Welcome back to the eleventh 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.
OK scrap quarterly updates, we’re going to continue with monthly updates, not every update will have a lot of golden tips, but at least you will be able to follow along and perhaps find a nugget or two of information amongst them all!
Fortunately, the growth continues! Unfortunately, it’s not from organic traffic.
In January I generated $4,777.15 in commission from Amazon, compared to December’s $3,706.58 giving me an extra $1,070.57 in commission. But at what cost?
Well, the cost was high – the PPC spend for January is a whopping $3,179.74 on compared to December’s PPC spend of $915.71 that’s $2,264.03 more in spend. Whilst I didn’t generate as much profit (after PPC cost) in January as I did in December, it was all purposely done. Sure, I’d loved to have that commission without spending so much on PPC, it just wasn’t realistic. There were a few reasons I decided to ramp up spend and those are:
- Data – increasing spend on PPC gives me a vast amount of keyword data to explore
- Limits – I wanted to see what my limits were and what sort of margins I had, basically where my break even point was.
- Commissions – Sure, I was spending more money but I was going to generate a profit so I am happy.
Interestingly, off the back of the PPC activity I was able to get a whitehat backlink, someone found my site and added it as a source to their website, they forgot to remove the gclid (Google Adwords auto-tagging) so I knew they had entered my site via a PPC advertisement.
Not only this, but I’ve also seen brand related searches appearing in Google Search Console, so I am also thinking that with the level of traffic I am generating via PPC, people are actually beginning to search for my brand after entering my site via PPC – brand awareness in play!
PPC Activity Metrics for January
In January, the PPC campaign generated a total 36,905 clicks compared to 12,854 clicks in December 2016. The increase in clicks is an effect of increased daily budgets and a slightly increased average CPC, as well as additional campaigns being built for new pages on the website.
You can clearly see that the increased PPC cost did not directly result in the same increase in commissions. I knew this was going to happen, once you begin opening the floodgates for PPC traffic, you rarely get the same results. I am happy with this, as I mentioned before, data, limits, and commission make this a worthwhile cost.
The screenshot above shows the past 90 days activity according to Google Search Console.
Interestingly, you can see the green line (average position) consistently declining from about the 25th December onwards, now I am not 100% sure why this is. However, I’d suggest that it’s an effect of more pages being built, more content being published which equals more keywords (especially long tail keywords) appearing within Search Console which would impact the total average position (its a bit of a redundant metric to highlight on an account level really).
What’s positive from this screenshot is the increase in impressions and clicks, we’re now consistently hitting 200 visitors per day from organic search and impressions are rising weekly.
The below snapshot shows you organic sessions for the past 3 months:
This really annoys me, I hate not seeing growth, but I have to just remain positive, SEO takes time. What I have noticed is building an authority site, a site like this that covers every category on Amazon takes a lot longer to gain strength in Google. Comparing this site to a site which is an authority in a single market, this site never wins – at least not initially, but what I am hoping is once Google gives the site the thumbs up, we then begin getting a flood of traffic across all of our categories.
February Plan of Action
I am ceasing the content creation for February for two reasons:
- Money – I am investing the money that I usually spend on content creation into link building this month to try and build up the website’s authority and I am also beginning to target specific internal pages with a few keywords targeted which will help bring in the traffic and the income once I am ranking.
- Development – I’ve found another developer to take on the project, this time I am hoping he can do the job. It’s a big job and is costing a fair chunk of cash to do. If he is able to do it, I am positive it will be one of the most aesthetically pleasing affiliate sites out there. Not to mention, it will be very useful and much, much easier for me to build on.
As I mentioned, I am investing approximately $2,000 $2,500 this month into link building this includes several contributor accounts I have acquired as well as several editors/guest post writers I know who will be helping me with this.
As well as this I also have a virtual assistant doing blog/forum commenting.
I’ve hired the outreach manager, she has yet to start working with me properly as I’ve been a little slow on this front and have delayed her slightly.
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.