YC Startup Case Study – Keywords Increased by 200% in 12 Months

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The traditional approach to increasing keyword traffic doesn’t work. Hire the average agency to increase your keyword traffic, and they’ll bombard editors with thousands of identical pitches on simplistic topics.

Some of these pitches will undoubtedly end up as articles, but hardly anyone is going to read them.

From one perspective, that’s not really a problem: Isn’t the most important thing to secure backlinks and secure the #1 PageRank spot? Well, yes and no.

Securing hundreds of links to your website by buying backlinks on small, unreliable sites might give you a short-term boost in your keyword traffic.

The problem with this approach is that it is not sustainable. In order to boost keyword traffic over the long term, you need links on reputable sites. And that’s exactly what we did for our client.

In this case study, we’ll explain how we massively grew the organic keyword volume from this leading YC startup.

Our Process

Any quality SEO campaign starts with a process of research, and that’s exactly what we did. In order to build long-term value for the brand, we took a fundamentally different approach to most SEO agencies.

picture showing the process of an SEO campaign strategy

Instead of obsessing about the DA values of sites in the finance niche, we took the time to review which publications were well-respected in this market sector.

Well respected, that is, not by the Google search algorithm, but by professionals in the field.

This research then fed into a strategic plan, which initially consisted of a list of reputable sites, and topics that had been trending over the past few months.

From this list, we could start to pitch articles that offered genuine value to the sites’ readers, and a genuine return on investment, in terms of keyword traffic.

Building Value Long-Term

We then began the process of pitching to the sites we had identified. In doing this, we had a simple goal in mind: present genuine insights into the targeted sector that would be useful (and shareable) by other experts.

We hired consultants and conducted interviews with the CEOs of emerging startups, in order to get information that no-one else had.

The value of working in this way is two-fold. First, a backlink on a reputable site is far more valuable, in terms of keyword traffic, than dozens on sites that are not well regarded.

Secondly, and more importantly, mentions on reputable sites will last longer than those on smaller, less well-regarded portals. They will attract traffic in the long term and are far more likely to be shared on social media.

The aim here was not to give our client a short-term, dramatic boost in their keyword traffic, but to build a sustainable collection of referring sites that would provide long-term value.

Though this approach requires (far) more work initially, and though it produces fewer backlinks than a campaign that spams lower-quality publications with thousands of pitches, in the long term it’s quality that matters and not quantity.

The Results

The results we achieved were dramatic.

We were able to secure links on a number of highly reputable, highly relevant sites very quickly, largely because it was apparent that we could provide articles that contained genuinely novel insights.

Immediately after these articles were published, and as can be seen in the following charts, both organic traffic and keyword traffic started to increase.

These increases were small to begin with, but we weren’t too bothered about that.

Having conducted similar campaigns before, we knew that the value of these links would increase dramatically as they were shared on social media.

organic traffic growth graph with campaign start date
graph showing total keyword growth from campaign start date to end

That’s exactly what happened. Though our articles were initially well-received, given the speed of the news cycle it was not surprising that they then dropped in popularity.

However, because the articles we had published were on reputable sites, they remained available for anyone researching the topic to read and re-post.

As this process continued, and as we continued to publish more, we were seeing articles that were 6 months old still attracting a lot of attention, and still improving keyword traffic for our client.

Overall, and as is apparent in the charts, we achieved an increase of 200% in keyword traffic in just under a year.

The Bottom Line

These results are impressive if we do say so ourselves. But what is more important is that this increase in keyword traffic is sustainable, because it is built on high-authority backlinks in high-quality publications.

These articles will persist for years, and continue to attract social media shares and even journalistic attention.

Though this approach requires a little more time than the average SEO agency, as well as a little more intelligence, the results speak for themselves.

Building sustainable growth can’t be done overnight, so it pays to focus on quality.


Grow organic traffic & revenue with high-quality backlinks


Grow organic traffic & revenue with high-quality backlinks

We leverage our network of 300+ tech publications to help our clients rank higher in Google, increase their organic traffic, and bring in more customers.

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