Welcome back to the third month of the authority site project.
If this is the first time you are reading about the authority site project then check out our first post which explains the strategy and the long-term goals, you can read it right here.
OK, let’s cover of the numbers first since that’s what everyone wants to know, for this month we’ll do a month by month comparison since we have a full month (March) to compare with.
- Organic Visitors: March – 529 / April – 457 = 13.61% decrease
- Revenue: March – $12.95 / April – $45.79 = 253.59% increase
Interesting numbers, while the organic traffic to the website reduced by just over 10%, I still managed to increase revenue by 2.5 times. However, I am not that bothered about the revenue, what does bother me is the decrease in organic traffic, and there are a few reasons for this I think:
- Link Building takes time to take affect and the initial boost of organic traffic simply came from launching the website, we can call it our ‘base traffic’ as in, we don’t need to do anything to achieve that traffic it’s simply just there.
- Content – The majority of pages are without actual content, aside from the recommendation table which means there isn’t much for Google to crawl and it goes against the ‘content is king’ paradigm (this is not intentional, just a bump in the road).
Let’s also compare Amazon clicks and engagement month on month to see how we’re doing there:
- Amazon Clicks: March – 120 / April – 366
- Pages/Session: March – 1.75 / April – 1.83
- Average Session Duration: March – 56 seconds / 1 minute 5 seconds
In my opinion, these are some very interesting stats, especially the Amazon clicks, which according to the data has increased by 205%. I even went into my Amazon Associates dashboard to double check, and this is correct. So, basically while the traffic reduced by 13% our Amazon clicks went up by 205% and our revenue increased by 253% – weird.
The only thing that I can think of that might explain this is that the traffic was far more targeted towards buyer intent related keywords. As I’ve previously explained the initial organic traffic the site is generating comes of a huge amount of long tail queries, many of which are simply product names rather than ‘best xxxx’ or ‘xxxx review’ therefore the conversion rate on product name keywords is likely to be much lower. Therefore, it is my assumption that in April there was a higher amount of organic traffic from high buyer intent keywords and less traffic from low buyer intent keywords.
Overall, looking at the performance of April it was quite poor, there was no growth in traffic which is what I am more focused on, the revenue growth is great, and it does show a promising future for the site when we do begin to generate more traffic, as the conversion rates from visitor to Amazon click to conversion are quite high. We just need more traffic.
Which brings us on to the next part of the post…action points / goings on and all that jazz.
Last Months Priorities and Action Points
- Test writers with sample pages of content of approximately 2,000 words each, this is so I can find decent writers in time for getting the loan approved which is when I will be investing upwards of £5,000 on content within the first month.
- Continue guest posting / finding contributor accounts – I have a list of about 10 sites which I have the potential of guest posting / contributing to and a handful of sites which I’ve already confirmed that there is a guest posting opportunity I just need to get the content written for these as I am doing most of them myself to begin with.
- Phase 2 design brief – while I am not yet ready to begin phase 2 of the website development I want to keep working on the design brief so as soon as the loan comes through I can begin that.
- Competitor Analysis – each month I am analysing my competitors, working on strategies to take forward for both establishing this as a brand and also outranking my competitors which mean also getting links everywhere that they have established links.
- Statistical Data Learning – as this website is powered by an algorithm I am trying to learn more about statistical analysis, data analysis and all of that jargon – I’ve been talking with a statistical engineer who will be working on phase 2 of the algorithm as I am not happy with the results from the initial algorithm I had developed.
Following on from last months action points we have a lot to cover, so I will do my best to keep these brief.
For those who are not aware, I had a team of writers who were fulfilling all of my content needs across all of my websites. However, the company that managed the team decided to close up shop, therefore I’ve been forced to find a new team of writers.
Over the past month, I’ve been testing various platforms including Text Brokers, iWriter, UpWork & Warrior Forums hiring section. All of which have been to some extent disappointing. None more than Text Broker which I find severely lacking on the interface front, it’s just garbage…plus they charge quite a hefty fee and the quality difference between 3 stars and 4 stars in my limited experience was very little, the biggest difference was simply the price.
That forced me to begin looking on UpWork which I hated from the get go, because they got rid of a site which was working perfectly fine (Elance) and merged it with Odesk to create a poorly tested user experience, UpWork and just last week introduced that they are increasing their fees, talk about market dominate and exploitation. However, my issue with UpWork is that you are opening up your doors to a boat load of people who say they can speak English fluently and then clearly cannot. There is a lot of time and effort involved in UpWork, filtering out the awful, poor, and mediocre to make way for the half decent to amazing writers.
As of right now, I am testing two teams from UpWork; I still have some credits in Text Broker so I will edit the way I have been finding people on Text Broker and test 2-4 more people there. I will at some point write a review on each of these platforms, but don’t hold your breathe as it might be a while, or maybe I will do a video review as they’re somewhat easier.
Continue guest posting / finding contributor accounts
This is the one area which has seen the most improvement last month and an area which I purposely put a lot of energy in to since it’s so important. Throughout April, I was able to get contributor accounts at a handful of sites including one site with a DA62 and another with a DA42. I have an article at one of those sites going live today, and another scheduled for this time next week.
Google Doc System
As well as this I have hired a team to work with me in researching topic ideas and writing articles for me to then send to potential GP opportunities, and I have the first article being sent to me today for my approval. If that goes well, then they will be managing another part of my GP system which is managed through a Google doc. I will post the URL of where I am looking to get a guest post submitted; they will research topic ideas, write an article, upload it to Dropbox and provide the URL in the Google doc. I will then check the article, send it through to the website along with an E-mail and await a reply.
Outreach hire – number 1
I’ve also hired a guy who already has connections and contributor accounts at a variety of websites, and he has agreed to write the content and submit the guest posts or publish the articles on 8 sites. These sites include do follow and no follow links which are fine considering it’s extremely cheap for the no follow links, and I believe it will still have a positive effect (I mean it’s not going to be negative is it, duh). The stats of the websites includes DA80, DA88, DA31, DA28, DA23, DA38, DA16 & DA26.
If all goes well, I will continue to work with this guy on this website as well as several of my other sites.
Outreach hire – number 2
I’ve hired another guy who again has connections and contributor accounts and similarly to the above he is writing the content and publishing the content. We’ve agreed on 18 sites which range in DA from the 80s down to the 20s/30s from what I recall. These will be published as and when he can produce the content and get it submitted and approved, and he will send me an E-mail once they are live.
You may be wondering what anchor text I am using for these links, well I am keeping it completely natural, no specific keywords, just keeping it simple ‘site name’ or ‘sitename.com.’ I don’t believe at this stage I need to be using keyword heavy anchor texts and to be honest I am very skeptical as to whether or not that is even needed any more. Right now I am simply focusing on improving the sites overall authority.
Domain Authority Update
I think it’s worth mentioning that each month Moz update their domain authority metrics for each site, while I was extremely excited to see my site increase in authority, I knew not to expect much as most of the link building has just got underway. However, the site still managed to increase from a DA12 to DA15. I expect that next months increase should be much more significant although this is also dependent on how long it takes for the majority of my link building efforts to go live and how long it takes Moz to account for these links (I assume it’s between 4-6 weeks).
Phase 2 design brief
This is on-going, I’ve got the initial plans for the second phase of the website development and now just awaiting the loan approval, which is delayed until I return to the UK (in the next few weeks).
Last month I focused on analysing just one of my main competitors, I made it my purpose to build the same links they had and part of the outreach above includes several sites which this competitor has already published on. I think this is a great strategy to implement, if you have all of the links your competitor has + more then surely you will beat them, at least that’s my logic.
Statistical Data Learning
Not much to update here it’s an ongoing process, and there will be more to update on this once we start the second phase of the web development.
Month of May Priorities & Action Points
- Continue guest posting / finding contributor accounts – now that I’ve built some initial systems it’s time to put them into action. I am positive I will come up against some issues with regards to each system I’ve got running, and I will continue to find new opportunities including an opportunity I currently have for a contributor account at a very large site, I am just going through the interview process at the moment.
- Test Writers – as much as I hate doing this I need to find a new team of writers before the loan application comes through so I am not delayed with the content building as it’s delaying the growth of the website.
- Loan Application – as I am flying back to the UK soon, I will be able to make progress with this and hopefully, get the loan approved some time in late May or early June which means we can start to grow!
- Web 2.0 – I have a team of VAs, and I want to see if I can get them to create web 2.0 sites similar to what the Hoth provides in their web 2.0 packages, let’s see how that goes!
- Press Releases – every month I will be submitting a new press release for the site, as part of the link building process and to help increase brand awareness.