As today marks the end of the second month since starting this case study, I thought it would be a good time to take stock of how everything is going and review what's been covered so far.
The outreach for the expert roundup posts is underway, and I've had some good replies so far, but decided to extend it one more week so that I can get more people replying. I actually made a silly mistake when conducting the outreach, which delayed things.
I'll go into more details on that further down.
Traffic And Ranking Reports
As I showed you before, I have done a little bit of work/testing with generating traffic from things like Pinterest, Forum posts, and Twitter. I didn't quite get around to continuing to scale this on a weekly basis yet, but I did get some initial results, and even now both sites are experiencing a traffic boost compared with what they had before.
I also found out about the tool Buzz Builder, which is going to help me join in discussions and simplify the process mentioned above. More on Buzz Builder on Thursday.
Things like this really are a case of sowing the seeds now and getting the traffic forever afterwards, so I really should dedicate a bit more time to it.
Aside from that work, I haven't really done much else yet that will boost ranking and traffic. Yes, I've added a few new posts to keep the sites fresh and increase the keywords they rank for, but nothing major.
It normally takes a good few months of continuous posting before Google starts to give better rankings.
The roundup posts will go some way toward getting more links, ranks, and traffic though, and immediately after I publish them, I'll start a campaign of guest posting and networking.
That's all I'll really need to do in order to get better rankings and traffic.
Make some posts, make some connections, earn some natural links, post some more, connect some more, rinse and repeat.
Enough Blabbing, Let's Look At Some Numbers
If you remember way back in week 1, I posted the initial rankings for both sites. I'll save you the trouble of going back and reading the post again and attach the screenshots below.
These initial rankings were based on about a month of “marinating” after I added new content to the site. The domain was already coming up to a year old.
Here's how YourOwnGymZone looks now
Great to see some of the ones that were nowhere to be found (home gym ideas + build a home gym) now ranking nicely and some other keywords (home gym mirrors) sneaking up on page one.
This is exciting.
All I've done is add some new posts, let the site marinate some more, and of course I've linked to it a few times from forums, pinterest, and from here at HPD. Most forum links are nofollow, and HPD isn't exactly a relevant site, so it's great to see the site moving in the right direction.
I'm hoping that page 1 is only a few weeks off on several keywords, especially once the outreach campaigns really kick off.
DAS was in a slightly worse position when the case study started, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will have slower progress. Google works in mysterious ways, and depending on the quality of other sites, it's actually possible to climb rankings faster.
Here's how it looked before
Apart from two keywords, there wasn't really much good news in the SERPS for this site.
How about now?
It's a shame that most articles on this site are still not ranking well, but it doesn't overly concern me. Once we start getting some links and shares, things will change.
Besides, as you'll see below, the site is doing very nicely for traffic growth.
The week or two that I spent doing some pinterest, twitter and forum work is still resulting in a minor traffic boost. I have to acknowledge that some of that traffic is also due to people checking out this case study, so for the time being I'm not really focusing on traffic numbers.
Still far too low.
However, when it comes to traffic for a new site, it's kind of like climbing the stairs. Initially you'll have no traffic, then you'll get a slight boost, then level out, then boost again, then level out, and so on.
Once a site starts moving though, its traffic climbs pretty rapidly and I'm sure I'll see that happening with these two sites as well.
Here's the traffic for the two sites for the last 30 days. It's being compared with the previous 30 as well (orange line).
There's growth, but it's not huge and the site is still clearly trying to get off the ground.
Great progress for DateAndSimple on the other hand!
I think the difference between the two is that DAS had much better success with my Pinterest efforts. 38% of the total traffic comes from Pinterest.
This is exactly why I chose to do the case study with 2 sites. If I only did YOGZ, we could say that Pinterest was a waste of time when in fact is isn't.
At the same time, if I only did Dateandsimple, we would be hailing Pinterest as the best traffic tool ever, when in fact it all depends on whether or not you can get on a group board.
I'll definitely be paying closer attention to Pinterest later, and if possible I'll dedicate a whole post to it.
Is It Time To Monetize The Sites?
Not yet. While it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing to monetize them, I'd rather wait. I don't have enough traffic to get good profit off yet, and in the meantime I think my outreach efforts will go smoother if I don't have affiliate links and promotions on my site.
Have you ever seen one of those sites that has adverts or promotions on it, yet clearly isn't a successful site? I'd rather not turn these two into one of them just yet.
What's The General Plan From Here?
I'll continue with forum posting, pinterest, and my outreach campaign, as well as adding a few new pieces of content. The roundup posts have potential to be game changers, which is why I'm in no hurry to get them finished. I want to make sure they're just right.
I'm also going to dust-off that list of sites in the niches that I made in the initial weeks. I'll start being active on there, commenting on posts and getting to know others in the niche better.
This will help when I make attempts to get guest post spots.
Roundup Post Update
As I mentioned earlier, I made a mistake when contacting the people I wanted to participate in the roundup.
I forgot to include my own URL in the emails!
Most people will want to check out your site before deciding if they want to contribute to it (it just makes sense), so I had to spend a few extra days emailing people back with my URL and hoping they'd be happy with the state the sites are currently in.
I know the content on the sites isn't exceptional, which is why I'm attempting to do these posts. Most people have been good and offered their insights, but I'm sure that a few people didn't reply to me simply because I forgot to include the URL and they figured I was a spammer.
This also shows that you'll get better results if you have already made contact with the experts via social networks or via commenting on their sites. I'd definitely recommend you touch base beforehand. In my case I was simply lacking time.
Next week the posts will be live and published, and hopefully causing a bit of a storm in traffic. We'll see!