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This is Alphabetimals.
The niche site has an estimated 300,000 traffic/month, with:
- Just 87 pages
- A relatively low authority (33)
- Some big competitors
So, what's their secret?
12 Lessons in SEO from Alphabetimals
Here are 12 lessons in SEO from this niche site.
1/ Pick a niche to dominate
The whole website is about one thing.
It's an animal dictionary.
Creating content with one clear focus:
- Builds trust with the reader
- Makes internal linking easier
- Shows Google you're an "expert"
Content-led companies need to shift their mindset from "blog post" creation to "useful resource" creation.
Build content holistically.
2/ Identify keyword patterns
Alphabetimals' top 26 pages all follow the same pattern.
"Animals that start with a"
"Animals that start with b"
Patterns allow you to create a reusable template (pictured below). And then batch-create content.
3/ Plan for expansion
The team at Alphabetimals is slowly expanding the keywords they're targeting.
It started with:
They're expanding to all animals:
And they could go for years expanding on each animal.
A clear path for expansion makes Search a particularly attractive channel for growth.
If you choose right, you'll have infinite traffic opportunity.
4/ Build a brand
Alphabetimals is a husband & wife team who want to:
"share the gift of literacy around the world"
All their content is designed to help children learn about English.
- A purpose
- A specific audience
- Content that fits both
Compared to other brands on the SERP, they've built something people can fall in love with.
5/ Word count is irrelevant
Word count on their pages is less than <500.
Their search competitors have +1,500-2,000 words.
More does not always = better.
Better can be achieved by:
- Serving search intent
- More engaging experience
- More complete resource
6/ Multimedia helps quality
Every Alphabetimals page has:
- Custom-designed imagery
- Useful lists
- A custom YouTube video
Delivering quality content is not all about the words you use or the expertise you have.
It's also the experience you deliver.
7/ Start with monetization
Alphabetimals monetizes by:
- Selling animal learning worksheets for kids/teachers
- They have a mobile app with in-app purchases
When starting a niche site, it's important to know:
- What you're trying to achieve
- Who it's going to benefit
Then you can target keywords that support your goals.
8/ Plan for internal linking
Every one of their pages has built-in "next steps" for the reader.
- Fun facts
- More letters to learn
- New collections to explore
This makes internal linking a natural process.
Allowing the reader to engage more and Google to easily crawl and understand the network of pages.
9/ And add contextual links
Templated links help the natural architecture of the site.
But, don't forget to add contextual links to high-priority pages where you can.
10/ Target Featured Snippets
Alphabetimals is dominating featured snippets across almost all its "animals beginning with" keywords.
Featured snippets help you jump above competition.
Analyze the existing snippets and provide similar data:
Here, they use lists of animals to win snippets.
The Alphabetimals team has internationalized their site to Danish and Spanish.
It's not providing much traffic at the moment.
But so far they've only created one page for each language (the homepage).
Internationalize gives you an edge in search for those markets.
When they replicate all their pages across, they're sure to add a ton of traffic value.
12/ Play the long game
The site had published a lot of its content by 2018. It wasn't until 2020 it started to take off.
The real kicker? This site, with this goal, has been around since 2010.
The site looks like a real niche SEO passion project.
With hours and hours of investment.
But keep putting in the work and make good choices—and eventually it'll pay off.
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