I have a problem with this blog. The issue is that this blog doesn’t rank, and because it doesn’t rank, it doesn’t get much traffic. But that wasn’t always the case. Here are my analytics stats going back to 2006 when I started using Google Analytics on this site.
In April 2011 traffic peaked at 13,553 for that month, the most traffic this blog has ever received in a month. That’s also the month Google’s Panda 2.0 update was released, and you can see a steep decline right after April. Google released more Panda updates between September and November of 2011, and you can see more steep decline there. November’s updates included a “freshness” update, and at the time I wasn’t blogging much here, so it’s likely I got hit by that on top of everything else that may have hit this blog. By last month, March 2014, the site had just 1,106 visitors. Now, to be fair, I recently deleted a large number of my posts. Anything that wasn’t related to marketing or entrepreneurship got the ax, including some posts that drew quite a bit of traffic, like one about Costco’s VHS to DVD service, and another one about iTunes freezing up. Despite the traffic those posts brought in, it wasn’t the kind of traffic I wanted.
Now, I can understand if Google were to penalize my site for broader, more generic searches, due to my not doing a lot of maintenance here. For example, my recent post 3 Marketing Tips For The Entrepreneur With No Money should not expect to rank well for searches like “entrepreneur marketing tips,” and indeed it’s nowhere in the top 100. But if I do an exact search for the title of the blog post, you would expect it to come up #1, or certainly within the top 10. Instead, it still does not show up anywhere in the top 100, even though the donloper.com homepage does show up at #19 for that search, due to a match for the text of the post on the homepage of the site. That, to me, is quite strange.
I’ve puzzled over this for several months now. I was embarrassed to ask for help, since hey, I’m an SEO professional, right? But as I asked around, everyone else was as stumped as I was. After all, it’s a site that has no penalty, has been around a long time, has backlinks from major websites like Forbes and Entrepreneur, and although I haven’t posted on a super regular basis, it’s not as though it has been sitting completely inactive.
I figure there’s only one thing left to try. I read Neil Patel’s post on how to grow a blog to 100,000 visits per month, and one of his major points is to post frequently. Patel is not the originator of this idea. Expert after expert says the same thing, that when they post more, they get more traffic. I suspect this has less to do with SEO and rankings, and more to do with visitor engagement and social sharing. But more engagement and more sharing does lead to better SEO, as well. So I’m going to experiment with more frequent posting. Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays, to be exact. And maybe an extra post here and there. And let’s see what happens after one month. Care to join me in the experiment? Sign up to receive updates by email over on the right.
And certainly, if you’re an SEO pro and can find something else on this blog that I’m missing, please let me know.
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This is really interesting, Joshua. I guess it makes sense more regular blogging would grow traffic because every new post is fresh, so will likely rank well for a few long tail keywords for a little while at least.
If you’re blogging three times a week that could really add up! And, as you say, there’s the social traffic from people sharing your stuff when it’s fresh.
I guess another factor is whether you decide on your blog topics based on keyword research or just blog about whatever’s on your mind at the time. What’s your approach?
Looking forward to seeing the outcome of your experiment (and reading all the posts along the way)!
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