🗒️ Key Takeaways
- These sites ALL nail their E-E-A-T
- You don’t need to be a high DR site to
We know you guys love it when we tear down successful sites and take key learnings from them, so we’re back to do exactly that!
We don’t know any of these site owners. They were found purely from our own research, and we have no connection to any of these site owners.
We rely on Ahrefs and other tools to gather the numbers in this episode, so while we can get a good estimate, the numbers won’t be 100% accurate.
These sites use a mix of White, Grey, and Black Hat techniques. We don’t believe there is a “right” or “wrong” way to build a successful site, but this show covers a broad range of methods.
So without further ado, let’s jump in.
Money To The Masses
DR: 53 | Traffic: 300k
First, we have a UK-focused Finance site, Money to the Masses.
They cover all manner of Personal finance, from Savings and Investments to Mortgages and Insurance.
They have a number of tools and calculators, such as their simple mortgage rate calculator.
First impressions? Sure, it’s a YMYL site, but they absolutely nail the trustworthiness in their design and content. And yet, they don’t feel too corporate.
Damien’s face is scattered throughout, giving it that “realness.”
First, let’s hone in on their Info Content.
They’re clearly topic experts. They cover everything you’d expect from an expert in the space. They’re answering the hottest questions someone from the UK is likely to ask and doing it in great detail.
Let’s take a look at one of their articles, What is going to happened to UK House Prices. The way their answer questions is fantastic. The clarity of information is perfect for the intended audience, and they’ve broken things down in a way that’s important to the reader.
They supplement this with a short 5-minute video that uses the content from the blog itself, simply summarizing the key points.
They do a perfect job of understanding what their audience wants to know and get straight to the point. This is all while they avoid making thin, boring content.
Next up, is their commercial content.
Looking at their article Best Credit Cards In the UK article, it’s not your typical affiliate page. It isn’t full of flashy buttons and ads, but instead, it goes for a cleaner look.
It has a simple Call to Action link for each item, and once again provides all the relevant information in a clean, clear format.
What’s particularly interesting is that they have a video accompanying the article, which gets updated every single month. The really fascinating part about this video is that the content barely changes from month to month, but is done as a way to keep the content fresh and remind the reader that the information is still relevant.
Their YouTube strategy here is clearly to add authority rather than to build subscribers and make a big channel.
All in all, the page looks like a knowledgeable guy giving you his honest, qualified opinion, vs the more corporate competitors.
As you’d expect, there’s nothing too much to write about here (in a good way!). Their backlink profile is full of clean, relevant links.
They have a healthy amount of media coverage which is no doubt done through PR Coverage. You’ll find a lot of links that come from anchor text like “Damien Fahy, founder of personal finance site MoneyToTheMasses.com, said that before buying any fund, you should make…”
They also have a ton of Forum links, implying that people link out to them as a trustworthy source in financial social circles, and they have been on multiple Podcasts to gain additional exposure.
Like many financial sites, they gather a large number of leads to affiliate financial services through their finance tools.
At the end of almost every article, you’ll find a link to one of their relevant tool
What stuck out to us about their tools, versus the competition, was that they’re much simpler. You don’t need to add tons of information to get an answer.
As for their own product offering, they provide Stock Traind advice with their 80-20 Investor Program. As with the rest of their site, it’s a simple offering: you pay them a fee, and they tell you where to invest.
Our guess would be that the site is easily earning multiple 7 figures per year through its affiliated products and own program.
Clearly, they’ve established themselves as a true authority in the space. They’re easily outcoming sites a good 20-30 DR above them with ease, on incredibly difficult keywords, no less.
Going forward, we can definitely see them continuing to center their marketing around the personal brand of Damien. We’re getting very similar vibes to Martin Lewis at Money Saving Expert and if they continue on this path, they will only continue to thrive.
DR: 45 | Traffic: 164k
Now for a change of pace. A true “Niche Authority Site”.
Their site is well designed, but not something the majority of site owners couldn’t achieve without the need for a web developer.
They know the importance of a good Lead Magnet and funnel, and are likely making the most out of every vistor.
They ooze authority once again by emphasizing the human owner of the site
They partake in industry-wide interviews and do more than just provide affiliate reviews. You’ll find active YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts, all of which show active signs of engagement.
They even have a healthy amount of search volume for their brand, with the term “Lettering Daily” getting an estimated 920 searches a month.
With all this in mind, it’s clear that SEO likely isn’t their one and only focus. They’ve spread their reach far and wide and aren’t reliant purely on Organic Search.
Most of their content is affiliate content. But the way they provide answers to commercial keywords is incredibly user-friendly.
Let’s take a look at 71 Best Calligraphy Fonts (Free & Premium). It ranks for the term “best calligraphy fonts” and gets 15k monthly traffic.
It goes straight in with value, providing instant answers to the keyword. You’ll find a list of anchor links right at the top of the article, which take you to either free fonts of premium, affiliated fonts.
It’s clear that the writer knows what the reader is likely to want to see here and they make it easy to find that.
But as you scroll down, there is an absolute TON of additional information on this page for those who want more detail.
Naturally, as a design-based blog, a ton of people steal their images and hotlink to images from the site.
In our opinion, if this were our site, we’d see this as an excellent opportunity to reach out and ask for credit and a link.
Other than that, they’re linked as a reference on a ton of high DR sites:
No doubt, many of these links have been achieved through the sites active social presence beyond SEO.
The future is bright.
If it were us, we’d be thinking about producing a course ASAP. This would be an easy way to add extra value to the site while piggybacking on the sites existing authority.
After that, the site could venture into eCommerce and start selling their own products. We can definitely see this site becoming the Epic Gardening of the Typography world!
DR: 30 | Traffic: 235k
Not every successful site has a steady upward graph. This site used to have a peak of 316k traffic but dropped a little. That’s not to say the site is failing, but we wanted to make sure that we weren’t just including sites that have perfect success stories.
Once again, this site is basic in terms of web design and could be replicated by most people without the need for a web developer.
As is a running theme in our selection of sites, their About page is full of authority. It’s clear at even the briefest of glances that these are real people, and upon close inspection, these real people know their stuff.
Now, this is some content that gets E-E-A-T right. Taking a look at their Best Mini Guitar Amps roundup, let’s go through what they do right:
- They list multiple retailers
- They make quantifiable measurements and provide specs in an easy-to-digest format
- They use personal opinion language, e.g, “I would say…”
- It’s full of videos that make sense in the context of the article
If you’re looking for inspiration on improving your E-E-A-T in your content, look no further.
Honestly, their backlink profile is probably one of the weaker ones in this list. We’re doubtful they do any meaningful link building.
That said, it’s propped up by a variety of resource links that they’ve no doubt acquired due to the fact that, as we’ve said before, they ooze authority, and people WANT to link to them.
The moral? Focus on quality and links will come.
Community, community, community!
This is the type of niche that thrives with a strong community. You can then tap into that community to unlock additional sales avenues and ensure you aren’t relying on search alone.
That then transitions to our next suggestion: start selling products and courses. This niche is perfect for it and is the natural evolution from here.
Bird Watching HQ
DR: 51 | Traffic: 500k
This is a great example of how someone puts passion first and becomes a success.
There’s nothing special about the design but it works.
For a topic like this, if you want to be successful, it’s probably more important that you know the topic rather than going into it as an SEO expert trying to fake it til you make it.
Once again, like the others in this list, the site owner really makes a point of emphasizing he’s a real person on the About Page.
First up, the site contains a massive database of birds, sorted by state.
Naturally, when doing something like this, many people worry about duplicate content – there’ll be many birds and animals that appear in multiple states for example.
Take their Eagles in Florida and Georgia articles. There’s tons of duplicate information and yet that doesn’t hurt their rankings and traffic at all.
They also seem to template a lot of topics, such as their “How to attract…” articles.
Finally, it’s worth noting that they have a thriving comment section in each of their articles. It seems to be well-moderated and full of insights beyond the article content itself.
A lot is going on here.
First up, they have tons of links from Educational sites to their bird-watching cams – simple webcams set up in the owners garden.
In addition to this, they have links from Timeout and Wikipedia Pages propping up their backlink profile.
This site is a great example of how to be creative with link building.
We’re lucky enough to have a pretty clear insight into the monetization and success of this site as the owner was part of a tell-all interview in The Sun.
In 2019, the site earned $70,000. If we scale that up to the traffic they’re getting today, that’s easily $300-400k.
Around 75% of this comes from Ads, 20% from Affiliate and 5% from eCommerce offers.
They use Adthrive as their Ad network.
As we mentioned, this is a clear hobby site. That does mean there are a few risks involved where the site isn’t exactly 100% sound from an SEO standpoint, but that shouldn’t be too hard to rectify.
Our suggestion? Focus on optimizing existing content over producing more of it. Try and clean up some of that duplicate content and ensure they don’t get flagged for it.
There’s also a ton of opportunity for more interactive content here – spotting maps, reporting, photo submissions and so on. The possibilities are endless!
DR: 54 | Traffic: 336k
Now we don’t want to come across as bias. It’s absolutely possible for a site to succeed without being a squeaky-clean white hat site. And that’s where Sawinery comes in.
At first glance, things look pretty straightforward. A site that focuses on woodworking which saw a huge jump in traffic in 2020.
They claim to be around 15 years old yet a quick search will reveal that the site used to belong to a Winery in 2016. After that, these guys took over and turned it into a generic affiliate site.
The site is full of stock photos and dubious sounding owner, Robert Johnson, who we could not locate online at all.
Now, let’s see what’s under the hood. Looking at their article on Woodworking Projects For Beginners, the content is outright bizarre.
Instead of having a traditionally written blog, their product descriptions are images. We can only assume to this is the hide the fact that they’re just ripping other people’s content.
Elsewhere on the site, we have super thin content, missing and poor CTAs, and buy links hidden behind toggles.
Bizarre, to say the least!
As you might expect, it’s littered with poor-quality paid links with generic forced keywords.
They seem to keep the links at least semi-relevant to the niche, but the quality of the links is pretty awful.
We included this site to highlight a few things.
First, it’s still very much possible to trick Google and rank crappy sites. It’s a lucrative business.
There’s a very slim chance this will last long. We truly believe there is no future for sites like this. They may not tank today and they may not tank tomorrow, but the clock is ticking.