Case Study: ‘Bad’ Article Ranks for 947 Keywords with $1,900 In Monthly Traffic Value

Today’s case study is an all-in-all ‘bad’ article that’s getting surprisingly good results!

It’s a blog post from financial advice firm Darrow Wealth Management, titled ‘Should I Put My House in a Living Trust?’. 

This simple 1,200 word article is attracting valuable organic traffic (data from Ahrefs): 

  • Ranking for 947 keywords in Google’s top 100 listings
  • Attracting 1,100 monthly visits from organic search
  • With a traffic value of $1,900 per month

And this should get you excited: 

It’s getting these SEO results with a very low Domain Rating (DR) of 27. 

(If you compare some of the other case studies, we looked at websites with Domain Ratings of 62, 63, 87 and 93!)

Which is proof:

If you follow these strategies, you can attract organic traffic, no matter what level you’re starting from. 

Here’s what we’ll cover in this case study: 

Takeaways from the article structure & design

Alright let’s start by checking out the article itself: 

Overall, it’s really nothing to write home about

The article appears to be broken up with a series of dynamic links:

  • Also Read
  • Related posts
  • Other Resources

Although the idea is ok, these are not particularly well designed and don’t improve the article’s usability. 

The ‘Important disclosure:’ legal text is dropped right in there after the first paragraph in the article. 

There are no images and the article is generally difficult to consume. 

Overall this is a good example of a poorly executed blog post. 

One thing these guys have done right is the Lead Magnet in the sidebar. 

Did you spot it? 

Given the article is talking about a trust being a vehicle to avoid the probate process when transferring a home to children after passing away, this Lead Magnet topic is nicely linked. 

Clicking on this feature box takes users to the sign-up conversion page: 

So instead of just jamming a ‘Related Posts’ section with a bunch of links into the middle of the article, it would be better to use a well designed image Call to Action to download this Lead Magnet. 

197 keywords driving $1,900 in organic traffic

Let’s take a look at the keywords bringing in the organic traffic for this article: 

👉 Check out the spreadsheet here 👈

My main takeaway for this article is that it’s a great example of choosing a nice low competition topic. 

Ahrefs is ranking the top 20 keywords with an average difficulty of 10.3. 

This indicates that it’s a low competition topic

The search volumes reflect this, however when you add them all up, you get a reasonable amount of monthly searches: 

3,880 monthly searches for the top 20 keywords. 

Now of these 3,880 searches, Ahrefs is estimating that this article is attracting 703 monthly visits or 18% of the available traffic.

This is actually pretty poor, considering that for the top 10 keywords, this article is sitting in position #1. 

I’ll tell you why next: 

Competitive analysis of the SERPs

So to explain why an 18% CTR is bad for a position #1 rankings, I need to share some benchmark data.

A position #1 ranking on an unbranded term typically gets a 28% Click Through Rate (CTR)% – as per data from Advanced Web Ranking:

So why is this article getting 10% less traffic than industry averages?

To explain, I  want to show you in context of the Search Results Page (SERPS): 

Google has used it’s Featured Snippet for this search, bringing in part of the article. 

In this case, it’s kind of working against a click through because the answer is presented right then and there. 

So that’s why you should always get creative with your web page title copy. 

In this case, the article title is: “Should I Put My House In a Living Trust?”

It’s nice, simple and descriptive, but it doesn’t hook the reader or drive any curiosity to compel the searcher to click through and read the article.

Here’s where a carefully crafted title would help attract more visitors: 

  • Definitive Guide: Should I Put My House In a Living Trust?
  • Should I Put My House In a Living Trust? | FAQs Answered
  • Should I Put My House In a Living Trust? | Don’t Make These Common Mistakes

So what’s it worth getting creative with your page title?

If we could bring up the Click Through Rate by 10% to the benchmark of 28% for position #1 rankings, that’s an extra ~400 visits per month!

The average Cost per Click of the top keywords (that Ahrefs has CPC data on) was $2.18. 

👉400 visits at $2.18 CPC is $872 in additional monthly traffic value – or $10,464 annually!

Not a bad Return on Investment for spending an extra 20 minutes crafting the perfect page title!

How to find low competition keywords to target

The big takeaway from this article: 

If you’re just starting out with content marketing, it’s wise to target lower competitive search terms. 

Ideally, focus on low difficulty, high volume keywords. 

To find these keywords, you can use tools such as Ahrefs and SEMRush

Or if you’d like a head start, checkout my course, Content Marketing for Financial Advice that comes with keyword research done-for-you.

Here’s a taster of what’s inside:

Exercise 3.1. Search Research & Content Topic Planner

This tool is designed for financial advice firms. It contains Google user search research for how users are searching Google for financial advice firms. We’ve taken 40 general financial advice ‘root’ keywords and ran a deep level of keyword analysis on each using SEMRush. We’ve also used answerthepublic.com to extract related questions that users search Google for on each topic. The result is over 59,000 keywords and their related monthly search volumes. Along with 23,000+ related searches. 

We then built out this tool so that you can easily select topics of interest, then tailor them with your geographic targeting and ideal client targeting. This tool will save your hours and hours of research – to build a highly SEO targeted topic list in next to no time!

👉 Check it out here. 👈

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