SEO December 30, 2020

Best in class SEO playbooks to grow your traffic

James Clift @jamesclift

Hi all,

I grew my last business (VisualCV) to millions of annual visitors, primarily through SEO. I'm a strong believer that every startup needs a basic SEO strategy. The impact will vary based on your specific product, but investing a few weeks to get the right pieces in place will pay dividends on any other marketing investments.

It boils down to:

  • high intent keyword driven landing pages (at volume, if applicable)
  • High intent blog posts and evergreen resources
  • Content promotion on relevant channels

We started executing on this with Holopod in June, and our traffic is growing ~40% m/m.

We're currently at 4k monthly visitors and search 37,000 impressions. It's exceeded my expectations, given the lack of high intent terms we can target.

Here are the resources that lay out playbook.

  1. How Canva used SEO to grow to a 6B valuation:

  1. How OpenPhone grew their blog to 30k monthly visits in 6 months.

Happy to answer any questions if anyone wants to chat SEO!

  1. 1

    That's super impressive James! (your MoM growth) and thanks very much for the blog links, I'll check those out.

    I'd love to chat SEO, do have a question if you've dealt with this before: I'm picking up an old project ( which has a flat SEO growth curve at the moment but a few customers come by every week. So I decided to try a new technique of long tail SEO with many pages to rank (e.g.,, I just put them up this morning but I noticed that though Google crawls them they choose not to index: "Crawled - currently not indexed"

    Have you dealt with this before with VisualCV or other projects?

  2. 1

    The backlinking part is the part that I really don't understand. How do I find quality sites that might be willing to link to us?

    1. 1

      What websites are your potential customers reading? Reach out to those.

      1. 2

        Man, that's a great question. I'll have to spend some time researching that. I'm guessing the top websites that review Bluetooth devices (our app manages and locates lost Bluetooth devices).

        1. 1

          If you want to shortcut it, just run a free search on ❤️

          1. 1

            You win the Internet today. Thank you!

  3. 1

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. 1

    Inspiring stats for sure. I'm in the same boat and about to target some low-intent keywords that could get us thousands of monthly visitors. What do conversions look like for low intent keywords on your end?

    1. 2

      I’m honestly not tracking the funnel that deeply yet (laziness, I should be).

      But I’m ok to just build up traffic/domain rating - it all starts to compound when it gets to a certain minimum volume.

      1. 1

        I actually love that you aren't. Spend your time doing the thing before you try to optimize it.

  5. 1

    Great resources, James.

    Loads of practical insights. Thanks for sharing!

  6. 1

    I feel like it's impossible to rank flurly even for very long tail keywords. How do you bootstrap to get enough SEO juice to even compete?

    1. 1

      What have you tried so far ? Are you tracking your ranking to see if you break into top 100 ?

      Happy to have a look and give you some advice

      1. 1

        How do I track the rankings? Would love some advice :)

        1. 1

          Make sure you're using Google's free Search Console. Track your pages in there. Look at the traffic to the page, versus the specific KW rankings.

        2. 1

          You can track up to 10 keywords for free using SEOwl (disclosure : that's my product). That should get you started.

          You should aim to break into top 100 on keywords with low competition with your content only (ie. no backlinks). That's step 1

    2. 1

      Have you tried?

      I haven’t done anything unique with Holopod and im ranking for some solid terms. It just takes some time.

      Happy to take a look at anything you’ve tried and provide feedback.

      1. 1

        Mostly trying to make my page great on Very much a novice here!

      2. 1

        You have a backlink from your previous project (VisualCV) which is quite a powerful domain (from SEO perspective) so that helps as well ;)

        1. 1

          True, but that’s a pretty low bar.

          I think everyone should be able to get a few decent backlinks with some hustle :)

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