February Traffic Update – I hit the plateau!

Not uncommon among bloggers, but I have an obsessive relationship with statistics — programs like Google Analytics and Sitemeter are the biggest creative distractions ever, so I post these updates to increase my sense of accountability to my goals and also extract a little bit more value from all the time I spend staring at spreadsheets:

Welcome to the fourth installment on my monthly traffic reports. It’s been a while since I did a traffic update (almost three months) so I thought it was about time to share some news on the blogging front.

The dashboard





As you can see my traffic dipped a little bit in February.  I attribute this to two things.  First, my search engine traffic was down due to seasonality.  The blog started getting a lot of tax related search engine traffic around the first of the year.  That dropped off a bit in February.  Second, February is the shortest month of the year so there’s a bit of a penalty.  Fewer days, fewer visitors. So kind of a bummer that despite huge reader interest in the $1000 challenge,  I do think I’m hitting the infamous plateau. My plan is to redouble my efforts in creating quality content,  increase the frequency of posting, and networking with other bloggers.

Search Engine Optimization

I had to lay off my virtual assistants for the month of February to help achieve my budget last month.  I continue to use Market Samurai to fine tune my titles for search engine optimization– I posted about some of the results in December. I highly recommend it if you’re trying to build an online business or niche sites.  You can click on my affiliate link below if you want to check it out.  I’ve also found that it’s a useful and fun mechanism to actually learn about search engine optimization in and of itself.  In some ways Market Samurai is like a seminar wrapped up in a product.

Bye Bye iPage…. Hello Hostgator

Also, I’ve been getting consistent complaints about my page load speed.  It has been taking as long as 15 seconds for Dealerity to load.  I found this totally unacceptable so I recently switched hosts from iPage Web Hosting to  Host Gator.  I did hours of  Internet research (it’s difficult to find objective data out there) and I’ve arrived at the conclusion that Host Gator is the best choice for an inexpensive hosting solution.  So far I’ve been very pleased and my page speed is WAY faster…. 3 second load times instead of 15 seconds. Let me know how the pages are loading for you.  Since I’ve made the change I’ve noticed an increased in engagement and ad clicks (since ads are actually loading before users bounce!)  In a separate post I’ll share some of how my online income is shaping up.


November Traffic Explosion!

Editors note: I have an unhealthy relationship with statistics — programs like Google Analytics and Sitemeter are the biggest creative distractions ever, so I post these updates to increase my sense of accountability to my goals and also extract a little bit more value from all the time I spend staring at spreadsheets.

Welcome to the third installment on my monthly traffic reports. Traffic has been explosive over here at Dealerity! November saw a huge improvement in visitors.  I exceeded most of the goals that I set for last month, which is great news.

The stats

Unique Visitors: 655 vs. 289 last month!
Visits: 771 vs. 350 last month!
Time on Site: 1:48 vs. 1:50 minutes last month
Posts in November: 6 (vs. 7 in October and goal of 10).  I’m committed to sticking with this blog for the long haul but it’s been disappointing to see that my posting frequency is moving in the wrong direction.  While I had initially planned on posting several times a week, I’d really rather focus on writing content that I’m proud of.  I’ve already gotten a decent start to December, so hopefully we can reverse the trend without compromising on quality.

The Dashboard

Google Analytics Traffic Snapshot for November
Google Analytics Traffic Snapshot for November

Search Engine Optimization

As you may recall from last month, one my posts got picked up on the first page of Google for a bundle of long tail keywords, which were collectively sending 15-20 visits to my site each for a few days. In November, I got really into learning about keyword research and on and off page search engine optimization.

I spent a lot of time doing keyword research and wasting time in Market Samurai (which is a really useful and addictive application). It’s been really helpful in learning about keyword difficulty and niches. Yet for all my efforts my #1 keyword is for blue beach scenes — the irony : )  Despite this, my efforts really have been paying off. As you can see, my search traffic has really picked up:

Google Search Results - November 2010
Google search results went through the roof!


My Technorati ranking went way up this month.  For those of you that don’t know, Technorati is a blog search engine that rates how influential blogs are within their niches and gives them an “authority” rating.  The personal finance niche is very crowded, with hundreds of well trafficked blogs.  I’ve just now started officially tracking my authority and it was as high as #63 over the Thanksgiving holidays, which is really great.  In fact my overall ranking on Technorati (as of 12/5 was around  out of over a million blogs).  I’m not sure what I’m doing that’s working so well, although I know participating in blog carnivals helps with the link love.
This is more of a December update, but I just joined the Yakezie Challenge which is a community of bloggers working to achieve an Alexa ranking of below 200,000 (basically be one of the top 200,000 sites on the web).
I want to give a shout out to the NCN Blog for a ton of traffic from one of my carnival posts.  Great job hosting the carnival!

Goals for December:

-8 quality posts 3 posts per week / 12 posts per month
-1500 visits
-2500 pageviews
-1000 visitors

Thanks to everyone for following the blog!  Let me know what you’re interested in reading more about (or what you don’t care for) so I have a better sense of what’s working.  As fun as following the traffic stats is for a data hound like myself,  I’ve been blown away by the response you’ve had so far.  It’s inspiring and motivating to hear that I’m helping you develop a more conscious relationship with your money.  I’m glad we’re on this journey together, laying a solid foundation so that we can chase after our dreams, whatever they may be.

How can you help?

Tell a friend about Dealerity.  There are lots of ways to share the content.  Look below each post and you’ll see buttons to Facebook post or Tweet an article that you particularly like.  Also, you can subscribe in the upper right hand corner and receive emails via your RSS reader or email.  This is a really good way to make sure you’re alerted if there’s a new post.  Last, but not least, link to me!  If you like the blog, add me to your blogroll and shoot me a message and I’ll return the favor (provided it’s content I think Dealerity readers will enjoy).

10/2010 Traffic Report – Moving on up

Welcome to the 2nd installment on my monthly traffic reports.  As mentioned last month, I have an unhealthy relationship with statistics and programs like Google Analytics and Sitemeter are the biggest creative distractions ever, so I post these updates to increase my sense of accountability to my goals and also extract a little bit more value from all the analysis I do on the traffic numbers.

October saw a big improvement in traffic:

Posts in October: 10 (vs. 7 in September and goal of 20).  Probably time to revisit my posting schedule goals.  Since I’ve got a pretty demanding job, I’d be happy to write 2 to 3 quality posts per week.

Unique Visitors: 289 vs. 35 last month!

Visits: 350 vs. 79 last month!

Time on Site: 1:50 vs. 9 minutes last month (likely driven by all my visits)

I definitely began seeing a lot of traffic this month from all the blog carnivals I’ve been participating in.  This has been a great source of generating backlinks from high quality sites, traffic from new visitors, and just plain fun.

The article speculating about 401k maximums for 2011 got picked up the first page of Google for a basket of solid long tail keywords.  To my surprise I started getting 15 to 20 hits a day from Google traffic.  This really spurred my interest in keyword research so I’ve been doing a lot of homework on programs like Market Samurai to better understand how search engine traffic works.  It’s been a fun little adventure.

Goals for November:

-10 quality posts

-500 visits

-813 pageviews

-415 visitors

Anyways, thanks to everyone for reading!  Let me know what you’re interested in hearing more about — or what articles you particularly like so I have a better sense of what’s working and not working.

September Traffic Report

Since I started this blog, Google Analytics has been one of my guilty pleasures.  Even though this blog is still early in its life, for some reason I’m captivated by the statistics.  In the interest of transparency and accountability to adhere to my posting schedule, I thought I’d start to post monthly traffic reports — if I’m going to spend this much time playing around with the stats, I may as well post on it.

My first post was on August 20th, and as you can see from the beginning of September I was basically the only one visiting the site.  Perhaps occasionally one of my friends would visit, but basically no one knew about it.  This is demonstrated by my whopping 9 minute avg. site visit time.

Posts in September: 7 (vs. goal of 20)

Unique Visitors: 35

Visits: 76

Time on Site: 9 minutes (likely driven by all my visits)

Towards the end of the month, once I had some content, I started promoting it a little bit.  I shared one of my articles, “The best things in life are free.” on facebook and got 17 visits which I thought was pretty good.  Then at the very end of the month I started submitting to blog carnivals and got hits from the Carnival of Debt Reduction (4) and the Carnival of Personal Finance (4).  I also set up my feed and got one visit from feedburner and twitter.   No getting any traffic from post related keywords yet.

Stay tuned for the traffic report from October which I’ll try to post in a more timely manner than September.

Thanks to the The Income Blog and the Carnival of Struggling Bumbling Newbies for featuring my traffic report