This is a Premium SEO case study. Access the full library for £17 per month.
🚀 Say hi to Bike Lock Wiki
It's a site that does $12k/month for a hobbyist cyclist 💰💰
📌 An estimated 143k traffic/month
📌 $73k ad traffic equivalent
📌 sub 1k traffic in May 2020.
This guy is on fire!
Let's dive deeper into how founder James did it.
.... Yes, yes, yes.
How can I know it makes $12k/month. I can't. It's not my site. It's an estimate given metrics & comparable sites.
Some think it might be high... But then again... 143k traffic/month.
Regardless, the owner is doing a heck of a job.
Let's move past that.
Let's say hello to our founder, James.
James is an avid cyclist.. And when I called Google to ask how they wanted me to prove one of the many E's in EEAT, they said.
"Show me a picture of you doing the activity at age 3"
Jeff had me beat. Clearly he's the "Google Whisperer"
Jokes aside, he's obviously a man who is VERY committed to biking.. And his content reflects it.
Does Google consider or somehow evaluate truthfulness of the about page... Reality is we don't know.
If they do, James' page would win an award.
It's at least not hurting the site.
He's clearly an expert. Let's take a closer look at the numbers.
📌 157 pages indexed in Google, 129 showing in Ahrefs (these two numbers closely together is usually a good sign that nothing weird's going on)
📌 Almost all pages getting SOME traffic.
James makes *VERY* detailed reviews. This is a THOROUGH review of a bike cup holder.
It's >2,400 words long.
Does word count matter. G says no.
But the depth of his care for bike cup holders blows my mind.
He's got 10ish pictures that look like he actually bought the product and used it.
He's got pros. He's got cons. He's got multiple seller links. He's got alternatives.
He's got all the things G have said they want in a review page.
And a pic of him at 3 on a bike.
Now, how do you establish "topical authority" on a subject.
You write. And write. And write some more.
Just check out the top pages in Ahrefs. Everything is on topic.
Wander off topic? Not James, at least.
He's got custom graphics on pages where it's warranted.
He's got convenient jump links that look like they were made manually, making it easy for the user to go where they want.
Not that it matters, but it goes to show the level of attention he put into the site.
And it's easy to skim his articles. Nice hierarchy w titles.
Let's go a level deeper to see if I just picked out a couple of examples where he did it right.
Here are the word counts from ScreamingFrog.
The category pages (naturally) have low word counts... But most other articles are pretty high up there.
Now, don't go stuffing your articles... But write what needs to be written.. Structure it so it makes sense.
Structure it so it reads easily. Incorporate the KWs. Use the custom graphics.
Stuffing for stuffing is stupid. But James doesn't do that. His articles vary in length.
Let's look at his review on bike sheds.
"Here are the things you should consider. And here is how I rate each item for EACH of these factors."
And he's making it look freakin' good, too!
Here's the crazy thing. James hasn't even done anything that's technically revolutionizing. He's not even using structured data (how to) on a page where it would be good. His FAQs don’t even have schema.
Is it important? It means you can win, too, without being a tech wizard!
So, how can you start becoming a topical authority just like James?
Well, a good way is to power up Ahrefs. For James, it's pretty easy to see what he did. He use the "seed KWs"
bike, bicycle, bikes, bicycles and picked relevant KWs.
You could adjust for your industry.
He may have added some fancy filtering or just made a raw export and gone through each variation to determine if it warranted him writing an article.
Simply by choosing "questions", you could see there were a bunch of KWs to address to establish his authority.
He put in a LOT of unrewarding hours where the site wasn't making anything, but he still wrote 157 articles of extremely high quality.. With custom imagery.
And then he internally linked his articles in a way that made sense.
In fact, I would even say he could benefit from a more distinguished internal linking strategy.
And he's now picking up all these natural links. Many of these pages even get traffic themselves (usually a good indication that you're getting a link from a good place)
And his persistence is paying off... He's right about to get on page 1 for a KD74 KW, which is currently dominated by high DR sites.
(the second lowest is DR72)
... And he's got many more, smaller KWs moving up in the SERPs!
While I don't think he's leaning back just yet (how would you do that on a bike)... His site is making good money!
This site goes to show that you don't need 1,000s of articles to have a solid business.
But you will need to put in many hours to get to your goal.
This post was originally a Twitter thread by Thomas Jepsen. He's been in SEO since 2010 and is definitely worth a follow.