[CASE STUDY] How To Rank In The Most Competitive Niche In SEO

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again-

SEO doesn’t have to be complicated.

And usually its the simplest strategies that are the most effective.

I have worked to improve search rankings & organic traffic for hundreds of clients all around the world with great success.

And honestly…. there’s no secret sauce to what we do!

The SEO process often boils down to-

  1. On Site Audit – A complete technical SEO audit while developing a keyword strategy with short term quick wins & long term core terms
  2. Link Building – Deploying an effective link building campaign carefully from relevant sites

So I wanted to show the results of that process from a client in the Gambling ​niche.

I am going to explain exactly what we did and reveal the link building strategy we used!

The Proof Is In The Pudding

Before I show you the “How”, I want to show you the “Why”.

We deployed the strategy you are about to learn in ​June 2018 which saw traffic grow from ​506 to ​21,946 visitors per month in a very short period of time-

That makes for a total of​ 76,000+ clicks from Google which converts into cold hard affiliate cash.

The Strategy Behind The Case Study

Now let me be clear – this is one of the most competitive niches in SEO period.

The affiliate payouts are huge and your competing against the most experienced SEO’s on the planet.

The Challenge

When my agency first started working on this site, ​traffic from Google had flatlined.

The problem with working on old sites like this is first of all you need to reverse engineer everything that past SEO companies have done to build a full picture.

That often brings up a host of problems we wouldn’t normally have to deal with if we were working on a newer site but its nothing we haven’t faced before.

Step #1 – The Audit

Knowing we had an uphill challenge the first port of call was to complete a high level technical SEO audit.

Sites of this size and age almost always have a lot of legacy on-site and technical SEO problems due to numerous site redesigns, CMS changes and overall structural changes the site was go through as it grows.

crawl results

This client was no exception, so we began the campaign by addressing the most pressing on-site issues that our comprehensive on-audit diagnosed. These included:

Migrating The Site to HTTPS

The site had mixed protocol issues, with both HTTP and HTTPS pages indexed and internal links across the site pointing at both protocols.

We took this opportunity to migrate the whole site to secure HTTPS, setting up URL rewrite rules in the htaccess to ensure that all pages automatically resolve to HTTPS, no matter what protocol a visitor/bot tries to access it through.

We then made sure that all internal links pointed directly at the HTTPS version, so that a consistent protocol was served to spiders and there were no unnecessary redirects.

Sitemap Optimisation

The site had a number of superfluous sitemaps listing dozens of low quality pages that should not have been indexed in the first place.

We removed these sitemaps and replaced them with one definitive sitemap that solely listed the Google facing pages we wanted indexed.

Rich Snippets and Structured Data

The client had a large number of informational and review pages, however they were failing to take advantage of structured data and rich snippets.

so we marked these up with schema tags so that ratings and other content showed in the SERPs.

This delivered results pretty quickly as they gained new knowledge graph entries for a small number of long tail keywords.

On-Page Optimisation

Alongside technical on-site optimisations, we also did a full audit of important on-page elements such as title tags and headers.

We re-wrote 50+ title tags that were poorly keyword optimised, excessively long or missing.

We re-wrote or created 150+ H1 tags that were missing, poorly optimised or duplicated.

We also managed a content overhaul across 21 core pages to update the content and better optimise it for the target keywords.

Backlink Audit

At the same time we completed a full, manual backlink audit – a long process considering the 300k+ number of backlinks the site had.

As you’d expect from a site that had be actively working on link building for over a decade, there were a lot of risky links from old-fashioned techniques.

This is a common problem that we see but its nothing that can’t be fixed.

Step #2 – The Link Building Strategy

After creating a solid foundation to build on during the link audit, we moved onto link building.

We needed to be extremely strategic in the way that we built links to the site.

Due to the volume of powerful links going to the homepage and core internal pages, we knew that the number of links we were building would not make a big proportionate difference to the overall domain authority and link profile.

Instead, we spent a good amount of time studying the existing visibility and rankings of the site in order to identify very high volume keywords that the site had not yet achieved good visibility for.

So we concentrated all of our resources on a smaller number of internal pages, pushing them into first page positions which dramatically boosted traffic to the site.

Building The Most Powerful Type Of Backlink

Our link building strategy was simple-

“Build backlinks from authoritative website surrounded by relevant high quality content”

Now that might sound difficult but remember, SEO doesn’t have to be complicated.

And the easiest way to build these types of links is by using the link building strategy I teach here.

This is the link building strategy that is behind the most competitive niches in SEO and it gives you full control over your link building.

The Secret Sauce

Now I want to be clear with you.

My agency works in the most competitive niches in SEO – gambling, finance, loans, health to name a few and we have had great success after great success.

Because of that we know what it takes to rank in these niches and I wanted to share a little bit of insider knowledge with you.

You see normally if you wanted to rank in the Car Niche, you would get links from related sites and that is what we would normally do.

But in the gambling niche we took a different approach.

Instead of sourcing links from relevant domains, we source links from irrelevant domains but surrounded by relevant content.

So the site might be about cars, but now it has a page about gambling and links to us.


We are seeing much better results getting links from outside of the betting niche deliver much better results than gambling specific links.


We suspect that is due to the inherent lack of trust from Google in this sector which is seen across all domains in this niche.

Essentially the trust is so low, that relevance becomes irrelevant and you can power through purely focused on authority links.

Taking Your SEO To The Next Level

If you want to take your SEO to the next level you really only have 2 options.

The first is to let my team do all the hard work for you like the client featured in this post – who knows, you might become our next success story!

The second option is to do everything yourself by implementing the link building strategy I teach here.

Either way, the sooner you decide to take full control of your search rankings – the better!

Take the hard work out of SEO