Why I Spend $16,302 Each Month Producing Content That Google Won’t Rank

neil patel content strategy

When you do a Google search, what do you see?

Lists of websites, maybe an answer to your question, some images, some ads that you usually ignore, and even some products that you can buy.

There are tons of different types of content you see when you do a Google search.

But what’s one form of content that you barely see on Google?

Well, technically two forms of content.

It’s video and audio content.

Whenever you perform a Google search, it’s rare to see videos or audio files that rank high on page 1.

So the question I get all the time: Why would I spend $ 16,302 a month on audio and video content that Google won’t rank?

But before I answer that, let’s first run through all of the numbers.

You’ll probably think I am crazy at first, but hopefully, it will all make sense in the end. 😉

How much do I spend on content?

Let’s do a quick run-down of my content expenses.

I spent $ 2,144 last month on my podcast, Marketing School (studio time, editing, hosting, and I ran a few podcast advertising experiments).

And I spent $ 14,158 last month on my video series, Neil Knowledge, to produce educational marketing content for you (studio time, editing, optimization services, and video ad experiments).

As for text-based content, I spent $ 0 last month. Technically, the content is free because I’m writing it.

Now let’s look at how much content I create each month…

How much content do I create?

My podcast is daily.

Every single day… even on holidays.

That means I am releasing roughly 30 episodes per month. Each episode is about 5 minutes long, which means 180 minutes worth of audio content per month on average.

As for my videos, I try to keep them around 6 minutes long and I release videos every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

I’m producing 12 videos per month, about 72 minutes of video-based content.

And as for blog posts, I write once per week. I try to keep each blog post to around 2,000 words (the average blog post that ranks on page 1 of Google is 1,890 words), and it takes around 4 minutes to read my posts.

This means I produce roughly 16 minutes of text-based content per month.

Now let’s look at how much time I spend to create each type of content.

How much time do I spend on content marketing?

I record my podcast in batches.

Typically, we record 20 episodes at a time.

It takes me about 30 minutes to get to the recording studio and 50 minutes to get back home. I have no idea why, but it always takes longer to get back home…

And even though each episode is 5 minutes long, it takes roughly an hour to come up with a list of 20 topic ideas and 3 hours to record them all (including setup time).

In general, to produce my 30 monthly episodes, it takes roughly 465 minutes or 7.75 hours.

As for videos, it takes 45 minutes to get to the studio and 45 minutes to get back home. I can typically record a whole month’s worth of videos in 1 session (12 videos).

It takes me an hour to come up with video topics and ideas.

And as for studio time, I can finish shooting in 2.5 hours (I don’t script anything, and I typically just do everything in 1 take).

So, to create 12 videos a month it takes me roughly 5 hours.

Last but not least, it takes me no more than 2 hours to write a blog post.

From coming up with the idea to writing it all down to then adding it to WordPress (I blog in Microsoft Word). This means I spend 8 hours a month blogging, considering that I blog once a week.

Now as a quick recap, here’s how much time it takes to produce each form of content:

  • Podcasts – 7.75 hours per month
  • Videos – 5 hours per month
  • Blog posts – 8 hours per month

And here’s how much traffic each form of content gets from Google:

What content does Google prefer?

If you look at the image below, you’ll see that I got 785,991 visitors from organic Google search last month.

neil patel search traffic

Can you guess what portion of that search traffic came from the audio or video content?

A big… fat… ZERO

Well, technically I’ve blocked Google from crawling my audio and video files. But it wasn’t always that way. I used to have a page dedicated to my podcast on NeilPatel.com and it used to generate 32,670 pageviews per month.

podcast traffic

But out of those pageviews, only 5,386 came from Google.

podcast search

I tried everything.

From adding transcription text to each podcast episode to generating social shares to even writing a unique synopsis for each episode. I even built links to some of my episodes.

No matter what I did, I couldn’t get my podcast episodes to rank well.

And the content wasn’t the issue either!

Marketing School has raving reviews on iTunes and the average time on site for a Google visitor who found the podcast was 2 minutes and 26 seconds, which you can see in the screenshot above.

Even my bounce rate was only 18.44%. This just shows that people didn’t have issues with the content.

Now, let’s look at the stats from my old video page that no longer exists:

video traffic

As you can see, my videos were generating 66,910 pageviews a month. That’s with an average time on page of 3 minutes and 17 seconds and a bounce rate of only 15.47%.

Now if you look at the video traffic I generated from Google, the numbers weren’t as bad as the podcast.

video search traffic

I generated 12,261 pageviews from Google to my videos and those users had an average time on page of 2 minutes and 32 seconds. The bounce rate was 20.91%, which wasn’t too bad either.

Now with the videos, I did something a bit different compared to the podcast.

I allowed users to add comments. That helps create more unique content.

The videos were also easier to generate social shares by 72 extra shares on average over the audio content.

Now don’t get me wrong. I know an extra 5,386 and 12,261 pageviews per month aren’t too bad.

But considering that my blog generated 2,916,724 pageviews last month, the numbers were insignificant.

For that reason, I blocked Google from indexing those pages, and now I get 0 search visitors for my audio and video content.

If you’re curious about why I wouldn’t want the extra traffic, my approach to SEO is to allow the content Google really enjoys being indexed.

And the content Google doesn’t care for I block because I don’t want my site to be diluted in the eyes of Google.

Now that you can see how podcast and videos generate less search traffic, you’re probably wondering why I spend so much time creating those forms of content.

Why Neil, why?

The reason I spend so much time and money creating podcasts and videos is because the text-based content doesn’t create a strong emotional connection between website visitors and you (or your brand).

Even though Google doesn’t care to rank audio and video files as high, those two content types will help build a connection with your audience.

Just to give you an idea, video content increases purchase intent by 97% and brand association by 139%.

That’s huge!

Plus, even though Google doesn’t like audio and video content, it doesn’t mean you can’t generate traffic in other ways.

Here are my podcast stats from last month.

libsyn stats

I know Libsyn is showing 681,972 listens, but it is off. I doubt the real number is that high and Libsyn doesn’t report how engaged each listener is.

Plus, I don’t know how many unique listens I’m generating as I bet many of you listen to multiple episodes each month.

As for my videos, the stats are even better.

First of all, I dominate YouTube when it comes to search rankings.

I rank number 1 for terms like “SEO”.

youtube rankings

I also generated over 1,804,705 minutes of watch time and 958,274 views for the month of May.

youtube stats

And those stats are just from YouTube.

When you drill into the stats, you’ll see that I am generating anywhere from 3,000 to 4,500 visits a day just from YouTube search.

youtube search

And I’m not just doing well with my videos on YouTube.

Facebook does pretty well for me, and I’m crushing it on LinkedIn.

facebook stats

linkedin stats

Facebook and LinkedIn count video views differently than YouTube. They autoplay videos so the count is inflated, while YouTube won’t count someone as a view if they watch a video for only 1 second.

Either way, I’m building tons of brand awareness and trust that I wouldn’t be able to build if I just stuck with text-based content.


When I started my career in marketing, you could build a business off of just Google traffic.

Heck, it was the main way to generate traffic, leads, and sales because sites like Facebook and YouTube didn’t exist.

Today, not only do those sites exist, but it’s become easier to create businesses online. That means there is more competition for you, which will make it harder to market your business.

But here is what they don’t tell you… although marketing is becoming more competitive, it’s also becoming easier at the same time.

Yes, there are more people who now use the Internet, but that’s not what I am talking about…

Sites like Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn are competing for your eyeballs, which means marketers benefit.

Here’s what I mean… Facebook and LinkedIn both want a piece of YouTube’s market share.

So, in order to get you to upload more videos to their platform, they have to incentivize you as the content creator.

So, what do they do?

They tweak their algorithms to give more preference (or views) to videos so it encourages content creators to upload their content.

This won’t last forever, but you should leverage it as long as it will last.

As a marketer, you need to look for which companies are fighting for your attention. Right now, most of the social networks are because they are all heavily competing with each other.

Keep looking for who’s competing for your attention because that’s where you can get the biggest wins.

Plus, we all know it’s easier to create text-based content than it is to create video or audio content.

This means you are going to have more competition on Google than you will on platforms that prefer audio and video.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have an excuse for not starting a podcast or creating videos… you have a smartphone, so pull it out, start filming, and upload it online.

Once you create audio and video content, you need to keep in mind that making these strategies popular isn’t the same as it is with text-based content.

This post here breaks down how to leverage YouTube, and this article breaks down how to make your podcast popular.

Lastly, if I still haven’t convinced you to create more videos and audio files, here are 3 last pieces of data for you:

  1. It takes roughly 90 days to reach the top of page 2 on Google. YouTube on the other hand mainly ranks videos based on their performance within the first 24 hours of it being live. In other words, you rank at the top of YouTube within days instead of months.
  2. There are roughly 525,000 active podcasts, while there are over 1.8 billion websites. In other words, you’ll have less competition getting listens to your podcast than you would getting views to your website.
  3. There are more mobile devices in the world than there are people. People are using these mobile devices more than their computer, hence 60% of Google searches take place on a mobile device. And we all know that it’s easier to watch a video or listen to audio on your mobile device than it is to read text on a tiny screen.

So are you going to start a podcast and upload more videos to the social web?

The post Why I Spend $ 16,302 Each Month Producing Content That Google Won’t Rank appeared first on Neil Patel.

Blog – Neil Patel

The Advanced SEO Formula That Helped Me Rank For 477,000 Keywords

seo neil patel

Can you guess how many keywords I rank for?

Well, you are probably going to say 477,000 because I used that number in the title of this post. 😉

And it’s true, just look at the screenshot from Ahrefs. It shows the number of keywords I rank for.

ahrefs keywords

But what’s crazy is that I am in a super competitive niche… digital marketing.

So, are you wondering how I did it?

Well, it starts with proper keyword research.

See most marketers start their keyword research with tools like SEMrush or Ubersuggest and they type in a keyword like “SEO”. You then get a list back with hundreds of keyword suggestions with cost per click and competition data.

ubersuggest seo

And once you have a list of keywords you like, you probably do what most marketers do, which is to start inserting them into your website or creating content around the keywords.

Does this process sound familiar?

Well, of course, it does because that’s what everyone has been teaching you to do.

But what’s wrong with this?

This process is like gambling… there’s no guarantee that you’ll rank for these new keywords. And even worse, those keywords may not generate you any leads, sales, or revenue.

But thankfully, I have a process for you that will not only help you rank for thousands of keywords, but it will also ensure that this new-found traffic converts into leads, sales, and more revenue.

Here’s the 5-step process that helped me rank for 477,000 keywords.

Step #1: Focus on the pages that drive revenue

Going after the right keywords won’t guarantee you success.

If you rank a page that isn’t converting well, you’ll get more traffic, but your revenue won’t go up.

Sure, you can eventually focus on conversion rate optimization and try to fix that over time, but you are better off driving traffic to pages that are already generating you revenue.

If you haven’t setup goal tracking, watch the video below as it will teach you how.

Assuming you set it correctly, let’s look for the pages that are driving your revenue.

google conversions

You can see from the image above, I sorted the results by conversions.

You now have a list of pages to focus on. But it isn’t as easy as just picking the top page and going from there.

For example, your top page could be a “check out” page, which, of course, won’t do any good if you rank it higher.

Instead, you should focus on:

  • Product pages
  • Service pages
  • Content pages

Once you have a final list of pages, you’ll want to take those URLs and look them up in your Google Search Console.

Step #2: Log into Google Search Console

Once you’re in Google Search Console, you’ll want to click on, “Search Traffic > Search Analysis”.

This will lead you to a report that looks something like this.

top pages

You’ll then want to click on the “Pages” option as it will sort the results by top pages.

At this point, you’ll have to go through your list of pages and find them within Google Search Console.

Once you find one of the pages, click on the URL and then select “Queries” at the top.

This will give you an overview of the specific terms that generate traffic to your high converting pages.

page keywords

Now let’s download the data in CSV format and open it with Excel.

Once you load it up, it should look something like this.


I want you to first sort the data by impressions. Look for the keywords that are generating the highest impression count as those keywords have the potential to drive the most traffic.

If you feel those keywords are relevant to your product or service that you are offering, make sure you include them within the title tag of your website.

You won’t be able to add all of the keywords to your title tag because it is limited to roughly 60 characters, but adding a few of the most popular terms will ensure that you are going to get higher click-through rates, which will boost your overall search rankings.

Once you’ve adjusted your title tag, let’s do the same with your meta description.

Meta description is longer than the title tag. Google is ok with roughly 156 characters. So, feel free to sprinkle in a few more keywords, but make sure your meta description still flows in a readable sentence.

And before we get back to the Excel sheet, let’s expand your content by adding in some of the keywords you don’t rank high up on page 1 but should.

You can do this by adding more content to your page, or if you can insert the keywords without “stuffing” them in (just make sure your content flows and provides value).

Now let’s head back over to Excel. You should see a filter icon that looks something like this:

excel filter

Select column E, as this will select all of the keywords based on their rankings. Then click on the “sort & filter button” and then select “filter”.

You’ll see a table that pops up. Unselect any numbers that are 1, 2, or 3.

You’ll also want to unselect any number that is 11 or greater. This will show you all of the keywords ranking on page 1 that are NOT in position 1, 2 or 3.

excel filter results

These are the keywords that have the most potential as the top 3 positions generate 20.5%, 13.32%, and 13.14% of the clicks respectively. You want to be in the top 3 spots as that is where the majority of the clicks are happening.

By, having a list of keywords that are in position 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10… you can now focus on moving them up.

You’ve already done the hardest part which is getting on page 1. It’s not that much more work to get into the top 3 spots (at least for most keywords).

You’ll want to take all of the keywords that are relevant to your page and see if you can blend them into your content or headings without ruining the user experience.

This may mean that you’ll have to re-write your content and make it double the length.

Or if you have a product or service page that you are trying to rank higher, it may mean that you can’t include all of the keywords as it will ruin the user experience and hurt your conversion rate (but you can probably include a few more).

Over time you’ll find that your rankings will slowly climb for keywords that will bring in more revenue.

Step #3: Add in related keywords

You know what’s one thing I love about Google? They are really generous when it comes to giving marketers data. From Google Analytics to Google Search Console… Google has some amazing tools!

Another product I love (technically it’s more of a feature) is that Google shows you all of the related keywords to the ones you are already ranking for.

This is going to be a manual grind, but it’s worth it.

Log into Google Search Console and look at the top 10 keywords that you rank for. You can get this data by clicking on “Search Traffic > Search Analytics”.

search traffic analytics

Make sure you exclude any branded terms and compile a list of your top 10 terms.

Now go to Google, type in each of these keywords manually and scroll to the bottom where it says, “related keywords”.

related keywords

Google gives you a list of other popular terms that people are typing. What is beautiful about this list, is that these keywords are already related to the one you are ranking for and they are typically much easier to rank for.

So, for neilpatel.com, I already rank for the term “SEO.”

So Google is telling me that in addition to the word “SEO,” people are also searching for:

  • what is seo and how it works
  • seo definition
  • what is seo marketing
  • how to do seo
  • seo wiki
  • seo google
  • seo tutorial
  • seo company

As you can see I already integrated some of those phrases to the page on my website that already ranks for SEO.

You should do the same. It’s an easy way to rank for more relevant keywords, boost your traffic, and, eventually, your revenue.

If you do this for your top 10 keywords, you’ll have an additional list of 80 keywords (8 keywords per term).

And by integrating these terms into your site (only when it makes sense, don’t spam) you’ll quickly rank on page 1 for dozens of other terms.

If you want to go crazy like me, you can do this for 1,000 terms, which will then give you suggestions for an additional 80,000 keywords!

But again, don’t force it and ruin your user experience. This will hurt your conversion rate. You should only add keywords when it is natural and makes sense for the user.

And hopefully, you selected keywords from pages that are driving your revenue (remember Step 1!). The last thing you want is to spend time increasing your rankings and find that your revenue isn’t going up.

Step #4: Go after the low-hanging fruit

Have you noticed that there is a huge difference in traffic between the pages on your site that rank on page 2 compared to the content ranking on page 1?

Like most marketers, you probably don’t notice it because your pages that rank on page 2 of Google don’t get much traffic… which causes you to forget about them.

It’s sad but true.

So, let’s fix this!

Log into SEMrush, type in your domain name, and click on “Organic Research > Positions”.

semrush position

You’ll want to look for all of the terms that you rank number 11 or 12 for.

You can do this by using the filter setting (just copy the settings in the screenshot below).

semrush filters

You’ll have a list of keywords that are almost on page one.

Now just make sure those keywords are pointing to pages that are responsible for driving your sales, leads, and revenue (go back to step 1 if you don’t know how to do this).

semrush keywords

For the keywords that aren’t driving sales or leads, you can ignore them for now.

For one the ones pointing to pages that are driving sales or leads, perform a Google search for each of those keywords.

Now compile a list of web pages that are ranking above you.

Take those URLs and plug them into Ahrefs. Once you plug in each URL, click on “Backlinks” in the left navigation bar.

This will show you a list of sites linking to your competition.

ahrefs links

I want you to get in touch with each of those sites and beg for a link. Here’s an email template you can use (you’ll have to modify it to fit your site).

Hey [Insert website owners name],

I noticed that you are linking to [insert competing web page] from [insert the URL of on their website linking to the competition]. Did you know that the page you are linking to isn’t the best resource for your website readers?

It’s missing [insert multiple points on what that competing page lacks].

If you want to provide an even better experience for your website readers, you should consider linking to [insert your URL that you want to rank higher] as it has [insert why your web page better than the competition].


[Insert your name]

You’ll find that after emailing hundreds of sites that only 3% to 5% will link back to you assuming your page is comparable to the competition.

If you can’t get at least 3% to link back it means that you either didn’t do a good job modifying the email template or your page sucks compared to your competition. 🙁

I know this is tedious work, but it’s a great way to boost your traffic.

Just think about this stat when doing the link outreach… 91% of searches never go to page 2. Or as my sales team says, page 2 is the perfect place to bury a dead body.

Step #5: Attract buyers before they are ready to buy

Another reason I love Google is that they have this neat tool called Google Correlate.

google correlate

What Google Correlate does is shows you search patterns. In other words, they show you what your customers are typing in weeks or even months before they become customers.

And if you want to upsell your users, you can use Google Correlate to see what your customers type in weeks or months after they become a customer.

This will help you determine what products or services to offer assuming you want that upsell revenue.

Here’s how it works… let’s say you are selling beard oil. You type in “beard oil” into Google Correlate and you can see what people are typing in before they become customers.

beard oil minus 3

As you can see some of the keywords people are typing in are…

  • beard oil
  • beard oils
  • flannel outfits
  • trek farley
  • sweater crop
  • beard products
  • best beard oil
  • sweater crop top
  • acne studios
  • what is beard

To get those results I got, I selected “-3” weeks.

I am looking at what people typed in 3 weeks before they searched in beard oil. That’s why I put a “-” sign before the number 3 to see what they typed in before they searched for my main keyword.

If you want to attract more customers and build brand loyalty with people who may be interested in beard oil products, I would create content around the best beard oil or flannel outfits that go well with beards.

That’s what I got from the Google Correlate data.

And if I wanted to figure out what products to create in order to upsell my beard oil customers, I would perform the same search on Google Correlate but use a positive number such as “2 weeks.”

beard oil

Based on the data above, I would consider offering beard balm as an upsell as there seems to be a strong correlation.

The cool part about Google Correlate is that you can do this for any keyword and sort the results by the country you are targeting.


I know my method of keyword search is a pain in the butt, but it works.

Just think of it this way…

Creating content on new topics is hard because there is no guarantee a new page on your website will rank for competitive terms.

But if you take web pages that already have traction and you improve them using the techniques I described above, it’s a guaranteed way to generate more search traffic.

Now if you want to create content that focuses on new keywords, by all means, you should do so!

I am not saying that creating new content is a bad idea… heck, I do it all the time.

But consider creating new content after you modify your existing pages that are already driving your traffic and sales.

And when you do go after new terms, don’t forget to use Google Correlate as it will help you gain the right type of traffic (plus your competition isn’t doing it).

So, what do you think of my keyword research and SEO process that I used to rank for thousands of keywords?

The post The Advanced SEO Formula That Helped Me Rank For 477,000 Keywords appeared first on Neil Patel.

Blog – Neil Patel