The Warren Buffett Inspired Keyword Strategy That Built A 180,000 Visitor Per Month Blog

Ian Kerins
Sep 17, 2019 · 11 min read

[CASE STUDY] How I used Warren Buffett’s value investing principles to grow a blog to 180,000 organic visitors per month, with just 5 articles and 1 backlink. Plus, repeated the same strategy for numerous other websites.

Warren Buffett boasts one of the most impressive investment records ever recorded.

Over the last 80 years, Buffett has turned a mere $6,000, into a fortune worth over $85 Billion today.

His secret?

Buffett perfected the use of an investment strategy known as value investing.

Value investing is the art and science of investing in stocks that the market has overlooked and are trading below their true market value. Reaping huge gains when the market finally corrects its mistake.

“In the short run, the market is a voting machine, but in the long run it is a weighing machine.” — Ben Graham, the father of value investing.

When the principles of value investing are followed correctly, value investors such as Warren Buffet, Howard Marks, Peter Lynch, Seth Klarman, to name a few have been able to consistently beat the market without exposing them to market risks.

The same is true for content marketers.

As the “content market” behaves very similarly to the stock market on a fundamental level, when you apply the principles of investing to content marketing you can generate staggering results.

In this article, I’m going to show you one keyword research strategy that uses Warren Buffett’s value investing principles to identify and create a portfolio of high-value keywords that the general market has overlooked.

I’ve used this exact strategy in numerous content niches to grow blogs from 0 to 20,000, 50,000 and even 180,000 organic visitors per month with only 3–5 articles and virtually zero promotion.

Value Investing Applied to Content Marketing

Just as “Mr. Market”, the hypothetical investor that epitomises the market consensus, is susceptible to routinely miscalculate the value of company stocks due to mood swings of panic, euphoria and apathy.

The “Content Mr. Market”, the content producers that make up the search engine content market, regularly overlook and undervalue lucrative keyword opportunities in their niches that can generate huge volumes of high-quality traffic for their sites with significantly less risk than other content strategies.

When applied correctly to your content niche, the principles of value investing will highlight numerous keywords that have high search volumes but relatively low competition from other content producers given their true value.

Most content producers inherently believe that the content market is efficient, with the most valuable keyword opportunities also being the most competitive.

In general this is true. The most valuable keywords are the most competitive. However, because of our susceptibility to irrationality and cognitive biases content markets there are typically keywords being over and undervalued all the time. Creating opportunities for people to exploit.

Think overvalued content pieces like companies competing to put out very generic and high level “Top 10 posts”, etc. that their real customers simply don’t care about. Whereas there are overlooked longtail opportunities with relatively little competition.

Content producers regularly produce content that is:

  1. Of little to no value to their customer or their marketing goals,

Similarly to financial investing, in the world of content investing those content producers who are willing to be a bit contrarian, question the consensus view of their niche and prioritise producing content which possesses asymmetric risk/reward properties are always the standout performers.

“The goal in investing is asymmetry: to expose yourself to return in a way that doesn’t expose you commensurately to risk, and to participate in gains when the market rises to a greater extent than you participate in losses when it falls.” — Howard Marks

It is only those content producers who think like content investors, who will thrive in today’s increasingly saturated and competitive content market.

The Buffett Keyword Technique

The Buffett Keyword Technique is one such investor inspired content strategy that you can use to drive an additional 50,000+ organic visitors per month to your website with only a handful of SEO optimised pieces of content.

It approaches keyword research in the same way Warren Buffett uses the principles of value investing to find undervalued investment opportunities in the stock market.

By doing keyword research at scale, you are able to map the entire keyword landscape and highlight high-value keyword opportunities that the rest of your niche has overlooked and undervalued.

Ayda Blog

Using this strategy I was able to build my first blog, the company blog for my then health startup Ayda, from 0 to 180,000 organic monthly visits in less than 12 months with:

  • Just 5 articles designed to target a select group of “Buffett Keywords”.

Basically, I did my keyword research, produced 5 articles over the course of 3 weeks and then sat back and let them rank organically.

You can think of it like Moneyball for keyword research. Instead of chasing the same “high value” keywords everyone else is going after, you look for valuable opportunities everyone has overlooked.

The Moneyball thesis is simple: Using statistical analysis, small-market teams can compete by buying assets that are undervalued by other teams and selling ones that are overvalued by other teams.

Are These Results Repeatable? Yes!

After seeing the results this strategy achieved with the Ayda blog, I applied this exact same strategy to my consultancy client’s websites and achieved similar results every single time.

Note: I’m haven’t revealed the names of my client’s blogs because I would be effectively telling their competitors how to compete against them.

Personal Health Blog

One of my clients in the home diagnostics market had published ~100 personal health-related blog posts over 4 years, however, they were only getting 2,000–3,000 organic visitors per month from those 100 posts.

Using the Buffett Keyword Technique I identified numerous “Buffett Keywords” that their competitors and themselves had completely overlooked.

A Buffett Keyword is a keyword that has an asymmetric volume to difficultly ratio — i.e high traffic volumes but low competition.

The first 3 articles we produced targeting the best Buffett keywords started driving 20,767 organic visitors to their site in the after 3 months.

Later we produced more articles targeting the other Buffett Keywords and increased the blog’s traffic to over 35,000 organic visitors per month.

Air Quality Blog

After applying the Buffett Keyword Technique to another of my client’s blogs it grew site from 1,800 to over 88,000 organic visitors per month by systematically targetting the best keyword opportunities in the niche.

Although the traffic potential and quality varies with every content niche, I’ve applied this keyword research strategy to countless B2C and B2B content niches, from medical device regulations, consumer wearables and software to name a few, and each time I’ve been able to find numerous “Buffett Keywords” with significant potential.

Next, I will give you an in-depth look at exactly how you can use the Buffett Keyword Technique to find keywords that can increase your organic search traffic by 50,000+ visitors per month in the space of 3–6 months.

But first…

What do you need for this strategy to be effective?

For the Buffett Keyword Technique to be most effective you need a couple of things:

  1. A website with a decent domain rank (Ahrefs DR 30–40). Without a website with an average domain rank, it is very hard to get any content to rank on the first page without any backlinks.

The Buffett Keyword Technique is especially effective for startups and companies looking to build out a content platform for their business, as the reach of their niches are typically quite large and they often have higher domain rank from backlinks/shares gained from PR and publicity of their company.

The Buffett Keyword Technique: Step-By-Step Guide

Enough about the theory, let’s discuss exactly how you can find Buffett keywords for your own niche.

Step 1: Create a List of 20–50 Root Keywords

The first step in the process is to create an extensive list of every relevant root keyword in your target niche. When I say “root keyword”, I mean 1–2 term keywords that best capture a topic/category.

Examples for the Ayda blog’s female fertility niche were:

  • Fertility

To give yourself the best chance of identifying untapped longtail keywords for your niche, try to generate as big a list as possible. Don’t worry if it’s not 100% relevant, we will clean up the keyword list later.

Step 2: Build A List of All The Long Tail Keywords In Your Niche

Using this list of root keywords, we are able to create a list of virtually every long-tail keyword in the target niche.

To do so, open SEMRush and one-by-one enter each root keyword into the SEMRush search box and download all the “Phrase Match Keywords” for that keyword in the form of a CSV. In the example below, the root keyword “progesterone” has 59,151 Phrase Match Keywords.

Once repeated for each keyword, you should have a database of 100,000–500,000 keywords depending on the size of your niche.

Step 3: Combine And Clean The Keyword CSVs

Once you have downloaded the CSVs for each of the keywords then my next step is to combine all the CSVs into one giant Excel, with a different sheet for each root keyword.

Step 4: Filter The Keywords For High Traffic But Low Competition Targets

This is where things really start to get interesting…

The goal of the Buffett Keyword Technique is to find low competition high volume keywords that if targeted with properly SEO optimised content will rank very quickly with only 0–3 backlinks.

To find these opportunities, I typically filter these keyword lists by searching for keywords that have traffic over 1,000 hits per month and that have a SEMRush keyword difficulty score of below 75.

Once, I’ve identified these high-volume low-competition keywords I combine all these results into one sheet for easy review.

Step 5: Clean Them Up

Not all the targets in this sheet will be applicable to you as the parent keyword might mean something else in another market.

So our next step is to go through this list and identify which keywords are actually relevant to the content we are trying to write and delete the irrelevant keywords.

Step 6: Group Similar Keywords

Once you’ve deleted the irrelevant keywords, the next step is to group together any keywords that can all be targeted in the same article.

Step 7: Investigate The Opportunities

By now you should have condensed your original keyword list of 100,000 to 500,000 keywords down to 20–50 groups of Buffett Keywords. The highest potential high traffic low competition keywords in your niche.

Just scanning this keyword list will often highlight some interesting keyword opportunities you never thought about before. But we’re not finished yet.

Now we need to dive a little deeper. Using Google, SEMRush, Ahrefs and any other SEO tools you like we will go through each of these keywords opportunities one by one looking to see:

  • Is the existing content good?

The perfect keyword opportunity is one where the keyword has lots of traffic (meaning search intent) but the quality of the content Google displays is very poor and have poor backlink profiles.

Great situations are ones where there is a lot of user-generated content from Quora or community sites, PDFs, links to gated websites or research papers, or where the website content is poor (outdated, low quality, short-form, etc.)

Another sign to look out for is large variations in the SERP history for that keyword. If there is a lot of movement in the positions of the top 5 results for that keyword over the last year then it is a clear sign that Googles algorithms haven’t been able to find any piece of content that adequately meets the users search intent. Ahrefs SERP history tool is a great way to see this data.

Step 8: Rank The Opportunities

Once you’ve gone through each of the keyword groups, the next step is to rank them in terms of the scale of the opportunity.

We are looking for opportunities with the best asymmetric risk/reward properties. Relatively low competition but big traffic potential.

Here we will rank them in terms of their overall opportunity level. Going from the best risk/reward ratio to the worst.

Step 9: Produce SEO Optimised Longform Content

Once you’ve selected the top keyword opportunities you want to go after then all is left is for you to produce high-quality long-form content specifically optimised for each one of those opportunities. For in-depth guides on how to produce such content then check out Brian Dean’s On-Page SEO guide or Neil Patel’s SEO guide.

Doing backlink outreach and social promotion will stack the odds of your article’s ranking in the top 3 on Google even further in your favour.

Typically, it takes about 3–6 months before you start to see significant traction with this technique. However, this can be speeded up considerably with by just acquiring 1–5 backlinks to each post through backlink outreach.

Think Like A Content Investor & Reap The Rewards

Producing content is very similar to investing in the financial markets. From the dynamics of the market to the fact that each piece of content you produce is an investment of your time, money and resources that could be used somewhere else.

So give the Buffett Keyword Technique a try and see for yourself how effective it can be.

If you would like to learn about how you can apply the principles of investing to producing content then sign up to my email list where I will be sharing more investor inspired content strategies.

The Polymath MBA

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