Health Site Case Study (April + May 2021) – 40% Revenue Increase, Optimizations, Next Steps

mushfiq sarker

The public case study site earned $511 in April and $550 in May 2021, resulting in a 40% increase in revenues from March 2021. The focus in the past two months was to streamline the site’s SEO, email list, and revenue sources, and also put together an operational team.

Here is what I cover in this update:

  • Site recap, highlights, and setbacks
  • Site revenue and cost breakdown
  • Revenue optimizations performed
  • SEO optimizations performed
  • Plans for June 2021

For the previous update in March, check out this post, or check out all the posts here.

โžก๏ธ Website Flip Status

On April 9, 2021, the asset was purchased for $10,000. The site at that time was earning $180 per month on average over the last 6-months (L6M). This equated to a 55x multiple.

With my improvements, the new L6M average for the site is now at $343 (with the most recent months at $550/mo).

๐Ÿ“ˆ Site Recap

For more details on why the site was purchased, and due diligence details, make sure to read the first case study update. Here is a high-level recap of the site:

  • Purchased on Flippa for $10,000 via a buy it now
  • Sub-niche within the health vertical; solving a major pain point for many people
  • AHREFs DR 7 with a few quality backlinks
  • Expertly written content with 45 published articles
  • Receiving ~20K organic pageviews/mo
  • Includes a 250-page e-book, backend database for users to find info
  • Includes 2 checklist PDFs given away for free
  • Diversified traffic to top pages (9% to top page)
  • Pinterest account with 36k monthly views (no active management)

๐Ÿ“ˆ Highlights

  • A 7-email welcome sequence is live
  • Ezoic display ads integrated
  • Trialed 4 nutritionist writers, finalized 1 of them at 10/cents per word
  • Hire a generic content writer who has knowledge in the niche

๐Ÿ“‰ Setbacks 

  • Traffic has been down-trending past 2 months
  • No new backlinks obtained
  • No content was added in May 2021

๐Ÿ“Š April 2021 and May 2021 Website Metrics

Last 12-Months Google Analytics

Screen Shot 2021 06 15 at 2.23.50 PM

April clocked in at 19,853 pageviews and May at 18,533. The traffic has been on a decrease recently. This could be due to the drastic amount of changes I am doing to the site as will be outlined below. Or, it could be due to the significant amount of Google updates recently.

AHREFs Metrics

Screen Shot 2021 06 15 at 2.18.38 PM

AHREFs Keyword Positions

I track keyword positions to understand trends and how my investments into the site are paying off. Here is the number of keywords ranking in #1-3, #4-10, and #10-#100 positions.

My top positions (1-3) are stable. However, the remaining positions are decreasing. There is no course of action I can take to reverse these trends; it’s a “good to know”.

Health Niche Site Keyword Positions

Revenue Breakdown

Below is the revenue breakdown for the two months. The monetization sources are Amazon Associates, e-book on the website, e-book hosted on Amazon KDP, and Ezoic. Ezoic was added in early May 2021.

April 2021May 2021
Amazon Associates$48.17$37.72
Ebook – Website$386.73$371.09
Ebook – KDP$77.05$72.08

Cost Breakdown

Below is the cost breakdown. Since this site is in the health niche, proper Google EAT is critical. I hired 4 registered dietary nutritionists and paid them for articles. They charge around 10-15 cents per word.

I also hired a copywriter to write a 7-email welcome sequence that would funnel email subscribers to purchase the e-book.

April 2021May 2021
Copywriter – Email Sequence$550N/A
Nutritionist Writers – Content$545 (4 articles)$150 (1 article)
VA – Formatting$12N/A

๐Ÿ’ฐ Revenue Improvements

Integrated Ezoic Display Advertisements

On May 11th, I added Ezoic display ads to the website. My Ezoic manager added all the placeholders for the ads, however, I then made changes.

Here are the placeholders I removed:

  1. Sticky footer widget
  2. Remove excess placeholders around the introduction area; kept only one placeholder

After letting the ads run for remainder of May, I analyzed the EPMVs and data in my Ezoic dashboard.

1. May 11 to May 31 – Low EPMVs

After reviewing the data, I was not happy with the EPMVs. The site being in the lucrative health niche was getting only $5 EPMV. That was not what I expected.

See graph below:

May 2021

I immediately asked my Ezoic manager to take a look into it. Turns out Elementor causes an issue with Ezoic’s technology. The manager asked me to install Ad Inserter plugin so she could manually place Ezoic placeholder codes.

2. After Manual Placeholders

Immediately after inserting the placeholders, the EPMVs jumped to $12. Easy win!

Ezoic EPMV increase

Ezoic does take 2-3 months to fully optimize for EPMVs so I anticipate the rates to increase further. I also removed a few placeholders (like footer widget) so that will have an impact on lower rates.

Takeaway: If you are using the Elementor page builder, try transitioning to adding the placeholders manually using the Ad Inserter plugin.

Added Product Callout Boxes

I am selling a digital product on the site which has its own landing page, and checkout process via Easy Digital Downloads plugin. The product sells for $29.99.

To drive more traffic to the landing page, I placed callout boxes in two places on the site:

  1. End of the article call out box
  2. Sidebar fixed widget call out box.

The end of the article callout box looks like this:

Callout box bottom of post

The sidebar fixed widget box looks like this:

The callout boxes have been designed using GeneratePress Elements and then placed automatically in specific locations.

The next steps with this is to track the amount of clicks using shortened links, and if these boxes lead to sales.

Takeaways: Use callout boxes to funnel traffic to your sales landing pages. You can design these boxes using GeneratePress.

To continue funneling users to the sales landing page, I disabled Ezoic’s footer sticky ad and implemented my own using OptinMonster.

Here is what it looks like on mobile:

The features are as follows:

  • Only shown to mobile users
  • Shows up after the user scrolls 5% of the content

As the next step, I need to track whether this footer brings in product sales. If not, I can place an Ezoic ad instead.

Hired Copywriter for 7-Email Welcome Series

The previous owner had an existing email list with 3,000+ subscribers. However, the email list was not nurtured. I deleted all of the emails to start fresh. The last thing I want is to send an email to the old list and get too many spam complaints thus leading me to lose my Mailchimp account.

The email list purpose is to funnel users to my sales landing page for my digital product.

I hired a copywriter, who was suggested by a newsletter subscriber. He analyzed the site’s e-book, and product to put together 7 individual emails as part of a welcome series.

Here are the stats of a selection of emails in the series:

  • First: Open rate of 72%, click rate of 62%
  • Email #2: Open rate of 33%, click rate of 7%
  • Email #3: Open rate of 31%, click rate of 6%
  • Email #4: Open rate of 44%, click rate of 8%
  • Last email: Open rate of 24%, click rate of 1.2%

The open rates and click rates are above industry standards. As the next steps, I need to track the sales being generated by the emails themselves. I currently do not have a separate landing page to differentiate organic traffic vs email traffic sales.

Implemented Email Optin Forms and Popup

To capture email subscribers, I use OptinMonster. With this, I am able to create high-quality email opt-in forms and email opt-in popups.

The popups show up on mobile and looks like the following:

Mobile popup using Optinmonster

The popup shows up when one of the following happens:

  • Visitor tries to exit the page, or
  • Visitor time on page hits 45 seconds

๐Ÿš€ SEO Improvements

Improved Google EAT

This site is in the health niche, thus may fall into Google’s Your Money Your Life (YMYL) criteria. To tackle this, I did the following:

  1. Author bio boxes with profile picture, explanation of expertise, and social media links
  2. Detailed about page outlining each writer’s expertise, credentials, and link to social media
  3. Detailed footer with information about the site, social profiles, and author pictures
  4. Medical disclaimer was added
  5. Each article has a healthy amount of external links to research journals and other authoritative resources

Here is what the author bio looks like:

Author bio

Within the content, the writers add reference links to journal papers where the information can be found. See below for an excerpt:

Authorative links as references

Takeaways: There is no way to measure whether I’ve achieve the requirements for Google EAT in a YMYL niche. However, I can use best practices by using credentialed writers with proper references within content.

Restructured 6 Content Silo Categories

An important improvement that I do to all of the sites I buy is to improve the content categoris and think of them as pillar silos.

This site has the following silos:

SEO Silos

Each silo now is a collection of articles (archives). However, over time, I will add a pillar page to the category page which will cover the entire silo in detail and then have links to each relevant article.

Takeaways: After buying a site, take time to structure the high-level silos early on. This will give you the foundation to grow the site. Treat each silo as a main category that you want to cover on the site.

๐Ÿ—๏ธ Operational Improvements

Hired 4 Registered Dietary Nutritionists from Upwork

Being in the YMYL niche, I needed one Registered Dietary Nutritionist (RDN) on my team. An RDN is someone who has the educational background to study food and nutrition for an individual.

The best place to hire a writer is Upwork, in my opinion. I put out an ad that I am looking for a credentialed RDN and am willing to pay 10-15 cents/word. I hired 4 of them, gave them each a trial article, and then finalized one writer; the rest were let go.

She is writing at 10 cents per word. I only give her articles that require significant research and expertise. The remaining articles are done by someone who is not credentialed educationally but has first-hand experience in the niche.

Takeaway: Hire an expert for your niche site. Ask them permission to have their bio on your About Page. This will give your site the authority it needs in terms of Google Eat (at least that’s how I perceive it works).

Hired a Generic Writer for Bulk Content

For bulk content that needs minimal research, I brought on a writer that has produced content for a few of my other sites.

He has first-hand experience in this niche. He charges $55 per article fixed regardless of length.

๐Ÿ†• Plans for June 2021

Here are the plans for June 2021:

Thatโ€™s it for this update. Stay tuned for next month’s update.

mushfiq sarker

Analyzed by Mushfiq Sarker

Mushfiq has been buying, growing, and selling website assets since 2008. His first exit was in 2010. Since then, he has done 218+ website flips with multiple 6-figure exits. He is the founder of The Website Flip. Check out all Mushfiq's articles, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

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