This is how we created a page targeting ‘Average UK Salary’ queries that overtook the likes of GQ Magazine and the ONS to generate over ten thousands visits per month and links from 233 domains without any outreach time at all
Root’s client, StandOut CV, is a website that operates in the UK (and now US) recruitment market. The website generates most of its leads through pages that rank for ‘CV templates’, offering advice and downloadables for people looking to increase their chances of employment.
StandOut CV operate in a tough environment, with sites like Zety through to Monster.co.uk (DR 78 and 74 respectively) creating tons of content able to feed off their larger brand presence and authority.
Therefore, digital PR and high quality content is key for StandOut CV and what is going to make them more competitive across the board when it comes to organic search.
A method we created and have written about before on Moz, is utilising existing search volumes to discover and create link building opportunities.
The idea is simple: if we can produce a piece of content that can rank for queries that are likely to include those searched by journalists, we can interject their own content creation process and become a go-to resource.
As a strategy across our client accounts, we do this alongside our award winning campaigns and PR Requests, giving accounts more opportunities to generate links and coverage.
For StandOut CV, we obviously wanted to keep the topic of our content focused within UK recruitment, and our research led us to ‘Average UK Salary’ – a keyword in itself that has a search volume of 90,500 per month.
Not only did the keyword have a ton of search volume – although mostly not our direct target audience – we could see using the Ahrefs Chrome toolbar that the top ranking URLs all had over 100 LRDs directly linking to their pages.
This was important as not only did it show that there was a linking demand for this sort of content (if we could break through) but also that not one URL was the dominant go-to resource, often the case when a .gov site appears in a SERP.
However, among the top ranking URLs, the content there didn’t pass the eye test. The content depth was lacking and importantly the content looked un-engaging. A real lack of visuals and formatting within the articles to help a user find the key information quickly.
Here’s how the GQ Magazine page – ranking in position 2 at the time – looked back in 2020:
From a content marketing stand-point, this page made us optimistic about our own ranking chances.
What made us optimistic was that the page makes the job of the reader so much harder to find the key points of information they need – which is even more important when the reader is a journalist producing their 2nd/3rd/4th article of the day.
Although the gap between domain authorities here was huge (93 DR for GQ vs 48 DR for StandOut at the time), the lack of content quality in the SERP gave us an opportunity to pounce.
With a lofty goal now in place, we had to go about creating a superior piece of content using the latest statistics available, and allowing users to engage the key parts of their query faster.
So, we did this right at the top of the page:
Within 5 seconds, any user landing on the page is able to see what the average UK salary is, alongside a bunch of other interesting stats that could peak their interest.
The page then further cascades into a whole host of related ‘average uk salary’ information, breaking down how it varies by part-time to full-time workers, the top paying jobs, CEO salaries, variance by age and gender, etc.
From an SEO and Content Marketing stand-point, we’re able to provide more value to users who are looking for the ‘average UK salary’ but not only answering that query quickly but also anticipating the queries that may come up next.
On our page, someone will quickly find out the answers, but from there, people may wonder how it varies by gender or age, what the differences look like between professions, and so on.
This gives us a helping hand, which is not only clear in how the page ranks but also in the pages link profile:
However, this process is a timely one. We include it as part of an overarching Digital PR Strategy because it can take time for the content to be indexed, climb up the rankings and then generate links. Therefore, we’d typically create these inbound link assets alongside our Creative Campaigns and PR Requests, which have the ability to both drive links quickly and in volume.
For the ‘average UK salary’ piece, the first year was challenging. Although still a successful piece of content, within the first 12 months of being live, the page has generated 59 linking root domains, but we knew the piece and the SERPs we were competing in had more potential.
Thankfully, by being able to continue working on the piece and annualling updating the data, copy and imagery, we’ve been able to go from strength-to-strength without ever sending a single outreach email about the piece.
- Over 180k organic clicks through 2022
- 7.08 million impression in Google search
- 233 linking root domains (and counting)
- Links from politics.co.uk, onrec.com, expatica.com, studyinternational.com and many more
- No outreach time at all
- Position one rankings from high volume and competitive keywords
- Outranked both the ONS and GQ with a vastly inferior domain authority