How To Get Your Website To The Top Of SERPs Without SEO Knowledge [Ratatype's Experience]
In this article, we will share a story of how we found a way to achieve this goal, as well as some actionable tips. Let's go!
Setting Goals And Devising An Action Plan
At the beginning of 2019, we released two new versions of the website: Ratatype.fr and Ratatype.es. And in the year's second half, we began their optimization and promotion. It's worth noting that we didn't have any prior experience. Luckily, Serpstat helped us figure everything out.
How To Determine The Project Goals
- Where do we want to promote our business: just our market or also foreign markets?
- Are there any potential customers in the region? What is the size of the target audience? Are there any local communities?
- What are the competitors in the industry and their characteristics (distinctive features, positioning, popularity, etc.)?
How To Formulate A Website Optimization Plan
It's vital to focus on both the big picture and minor details, and answer the following important questions:
- What? What are the tasks we need to complete to achieve the goal?
- Who? Who will be responsible for which tasks? Do we need extra help and resources?
- When? What is an appropriate timeframe for achieving the goal?
- How much? What's the necessary budget?
Why Did We Choose Serpstat Four Our Tasks?
- Speed up and automate the search for competitors in the industry;
- Thoroughly analyze competitors' backlink profiles;
- Analyze our backlink profile, and monitor the dynamics;
- Collect relevant keywords that were missing on our website.
How We Optimized and Promoted Our Websites
How To Find Competitors In Search Results
- automatic (using Serpstat
Both methods work. However, manual search for competitors tends to be very time-consuming, and some results may inaccurate. Therefore, we prefer the latter.
Serpstat has a tool that collects any domain's relevant competitors based on the similarities in keywords. All you need to do is go to Domain Analysis → SEO Research→ Competitors, enter our domain in the search bar, and select the database and region.
Here's our list of competitors in organic search, with plenty of useful SEO metrics:
The closer on the graph the website is to yours, the more relevant of a competitor it is.
Next, add competitors to a table with all the necessary metrics:
How To Analyze Competitors
When analyzing a competitor, we try to understand its link strategy. Let's say competitors have a lot of links from forums, it means they use crowd marketing.
If they have many backlinks from site analyzers and directories, it probably means that a competitor uses cheap ways of link building.
Let's take a look at an example of how we analyze a competitor's backlink profile.
We enter a competitor's domain in the search bare, select Backlink Analysis → Referring Domains and get the list of websites that refer to it:
How We Got Our First Backlinks
- These are pretty much lists with websites. It is easy to find them - just search for directory submission, directory, directory list, etc. We managed to find more than a hundred of them. We checked each website and removed poop-performing ones, as a backlink from a low-quality website will do more harm than good. We also filtered out paid ones.
- You can create a company profile on such websites and leave a link to your website. We found around 50 of them.
- You can get a link to your website from slide-sharing websites. To get a link, you need to make a presentation on a topic relevant to your website, and add a link to your website in the description. Then, upload the presentation to the service and make it public.
- We created company profiles on social media, like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Make the profile natural, add photos, contacts, etc.
- It's a type of resource for downloading and watching videos. You can find them by googling video hosting, video sharing, etc. Add your videos to such sites, and leave links in descriptions.
How We Used Outreach
- We selected 10 quality websites for each language version of our website and sorted them by traffic;
- We prepared email templates for each type of website and began to contact the editors to discuss link-building options;
- For each platform we came to an agreement with, we prepared an article with a link to our website.
We ended up publishing on two excellent websites, with traffic of about 1 million/month each. After the publication went live, we received a lot of unexpected bonuses: additional free traffic, a boost for the brand, and a new level of website traffic in general. You can see the results yourself:
Internal Website Optimization
We already had our list of competitors, so we started analyzing each website's keyword list. To do this, we used the Serpstat Domain Analysis → SEO Research → Keywords.
Therefore, we neglected such essential factors as the country population or search volume. (For instance, just the U.S. has 4 times more population than Spain and France have together). As a result, our goals were exaggerated —10K on two sites. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly research the market and competitors' experiences. Unattainable goals negatively affect the business and demotivate the team.
Well, we didn't get any benefits from them.
And here were our mistakes:
- we didn't take into account the distribution of traffic between desktop and mobile (our primary traffic is desktop, and mobile prevailed at the websites);
- we didn't analyze where users came from to these sites. It turned out that visitors usually came to the website using targeted keywords, rather than going to the homepage.
Thanks to this experience, we have found a mechanism, using which we can promote our new language versions. After these, each new version will be much faster and easier. This result was due to hard work, faith in the product, and Serpstat, of course.
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