If you haven’t done so already, then make sure you check out my introduction to Site 2. This will briefly (and vaguely) explain what Site 2 is about and what my aims are with this site.
To quickly summarise this site, it’s a niche site built solely around keywords which show ZERO search volume on SEMRush. Several key members of the JustStart subreddit have regularly mentioned the fact that they target low to no volume keywords. But others have mentioned that it’s just luck. So I built this site to once and for all determine whether traffic can be generated from keywords which, apparently, have no volume.
Prelaunch: Choosing a Niche
Choosing a niche was a bit more challenging for this case study website because I couldn’t base it on volume. Normally, one of the key metrics for picking a niche is to look at the search volume to determine if there is enough interest in it.
When picking this niche I had to look at the main keywords in it to determine if there was some decent volume. I then had to head over to SEMRush, put that niche in and then apply an advanced filter to only show keywords with a search volume of ZERO. The whole idea of this site is to determine whether or not you can pick up traffic ONLY targeting zero volume keywords. As a side note, SEMRush freaked out when I put 0 as volume so instead had to put less than 1…
With over 300 keywords with no volume, it has plenty of keyword terms to target so I had found my niche. It’s in the diet niche but a very small subniche within it.
Month 1 [Jul]: Usual Setup + Content
I bought a domain, set up hosting and put WordPress on the site with a GeneratePress theme as I normally would. If you want to see what plugins and tools I use on every site I published then click here. Instead, I want to focus this update on what I actually did on the site.
I had quite a bit of motivation with it being the first month so churned out 12 articles. I don’t want to focus too much time on the site as I do have other revenue-generating sites that need my time and focus but I did want to try and get 2 posts on their per week and I achieved this and more in July.
Besides content, there isn’t much more to add in July.
Month 2 [Aug]: Traffic Already!
We often hear about Google’s sandbox and it taking new sites 3, 4 or 6 months to rank in the SERPs. Well… My zero volume keywords are picking up traffic! That’s right, with just a handful of articles the site is already seeing a little trickle of traffic from Google (and a few clicks from Bing also).
I think this shows us two things already:
a) Zero volume keywords get searched for and the figures used on SEMRush and similar tools are loose estimates at best.
b) Google’s sandbox can be hugely impacted by the competitiveness of a niche (this site is on a brand new domain with no history/backlinks etc).
I appreciate the traffic is minimal but after just two months, 19 articles which average just 700 words each and a few hours of work I’ve seen 67 sessions organically from Google. What this shows is that there is definitely scope for zero volume keywords to generate traffic. Now we just need to see how far it can be pushed…
Month 3 [Sep]: Traffic Continues to Creep Up
September was very much the same as August. I spent September publishing some more content. Unfortunately, the month got away from me and I only managed to publish 6 articles which is under my 2/week target but other things had to take priority. I didn’t want this site to impact my other projects as it’s going to take a lot of time and luck for it to get to a stage where it is able to generate revenue.
Having said that, I saw traffic continue to grow and I have, rather unbelievably, hit 150 sessions for the month alone. 84% came from Google, 2% from Yahoo, 2% from Bing, 1.5% from DuckDuckGo and the remaining 10% coming directly to the site. I think it’s safe to already say that targeting zero volume keywords is a no-brainer, especially if you’re new to SEO and content sites.
Below you can see a complete breakdown of how things went in terms of traffic, content and revenue:
Understandably, nothing in terms of revenue yet and that’s a way off even being a consideration, but I’ve seen a decent trickle of traffic. What this proves is that content is still the reigning king. I’ve done nothing but write content for this site and it’s already producing organic traffic.
There was a hypothesis and now I’m beginning to gain some proof that it’s correct. It’s only been 3 months so I’m intrigued to see where we’re at over the coming months and how much this can grow with just zero volume keywords.
Any questions just fire away in the comments section below: