Alborz Fallah’s Incredible Story: From A $60 Million Exit To Attracting 3.5 Million Monthly Visitors In 2 Years
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The journey of Alborz Fallah is nothing short of inspirational. He started Car Advice (one of Australia's biggest automotive editorial websites) back in 2006 when internet publishers were looked down upon.
In 2016, Fallah sold it to Nine for a whopping $60 million. And after a few years of staying with Car Advice, he and his team moved on from the project.
He then went on to raise $3 million in funding to start Car Expert in 2020.
And today, Car Expert is getting 3.5 million monthly visitors (according to SimilarWeb) in just 2 years. The traffic boom is incredible.
Right after the launch in April 2020, Alborz said, "This calendar year, our revenue will be more than what it would have been in year five at CarAdvice … It is pretty extraordinary."
So, how did he reach a milestone most online publishers dream of?
Let's dig around and see what we find.
How Car Expert Gets Its Traffic
The majority of Car Expert's traffic (around 66%) comes from search engines. They have a strong presence in the SERPS, ranking for some really lucrative high-volume keywords.
What's also interesting is that in only two years' time, Car Expert has become a brand with a loyal following. 25% of their traffic is direct, which proves their authority and brand value.
And social media contributes to only 6.5% of their overall traffic. But considering that they get over 3 million visitors per month – the 6.5% is not something to sleep on.
Nearly 50% of that social traffic comes from Facebook and 11% from YouTube. But what I didn't expect to find is that – a whopping 34% of it comes from Reddit.
If you look at some of their biggest competitors, Cars Guide and Wheels Magazine, they only get 2% and 8.5% from Reddit, respectively. So, their Reddit marketing is on point.
What Keywords Does Car Expert Target
Car Expert targets both transactional and informational keywords. Most of their traffic comes from short-tail keywords that have a massive search volume.
They tend to focus a lot on the latest car news. And their website is brimming with in-depth single car reviews and comparison articles.
According to Ahrefs, they have 8,305 single review keywords and 2,856 "vs" keywords. And many of these pages are on Google's first page.
The way Car Expert dominates the SERP is topical authority. With so much latest news, in-depth single car reviews, roundups, and comparison articles, they're bound to get a lot of love from Google. Reaching over 3 million traffic a month in only 2 years proves the power of topical authority.
How Car Expert's Pages Look
The roundup and informational articles on their page are pretty simple and clutter-free. No display ads.
What's interesting is that every car featured in their roundup article takes you to a separate page that contains more useful information about the car in question.
Single car reviews and comparison articles by Car Expert have a distinct spin to them as well. These articles have more details on the left and right sidebars. The left sidebar usually contains benefits, drawbacks, and features, while the right sidebar provides a rating.
All their blogs are divided into different categories. It makes navigating the site much easier.
Car Expert's Link Profile
In only 2 years, Car Expert's has a DR of 69 thanks to powerful links.
Their blogs are featured on authoritative sites like Wikipedia.org, Paulton.org, Landrover.com.au, and more. Some of their blogs get links from French and Spanish Wikipedia as well.
What's Car Expert's Social Media Strategy
The foundation of Car Expert's social media strategy is consistency. They post a video on YouTube every week. And their biggest video got them 3.9M views.
Car Expert has a thriving Facebook page and YouTube channel. While the former has 111k likes, the latter has 246k subs.
If you check out their Facebook page, what you'll see is – CRAZY CONSISTENCY. They post something EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!
They're active on Reddit as well. And as for Reddit, we all know that Redditors are hounds when it comes to genuine content. They can sniff inauthenticity from a mile away. When you can deliver real value to the audience (just like Car Expert does), Reddit can also be a viable traffic source.
But most of their social traffic comes from Facebook. They post at least once a day – sometimes two or three times.
How Does Car Expert Make Money?
Car Expert's monetization method is really interesting. Despite their massive traffic, they don't have any display ads. The revenue model is unique.
They use what they call a "reverse subscription model." This user-first model aims to provide high-value content and charge the OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) for every user who engages with the content
Car Expert also leverages contextual links to connect car companies with prospective buyers.
And they have a Car Experience Center located in Australia where buyers can come and experience a car fully without a salesman's interference. All the companies who want to display their cars in this facility have to pay Car Expert.
Also, they earn money via the "Solid Price Report." Car Expert gives you pricing data from their database while charging $8.89 for each report.
What We Can Learn from Car Expert
Getting to 3 million traffic a month only in two years after its launch can seem like a pipedream. But Fallah and his team at Car Expert did it. So, it's achievable. Granted they did invest $3 million to kickstart it!
Here are some key takeaways:
- Great content and topical authority can get you in Google's good books. And putting your user first is key.
- Genuine EAT can get you strong backlinks from authoritative websites.
- Active social media presence and using varied social media channels can drive huge traffic to your site when done right.
- Never ignore any particular social channel. You never know when or where you strike gold.
- It doesn't always have to be display ads. Explore different revenue streams to make the most out of your traffic.
- There's nothing called "enough content" in the online publishing world. Keep publishing, and your traffic will soar!
Thanks for reading.
I hope you got some valuable insights from here.
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