Authority Site Update (September 2012)
Just based on the title, I think you know where this is going. Looking at the stats from when my site was first indexed at the start of April there was a steady increase in traffic figures month by month up until August and I was pleased with how early progress was going.
For some reason I switched into ‘rest on my laurels’ mode and my effort waned somewhat, and this coupled with our British summer finally arriving meant my site didn’t get as much attention as it should have. Traffic figures were higher at the end of August, but this was from the work I had put in during July.
September was very much in the same vein and a combination of a lot of socialising and a step up in my half marathon training meant time for work wasn’t as abundant and again my site didn’t see as much effort put in as it should have.
I could make excuses all day that I didn’t have enough time or whatever, but the simple fact is I didn’t try hard enough and I should have MADE time for it, and even though I knew I wasn’t doing the best I could at the time, it is only now looking at the stats that I clearly see this way of working isn’t good enough.
The lack of effort through August and September is now showing up in this month’s stats, where for the first time the visitor numbers are worse than they were in the previous month.
Visits: 718 (-24)
New Visits: 488 (-82)
Return Visits: 230 (+36)
Visits from SE’s: 511 (-100)
Number of Keywords: 251 (-68)
Direct Visits: 100 (+18)
Avg. Page Views: 3.68 (+0.77)
Avg. Time on Site: 04:31 (-17sec)
Avg. Time on Page: 02:00 (-31sec)
Bounce Rate: 63.65% (-1.27%)
- Ebay Partner Network: £5.74
- Adsense: £1.18
- Total: £6.92
As you can see a lot of the traffic figures are down this month, and while there are improvements in other areas, on the whole it’s not the direction the site needs to be going in. A big thing I’ve been trying to improve recently is bounce rate as I’m not happy with where it is (under 50% and I’d be happy) . I took a couple of steps to try and improve it such as adding internal links in the first paragraph of the pages that had the worst bounce rate, and making sure my load times where up to scratch. These things have made a slight difference as it was hovering nearer 65% over the previous months, but it’s not enough.
I have noticed that my highest bounce rate pages are very text heavy and I wonder if people are reaching the pages and thinking “bollocks to that, too much reading”. It’s only speculation, but there’s obviously something people aren’t liking and I’m very sure it’s not the quality of the content. I’m thinking of trialling cutting the long guides down into maybe two or three parts so people don’t feel like it’s such a big task to get through it.
It’s not all bad
If you read my last blog post you’ll know I had a couple of things happen that made me feel pretty good, one was seeing my site mentioned on a forum in the states that recommended people to read a piece of content I had written, the other setting up Aweber and getting my first sign up within 24 hours. These two things made me realise that what I’m doing is helpful to people and they are enjoying it and want to see what else I have to say, a massive confidence and motivation boost.
I’ve since only had one other sign up to my newsletter, but it felt almost as good. Another thing I noticed was I had some traffic from Facebook, so someone has shared something but annoyingly I can’t see who shared it or what it was. If anyone knows how I would love to hear it!
What I want to do in October
With the realisation that I can’t afford to sit back and expect things to happen, I now know that effort levels need to get back to where they were in my site’s earlier months, and so all cylinders are well and truly firing for October.
One thing I noticed was that without a solid list of content to write I was just winging it and thought of content to write as and when, where as in spring and early summer I had a list of 20-25 articles to write, all of which had the keyword research already done so it was as simple as moving on to the next when I had finished the last.
With that in mind, in the first few days of October I spent a good few hours creating a list of content to write for my site, all with keyword research already done. This should keep me going from a content perspective for quite a few months.
Aside from knocking out content, I want to also start some light link building this month. It’s something I’ve shied away from in the past, but I’m realising it simply has to be done. I also want to get a little more involved with others in my space and I will be going out and looking for other sites, forums and blogs to get in touch with and spread myself around. There’s also quite an active audience for motorcycles on Reddit, but I’m not quite sure how to approach that one yet.
Calling myself out!
I’ve never really had any solid goals to aim for since I started internet marketing, but in an attempt to create accountability as well as something to work towards I’ve decided to set one.
I want to be making £1000 per month from this website by July the 5th (my birthday) next year. That’s 10 months away so I feel with good consistent effort I should be able to get there with the content and monetisation strategies I have in mind. I realise that this is in fact an external goal so it’s not something I can fully control, so I’m adding a caveat.
I want to be making £1000 per month from my site, but IF I don’t reach that target I want to be able to say I did everything in my power to reach it, that way I can still be satisfied that it wasn’t my own lack of effort that stopped me getting there. Wish me luck peeps!
Onwards and upwards from here ladies and gents. Let’s all have a fantastic end to the year.