SEO Case Study – Update #3: June 2020

It’s July already! Winter has arrived in New Zealand, and COVID-19 cases have dwindled to almost nothing. Things are going back to normal, and I’m super grateful for that. The ski resort nearby even opened this week, so I’m looking forward to getting my first day of snowboarding in soon. 🏂

I was a bit lazy with the SEO project last month, but still managed to get my tasks done.

Traffic Overview

Unfortunately for me, traffic got a lot worse this month. I wasn’t really paying attention, and Google released another unannounced search update . Let’s see the graph:

Audience

Traffic was pretty normal until about June 22/23, when it began to dip…permanently. This coincides with the rumored update. After looking at some of my search terms, I noticed one of my main terms went from ranking 2nd to 6th or lower. So, I guess Google ain’t liking my site! :(

So, my traffic is down for the 2nd month in a row. It did about 3,500 users/mo (approx 115/day). This is down from 4,500 last month, and 5,000 the month before. Yikes!!!

Here’s a comparison chart with the previous period (orange is May, blue is June )

:(

Maybe it’s time to start focusing on some alternative forms of traffic. Apparently, Pinterest saw a big uptick in their search results after the update, so that could be one possible avenue.

Acquisitions

As you can see from this chart, the site is 95% reliant on organic search, so any negative effects from algorithm updates are going to have a huge effect.

Here is the look from Google Search Console:

Earnings Overview

With traffic down significantly, the site’s earnings have gone… up???

😯

Yes, for some reason my earnings have actually gone up slightly ($400 vs $360). It is only a slight increase, but was quite unexpected after seeing the traffic drop. The total volume of items was about the same (actually down a tiny bit), so it seems that people were just buying more expensive things. The conversion rate went up slightly as well.

Let’s see how my adsense performed:

Adsense earnings were about the same ($30 vs $32). I am thinking about trying a different ad network. I read a lot of good things about Ezoic from other bloggers, but it’s not really a priority right now.

What I did last month

I managed to achieve my goal AGAIN of publishing three new articles last month. Woo! I published one on the very last day of the month, but it still counts!

I also set up an email newsletter sign up. I don’t have any sign ups yet (except for a few spam bots it seems), but that’s alright — I don’t have much content prepared to share yet anyways.

Other than those two things, I made a couple tweaks to the appearance, and that was about it. My WordPress install seems a bit glitchy on the backend, so it was kind of annoying me. I am thinking of starting a completely fresh install to see if it clears things up.

Current site stats overview:

Articles published: 19 (+3 from last month)
Monthly Earnings: $430 (+10% increase from last month)
Monthly Traffic: 3493 users / 4077 sessions (-21.8% decrease from last month 😕)

Conclusion

Another big traffic drop this month due to another Google update. This seems like a sign that I need to start diversifying my traffic sources a bit. I should also go over some of the old articles to see if there is some updates I can make. The good news is that I have basically zero traffic coming from other sources, so there’s a ton of room for improvement.

Overall earnings still remained steady, which is nice.

Goals for this month:

  1. Publish two articles — I did three articles last month; and the month before. I want to explore some other traffic sources this month, so will put a little less time in publishing. If I feel extra motivated, perhaps I will publish more than two.
  2. Social media traffic – I will do some research into social media traffic. I have never really focused on social traffic before, so need to learn some strategies on how to go about it. For this site, I think I will focus on Pinterest and Facebook traffic. Maybe Instagram?

Other things to do if have time:

  • Research Google update/competition – It would be a good idea to research some of the other websites that are now ranking above mine, as well as the recent Google update(s) in general. I want to see why they suddenly are ranking higher, and if there is anything I could change on my site.
  • Update old posts – To go along with above, I want to go through some of the old posts on the site to update/improve the content, and perhaps remove some irrelevant stuff.
  • Work on email newsletter – push signs ups with popups or better link placements, and set up some automated emails

Oh, and I’m also going to go snowboarding!! 🏂🏂🏂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *