For Jason Mills of The Affiliate School, an SEO expert of over 6 years, the use of expired domains was a relatively new experience.
In March 2022, after I spoke with Jason about the benefits of older sites, he picked up an expired domain from the SerpNames inventory.
The domain Jason chose was in the mental health space; a highly competitive niche also called YMYL (Your Money Your Life). Google holds these kinds of websites to a high standard. Therefore, it is more challenging to rank in YMYL niches than in others.
I will show you, step by step, how the chosen domain went from 0 visitors and $0 revenue to generating:
All within 4 months.
For privacy, the domain name will remain anonymous. But I will share screenshots and stats with you.
Are you ready? Let’s get into this.
Jason Mills is an SEO expert who has been in the field for over 6 years. He runs Rise Online, an agency that helps SMBs achieve online visibility. Over the past 4 years, Jason has focused on building his portfolio of sites. After hearing about the benefits of expired domains, he decided to add an expired site to his portfolio.
I went on Jason’s YouTube channel for an expired domain Q&A. Shortly after, I offered him a pick from our SerpNames inventory of expired domains.
Jason went into our inventory and took a look around. He picked a domain in the mental health niche.
While making his selection, he considered the following core factors:
For Jason, the domain’s relevancy to the niche was the most critical factor. Identifying the niche would allow him to position new content similarly to existing content.
He also wanted to pick a domain with a strong backlink profile because it helps estimate a site’s value and predict expected results. A site with many quality backlinks from high DR domains may yield better results.
Jason also looked at the anchor texts. He was happy most were branded or naked-URL based. According to Jason, targeted anchor texts for backlinks tend to look unnatural and attract Google penalties.
Once he chose a site, our team transferred the domain to him within hours. We also included a starter pack containing color schemes and site logos.
At the time Jason acquired the site, these were the metrics:
In May, Jason focused on pushing new content. Here’s everything he did, in order.
1. Jason chose the US market and zeroed in on the niche
Even though the domain’s TLD is .com, many backlinks came from .uk sites. The domain was registered with a UK address and marketed primarily to a UK audience.
However, Jason decided to break into the US market. This allowed him to target larger search volumes and the global market, which increased the site's revenue potential.
He also decided to market Nootropic supplements only. Even though the keywords in this niche aren’t many and tend to be competitive, the affiliate commissions are high.
2. He resurrected old pages and redirected some backlinks
Jason analyzed the domain’s powerful backlinks using Ahrefs to ensure they were still active.
To utilize the site's link juice, he resurrected the pages with backlinks pointed to them. That is, he updated the content of those pages and internally linked them to relevant new pages.
He also 301 redirected the following old pages:
3. He published a lot of new content
This step was Jason’s main focus throughout the entire month of May. His main goal was to hit the ground running and publish as many new articles as possible.
Jason hired 2 writers plus himself – making the site’s content creators 3. With himself also on board, he could reduce costs and the workload for his writers.
He published 1 buyer’s guide and 5 individual product reviews. They totaled 14,452 words and cost £755.60, equivalent to $913.
All the new articles targeted commercial keywords. To find achievable keywords, he found low DR sites ranking for relevant competitive keywords and reverse-engineered their keywords. You can check out this video for how Jason chooses keywords.
Each article he published had EAT signals—for instance, each article included a publish date, fact-checked status, author name, and affiliate disclaimer.
EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. EAT signals are elements on a website that shows Google that a site is credible.
Jason also used 5 to 6 internal links per article. The anchor texts for internal links were exact or partial matches to keywords.
4. He set up a basic WordPress site design
Jason did not spend a lot of time on the site’s design. At this point, his design setup could be simplified to:
He set up individual review pieces as pages, while roundups, buyer’s guides, and informational content were set up as posts.
According to Jason, you should not waste time on the site’s design. At the beginning of a site project, focus on the content and the primary site structure. Start building topic relevance. Do design later.
5. He set up monetization channels
He added the domain to his FanFuel affiliate account and joined several other direct affiliate platforms. These programs had no set entry criteria and judged applications site by site.
Jason had an indexing problem in May. He found that old pages had been indexed again by Google and were ranking, but all of his newly published pages were not indexed.
He decided to wait for Google to index them naturally. He published new content, internally linked articles, and waited for Google crawlers to notice them.
There were no significant results in May. Traffic went from about 5 visits to 21 daily visits. He had a total of 223 visits in May. Users spent about 3 minutes per page.
By early June, new pages started getting indexed and ranked.
Jason published 10 to 12 new articles in June. He added 5 new review pages, 1 new buyer’s guide, and 1 new info article. He paid for 5 pieces— a total of 10,000 words for £500 ($632).
Jason added a secondary navigational bar with links to an editorial process page, about page, and disclaimer page. These pages help build EAT signals that increase the site’s authority. For a YMYL domain, strong EAT signals are valuable.
According to Jason, the editorial process page helped to give the website authenticity and build trust with readers.
Another new design element was a reusable block for an affiliate disclaimer. It got added to every affiliate blog post. The bottom of each article also had a reusable block for the author’s bio.
Jason acquired 1 new backlink in June. However, it’s doubtful that it had any impact on the domain. Rankings have been seen because of the existing backlinks on the expired domain.
No significant problems popped up in June.
By the end of June, all pages had been crawled, and new pages indexed. Some keywords were already ranking high. For instance, a “neuriva vs. prevagen” keyword with a 3,600 monthly search volume ranked number 3 on Google. Several other keywords ranked number 1 and 2.
There was a 988.8% increase in organic traffic. Daily site visitors reached 151 per day. 1154 website visits were recorded in June.
Jason’s main affiliate program is FanFuel. In June, there were 94 clicks, 7 conversions, and a conversion rate of 7.45%. For each click, Jason earned £2.5. Revenue from Fanfuel was £233.96 ($262.79). Jason made $48 from Stacked Brands and $20.70 from Ubernets.
Total revenue generated in June was £290.81 ($351.46)
July started with traffic of over 1000 monthly. About 20 articles have been published. Several are ranking number 1 on Google.
Also, 1 affiliate sale came through at the very start of July. That 1 sale generated an affiliate commission of £59. It goes to show how choosing a profitable niche can be amazing.
Jason published only 6 new articles. 3 articles targeted commercial keywords and were set up as individual pages in WordPress. The other 3 were published as posts. 2 were informational, while 1 was commercial. All were indexed and ranked shortly after.
He spent $300 on new articles.
A new call-to-action reusable box was added to articles to increase engagement and drive conversions.
Jason brought in 2 new backlinks by guest posting on relevant sites.
No major issues came up in July.
Just like the previous month, 6 keywords ranked number 1 on google. The difference was that more competitive keywords came to number 1. For instance, the “neuriva vs. prevagen” keyword, ranking number 3 in May, was number 1 in July. 19 keywords ranked on page 1. Most of them were commercial keywords.
Organic traffic increased by 183.36%. The domain attracted hundreds of visits per day, with daily visits peaking at 203 per day. Total monthly organic visits for July was 3270.
437 clicks were registered on Fanfuel. There were 39 conversions, a conversion rate of 8.92%, and revenue per click of £3.14. Income from Fanfuel was £1370.70 ($1679).
6 sales came in through Ubernets and generated $275.81. 3 sales came in through Stacked Brands with commissions of $72.85, $48, and $48. In total, revenue from Stacked Brands was $168.85. 1 sale was generated with Amazon for a commission of $4.94
In total, revenue in July was $2039.
Daily traffic was consistently over 150, and many keywords ranked on Google’s page 1. New pages are being indexed within 24 hours.
Similar to July, 4 to 6 new articles were published in the expired domain. Again, about 5 of them were commercial keywords. Jason added 2 new backlinks through guest posting and link insertions.
There were no problems in August
On Fanfuel, there were 744 clicks, 66 conversions, and a conversion rate of 8.87%. The income generated from Fanfuel was £2,698.93 ($3032.49).
Ubernets recorded 192 clicks, 5 sales, and a conversion rate of 3.09%. The total commission from Ubernets was $193.85.
Total revenue for August was $3226.34.
In total, 10 new backlinks have been added to the site. Most of them came from guest posts and link insertions. Jason targeted high DR, high traffic, and relevant niche sites for new backlinks. Most links were directed to commercial pages.
Total costs: $2145
Total revenue: $5616.8
$5616.8 - $2145 = $3471.8
Jason says he will continue to publish new content and target as many keyword opportunities as possible. Once the site's full potential has been reached, he plans to sell for a decent multiple.
He will continue to promote specific affiliate products and may build an email list.
The biggest challenge while running this site was consistent content creation. But it is solved because Jason now has systems in place. Jason's SEO tools include Ahrefs, Keywords Everywhere, Detailed Chrome Extension, RankMath, Keyword Chef, and RankMath.
Jason saw no significant problems with this site. He says that he may only work with expired domains from now on.
In his own words, “Right now, expired domains work brilliantly. I would now not consider starting sites from scratch as the time-saving and money-saving benefits of an expired domain are vast.”
The story does not end here. We will release updates on how this expired domain grows over time. Subscribe to stay notified.
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