How to Get 260.7% More Organic Traffic In 14 Days (New Strategy + Case Study)
by Brian Dean · Updated Nov. 28, 2016
Today I’m going to show you a new strategy that boosted my organic traffic by 260.7%.
(In 14 days)
This strategy also led to a flood of visitors from Twitter, Facebook and blogs.
The best part?
I didn’t need to publish any new content.
And in today’s post I’ll reveal the exact step-by-step process that I used.
The Blog Post That Made Me Say: “I Totally Have to Try This!”
One day I stumbled on a HubSpot blog post called, “The Blogging Tactic No One Is Talking About: Optimizing the Past“.
In that post HubSpot revealed that they update and re-publish old blog posts.
I thought to myself: “Hmmm. Interesting.”
Then I learned that this approach led to a 106% increase in HubSpot’s organic traffic.
I (literally) shouted out: “I totally have to try this!”
So I did.
Even I was surprised at what happened next…
Here Are My Results From “The Content Relaunch”
I first executed The Content Relaunch with this post:
2 weeks later that page’s organic search engine traffic was up a ridiculous 260.7%.
I also got a huge spike in traffic from social media and blogs:
Because “The Content Relaunch” got my content in front of lots of people…
…the page accumulated a ton of new backlinks.
Needless to say, these fresh backlinks boosted my rankings.
In fact, rankings for my target keyword (“white hat SEO”) jumped from the 7th spot to position #4:
Now that you’ve seen the results, it’s time for me to walk you through the step-by-step process I used.
The 3-Step Process to Higher Rankings and More Traffic With “The Content Relaunch”
There are 3 steps to The Content Relaunch:
Step #1: Identify under-performing content
Step #2: Improve and update that content
Step #3: Republish your post
Here’s why this strategy is so effective:
First, new readers see your old content.
Chances are, 90%+ of the people that might benefit from your content never see it.
But when you relaunch your content, you create another opportunity for people to benefit from your stuff.
Second, you make your content better.
I’d be willing to bet you have at least a handful of posts on your site that are outdated or mediocre.
The Content Relaunch gives you the opportunity to update and improve that content.
Better content=more traffic.
Third, your content has built-in social proof.
When you relaunch a blog post, you have social proof on Day 1.
For example, my post already had lots of comments and Facebook likes the day I relaunched it:
With that, let’s dive into the step-by-step process…
Step #1: Identify Under-Performing Content On Your Site
Your first step is to find a piece of content to re-publish.
1. Pages That Rank #7-#15
You probably already know that the top 3 spots in Google get the lion’s share of traffic (source).
(In fact, the top 5 positions in Google get 67.5% of all clicks)
That’s why you want to push pages that rank #7-#15 into the top 5.
But first, you’ll need to find these pages.
To do that, head over to the Google Search Console and click on “Search Analytics”.
Then, click on “Impressions” and “Position”:
Finally, glance over the results. Keep an eye out for pages that get lots of impressions…but rank between #7-#15.
These are pages that could get a significant boost from The Content Relaunch.
2. Pages Where Organic Traffic Dropped Off
If you see a page’s organic traffic sliding…
…The Content Relaunch can get it back on track.
3. Content That Under-Performed
We’ve all been there…
You put your heart and soul into a piece of content.
But when you launch it?
Sometimes this is simply a case of bad luck (or timing).
In fact, that’s exactly what happened to me when I first launched this post in 2014:
It did OK…but way below my expectations.
And when I used The Content Relaunch on that post two years later, traffic to that page shot through the roof:
4. Content That’s Good…But Could Be Better
My white hat SEO case study was OK…
…but there was a LOT of room for improvement.
I’ll have more details on how I improved my post a bit later.
But to give you an idea of why my post was lacking, just take a look at this screenshot from the post:
Yup, Twitter hasn’t looked like that in a looooong time.
Step #2: Make Your Content 2x Better (And More Up-To-Date)
Now that you’ve found a piece of content for The Content Relaunch, it’s time to improve that content.
Here’s exactly how I made my content (at least) 2x better:
1. Updated Images and Screenshots
Like I mentioned earlier, my post had some VERY old screenshots:
These ancient images made my visitors say to themselves: “How old is this post anyway?”.
So I updated the old screenshots with new ones:
2. Improved The Post’s Structure
My old post had an unnecessary section at the top called, “Wait…What’s The Skyscraper Technique?”.
This section was unnecessary backstory. So I decided to scrap that section and jump right into the results instead:
3. Added a New Case Study
This was a big one.
I realized that my content was solid, but it had one gaping hole:
The case study featured someone that ran an SEO blog.
Which led to comments like this:
I’ve personally seen The Skyscraper Technique work in dozens of different industries.
But I needed to prove it.
So I added a new case study from someone in a boring niche (workplace wellness).
4. I Addressed Common Reader Questions
Whenever I publish a post about SEO, I inevitably get the “what’s the ROI?” question.
And it’s a good question.
So I added a section to my post that outlined Emil’s ROI:
5. Did More Storytelling
My original post had almost ZERO storytelling.
That’s OK for a list post…
…but NOT for a case study.
After all, the story is the most compelling part of any case study.
So I added a backstory to explain WHY Emil needed to get more traffic.
OK, this story may not get you to shut off Game of Thrones.
But still: ANY story is better than none at all.
6. Added Bonus Steps
My original post was comprehensive-ish.
And I realized that comprehensive-ish wasn’t comprehensive enough.
That’s why I added a step #0…
…and a smattering of pro tips:
That way my post was a one-stop resource for people that wanted to execute a white hat SEO campaign.
Step #3: Time to Relaunch!
Now that my post was 2x better, it was time to share it with the world.
Here’s exactly what I did to get the word out:
1. First, I let bloggers know that I had a new case study coming out.
If you’re reading this you already know that you need to promote the heck out of your content.
And the best way to do that?
Targeted email outreach.
For this post I looked for people interested in The Skyscraper Technique.
How? I Googled “The Skyscraper Technique”.
(Pretty clever, right 😉 )
And when I found someone that wrote about The Skyscraper Technique…
…I sent them a friendly email:
Because my email was ridiculously targeted, most people were happy to share my post when it came out:
2. Second, I changed the “published” date in WordPress.
This is important.
When you change the post’s “published” date, your post appears at the top of your blog feed.
To change the date, just head over to that post and click the “edit” link under the post’s date:
Then change the date to today…
…and hit “update”.
Like magic, your post will appear at the very top of your blog feed:
3. Next, I shared the post on Twitter.
Here it is:
As you can see, nothing fancy.
That said, you may have noticed that I emphasized the new case study.
And I recommend you do the same thing for your Content Relaunch.
In other words:
When you promote your relaunched post, put your content’s new features front and center.
Did you add an infographic? Emphasize that.
Did you write a new section? Emphasize that.
Did you shoot a video tutorial? Emphasize that.
When you emphasize what’s new, you’ll get old AND new readers to check out your post.
4. Finally, I sent the Backlinko community an email.
This is HUGE.
If you want more people to read your content, you need to start building your email list.
(And then let your subscribers know about your new stuff).
Case in point:
My Tweet above got a grand total of 111 clicks:
And my newsletter email?
(To be fair, I have twice as many email subscribers than Twitter followers. But you get the idea).
And when it was all said and done, my page got a 260% lift in organic traffic thanks to The Content Relaunch:
Not too shabby 🙂
By now you can probably see why this is quickly becoming one of my favorite search engine optimization techniques.
Now It’s Your Turn…
Now that you’ve seen my results, I’d like to hear from you.
What do you think of The Content Relaunch?
Or maybe you have a question about a step in the process.
Either way, leave a comment quick below.
I’ll be around today to reply to comments and answer questions.
So if you have a question or thought, leave a comment right now.