How We Scale Our Clients’ SEO from 0 to 300k Monthly Traffic and Beyond

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Let’s face it: most SEO content on the internet is too impractical. Sure, all that theory is all fine, but it rarely answers the million-dollar question:

How can you grow your website to 300,000 monthly organic traffic and beyond?

To answer that question, we created the post – our exact, step-by-step process for growing website SEO to 6-digit traffic numbers.

The very same process we used to achieve the following results for our clients:

  • 0 to 300,000 monthly organic traffic in <3 years
  • 0 to 30,000 monthly organic traffic in 1 year
  • 1 million to 2 million monthly organic traffic in 1 year

So without further ado, here’s everything I am going to cover:

  • Get your website to run and load 2x – 5x faster (with MINIMAL technical know-how)
  • Optimise your landing pages to rank for direct intent keywords (and drive 100% qualified leads)
  • Create amazing, long-form content that ranks every time
  • How we get a TON of links to our website with ZERO link-building efforts
  • How to improve your content’s rankings with Surfer SEO

Time to get started. Grab a ☕ coffee or a 🍺 beer, this is going to be a long read.

Step #1 – Technical Optimization and On-Page SEO

Step #1 to any SEO initiative is getting your technical SEO right.

Now, some of this is going to be a bit technical, so you might just forward this part to your tech team and just skip ahead to “Step #2 – Keyword Research.”

If you DON’T have a tech team and want a super easy tl;dr, do this:

  • Use Cloudflare, WP Lighthouse and WP Super Cache. Lighthouse is a WordPress plugin that optimises a bunch of stuff on your website, making it run significantly faster.
  • Use an image optimisation plugin to (losslessly) compress all the images on your website. This usually helps a TON w/ load speed.

If you’re a bit more tech-savvy, though, read on!

Technical SEO Basics

sitemap.xml file. A good sitemap shows Google how to easily navigate your website (and how to find all your content!). If your site runs on WordPress, all you have to do is install Yoast SEO or Rankmath SEO, and they’ll create a sitemap for you. Otherwise, you can use an online XML Sitemap generation tool.

Proper website architecture. The crawl depth of any page should be lower than 4 (i.e: any given page should be reached with no more than 3 clicks from the homepage). To fix this, you should improve your interlinking (check Step #6 of this guide to learn more). Depending on your competitor research, you might want to reduce this even more, to be below any other competitor.

Serve images in next-gen format. Next-gen image formats (realistically WebP) can be compressed a lot better than JPG or PNG images. If you have a large website, this will be a long process.

Remove duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content and will penalise you for it. If you have any duplicate pages, just merge them (by doing a 301 redirect) or delete one or the other.

Update your robots.txt file. Hide the pages you don’t want Google to index (e.g.: non-public, or unimportant pages).

Optimise all your pages by best practice. There’s a bunch of general best practices that Google wants you to follow for your web pages (maintain keyword density, have an adequate number of outbound links, etc.).

Advanced Technical SEO

Now, this is where this gets a bit more web-devvy. Other than just optimizing your website for SEO, you should also focus on optimizing your website speed.

Here’s how to do that:

Both for mobile and PC, your website should load in under 2-3 seconds. While load speed isn’t a DIRECT ranking factor, it does have a very serious impact on your rankings.

After all, if your website doesn’t load for 5 seconds, a bunch of your visitors might drop off.

So, to measure your website speed performance, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. There’s also countless speed checking solutions out there. If you are using WordPress, WP Lighthouse tests your website speed on a regular basis and provides pretty charts in the back-end. Some of the most common issues we have seen clients facing when it comes to website speed and loading time, are the following:

  • Images being resized with CSS or JS. This adds extra loading time to your site. Use GTMetrix to find which images need resizing. Use an online tool (there are a ton of free ones, such as Photopea) to properly resize images, and re-upload them.
  • Images not being lazy-loaded. If your pages contain a lot of images, you MUST activate lazy-loading. This allows images that are below the screen, to be loaded only once the visitor scrolls down enough to see the image.
  • Gzip compression not enabled. Gzip is a compression method that allows network file transfers to happen faster. In other words, your files, like your HTML, CSS, and JS load a ton faster.
  • JS, CSS, and HTML not minified/aggregated/inlined. If your website is loading slowly because you have 100+ external JavaScript files and stylesheets being requested from the server, then you need to look into minifying, aggregating, and inlining some of those files.
  • Use Cloudflare

Step #2 – Keyword Research

Once your website is 100% optimised, it’s time to define your SEO strategy.

The best way to get started with this is by doing keyword research.

First off, you want to create a keyword research sheet. This is going to be your main hub for all your content operations.

You can use the sheet to:

  1. Prioritise content
  2. Keep track of the publishing process
  3. Get a top-down view of your web pages

And here’s what it covers:

  • Target search phrase. This is the keyword you’re targeting.
  • Priority. What’s the priority of this keyword? We usually divide them by 3-2-1…
    • Priority 3 – Top priority keywords. These are usually low competition, high traffic, well-converting, or all 3 at the same time.
    • Priority 2 – Mid-priority keywords.
    • Priority 1 – These are low priority.
  • Status. What’s the status of the article? We usually divide them by…
    • 1 – Not written
    • 2 – Writer has picked up the topic for the week
    • 3 – The article is being written
    • 4 – The article is in editing phase
    • 5 – The article is published on the blog
  • Topic cluster. The category that the blog post belongs to.
  • Monthly search volume. Self-explanatory. This helps you pick a priority for the keyword.
  • CPC (low & high bid). Cost per click for the keyword. Generally, unless you’re planning to run search ads, these are not mandatory. They can, however, help you figure out which of your keywords will convert better. Pro tip: the higher the CPC, the more likely it is for the keyword to convert well.

Now that you have your sheet (and understand how it works), let’s talk about the “how” of keyword research.

How to do Keyword Research (Step-by-Step Guide)

There are a ton of different ways to do that (check the “further readings” at the end of this section for a detailed rundown).

Our favorite method, however, is as follows…

Start off by listing out your top 5 SEO competitors.

The key here is SEO competitors – competing companies that have a strong SEO presence in the same niche.

Not sure who’s a good SEO competitor? Google the top keywords that describe your product and find your top-ranking competitors.

Run them through SEMrush (or your favorite SEO tool), and you’ll see how well, exactly, they’re doing with their SEO.

Once you have a list of 5 competitors, run each of them through “Organic Research” on SEMrush, and you’ll get a complete list of all the keywords they rank on.

Now, go through these keywords one by one and extract all the relevant ones and add them to your sheet.

Once you go through the top SEO competitors, your keyword research should be around 80%+ done.

Now to put some finishing touches on your keyword research, run your top keywords through UberSuggest and let it do its magic. It’s going to give you a bunch of keywords associated with the keywords you input.

Go through all the results it’s going to give you, extract anything that’s relevant, and your keyword research should be 90% done.

At this point, you can call it a day and move on to the next step. Chances are, over time, you’ll uncover new keywords to add to your sheet and get you to that sweet 100%.

Step #3 – Create SEO Landing Pages

Remember how we collected a bunch of landing page keywords in step #2? Now it’s time to build the right page for each of them! This step is a lot more straightforward than you’d think. First off, you create a custom landing page based on the keyword. Depending on your niche, this can be done in 2 ways:

  1. Create a general template landing page. Pretty much copy-paste your landing page, alter the sub-headings, paraphrase it a bit, and add relevant images to the use-case. You’d go with this option if the keywords you’re targeting are very similar to your main use-case (e.g. “project management software” “project management system”).
  2. Create a unique landing page for each use-case. You should do this if each use-case is unique. For example, if your software doubles as project management software and workflow management software. In this case, you’ll need two completely new landing pages for each keyword.

Once you have a bunch of these pages ready, you should optimise them for their respective keywords.

You can do this by running the page content through an SEO tool. If you’re using WordPress, you can do this through RankMath or Yoast SEO.

Both tools will give you exact instructions on how to optimise your page for the keyword.

If you’re not using WordPress, you can use SurferSEO. Just copy-paste your web page content, and it’s going to give you instructions on how to optimize it.

Once your new landing pages are live, you need to pick where you want to place them on your website. We usually recommend adding these pages to your website’s navigation menu (header) or footer.

Finally, once you have all these new landing pages up, you might be thinking “Now what? How, and when, are these pages going to rank?”

Generally, landing pages are a tad harder to rank than content. See, with content, quality plays a huge part. Write better, longer, and more informative content than your competition, and you’re going to eventually outrank them even if they have more links.

With landing pages, things aren’t as cut-and-dry. More often than not, you can’t just “create a better landing page.”

What determines rankings for landing page keywords are backlinks. If your competitors have 400 links on their landing pages, while yours has 40, chances are, you’re not going to outrank them.

Step #4 – Create SEO Blog Content

Now, let’s talk about the other side of the coin: content keywords, and how to create content that ranks.

As we mentioned before, these keywords aren’t direct-intent (the Googler isn’t SPECIFICALLY looking for your product), but they can still convert pretty well. For example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, you could rank on keywords like…

  • Lead generation techniques
  • SaaS marketing
  • SEO content

After all, anyone looking to learn about lead gen techniques might also be willing to pay you to do it for them.

On top of this, blog post keywords are way easier to rank for than your landing pages – you can beat competition simply by creating significantly better content without turning it into a backlink war. In order to create good SEO content, you need to do 2 things right:

  1. Create a comprehensive content outline
  2. Get the writing part right

Here’s how each of these work…

How to Create a Content Outline for SEO

A content outline is a document that has all the info on what type of information the article should contain Usually, this includes:

  • Which headers and subheaders you should use
  • What’s the optimal word count
  • What information, exactly, should each section of the article cover
  • If you’re not using Yoast or Rankmath, you can also mention the SEO optimization requirements (keyword density, number of outbound links, etc.)

Outlines are useful if you’re working with a writing team that isn’t 100% familiar with SEO, allowing them to write content that ranks without any SEO know-how.

At the same time, even if you’re the one doing the writing, an outline can help you get a top-down idea of what you should cover in the article.

So, how do you create an outline? Here’s a simplified step-by-step process…

  1. Determine the target word count. Rule of thumb: aim for 1.5x – 2x whatever your competitor wrote. You can disregard this if your competition was super comprehensive with their content, and just go for the same length instead.
  2. Create a similar header structure as your competition. Indicate for the writer which headers should be H2, which ones hH.
  3. For each header, mention what it’s about. Pro tip – you can borrow ideas from the top 5 ranking articles.
  4. For each header, explain what, exactly, should the writer mention (in simple words).
  5. Finally, do some first-hand research on Reddit and Quora. What are the questions your target audience has around your topic? What else could you add to the article that would be super valuable for your customers?

How to Write Well

There’s a lot more to good content than giving an outline to a writer. Sure, they can hit all the right points, but if the writing itself is mediocre, no one’s going to stick around to read your article.

Here are some essential tips you should keep in mind for writing content (or managing a team of writers):

  1. Write for your audience. Are you a B2B enterprise SaaS? Your blog posts should be more formal and professional. B2C, super-consumer product? Talk in a more casual, relaxed fashion. Sprinkle your content with pop culture references for bonus points!
  2. Avoid fluff. Every single sentence should have some sort of value (conveying information, cracking a joke, etc.). Avoid beating around the bush, and be as straightforward as possible.
  3. Keep your audience’s knowledge in mind. For example, if your audience is a bunch of rocket scientists, you don’t have to explain to them how 1+1=2.
  4. Create a writer guideline
  5. Use Grammarly and Hemingway. The first is like your personal pocket editor, and the latter helps make your content easier to read.
  6. Hire the right writers. Chances are, you’re too busy to write your own content.

Step #5 – Start Link-Building Operations

Links are essential if you want your content or web pages to rank.

If you’re in a competitive niche, links are going to be the final deciding factor on what ranks and what doesn’t.

In the VPN niche, for example, everyone has good content. That’s just the baseline. The real competition is in the backlinks.

To better illustrate this example, if you Google “best VPN,” you’ll see that all top-ranking content pieces are almost the same thing. They’re all:

  • Well-written
  • Long-form
  • Easy to navigate
  • Well-formatted (to enhance UX)

So, the determining factor is links. If you check all the top-ranking articles with the Moz Toolbar Extension, you’ll see that on average, each page has a minimum of 300 links (and some over 100,000!).

Meaning, to compete, you’ll really need to double-down on your link-building effort.

In fact, in the most competitive SEO niches, it’s not uncommon to spend $20,000 per month on link-building efforts alone.

Pro Tip

Got scared by the high $$$ some companies spend on link-building? Well, worry not!

Only the most ever-green niches are so competitive. Think, VPN, make money online, health and fitness, dating, CBD, gambling, etc. So you know, the usual culprits.

For most other niches, you can even rank with minimal links, as long as you have top-tier SEO content.

Now, let’s ask the million-dollar question: “how do you do link-building?”

There are a TON of different link building strategies on the web. Broken link building, scholarship link building, stealing competitor links, and so on and so on and so on.

We’re not going to list every single link building strategy out there (mainly because Backlinko already did that in their link building guide).

What we are going to do, though, is list out some of our favorite strategies, and link you to resources where you can learn more:

  1. Broken link building. You find dead pages with a lot of backlinks, reach out to websites that linked to them, and pitch them something like “hey, you linked to this article, but it’s dead. We thought you’d want to fix that. You can use our recent article if you think it’s cool enough.”
  2. Guest posting. Probably the most popular link building strategy. Find blogs that accept guest posts, and send them a pitch! They usually let you include 1-2 dofollow links back to your website.
  3. Linkable asset” link building. A linkable asset is a resource that is so AWESOME that you just can’t help but link to. Think, infographics, online calculators, first-hand studies or research, stuff like that. The tl;dr here is, you create an awesome resource, and promote the hell out of it on the web.
  4. Skyscraper technique. The skyscraper technique is a term coined by Backlinko. The gist of it is, you find link-worthy content on the web, create something even better, and reach out to the right people.
Skyscraper Technique

Most of these strategies work, and you can find a ton of resources on the web if you want to learn more.

However, if you’re looking for something a bit different, we have a treat for you! We’re going to teach you a link-building strategy that got us around:

  • 10,000+ traffic within a week
  • 15+ leads
  • 50+ links

…And so much more, all through a single blog post.

Link-Building Case Study

“So, what’s this ancient link-building tactic?”

I hear you asking. It must be something super secretive and esoteric, right?

Secrets learned straight from the link-building monks at an ancient SEO temple…


Well, not quite.

The tactic isn’t something too unusual – it’s pretty famous on the web. This tactic comes in 2 steps:

  1. Figure out where your target audience hangs out (create a list of the channels)
  2. Research the type of content your audience loves
  3. Create EPIC content based on that research (give TONS of value)
  4. Promote the HELL out of it in the channels from step 1

Nothing too new, right?

Well, you’d be surprised how many people don’t use it.

One of Google’s ranking factors is how long your visitors stick around on your website.

So, you need to encourage users reading ONE article, to read, well, the rest of them (or at least browse around your website). This is done through interlinking.

The idea is that each of your web pages should be linked to and from every other relevant page on your site.

Say, an article on “how to make a resume” could link to (and be linked from) “how to include contact info on a resume,” “how to write a cover letter,” “what’s the difference between a CV and a resume,” and so on.

Proper interlinking alone can have a significant impact on your website rankings. NinjaOutreach, for example, managed to improve their organic traffic by 40% through better interlinking alone.

So, how do you do interlinking “right?”

First off, make it a requirement for your writers to link to the rest of your content. Add a clause to your writer guidelines that each article should have 10+ links to your other content pieces.

More often than not, they’ll manage to get 60-70% of interlinking opportunities. To get this to 100%, we usually do bi-annual interlinking runs. Here’s how that works.

Pick an article you want to interlink. Let’s say, for example, an article on ‘business process management’.

The goal here is to find as many existing articles on your blog, where ‘business process management’ is mentioned so that we can add a link to the article.

Firstly, Google the keyword ‘business process management’ by doing a Google search on your domain. You can use the following query: "keyword"

In our case, that’s: "business process management"

You’ll get a complete list of articles that mention the keyword “business process management.

Now, all you have to do is go through each of these, and make sure that the keyword is hyperlinked to the respective article!

You should also do this for all the synonyms of the keyword for this article. For example, “BPM” is an acronym for business process management, so you’d want to link this article there too.

Step #7 – Track & Improve Your Headline CTRs

Article CTRs play a huge role in determining what ranks or not.

Let’s say your article ranks #4 with a CTR of 15%. Google benchmarks this CTR with the average CTR for the position.

If the average CTR for position #4 is 12%, Google will assume that your article, with a CTR of 15% is of high quality, and will reward you with better rankings.

On the other hand, if the average CTR is 18%, Google will assume that your article isn’t as valuable as other ranking content pieces, and will lower your ranking.

So, it’s important to keep track of your Click Through Rates for all your articles, and when you see something that’s underperforming, you can test different headlines to see if they’ll improve CTR.

Now, you’re probably wondering, how do you figure out what’s the average CTR?

Unfortunately, each search result is different, and there’s no one size fits all formula for average CTR.

Over the past few years, Google has been implementing a bunch of different types of search results – featured snippet, QAs, and a lot of other types of search results.

So, depending on how many of these clutter and the search results for your given keyword, you’ll get different average CTRs by position.

Rule of thumb, you can follow these values:

  • 1st position -> ~31.73% CTR
  • 2nd pos. -> ~24.71%
  • 3rd pos. -> 18.66%
  • 4th pos. -> 13.60%
  • 5th -> 9.51%
  • 6th -> 6.23%
  • 7th -> 4.15%
  • 8th -> 3.12%
  • 9th -> 2.97%

Keep in mind these change a lot depending on your industry, PPC competitiveness, 0-click searches, etc.

Use a scraping tool like Screaming Frog to extract the following data from all your web pages:

  • Page title
  • Page URL
  • Old Headline

Delete all the pages that aren’t meant to rank on Google. Then, head over to Google Search Console and extract the following data for all the web pages:

  • CTR (28 Day Range)
  • Avg. Position

Add all of this data to a spreadsheet.

Now, check what your competition is doing and use that to come up with new headline ideas. Then, put them in the Title Ideas cell for the respective keyword.

For each keyword, come up with 4-5 different headlines, and implement the (seemingly) best title for each article.

Once you implement the change, insert the date on the Date Implemented column. This will help you keep track of progress.

Then, wait for around 3 – 4 weeks to see what kind of impact this change is going to have on your rankings and CTR.

If the results are not satisfactory, record the results in the respective cells, and implement another test for the following month. Make sure to update the Date Implemented column once again.

Step #8 – Keep Track of Rankings & Make Improvements On-The-Go

You’re never really “done” with SEO – you should always keep track of your rankings and see if there’s any room for improvement.

If you wait for an adequate time frame after publishing a post (6 months to a year) and you’re still seeing next to no results, then it might be time to investigate.

Here’s what this usually looks like for us:

  • Audit the content
    • Does your content have an adequate word count? Think, 1.5-2x your competitors.
    • Is the content well-written?
    • Do the images in your article add value? E.g. no stock or irrelevant images.
    • Is the content optimised for SEO? Think, keyword density, links to external websites, etc.
  • Audit internal links
    • Does the content link to an adequate number of your other articles or web pages?
    • Is the article linked to from an adequate number of your web pages or blog posts? You can check this on Search Console -> Links -> Internal Links. Or, if you’re using Yoast or RankMath, you can check the number of internal links a post has in the WordPress Dashboard -> Posts.
  • Audit the backlinks
    • Do you have as many backlinks as your competitors?
    • Are your backlinks from the countries you want to rank in? If you have a bunch of links from India, but you want to rank in Ireland, you’d need to get more Ireland links.
    • Are your links high quality? More often than not, low DA/PA links are not that helpful.
    • Did you disown low-quality or spam links?
  • Audit web page
    • Does the web page load too slow? Think, 4+ seconds.
    • Did you enable lazy loading for the images?
    • Did you compress all images on the web page?

…And that’s it.

We have been with Quick Brown Fox for several years, and they have put our website in the fast lane! We are in a very competitive space and our rankings have continued to improve every year we have been with them.

They know everything there is to know about Search Engine Optimisation and always have an answer to any of my questions within minutes of me reaching out to them.

KM Property

Quick Brown Fox came through in the clutch and went above and beyond to help grow our online presence. They outlined a path forward to help us create content – then ranked for that content and increased traffic to the site! Great results and terrific service.

Our organic traffic has more than doubled! Highly recommended to any business owner that wants more traffic and leads.

Charles McCarthy

It is difficult to hire an SEO specialist that delivers results, but that is what we have found with Quick Brown Fox. They are attentive, responsive and more importantly move the needle to help us drive sales.

Great customer service and care, we highly recommend them to get your SEO on track.


Quick Brown Fox

Established in 1992, Quick Brown Fox are a web design and web development agency. Formerly located in Drumcondra on Dublin's north side, we have built a reputation by providing creative and intelligent graphic design solutions across a range of media. We evolved and pivoted to SEO consultancy.

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