SEO Success Story: Ranking 7th In 2 Months Without Link Building

Victoria Kurichenko

written by

Victoria Kurichenko

updated on

October 11, 2022

SEO Success Story

Many believe SEO is challenging, time-consuming, and unpredictable. 

Unlike paid ads or social media, where you can immediately see the results, search engine optimization can take months to create an SEO success story.

That’s why many companies are reluctant to include SEO in their business strategies. 

As a marketer, I should admit that it’s a big mistake.

According to WebFX, around 93% of all online experiences start on Google, Bing, and Yahoo!. 

Regardless of the niche, your target audience uses search engines every day to find answers to their questions. If you don’t serve them with helpful content, someone else will do it instead of you. 

As a marketer and a content writer, I’ve experimented with content formats, lengths, and optimization strategies to figure out how to write content that hits Google front page.

I’ve even published an ebook about it. Check it out here!

In the past months, I’ve published several blog posts on my new website that quickly got to the Google front page without link building. 

This article is my SEO case study to share my learnings and the actual steps you can replicate to create well-performing content.

Table of contents

My SEO success story

I launched Self Made Millennials in July 2021 as a go-to place to master SEO writing skills and learn from a community of high-achievers. 

Despite having a clear goal and knowing about lucrative website monetization strategies, my website was a place for experiments. I managed it next to my full-time job.

It’s important to stress that I could only spend a few hours a week on my website, but it did not adversely impact my website growth. 

Instead, applying the right SEO strategies helped me create my SEO content success story that I’ll eagerly share with you below. 

Most of my blog posts rank on 2nd and 3rd Google search result pages.

However, I want to share how one particular page reached the 7th position on Google 2 months after publication. 

A while back I discovered a low-competition keyword: SEO on Medium.

As a top writer on Medium, I’ve already shared how content creators can make money writing on Medium.

As a next step, I decided to write about how search engine optimization works on Medium. 

According to Ahrefs, the “SEO on Medium” keyword had the following stats as of December 2021:

  • Keyword Difficulty: 18 
  • Search Volume: 150
  • Traffic Potential 110<

I conducted competitor and keyword research before content writing. Here is the data I collected.

The top-performing blog posts had the following content length:

  • 1st — roughly 3,148 words
  • 2nd — roughly 1,983 words
  • 3rd — roughly 1,557 words 
  • 4th — roughly 1,231 words 
  • 5th — roughly 890 words

Back then, I knew my website was quite fresh, without high Domain Rank and backlinks. Therefore, I had to create a long and optimized article to outperform competitors.

Furthermore, I did extensive keyword research, collecting keywords through Ahrefs.

I’ve checked what keywords the top-performing websites ranked for. As a result, I collected 35 semantically-related keywords that I later used for content writing. 

Here is my blog post wireframe with the keyword research results: 

seo case study

Eventually, I published my blog post on January 14th, 2022 and it had roughly 3,077 words.

My blog post reached the Google front page in 2 months without link building. 

I took this screenshot on March 16th, 2022. You can see that my article ranks 7th and has 1 referring domain (no-follow backlink).

seo case study example

This single page has brought around 100 visitors to my website in March 2022, ranking 7th, according to Google Analytics.

search engine optimization case study

It’s quite a decent result, considering that the page was only two months old in March 2022. 

A few do-follow backlinks might help push this page closer to the top.

Link building is a long and time-consuming process. However, every website owner has to deal with it to improve the website’s DR (domain rank) and maintain high positions in the search.

Even if you are new to SEO, you can achieve similar results for your website by following my proven SEO writing strategies shared in this ebook

Remember, if something does not work the way you want, it might not be your fault.

According to the Ahrefs study, only 5.7% of pages rank in the top 10 search results within 1 year for at least 1 keyword. 

Therefore, be patient and keep working on your marketing success story.

FAQ

Is SEO Still Profitable?

Yes, but only in the long-term.

You should not expect your website to make money through SEO if you launched it a month ago. 

Many SEO professionals say that you should consistently create optimized content, do link building, and care about your website’s health before you’ll be able to see the first results. However, it’s not guaranteed. 

If you manage your website next to your full-time job, like me, it might take years before it starts attracting visitors from organic search. 

However, you should not wait that long. Consider your website as a tool that you can effectively use to make money online even if it does not have many views. 

For instance, you can use your website as a portfolio to present your skills to potential employers. Many candidates can only tell about their former experiences but have no tangible assets to prove it. Therefore, even a relatively small website can be your competitive advantage.

Furthermore, you can make money through affiliate programs, paid brand mentions, and selling your products or services. 

I once made over $3,000 from a single Medium article as an affiliate. This occasion showed that SEO is a powerful strategy that can help you make money while you sleep. However, a lot has to be done behind the scenes. 

I also use SEO to promote my ebook, which made its first sale right after I released a selling page on Gumroad. 

These are just a few SEO success stories I’ve managed to create with the help of my website. 

If you are into SEO, I have an in-depth guide with beginner and advanced strategies on how you can make money through SEO. Have a look and let me know if it was helpful.

Does SEO have a future?

Those who say “SEO is dead” don’t know how to effectively leverage it. 

It’s exclusively my opinion, which is based on years of marketing experience and talks with different business representatives. 

People are reluctant to invest in something that might bring decent results in the future. They are more open to investing in ads that give quick results.

Don’t get me wrong now. I have nothing against paid ads. It can be effective in many circumstances. However, it’s not sustainable. Once you turn ads off, your website traffic and sales are gone. That’s where SEO is different. Even if you stop doing it for a while, your website content will continue ranking on Google and attracting users. 

Mangools has a brilliant comparison of SEO and PPC results over time.

seo vs ppc

To say more, over 51% of all website traffic comes from searches, according to Smallbizgenius.

Perhaps, this is why startups and fortune 500 tech companies, like Apple, Walmart, and Amazon, drive a big part of their business through SEO. 

I hope I managed to convince you that SEO is not dead at least a little bit. Instead, it is a powerful strategy that will inevitably reward diligent webmasters.

How can I achieve success in SEO?

SEO success is about mindset first of all. 

You should be mentally prepared to consistently work on your website without seeing decent results for a long time. Sometimes for years

How do experts create their SEO success stories you might think? They experiment, measure the results, fail, learn from their mistakes, adjust their strategies, and keep trying again. 

SEO experts are practitioners who experiment and learn something new daily because they know that the industry is dynamic. 

If you want to succeed in SEO, start learning from the following resources:

The first resource is written and managed by me. It’s full of practical tips and case studies on how SEO writing can help you create content that ranks high on Google. 

It took me 6 months to build a steady 1,000+ monthly traffic and push some pages to the first Google search result page. My SEO success story is proof that anyone can do it who’s ready to learn, experiment, and follow proven strategies that work.

What about you? Have you already built your SEO success story? Or does anything prevent you from reaching your desired outcome?

Let me know in the comments below. I am happy to share my experience and help you grow. 

Victoria Kurichenko

Hello there! 

My name is Victoria.
I am an SEO expert, Medium top writer, solopreneur, and the founder of Self Made Millennials. I help companies create optimized content and attract potential customers through organic search results. In addition, I share how content creators can monetize their writing skills.

Grab my SEO writing guide
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