Niche Site Journal – Week 2

by Will Blears

Niche Site Journal – Week 2

by Will Blears

by Will Blears

niche site journal week 2

This is the second week of the Niche Site Journal case study.

The past week has been crazy busy and quite stressful (at times). I had a business trip to Singapore which was great once I’d arrived, however leading up to the trip I realised my passport had less than 6 months validity (you need more than 6 months to enter the country). Therefore I had to run around and contact Singapore ICA (immigration office) and explain the situation and beg for entry in to the country. Fortunately, all went well and I was soon sipping on old fashioned cocktails, soaking in the sun and devouring steak. This leads me on to my second issue…

Because I went to Singapore, after the business meeting I went in to full on holiday mode which meant I got very little (none) affiliate work completed. Fortunately for my business, it was only a short trip, after 3 nights I flew back to South Korea which leads me on to the third issue.

After I arrived home I had a few drinks with some friends which led to me spilling a small glass of Japanese whisky all over my Macbook Pro, which then led to the keys being unusable and me having to run around the next day trying to get it fixed. This brings me to the present, I am using my old Macbook Pro which is slow, and waiting for my new MBP to be fixed.

So, with that all out of the way, what did go on last week then…

Yes, if you read the above I just said I got no work completed on my affiliate sites, well this is true but I still have the SEO agency beginning the link building and the content writers publishing content.

The checklist from last week included:

  • Liaise with SEO agency to ensure outreach is being completed
  • Research additional affiliate networks (a few of the pages on my site are more related to B2B products which Amazon can’t supply so I need to find another affiliate network or establish partnerships directly with certain brands)
  • Implement Google Adsense advertisements within the website (yes it’s an Amazon affiliate website but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t test Adsense)

From the very small checklist above, I was able to complete one action point – the other two are not high on my priority list so I will bring them over to this week.

As of right now the site has:

  • Content – 31 pages of content out of the planned 35 pages – overall the amount of words that I initially planned to launch the site with stands at approximately 35,000 words with some pages hitting 2,500 words, others 1,500 and the minimum being 750 words.
  • Site design & layout – this has all been completed and the site actually looks pretty darn nice, I am using a new WP theme I hadn’t used before but a friend showed me and it’s extremely easy to use so the chances are I will use it for future sites as well.
  • SEO – I’ve spoken to the SEO agency and the outreach has begun, however Google Search Console (previously known as Google Webmaster Tools) is not yet showing any links to my website (find out how to check right here).
  • Amazon FBA – as my initial product will be in the same market as the website and the long term plan is to leverage the site for the FBA brand, it’s worth mentioning that progress is being made. I am finalising the initial costs for 500 MOQ (minimum order quantity) and then we’re going to proceed, hopefully this week. Next steps, package design, manufacturing and adding the logo to the product via laser, package and then ship.

You may be wondering if the website has made any sales or had any traffic yet, well I am beginning to see the first trickle of traffic coming in from Google organic search, check out this exciting image below:

google search console traffic statistics

Not a huge amount of traffic, but considering the site hasn’t even launched properly yet it’s a good start. I am also looking at what search terms I am beginning to appear for, which pages are generating the most impressions and in Google Analytics I am looking at the actual visitor engagement (bounce rates, time on page/site) to ensure the user experience is positive. You will also notice that the graph shows growth, this is exactly what you want for any website at any time period. If it starts to flat line then perhaps you need to add more content, improve your on page SEO or do more off page SEO or look in to promoting the site via other channels (social e.t.c). If the traffic starts to decline then you really need to start taking action (that is unless the website is seasonal).

For example, check out the next screenshot from another website I own, the date range is the past 90 days and this is not a seasonal market.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.51.09 PM

You can see an obvious incline in both impressions and clicks and this will hopefully continue as I add additional pages of content, improve content and on page SEO of existing pages and continue to do more outreach.

However, you don’t always have to worry if your website looks like it’s tanking, especially just after Christmas and especially if the market is seasonal, such as the following:

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.52.50 PM

That huge spike is Christmas day and well everyone goes mental on Christmas day…all that food and drink I think. You can see very little growth after Christmas and it actually looks like the website is flat lining which could be a cause for concern. However, this is a very seasonal market and is highly dependent on the companies within the industry launching products, so it is not a concern for me at all.

With websites that are seasonal, the best thing to do when you are concerned about the growth is extend the period of time you are analysing and to ensure there is growth YOY. Now, unfortunately Google Search Console limits you to just 90 day views (very annoying) so you have to do this in Google Analytics instead, such as:

The following graph is taken from Google Analytics over a 12 month period (December 2014 to December 2015) and is filtered by organic traffic only.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 12.56.50 PM

Right, that’s all for snapshots today ha…if anyone wants to know other ways of analysing a sites performance, growth e.t.c just leave a comment below.

What’s the plan for next week?

The content will be finished in the next few days, only 5 pages left to publish. After this, I will focus all my efforts on SEO, I will start getting guest post opportunities and also do a bit of blog commenting. Apart from this I will continue my Amazon FBA efforts and hopefully get my product ordered and continue to do a whole load of reading to ensure I don’t miss a trick!

So for next week we have:

  • Start looking for guest posting opportunities, get the content writers creating guest posts ready to submit.
  • Do a bit of blog commenting
  • Do some on page SEO, make sure everything is awesome.
  • Amazon FBA – order my product, research like crazy the next stages to make sure I don’t make any big mistakes.
  • Research additional affiliate networks (a few of the pages on my site are more related to B2B products which Amazon can’t supply so I need to find another affiliate network or establish partnerships directly with certain brands)
  • Implement Google Adsense advertisements within the website (yes it’s an Amazon affiliate website but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t test Adsense)

How to check if Google Search Console has indexed the backlinks to your website?

Login to Google’ Search Console, click on the relevant property (website) then go to Search Traffic > Links to your site. Here you can find what links Google have indexed and appropriately shown as links back to your website.

google search console finding links

Entrepreneur and Online Advertising Expert. I have 11 years experience in Online Advertising and currently I am the founder of a boutique Paid advertising agency and Affiliate Marketeer.

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