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.
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.