Welcome back to the thirteenth 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.
There have been some huge changes in March which have massively affected the site’s performance, I am talking about Amazon commission changes and also Google updates. In this update, I am going to discuss how these changes have negatively affected the site and what I am going to do about it, but first, let’s have a look at performance for March 2017.
In March, the decline in revenue continued as I hit $1,669.92 compared to February’s $3,472.07 a 51% MOM reduction.
OK, so I must confess – I made a huge mistake in March when managing my PPC activity, which I hate to admit, especially considering I am an expert when it comes to PPC advertising. What happened? Well, I re-activated approximately 50 inactive campaigns which I forgot were still using a bid strategy which I was testing months ago. That bid strategy combined with an old shared budget on an account level meant over three days (when I wasn’t even watching the account) I spent just under £700 with no increase in conversions, I burnt through £700 with zero return, extremely painful. However, it just goes to show that even an experienced PPC advertiser can make rookie mistakes when they take their eye off the ball.
Due to this stupid error, I managed to actually make a loss in March, how embarrassing >_<
Last month I mentioned that PPC activity was down month on month and this is true, except for those three days of silliness, the average daily traffic from PPC activity was less than 400 clicks compared to February where I was hitting 1,000 clicks per day. I’ve continued to reduce PPC activity, and I’ve paused the activity in April whilst the developer and I work on the website as we’ve had a few database outages and a few downtimes this month due to all the heavy lifting and the database just exploding with too much data, ha. Hopefully, in May we can re-launch activity though, with a completely overhauled site (although it might get into June before we can launch).
As I write this, I am actually becoming a little depressed lol – March was such a shit month for this project.
So, on top of the Amazon commission changes which have reduced my revenue for this project by 30-40% month on month based on the commissions, as this site had a lot of electronics, kitchen appliance, tools and sports sales. The Google update also screwed me big time.
As you can see from the above screenshot taken from Google Search Console for the month of March 2017 – the decline in organic traffic hit began just after the 12th March and continued all throughout March and has continued in April. This aligns with the Google update everyone has been discussing that took place at the beginning of March. Although, no one knows for sure what that update targeted I don’t believe my site was targeted for link building activities.
With regards to this specific site, I think the issue lies with a number of pages which have zero content or zero content above the fold. The website’s current design means that above the fold there is simply a title and a comparison table and on those pages which do have content this is below the fold. I honestly think that’s what Google has penalized my site for, which in my opinion is completely understandable.
The new site design is going to hopefully remove these issues, I just wish I had the design implemented months ago, unfortunately, business isn’t always as simple as it might seem. Therefore, I will have to bite the bullet and be patient, I am building more links to the site but very few are from PBNs, most are guest posts, press releases, social signals and web 2.0 links.
Once the new site design is live I can also focus on adding even more unique content to the site and above the fold as well as within the tables themselves.
April Action Plan
In April, my focus has been getting the backend of the website completed, as I mentioned in March’s update this included 634 pages which needed amendments, this has all been done now. I am just waiting for the developer to finish coding all of the unique page templates (I think there are about 10) and then we can begin putting the new site live.
Apart from this, I am not doing anything on the website, I might get a few backlinks built to the home page. However, I’d prefer to wait until the new site design is live and then see how Google takes the change.
That’s all for this month guys, I hope you enjoyed it – please leave any questions you might have below!