 4 site. I will upload the stats for the network sites later on, such as the DA, PA, TF and CF. Let’s look at the current earnings for the site.
The image above shows the earnings for the site so far this month. The ‘clicks’ represents how many unique visitors the site has sent to Amazon.com, the ‘orders’ is how many items have been ordered, the ‘shipped’ is how many of those ordered items have shipped, the ‘revenue’ is how much total $$ worth of Amazon products the site has sold and the ‘earnings’ is how much actual profit or money the site has made from commissions on the items sold. As you can see, it’s a low number, so it will be interesting to see how this number grows over time.
So, our goal is to grow this site from $0 to $1,000 per month as quickly as possible. When I build sites, I look at it from a ROI perspective. If you don’t do this, you might sink a lot of money into a failed project. If you want to grow a site, you have two options. However, one of those options is really only available to an aged, well-linked site.
The two options to grow the site’s traffic are content and links, but the content option doesn’t really work well until the site has an established identity. In other words, the site needs to have been in Google’s index for many months or at least a year, and it must have had strong links pointing at it for much of that time.
Later on, we can increase traffic just by adding new content to the site regularly, but until it has some decent link equity built up, the best way to grow the traffic quickly is with additional links. I haven’t decided exactly what links I will acquire for the site, so I will need to think about this before the next update.
It’s not really a true case study if you don’t include the expenses. What good is a site that is making $500 a month if you’ve already invested $10,000 into it? The expenses for this site so far include:
$12 for the domain name
$1 a month for hosting ( shared account split among 15 total sites )
11 purchased link network sites roughly $450
Time to setup the network sites and write the content = 7 hours
New articles purchased recently = $36
The amount of money that each hour of your time is worth is different for everyone. If we based it on a typical US wage, it’s worth about $12 an hour. Therefore, we’re about $583 into the site. The link network is costly because I’m using all 11 sites to link to only the case study site, which dramatically increases the relevance of the network sites to the case study site.
The ultimate goal with this site, depending on how the links are built, is to flip it for 20x monthly earnings. If you want exclusive info that I won’t share in public, make sure to subscribe to my email list, and I’ll see in the next update!