How We Grew Mailshake’s Blog Traffic by 117% in 30 Days (Without Creating New Content)

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We’re big fans of minimal effort for maximum results.

So we’re going to show you how we grew Mailshake’s blog traffic organically by 117% – without creating any new content.

Mailshake is a tool that automates cold outreach with emails, social and phone. After analyzing their content, we took five older blog posts that were prime targets for a refresh (e.g. pages that were declining in search traffic) and offered them a chance to increase their organic traffic.

So how did we grow Mailshake’s blog traffic without writing new posts?

The magic of updates.

Here’s a step-by-step look at how we did it and how you can get the same results.

The 7 Simple Steps We Took to Double Mailshake’s Traffic

We’ll walk you through exactly how we refreshed Mailshake’s posts. This is the structure we use to refresh any blog posts, including our own on the Single Grain blog.

We used ClickFlow (our content optimization tool) for this entire process.

Step 1: Check the Blog for Content Decay

First, we had the Mailshake team connect their ClickFlow account with Google Search Console. This lets our software surface quick wins from their SEO data for refreshing old posts. We easily found five articles that were perfect for a refresh according to their Content Decay report.

Generally, your pages could be losing traffic (“content decay”) because the competition is putting out great new content on the same topic. You’ll want to update your article at least once a year so the post won’t be considered outdated because you haven’t changed the critical info.

So, we chose two posts that had been decaying:

  • Meeting Request Email Templates + Subject Lines
  • 8 Subject Lines That Will Get That Networking Email Opened 
Content Decay report in ClickFlow

We then picked three posts that were “within striking distance” of ranking on page 1 for their target keywords:

  • How to Generate Leads Yourself as a Sales Rep (3 Can't-Fail Tactics)
  • How to Write a Follow-up Email After No Response
  • How to Cold Call: 5-Step Cold-Calling Technique to Close More Deals   

Takeaway: Content decay is what happens to your older blog posts when you stop giving them attention and, instead, focus only on your exciting new content. Monitor which blog posts are losing traffic regularly with a tool like ClickFlow and create a process/schedule for updating these. 

Dive Deeper: What Is Content Decay and How It Affects Your SEO

Step 2: Optimize Each Blog Post in ClickFlow’s Content Editor 

Our writer pasted the original article into Content Editor and saw that it got a “B-” grade – a mark I would have been overjoyed to get in school, but for ranking purposes, your content should get an “A+”.

Content Editor initial grade: B-

The writer took stock of the relevant keywords from the right-hand column that were missing from the article and started naturally adding them. The tool indicates not only which keywords you should use, but also how often you have to include them. Once you get that right, you get a green checkmark:

improved Content Editor report

Some ways of improving your content’s grade include rewriting a sentence so that it includes the keyword, adding new paragraphs to mention the keyword in context, and cutting repetitive or non-valuable text.

This moved the post up to a higher grade that could compete with other posts' ranking for the target keyword.

Takeaway: Because you’re refreshing the content and not revamping it, most of the changes you make are going to be minor. Try adding a few sentences or paragraphs here and there with relevant keywords to provide more detail, linking to updated sources, adding new stats, improving headers to incorporate the keyword and be more descriptive, etc. 

Step 3: Build Internal Links to the Post from Other Pages

Including internal links – i.e. linking to another of your blog’s posts – helps Google rank your site better. Along with suitable anchor text, it tells the search engine which of your web pages are relevant to this keyword.

As Moz relays: “While there is no definite answer as to how many internal links on a page are too many, Google has indicated they can crawl 100s of links per page.”

We didn’t add anywhere near 100 as the post already had some internal links. Instead, we included 2-4 additional contextual internal links where it was most helpful for the reader:

internal link example

Takeaway: There are two ways to add internal links. Choose an appropriate anchor text and hyperlink it to another post, or add a “Related Content” or “Learn More” line with the full name of the article hyperlinked. Using both formats is ideal, as readers won’t necessarily click on the anchor text. Sometimes they need to see the title of the post. 👇

Step 4: Embed a YouTube Video Where Appropriate 

Having a video embedded in the blog post increases dwell time, so we chose a relevant video from Mailshake’s YouTube channel.

A video keeps people on the page longer, helps potential customers understand your product or service better, and generates more leads. Embedding a video also makes reading the article easier by breaking up the text.

A video called ​​How to Customize Cold Email Templates was perfect under the How to Use Email Templates subhead:

embedded video in a blog post example

Takeaway: If you don’t already have a YouTube channel, now would be a good time to create one. Try making different kinds of videos, like explainer videos for your product or service, product demos, software tutorials, vlogs, etc. 

Step 5: Add an FAQ Section to Answer “People Also Ask” Questions

Next, our writer took a look at the “People Also Ask” questions (also listed on the right-hand column, under the “Research” tab). ClickFlow pulls this data directly from Google’s SERPs, so adding them to your blog post increases searcher intent.

When these can’t be naturally incorporated into the body of the text, it’s a great idea to add them to the bottom of the article as an FAQ section. This is an easy way to include helpful information for the reader:

Content Editor report for "meeting request email" keyword

At this point, we achieved an A+ grade in ClickFlow’s Content Editor, hit the right readability level (more or less), and had the recommended word count.

Takeaway: When creating an FAQ section at the bottom of your blog post, be sure that the questions are taken directly from Google (or, in this case, ClickFlow) because that’s how people are stating their query. Make sure to answer the question in just a few concise sentences. If you have more to say, turn it into a proper section in the body of your content. 

Dive Deeper: 3 New ClickFlow Features to Outrank Your Competitor’s Content Strategy

Step 6: Run a 30-Day Content Test to Track the Impact

Just before I uploaded the changes to WordPress, I started the content tests in ClickFlow for the five refreshed articles. This took me about five minutes to complete.

We clicked on “New Test,” plugged in the blog post URL, selected “Content Test” (you can do a separate Meta Test for the title and meta description), and clicked “Start Test.” The default time period is 30 days, although you can run the test for 7, 15, 30, 60 or 90 days. We also added a tag so that we could easily find this group of five tests later on.

content test for article targeting the "meeting request email" keyword

Step 7: Republish and Request Re-Indexation in Google Search Console

After starting the content tests in ClickFlow, we uploaded the refreshed version to Mailshake’s WordPress, changed the date to the current date, and hit the update button.

We then had Mailshake re-index these five refreshed posts in their Google Search Console.

Requesting re-indexation in Google Search Console for the posts you updated helps Google’s spiders find and crawl your site sooner than if you don’t request it. This helps these refreshed posts gain more visibility in the SERPs faster and, hence, drive more traffic.

Dive Deeper: Why You Should Update Content – Or Risk Losing The Traffic You Have [Case Study]

The Results: More Than Doubling Mailshake's Blog Traffic from Google

30 days later, these 5 content refreshes had grown the Mailshake blog's organic search traffic by 117%.

The two that had been decaying, per their Content Decay report, had favorable changes:

1) Meeting Request Email Templates + Subject Lines:

  • now ranks #3
  • 14% increase in clicks
  • 12% increase in CTR
14% increase in number of clicks on an article as show by ClickFlow report

2) 8 Subject Lines That Will Get That Networking Email Opened

  • now ranks #1 for “networking email subject line”
  • even though there was a decrease in clicks and CTR, it still hit the #1 spot in the SERPs
39% increase in impressions for article

The three that were “within striking distance” of ranking on page 1 (hitting spots between 11-20) are all now on page 1 of the SERPs:

3) How to Generate Leads Yourself as a Sales Rep (3 Can't-Fail Tactics)

  • ranks on page 1 (#6)
  • 117% increase in clicks
  • 149% increase in impressions
  • even though the CTR decreased a little, this post still moved up the SERPs to page 1
report showing an 117% increase in clicks and 149% increase in impressions

4) How to Write a Follow-up Email After No Response

  • ranks on page 1 as a featured snippet for their main keyword “follow up emails”
article targeting the "follow up emails" keyword shown as a featured snippet

5) How to Cold Call: 5-Step Cold-Calling Technique to Close More Deals

  • ranks on page 1 (#3) for main KW “b2b cold calling”
  • 66% increase in clicks
  • 38% increase in CTR
66% increase in clicks and 38% increase in CTR

Grow Your Traffic Predictably with Content Intelligence

Over the past year, we've ramped up Content Decay monitoring and refreshing on the Single Grain blog.

And we've been doing the same for our B2B SaaS clients with stellar results.

If you're ready to scale your own inbound traffic, you can run this exact playbook in ClickFlow—or request done-for-you services simply by following the link below.

Want us to grow your B2B SaaS organic traffic for you? We've helped marquee SaaS companies like Drift, Salesforce, and Mailshake rank higher and grow their traffic predictably. Click here to request a free SaaS SEO consultation.

Note: This post originally appeared on the ClickFlow blog.


Check out more of our detailed content marketing case studies:

* How We Grew’s Organic Traffic by 327% in 30 Days
* Ecommerce SEO Case Study: How Primary Arms Grew Organic Revenue by 47%
* How This Content Team Improves Organic CTR Across 10,000 Pages
* How This Digital Agency Shows Clients a Killer ROI with CTR Testing

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