At this point, you should have all the foundations set, made use of several distribution channels, and are generating the targetted traffic you’re after.
The goal of this section is to outline what you can do next to really get the compounding growth effects to take place.
Over the sections, we’ve covered the core strategies of the Bootstrapped SEO approach:
- Attracting your target users that will interact with your business in a meaningful way
- Obsessing over increasing your Keyword Surface Area
- and strategically distributing your content & media all over the internet to get discovered
The tactics in this section will build even more on these strategies.
I’m pretty excited you’re finally here, so let’s get started.
Iterating on your Keyword Surface Area
Regardless of which tactic we cover, the core strategy remains the same - to increase keyword surface area and to iterate on this new data. The best part of this new data that you’re attracting from an increased keyword surface area is now a first-party data source that only you can see.
What do I mean by iterate on this new keyword data?
As you’ve created more and more content on your website, it will have attracted new keywords from Google itself. Using Google Search Console, you can find keywords that your content ranked for but does not get any clicks. It’s this data that you can use to either update your content or create new content, while taking into account where to place in your website structure.
We’re going to cover Google Search Console, one of the most powerful free tools in your arsenal. It comes with a lot of data and tools to help you discover what you can iterate on.
Engineering as Marketing
One of my favorite books, Traction, talks about engineering as marketing as a traction channel.
To summarize the tactic, it’s using your engineering skills to create micro-apps and micro-products related to your core business to drive awareness and traffic to it.
Think of the free products you can build that will support your core business. Some examples include calculators, games, mini-search engines, or even a core feature of your business that you can remove a login screen from.
These are powerful because they are very interactive and they can be shared. Not to mention, a bit harder to replicate vs a piece of content.
Also remember that since these are actual products, you can apply the same distribution strategies and tactics covered in Distribution for each one that you build.
Vocalmatic → Podcast search engine, subtitle converter, pronounciation practice
Finance Apps & Banks → Mortgage Calculators, Investment Calculators, Dividend Calculators
And my favourite example:
Shopify → Think about all the other things you need to do when running an eCommerce store:
Build micro-apps into your product offering, for free, at the
2nd-level and you’ll be able to attract users to your business.
Where to place your micro-products
You have a few options:
- Place the micro-app as a
- For example, bigbank.com/mortgage-calculator
- It’s own domain (gives you another reason to buy one!)
- or on a subdomain
Ideally, you should place it as a
2nd-level page because when it’s shared and posted on the internet, it’s a backlink that is tied directly to your main domain.
However, sometimes it’s not technically feasible and the other two options of putting it on a domain or a subdomain works as well.
If you go this route, the important thing is that your app must have a link back to your main website — something like a “Made By X” link.
Acquiring Traffic Generating Websites
As a bootstrapper, I’d like to share this idea with you. Acquiring websites that have traffic actually is a more meta approach to growing.
But before I get into that, let’s cover why you should acquire traffic generating websites.
If you can find a website that is related to your product’s niche that already has traffic, it’s a great way to build another traffic source for your website as well. Simply acquire the website and add links to your main product from that website and you will start to funnel users to your main website.
This has a few benefits:
- If the website has a good domain authority, those backlinks will help your main website
- Since it’s relevant to your product, you will be funneling targetted users to your main website
What can you do with your newly acquired website?
- Deploy some capital from your main business to build out the content marketing on the new website
- Apply the same principle of iterating on keyword surface area to this website and it’s content
- Distribute and cross-post the content on your main business’ website to this new website, adding in canonical links
Now, about why this is a meta approach to growing as a bootstrapped founder:
As you acquire more websites, you can start to build a small portfolio of content websites.
This gives you your own launchpad for building new products. When you come up with a new idea and decide to build it out, you can lean on the traffic coming from your small portfolio of content websites to bring targetted traffic in to your new product.
For example, if you have a small network of health related websites and you decide “Hey, I’m going to build a meditation app”, you can use these websites to push this meditation app.
It’s an extremely powerful move you can make if you’re a serial bootstrapper!
By creating an affiliate program for your product, you’re effectively building out a small army of marketers that are willing to post your link wherever they promote.
Recall back in Distribution where we discussed, even if it’s a
no-follow link, but it’s relevant to users, they will click through and view your website.
However, say for example people that sign up to be an affiliate for your product has a blog with decent traffic, in the niche you are in. When they write an article on your product and link to it with their affiliate link, you will get that backlink, especially if you use an affiliate service that lets you use your domain as part of URL that affiliates get.
If that’s the case and they post this link all over the internet, you could get those sweet
do-follow backlinks without doing any extra work!
Most of the time, website can be translated into another language and open up the doors to an even larger user base.
And given that there is plenty of competition for products in English, you can branch out to another language that is underserved.
Although this is a great way to expand your reach, there are a few things you should watch out for
Do not use Google Translate
Search engines such as Google can tell if you are simply running your website copy through Google Translate. You don’t want to be doing this because the translations will not be native and it’s prett spammy.
Instead, you need to hire a native speaker to translate your website for you. They will know the nuances of sentences and how they are actually said in their native language so your website will be properly localized to them
Do not translate if your customer support can’t handle it
You will be getting new customers that speak a particular language. This means you need to have the proper customer support infrastructure to handle requests that these new customers will have.
If you cannot support new languages, it might not be worth your time to pursue this avenue.
More to come
This isn’t an exhaustive list of growth + compounding tactics and strategies. They are simply the ones that I’ve deployed and have seen work.