SEO Case Study – Update #2: May 2020

Another month has gone by. Coronavirus problems have been decreasing around the world — here in NZ, the situation has improved a lot. Of course, now there are new issues taking over the media.

But, I don’t want to talk about current events. Let’s see how my SEO project is doing! I did manage to get a little bit of work done on it last month. There was also a major Google core algorithm update that I haven’t really looked into yet. I also expect to see a big hit to earnings due to Amazon slashing commission rates near the end of last month. Let’s see how things turned out.

Traffic Overview

Here is the traffic for the month of May 2020.

Audience

There was a big dip starting around May 4th. This coincides with the Google Core Update (https://www.semrush.com/blog/google-may-2020-core-update/), so I guess my site took a bit of a hit from that.

After the dip, traffic was fairly steady, and there was about 4,500 total users for the month, or just under 150 users /day. This is down from last month which had just over 5,000 users for the month. So, that is a bit disappointing, as I was expecting to at least maintain traffic volume from last month. There is nothing I can really do about Google updates, so that just means I need to keep producing more, better content.

For reference, here’s an overall comparison with last month:

As you can see, everything is down a bit. It’s not a HUGE loss, so I think there’s no reason to panic or give up on the site yet. Pages/Session did increase slightly, thanks to a few more articles that I published. Hopefully, they will start seeing some more traffic trickle in this month.

Acquisitions

Traffic sources is still the same with about 95% coming from organic search. I don’t expect this to change until I start targeting other sources (social, referral).

Here is the look from Google Search Console:

Again, clicks and impressions are down a bit slightly from last month, but average positions actually improved slightly. Nice!

Earnings Overview

Amazon cut their rates mid-end of last month, so let’s see what the damage is this month.

It seems my earnings did not actually decrease at all! In fact, it went up a tiny bit (last month was just over $300). Well, that’s good news! My conversion rate was a bit higher this month, and total volume of items shipped was also higher. I guess the commission cut didn’t hit me as hard as I thought it would. Maybe I was looking at the wrong category. Haha.

Let’s see how my adsense performed:

Adsense earnings are up a tiny bit this month ($33 vs $21). More solid beer money! Interesting to note that total page views are actually down for the month, but the RPM is way higher ($5.50 vs $3.30).

What I did last month

I managed to achieve my goal of publishing three new articles last month. I’m pretty proud of that.

I also achieved my second goal of changing the theme/design of the website. Actually, the old theme broke on an update, so I was kind of forced to do it. I’m much happier with the new look, although it still needs a bit of tweaking. Also, some of the old article formatting got messed up with the change, so I still need to go through them and check everything.

Current site stats overview:

Articles published: 16 (+3 from last month)
Monthly Earnings: $390 (+21% increase from last month)
Monthly Traffic: 4466 users / 5249 sessions (-12.5% decrease from last month)

Conclusion / Goals

My biggest worry for the last month was that earnings would be cut in half. It looks like it didn’t happen as expected. That’s awesome news.

My traffic did drop a bit though, which I was not expecting. This was due to the Google core update. My overall goal will remain the same as last month — to reach 10K users/month by the end of this calendar year. Right now, it’s just under 5k, so I need to double it.

Things to do this month:

  1. More posts – I managed to publish three articles last month. This month, I am going to try to do same. I’m still a bit busy with client work, so I don’t want to over exert myself.
  2. Email sign up – I want to put an email newsletter sign up in this month. It’s one way to diversify traffic a bit from Google, encourage repeat visitors, and can also be a future revenue channel to diversify from Amazon.

Other things to do if I have time:

  • Social media – I need to set up some accounts (FB, Instagram, Pinterest) and start posting things, or maybe hire a VA to do it. This will help diversify my traffic sources.
  • Backlinks – I need to do some research to see if there are any backlinks worth getting, or possibly guest posts to make.
  • Internal linking – I need to be a bit more diligent with my internal linking before things get out of hand, especially from older articles.

That’s it! Interested to see if my newer articles start ranking better next month.

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