profile

Decent Reviews Newsletter

Crypto project with 100,000 monthly visitors through programmatic SEO

Published 10 months ago • 11 min read

Hey, thanks for being a subscriber.

Below we've got the first of the new project studies where we examine how they've grown and what it means for the wider blockchain industry.

If you'd rather read it on the website, you can do so here.

And I would love your feedback on this. If you have any thoughts or ideas, please either hit reply or Tweet me at @HeyPJB or @Decreviews.


How this unknown crypto brand generates 100,000+ monthly visitors going up against industry giants

How this brand uses Programmatic SEO to dominate crypto listings

  • How this unknown crypto brand generates 100,000+ monthly visitors going up against industry giants
  • A while back I was looking at the best ways to scale Decent Reviews. At the time, I was seeing a tonne of programmatic SEO content advice and results.

    I remember thinking that this might be a good way for us to scale.

    At the time, I hadn’t honed in on the direction we were to take and thought if we could increase traffic that everything else would become easier because we could act on what our audience wanted.

    In that time I stumbled across a brand that had a cool programmatic approach and were generating hundreds of thousands of visitors per month.

    Despite this being a year later and the bottom falling out of the crypto market, these guys are still generating 100,000+ visitors per month and, I’m 99% certain, generating a decent amount of revenue.

    Let’s take a look at CoinChefs.

    Who are CoinChefs?

    Honestly, I’m not really all that sure.

    If you search for the brand on LinkedIn there is no company page and a single person listed as their head of marketing.

    If you poke around their site, there’s barely any info on the team behind them. Their contact page is a simple email address, which is an @gmail.com address.

    Long story short, if this were a project that required you to sync your wallet I would recommend you stay well clear.

    No doxxed team, no public information. It feels odd.

    But as it’s just a reference website, I don’t think it’s an issue.

    What do CoinChefs do?

    The offer with CoinChefs is wonderfully simple.

    They offer a crypto conversion calculator. You enter an amount of currency A, they tell you how much it’s worth in currency B.

    They use the latest exchange rate and give you a couple of different data points around the currency you’ve requested.

    I’ll get into the detail of this later.

    Coinchef’s success

    Now let’s briefly look at their success.

    According to SimilarWeb (never 100% accurate) Coinchef gets around 100,000 visits per month.

    SEMRush has a slightly different take with them pulling ~30k the last month or two, but ~470k at their peak.

    Let’s split the difference and take the median from the two tools for the last month.

    • SimilarWeb - 130k
    • SEMRush - 30k
    • Median 80k

    So an estimation would have them at 80,000 visitors per month.

    If we pop that into the AdSense revenue calculator, we get a readout of $30,000 per year in revenue from simple display ads

    Now, I know that CoinChefs use Coinzilla for their ads so this might be more (in my experience Google AdSense pays some of the lowest rates for display ads).

    Honestly, I’d be amazed if they were only making $30k off this. Even if we take a conservative estimate of 50k monthly visits there are plenty of ways to make a better income off it.

    Let’s look into how this all works.

    How CoinChefs created this campaign

    I ran a campaign like this for Decent Reviews a while ago (missed the hype and it never took off for me) so I feel like I have a good understanding of how it all works.

    It’s actually quite similar to our comparison pages with our current CMS.

    Long story short, they’re using a combination of…

    • A template with dynamic text replacement
    • An API that provides them with the most recent exchange rates
    • A Cloudflare worker that replaces the text with the right information and creates a new page URL related to the query

    You basically set up a template page and use identifiers for the text that needs to be replaced (from our own Web3 project comparison pages).

    When you've identified what text needs to be replaced, you build that into the Cloudflare worker.

    Then the page eventually shows up like the below.

    You’ve also got to ensure the worker creates a new URL structure including the most relevant keywords (more on that in a minute).

    Optimising for search

    The primary traffic source for programmatic is search. So you have to make sure you’re optimised for Google and the search engines.

    And there are three things you need to look out for here.

    1. URL
    2. Internal linking
    3. Duplicate content
    4. Crawl budget and sitemap

    Let’s first look at the URL structure.

    URL Structure for programmatic SEO

    Your URL structure is key to getting your articles ranking highly on Google.

    They’re basically a method for Google to understand the hierarchy of the site and know where to pass link equity when it comes through.

    In short, URL is about telling Google what’s on the page and helping them understand how each page related to one another.

    Generally speaking, you want the URL structure to be short and informative.

    In the below, you can see the slug elements after the .com are separated by a /. That usually indicates a file.

    So, within the Bitcoin file they’re looking up USD. And within the USD file within the Bitcoin file, they’re looking up the amount 10.

    Google will use this to more effectively crawl and understand the relationships of other elements within those folders. Laid out, that structure looks like the below.

    If you default o long strings of numbers and letters, it's more difficult for Google to understand how everything fits together.

    Internal linking for programmatic SEO

    This is another key area.

    With programmatic SEO you’re going to be spinning up thousands or millions of pages depending on the size of the database and way you’re using the data.

    When we ran our first experiment we had a truly ungodly amount of pages listed.

    We did 5000 cryptocurrencies and 500 different amounts.

    When using the calculator that resulted in 5000 x 5000 x 500.

    Which is 1,250,000,000,000 pages of content.

    That‘s a lot. And there’s no way Google will be able to instantly index all of them.

    Internal linking is one of the ways you can help Google crawl and, potentially, index content.

    With programmatic SEO you’ll want to use 3 kinds of internal links.

    1. Parent linking - linking from the page to the parent folder that page is associated to
    2. Child linking - Linking from the page to sub-pages that are within its folder
    3. Cross-linking - Linking pages within a folder to one another

    These three styles of links will help Google properly crawl your programmatic pages and add much-needed visibility.

    Crawl budget and site map

    Another issue you’ll have to contend with is crawl budget.

    Google can only crawl so many sites and pages within any given time period. Google needs to make decisions on where to prioritise their limited resources.

    There are a few ways that you can optimise for better crawl budget, meaning more of your sites are discovered and indexed by Google.

    1. Publish frequently - sites that publish frequently are assigned better crawl budget
    2. Speed up site - the faster your site, the more Google can easily crawl maximising your budget
    3. Internal linking - Make it easy for the Google crawl bots to find new pages to crawl and index
    4. Improve content - If Google thinks the content is thin or duplicated elsewhere, they won’t assign you more budget as you’re not helping their user
    5. Site map - A good site map can help you show Google what needs to be crawled. However, if you;re using programmatic SEO with Cloudflare workers it can become expensive to get the full site map created.

    This can be a shit to overcome. You’ll likely end up with a bunch of “Crawled but not indexed” warnings in GSC.

    My advice is get the sitemap done ASAP. Spin up the content and then focus on incrementally improving quality, links, and speed.

    Duplicate content

    Duplicate content is another big issue.

    Google doesn’t like showing multiple results that have the same content. With programmatic, you’re effectively publishing lots of pages with a lot of overlapping content.

    You need to make sure that there are enough variables within the content that, to Google’s eyes, each page shows up as unique.

    Depending on the data set you’re working with this can be hard or easy.

    My preferred method is to drop the keyword variables in the page often and where natural. It helps as with each new page created the content using that variable changes.

    Optimising for results

    A huge issue with search marketing is optimising for buyer intent.

    Spinning up a trillion pages of ToFu content that’s informative but has no buying intent doesn’t really help you.

    For example, a brand that sells hotel rooms will get few new customers if they spin up programmatic pages around “what is a [differentiator] hotel”.

    People searching for this are not looking for hotel rooms.

    Spin up programmatic pages for things like…

    • Best hotel rooms in [PLACE]
    • Cheap hotel rooms in [PLACE]
    • Hotel rooms booked with [CREDIT CARD] points

    These could work well as the searches are closely related to the user spending money.

    Content for content’s sake is pointless. Make sure the programmatic approach is close to the conversion.

    Now let’s head back to CoinChefs to see what they do well.

    What CoinChefs do well

    Let’s first start with discoverability.

    I think they’ve done a really good job in getting a lot of content to rank on Google.

    Search engine discoverability

    If you search for their name with a Site: modifier in Google, we can see that they have 800,000+ pages that are indexed.

    That’s not bad at all.

    However, they have an added issue which I think is one of the reasons a lot of their search traffic has declined over the last 12 months.

    Google are playing their Google game of giving a lot of the information a user needs directly in the search results. This is very common for currency converters as seen below.

    That graph essentially removes any potential for a user to click through to a website. They already have the information they need.

    It's not a killer, but it’ll definitely take traffic away from brands like CoinChef for these blue-chip cryptos.

    I imagine that now a lot of the organic traffic coming to CoinChefs are from specific amounts of alt-coins. As you can see below.

    As Google indexes more of their own stock tickers and currency converters for altcoins, this is going to get tough for them.

    However, getting 800,000+ pages indexed is impressive.

    The other thing I think they do well is to make sure the content on the pages is unique.

    Duplicate content

    They have various widgets on the page that are created based on the searched for currency. These are all just different enough to help them avoid a duplicate content penalty.

    It starts with their disclaimer.

    Then they have a graph showing the currency’s value.

    Some recent valuations.

    And a random list of other currencies.

    From what I can tell a lot of this is randomised so will help avoid the duplicate content penalty.

    You could argue the real content is thin, but the user doesn’t want to read 10,000 words to get a simple exchange rate.

    What CoinChefs could do better

    Here’s the fun bit.

    There’s a few things I think CoinChefs could improve to both their approach and monetisation strategy.

    Internal linking

    The internal linking on the pages is weak.

    They have some good breadcrumbs for parent linking…

    … however they don't have great child or cross-linking.

    You’re given two other link sections which include recent requests from other users of the site.

    And also a “common pairs” link.

    There’s not a great variety here. Nor is there a reasonable amount of options.

    For reference, we managed to get a lot of different pages crawled by Google by adding a quick link section that offered multiple different conversions of the requested pair.

    Better internal linking between child pages should help with discoverability both with Google crawl bots and other users.

    Newsletter

    A newsletter could be an easy engagement channel for them to leverage.

    They’re getting tens or hundreds of thousands of visitors per month.

    Visitors who are, most likely, degen traders who love altcoins.

    You have an obvious audience and need there along with some decent brand trust.

    And yet, all they have is a simple, easy to overlook newsletter optin on the right.

    It’s easily overlooked due to styling and, honestly, there’s no reason why I should sign up.

    What am I getting by doing so?

    If this was better handled, a newsletter could be a great way to drive more engagement on site and have more opportunities to leverage the community.

    Monetisation

    I also think they’re missing out on a lot of monetisation options here.

    The newsletter above is one easy method for monetisation. With that traffic, they could easily get a subscriber list in the tens of thousands.

    A weekly email could add tens of thousands in yearly revenue.

    The only monetisation method they seem to be using are on-site ads.

    And they make the site quite busy.

    Display ads can be a great way to monetise traffic. But I think there are two better options.

    The first up is sponsorships.

    I know brands that have less traffic and pull 6-figure revenues by offering sponsorships on their site.

    Missed option here in my opinion.

    I also think that they’re not leveraging the referral traffic they could be using.

    People searching for the current exchange rates for crypto are likely to be serious traders. You could get a nice kickback by promoting the best exchange for them to trade on.

    When we experimented with a similar offer, we added affiliate links of crypto exchanges below the results with deals to get money off if they bought the currency there.

    You can tell we stopped a while back because FTX is still listed.

    Sponsorships of pages and/or the newsletter could be a nice earner. Add affiliate links and you could be pulling a good income from this.

    How can other Web3 brands learn from this?

    Look, you might be reading this one and thinking “how is this gonna help my Web3 community organisation project”. And I get that.

    The fact is that these guys at CoinChefs have generated traffic that could be career trajectory-changing for the project who understand how to turn them into users.

    Programmatic SEO is a great way to get a lot of relevant content up and running ASAP and driving traffic over the long term.

    You’re taking large, complex data sets and helping users navigate it by turning it into easy-to-navigate content.

    These guys are gonna be pulling data from something like CoinMarketCap’s API, but you could be pulling from any of the data sources available that are relevant to you.

    Anything DeFi or financially focused, and a similar approach to the above could be valuable.

    If that doesn’t work, you could leverage the APIs from tools like…

    • Dune analytics
    • Nansen analytics

    Find the overlap between the data these tools provide and what info users close to the purchase need, and you have a potential programmatic approach.

    This is also not mentioning the obvious database.

    Blockchain is little more than one big database. If there’s a way for you to leverage the data you can find on-chain, you could have a unique, and highly valuable, programmatic content approach that brings you new users on autopilot.

    Don’t think that because CoinChefs isn't on chain there;’s nothing to be learned here.

    If you’re considering actioning this with your brand or something similar but want a little help, feel free to reach out here.


    Want to help us out?

    If you've got a couple of bucks to spare and fancy helping us keep this train moving, we'd be super appreciate if you could leave a tip.

    Can't afford a tip but still want to help out?

    No worries.

    A simple share would help us massively.

    Share this newsletter on your favourite platform

    Decent Reviews Newsletter

    by Pete Boyle

    Covering the biggest developments and projects in blockchain and Web3, and how they're going to affect usability and industry growth.

    Read more from Decent Reviews Newsletter

    So, the most recent study is on Dune Analytics. They've managed to create a product that basically handles all of their marketing for them. And they've built in some incredible features into the platform that better enables shares and benefits to everyone involved. It's an interesting approach. Check it out below the message under this section. I kick of this study mentioning another of my brands. my consulting business at Gorwth Models. As part of Growth Models, I've analysed the growth...

    9 months ago • 10 min read

    I've tried a couple of quest campaigns in my time, and never managed to get anything close to the results Linea did. They used Web3 questing as a GTM strategy and managed to attract 12M participants. Here's the analysis of their success just that. If you enjoy this, please consider liking, commenting on, or sharing one of the below social posts to help us reach more people. LinkedIn -- Twitter The Decent Reviews' Newsletter is sponsored by Blocksee. Blocksee brings the tried and true utility...

    9 months ago • 14 min read

    I've tried a couple of quest campaigns in my time, and never managed to get anything close to the results Linea did. They used Web3 questing as a GTM strategy and managed to attract 12M participants. Here's the analysis of their success just that. If you enjoy this, please consider liking, commenting on, or sharing one of the below social posts to help us reach more people. LinkedIn -- Twitter The Decent Reviews' Newsletter is sponsored by Blocksee. Blocksee brings the tried and true utility...

    9 months ago • 14 min read
    Share this post