1 year Progress - Slow Progress
I'm about to get my 1 year badge here and thought that's the perfect time to write a progress report. It might not be the most inspiring though things are VERY tough atm. Its quite long too, sorry.
The first few months were very shaky, minimal progress and really not committed. Eventually I started work in earnest on my first website. But the work was incredibly technical and the niche VERY small and the competition while light was very high quality. I couldn't see a future in this niche.
So come November and the BF offer I committed to one year and a new project. It was Travel site based around reviewing City/Attraction passes, which are high value and very popular. This Niche hugely interested me and I was really excited about the project. I went back through the training (I find this a great way to set up a new site) and got up and running. 3 months in and my Day job went Crazy. all site work stopped while I worked hard at my real job. At this point it was 20ish posts with 5/6 ranked page 2-3 and receiving no traffic.
after 6 months I had a little more time and started returning to the site. I found I had made a sale ($30 profit) and this seriously motivated me, and I started churning out some hard work. Rankings had dropped right off though and traffic was zero.
this brings us to now with my Site at 8months old. I have 47 posts and get around 5 visits a day. with 9 posts at page 2-3. and I am making $0.
As I said not the most inspiring progress.
But I had a plan and I intend to stick to it. And that plan is to commit to one year so until my yearly renewal in November I'll keep on churning out posts and seeing what happens.
But I tend to believe in being a bit more proactive than just hoping for the best. So I have tried to analyse why my earnings are so low. The one sale shows I am able to convert. So the reason for low earnings is simply the almost zero traffic. Which is a direct product of the low rankings I am getting. So why am I getting low rankings?
This is the question I struggle to answer. My last two posts have ranked in less than an hour at position 15-16. these were both very low competition keywords (11 and 16) My highest recorded rank was 11! I get the odd better rank from random SLI's but targeted keywords are stubbornly in the 11-30 range.
My Competition is VERY stiff there are many site targeting this niche and obviously there is trip advisor as a big foe. I worry this is the reason and my content is just not good enough to match them. On the flip side, I have seen NO improvement in ranking since 1 month in. The speed of ranking has improved but the positions are still second page.
I'm praying this is Google keeping me on a leash, or in the sandbox as they say. On my other abandoned site I also couldn't rank but then at around 8 months it all changed. I even rank pg 1 for product names only on that site now rather than just product name + review. And I'm above the manufacturers OWN site for product name + review!!! ..Maybe I should have stuck with that.
As for my content I am pretty happy with it. It may not be the best, but its certainly as good as I can get it right NOW. my posts are minimum 1000 words and many reach 3000 and are very image rich including my own work. I'm pretty happy with it really. I know there is work to be done to improve user experience, and conversion but that's stuff I don't think Google could pick up on?
I'm at a bit of a loss as to where to go from here for improvements. I have been given other ideas of how to raise traffic and that's all great but SEO is the Bread and Butter if I can't get that right the rest is just gaming IMO. Its stuff I intend to do but only ONCE I get the SEO right and build the traffic organically.
Any Ideas would be great feel free to check the site out: