Welcome back to the tenth month of the authority site project.
If this is the first time you are reading my authority site project then check out the first post which explains the strategy and the long-term goals, you can read it right here.
In my previous post I mentioned I would be doing these updates quarterly, however with Christmas just gone and 2016 in the past, I thought it would be good to recap over the year and briefly discuss 2017 goals. First off, let’s get started by looking at what the site earned in December 2016.
As expected, December was a great month for the website; I hit $3,706.58 in commissions with a PPC spend of $915.71 making a total profit after PPC costs of $2,790.87.
In December, the PPC campaign generated a total 12,854 clicks compared to 9,775 clicks in November 2016. The increase in clicks is solely down to the increase in demand, due to the Christmas season, the average CPC remained the same.
As I mentioned in the previous post, this graph above does show that I am making significantly more commission than I am spending on PPC. However, what it does not factor in is the organic traffic and the revenue being generated there.
The screenshot above shows the past 90 days activity according to Google Search Console, as you can from the 24th November 2016 onwards (where the initial peak is, about midway on the screenshot) traffic began to improve and then continue to improve with a nice spike on the 26th December 2016. This has continued into January; I am now hoping the SEO I’ve been doing as well as the publishing of several hundred thousand words of content has begun to take effect.
The below snapshot shows you organic sessions for the past 3 months:
From the above, you can see that there has been a steady incline from October onwards which is the same time I began publishing the 100k of words per month, so it’s to be expected! However, I have to admit that I was hoping to have hit five figure organic traffic results by now.
I will continue to publish 100,000 words of content per month. However, I am also going through all of the pages to improve the on-page optimization and also improve the internal linking as that has been pretty abysmal so far.
As well as this, the current site doesn’t have any product review content, just the buyer’s guide, once the developer has finished on the second phase of the website, I will go back through all the pages and have the writers produce the content for each product which is recommended in the comparison table. This should help the site rank for multiple ‘xxxx review’ type keywords as well as bolster the content length for the ‘best xxxx’ related keywords.
January has got off to a strong start with me preparing and launching a scholarship campaign, as well as this I am in talks with several people regarding authority guest posts on websites such as Entrepreneur.com and Forbes.com. I am also building a ‘hit list’ in Excel, basically a list of all the sites I want to get links from within the next six months, this includes websites such as the two mentioned above as well as other large publications.
I am also looking to hire an outreach manager who will be responsible for building relationships with editors and website owners and liaising with the content writers to create and prepare the content for publishing on the external website.
SEO impact so far
As I discussed earlier, I am not overly impressed with where I am at so far in regards to organic traffic numbers. However, I know the reason for this – to date I’ve focused all my SEO efforts on improving the authority of the site entirely, rather than focusing on specific pages and specific keywords.
The result is that I now have hundreds, if not thousands of pages ranking in the top 100 for ‘best xxxx’ related keywords with very few ranking on the first page. Therefore, the focus now is to shift from solely building the site’s authority, to also focusing on specific pages and keywords.
With that being said, I’ve selected 5-6 pages and a few keywords per page to focus my attention on first. I selected these pages and keywords based on the fact they were close to the first page (second or third page), and the keyword difficulty score was quite low.
2017 Milestones & Goals
For this year the targets I have for this site are as follows:
- Launch the second phase of the website by March 2017
- Launch UK, Canada & Australian websites by May 2017
- Hit 50,000 organic visitors per month by May 2017
- Have at least 1,000 pages of content published by May 2017
- Hit $10,000 in monthly commission (after PPC cost) by May 2017
From the milestones I’ve set above, I think the most difficult, or at least most daunting to look at right now is hitting 50,000 organic visitors by May 2017. If we compare that with the December’s 4,000 visitors it’s a huge increase, however, I know that if I can rank just a handful pages on the first page for a few keywords that this will be realistic.
If you have any questions, just leave a comment below and I will reply as soon as possible.