Neil Patel is a famous US-based internet marketer. He runs an agency and publishes (a lot of) content on his website Neilpatel.com (where you can also find the SEO tool he purchased in early 2017, UberSuggest).
With this piece, he will get another backlink (thanks Fred!), which will be added to the 2.31M he already has at time of writing according to Ahrefs (and I have few chances of ranking due to the power of his personal brand "Neil Patel" used in his domain).
You may wonder: how does Neil Patel gets so much traffic to his website? What does Neil Patel rank for? I did some research using Ahrefs. Here's the answer.
Is Neil Patel trending?
But first, let's have a look at the progress of "Neil Patel" on Google Trends.
As you can see from this chart (dated Sept 21, 2019), it's been going up for a while, accelerating in 2016, with a spike in February 2017, the moment when Neil Patel bought UberSuggest.
If we type Neilpatel.com in Site Explorer on Ahrefs, here's the summary we get.
First of all, his Ahrefs Rank is impressive: #787 at a global level. The URL and DOMAIN RATINGS are also pretty high: 86/100 and 91/100. As I mentioned earlier, Neil Patel enjoys 2.21M backlinks, from 67.6K different domains. That's a lot!
He ranks for 840,000 different keywords (more details in a moment). Ahrefs estimates that his website brings in 1.4M organic visits per month. If you had to pay for the traffic he generates for free, you'd have to spend north of $3 million.
What was the trigger of Neil Patel's sudden rise in traffic and rankings ?
If we have a closer look at the anchors from the links generating traffic to Neil Patel's website, we see that the #1 source anchor is KISSMETRICS.
The tool still exists on the domain https://www.kissmetricshq.com/ but Neil Patel, who co-founded the company, purchased Kissmetrics.com, mainly for its blog traffic, in early 2017. He explains the reasoning behind the purchase on his blog.
What are the most popular pages on NeilPatel.com?
Let's have a look at the top 25 pages of Neil Patel's website in the US.
As you can see straight away from the top ranking, the purchase of Ubersuggest was a very smart move. It's now the most popular page on Neil Patel's website, bringing in more than 30,000 visits per month (USA) according to Ahrefs, mainly from the query "ubersuggest".
Neil Patel ranks #1 for the hyper competitive "social media marketing" query with a post ranked #4 among his most popular pages. He has a bunch of SEO-related queries for which he's high in the SERP: seo checker (2), backlink checker (2), free keyword tool (5), search engines (5). He's not on Google's page 1 for the head term "SEO" but close to it (11).
Neil Patel also ranks for a series of other topics: affiliate marketing (3), digital marketing (3), customer acquisition cost (1), online marketing (3), content marketing (6), etc. Basically there's a good chance that if you're searching for something related to digital marketing you'll end up on a page of Neil Patel's website. He's a content production powerhouse!
A closer look at the keywords for which Neil Patel is ranking on Google.
If we open the keywords view on Ahrefs for Neilpatel.com, here's what we get (Sept 21, 2019).
Again, a lot of queries related to the smart purchase of UberSuggest. Also a lot of -marketing related queries: online-, social media-, affiliate-, digital-, content-,... you name it. And SEO-related searches: search engine optimization, search engine, seo analyzer, seo checker, etc. These are very competitive keywords. And Neil Patel is ranking for a lot of headterms (1 word) or 2-word keywords. Quite an achievement!
For which keywords could I compete with Neil Patel?
Don't try to compete with him on SEO CHECKER or SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING. No chance...
On Ahrefs, you can filter keywords by KD (keyword difficulty).
If I choose to only display KD under 10(/100), the #1 suggestion is copyblogger (KD9, a blog for content creators) but Neil Patel ranks #2 in SERP for that keyword... then I see "leadership lessons" (KD4, bringing 229 visits per month in the US for Neil Patel. He ranks #1 with the featured snippet for that one, tough battle), "facebook killer video" (KD2, 193 visits. Avoid this one since most results are related to killing on video...) and, interestingly, "why batman is better than superman" (KD0, 118 visits per month on a piece about CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization).
Ideally you should select relevant keywords for which competitors on Google's page 1 don't have a sky-high domain authority (Use the MOZBAR Chrome extension to check out competition after typing the keyword in Google). If DA of all websites on page 1 is above 50 with PA above 25, it will be hard, very hard.
Example for "Pinterest automation", KD5 for which Neil Patel ranks #1 in the US. You see that his website has a DA of 87/100 (PA = page authority, here 39/100).
But you have other much weaker results on Page 1. So a great long form piece about this topic might be ranking if you have a decent domain/page profile (DA/PA). At time of writing, my personal DA (CallMeFred.com) is 20 and I have some pages with a PA above 20. Not anywhere close to Neil Patel's achievements (yet).
There are plenty of other accessible long tail opportunities among the 107,194 keywords listed for the US alone on Ahrefs.
Have fun researching Neil Patel's rankings while trying to emulate his success!
PS: I got a featured snippet for a few similar queries related to this article.