So this blog has been effectively dormant since early May when I started working on my book. I’ve left a few posts here and there, but my volume has definitely fallen off a cliff.
Which would lead you to believe that my blog’s traffic should have been down this summer as well, right? Surprisingly, it was not:
This graph is the weekly traffic here for 2012. The blue X marks the week at the end of April/beginning of May where I announced I was working on Think Like a Rock Star. There was a sharp decrease the following week in traffic, but after that traffic has been more or less flat for the rest of the summer.
Which doesn’t make sense, because obviously if I have been posting less, then referral traffic from social sites like Twitter and Facebook should be down as well, right?
Here’s referral traffic from Twitter this year:
And here’s referral traffic from Facebook for this year:
Both Twitter and Facebook referrals spiked a bit in July because of this post, but other than that both sources have been slowly decreasing in the amount of traffic they send here.
So if overall traffic here has been flat this summer, and referrals from social media sites are down, that has to mean that another source of traffic has increased, right?
Yes, here’s how search traffic has done here this year:
As you can see, search traffic has had slow and steady growth throughout the year, and that continued throughout the summer even though the number of new blog posts I published here decreased dramatically. In fact, the increase in volume of search traffic was enough to effectively negate the loss I saw in referral traffic from Twitter and Facebook.
But here’s the thing about search traffic: It can take a long time to cultivate a blog that can give you a solid volume of search traffic. Here’s the monthly volume of search traffic over the lifetime of this blog:
The total volume of search traffic here for my first full month of posting in June of 2009 was 85 visits.
Last month I had 8,261 visitors arrive here from search. That’s over 8,000 new monthly visitors in 3 years from ONE traffic source!
But the kicker is, notice that it took me approximately a year of blogging here before I started to see any real gains in search traffic volume:
June 2009 – 85 visits
June 2010 – 694 visits
June 2011 – 3,681 visits
June 2012 – 6,553 visits
The real search traffic benefits started kicking in after I had been blogging 12-18 months.
So if you are trying to figure out if your blogging efforts are paying off, don’t just look at raw traffic numbers, drill down and see how each traffic source is moving. For example, I now know that my search traffic is going to continue to rise even if I post less. But now that I will be posting more in the Fall, that means referral traffic from social sites like Twitter and Facebook will increase as well, which means overall blog traffic will grow as a result.
If you’ve been blogging for over a year, what have you seen from your search traffic? Has it increased? And if so, how long did you have to blog before you started to see that increase?