This is the June 2020 update for the dating/relationship site. For the previous update (May 2020), check out this post and the archive of updates here. June 2020 was a month of reflection and restructuring.
In this update, the following will be covered;
- June 2020 traffic and income stats
- Content Audit
- Site Redesign
- CRO Improvements
- Improving Authority (Google’s EAT signals)
Let’s get started!
📊 June 2020 Traffic and Income Stats
📉 Site Traffic (L3M)
- April 2020 Pageviews: 80,595
- May 2020 Pageviews: 40,316
- June 2020 Pageviews: 33,103
Traffic has decreased to 33,103 views as opposed to 40,316 views in May 2020. However, we can see that there is a slight upward trend towards the end of June 2020. Google was making tweaks to their algorithm on and off through June so that’s probably due to that. Note that this site is not seasonal.
The site’s revenue decreased slightly from $7,797 to $7,631. Even with the traffic decrease, not bad that our income did not decrease as much!
Last 12-mo P&L
June 2020: Improvements To The Site
Content Audit —> Pruning
I utilized AHREFs Content Audit template.
Here are the stats of the content audit prune:
- Articles before audit: 550
- Articles delete: 107
- Articles after audit: 443
The template takes two inputs as thresholds: number of minimum backlinks, and minimum traffic. I set the minimum backlinks to 1 and meaningful traffic to 100.
If an article in the past 12 months, does not have at least 1 backlink and received at least 100 visits, then it is flagged as deleted by the template.
Note that the template (in Google Sheets) will flag the URL to be deleted, but it’s in your best interest to review each URL to ensure if it should be deleted. Some articles will never get traffic but are there to ensure relevancy.
After reviewing each URL, it was time to make the changes in WP itself. This was my process:
- Setup a WP category/tag called “Content Audit – Delete”
- Open the URL, and edit the post
- Set the post to Draft (Unpublish it)
- Add the category/tag to “Content Audit – Delete”
- Save Draft
The reason I added a category/tag was so that I could easily pull up all the articles I flagged as deleted in the future.
Are these articles useless???
Not at all. While Google did not reward these articles, there is no reason they cannot be repurposed for social media.
By just changing the structure of the articles to “listicles” (i.e., Top X Things….”), they are “social” worthy.
That’s exactly what I plan to do over the next few months.
➡️ Tip: Once these articles have been repurposed, it’s best to republish them but set them to Noindex, and hide them from your site archives/search.
The reason for this is simple: Pinterest, Facebook and other social platforms do not care about indexation of your content. Most content written for social is not written for SEO. I hide all my social focused articles. Visitors can still come to my site directly to that URL and then go to other pages so I can generate revenue (ads, affilaites, etc). The SERP spiders do not even know that article exists. It’s a win-win.
Did the content audit help traffic?
The million-dollar question. It’s hard to tell. With all that’s going on (i.e., Google updates, COVID issues to traffic, and seasonality), I cannot claim that the content audit is causing traffic to go up or down.
However, what I do know is that it will only help long term. We shall keep an eye on it.
With how Google is constantly impacting niche sites, we decided to focus some time onto Pinterest to obtain traffic.
We hire a Pinterest VA to handle this aspect. Both my business partner and I are not experts at Pinterest so best to leave that to an expert.
The growth in June 2020 for Pinterest was good:
We received about 1,400 visitors (or 6% of overall traffic) from Pinterest in June. Not bad!
The VA is pinning many times a day with a mix of our content and other websites’ content.
Let’s see how this works out. I would love to see social be 25% of overall traffic in time.
I did a FULL website redesign from scratch! So happy I got this done. The website loads quickly and looks much better.
I am a big fan of GeneratePress, which is the theme that was used for this site’s redesign.
Here are the Pingdom page speed metrics:
Anything sub 2 seconds is great! Before this, my page speed was above 2 seconds. This will result in fewer bounces over time and more page views per visitor.
Improve CTAs and comparison tables
The CTA buttons on the site in the past were ugly. See example below:
The CTAs were small in relation to everything else on the page, and the same color as the main theme color (red). Your CTA should be a completely different color than everything else on your site (thanks for this suggestion from my business partner on this site). You want people’s eyes to immediately venture to the CTA, nothing else.
The redesign of the CTA now looks like this:
This stands out much more and is a bright color unrelated to the site’s color.
I am a big fan of Ninja Tables. This website used this plugin to create tables. However, the tables were not that mobile response, nor did they have good CTA buttons.
The redesign of the tables now looks like as follows:
The goal here is to make the CTA stand-out. With the table being a green color, the yellow pops.
Ninja Tables has built-in functionality to make tables pure mobile responsive. Check out the above table on Mobile:
It goes into a stacked format allow the reader to easily click on the CTA.
For now, these tables look great. They are easy to manage in the Ninja Tables interface in WP where I can edit each one individually.
Add More Affiliate Links
There are two categories on topics on my dating site. Each category has a go-to affiliate offer. Therefore, I thought I would add a floating sidebar widget that shows the different offers depending on the page. Here is the floating CTA widget:
This box design is not built into GeneratePress. It needed to be custom coded. I got the idea from this blog: Woorkup. I use my browser’s Inspect HTML feature to grab the HTML code and CSS. I saved into GeneratePress Customize CSS option. Then added the HTML into an HTML Widget in WordPress, and made some tweaks. There is a floating box for desktop on the sidebar, and bottom of the screen for mobile users.
I also added the Fixed Widget plugin so the widget stays stuck as a user scrolls.
The conversions have been amazing:
It generated 8 sales in June 2020 with a conversion rate of 6.6%. That’s amazing!
I recommend everyone to try a floating widget CTA box with your best affiliate offer. It helps the reader with a quick solution.
Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness (EAT)
EAT is a big factor in Google’s viewpoint. In short, they want the content to be written by people who are real experts. This article provides an excellent breakdown of EAT.
In the previous version of the site, there were no authors for the articles. There were no author bios or author archives. Essentially, nothing to give the site the authority to write on the topic. Using GeneratePress options, it was very simple to add in Author Bios to each article at the bottom of the page, and also open up Author Archives.
The bio box looks like this:
This is auto-added to each article now. Also, placed under the title of the article is the Author Meta (i.e., who wrote it with an image as well).
Will this improve the site? No way to tell. But the goal is to look authoritative and this is an important step in my opinion.
🗺️ Business Location
Another major EAT signal is being a real business. I added the following to our Contact page, and footer of the site:
- Phone number (obtained using Google Voice)
- Mailing Address (UPS P.O. box for my business)
Added links to our social profiles on Facebook and Pinterest so far.
Overall, these EAT signals are really easy and quick to setup. It’s a no brainer to do them to show authority and legitimacy. Treat your niche site like a business.
No new content was added to the site in June. This was to ensure we could focus our time on the tasks above.
Overall Traffic Impact (06/01 to 07/08)
Let’s look at the traffic from June 1, 2020, to July 8, 2020, and see if anything improved after the content audit plus site redesign.
You can see from the traffic stats that traffic has increased over the last 30 days after the two major changes to the site. However, as I said before, there were also major changes in Google and also COVID during these times. It could be many factors here.
I will keep you all posted on this trend over time.
What Can We Improve in July 2020?
The goal in July is to monitor and improve. We cannot do much at this point instead to wait for traffic to hopefully rise.
We will do the following improvements though:
- Backlink Audit: the site has many “bad” backlinks. It’s been said that Google ignores these backlinks automatically. I think though we can help Google decide what is a bad link. I will do an audit and disavow the worst backlinks.
- Hire an Editor: many of the top 20 pages were written by the previous owner’s writer who was from the Philippines. The English in the articles needs improvement. I will hire an editor to fix up these articles.
- New Content: The plan is to add 10 new pieces of content. Since we have covered a majority of the keywords in the “dating” topic itself, we are venturing into the “relationship” shoulder niche and will be doing review articles of various products in this space.
- Reach Out To Influencers: To improve EAT and get more authority on the site, I will be reaching out to small and mid-size influencers in the space to see if they would like to write articles. The biggest competitors in this space have a “column” where experts write about whatever topic they choose. This probably won’t increase traffic but it will increase authority.
These will be the major improvements. Nothing crazy or difficult. At this stage of the site, it’s a waiting game. There isn’t anything that will 10x revenue overnight.
That’s it for June 2020 update. Leave a comment or reply with any questions. Happy to help!