Welcome to another edition of ‘What can we learn about our own blog from watching Mack obsess over his?’
Ok, as most of you know, in January I decided to ramp up my posting schedule. Since this blog’s launch 2 years ago (BTW Happy Birthday!) up till January of this year, I had kept to a pretty consistent schedule of 1-2 posts a week. Sometimes I’d have a bit more, sometimes a bit less.
But if mid January, I decided to really boost my posting here. I went from 1-2 posts a week, to 4-6. I immediately saw a huge spike in traffic, and along with it, search traffic. Now to be fair, search traffic here was already increasing at a steady pace, but as soon as I started posting more in mid January, the gain increased. Here’s a graph of my weekly search traffic over the life of the blog:
The X marks the spot at which I started posting more often in January, and as you can see, the last 6 weeks or so has been sideways. Also note the slow and steady growth, but it seemed to kick up an extra notch right after the X.
Now this graph bugs me, because I want to understand why search traffic has flattened over the past 6 weeks. I did some checking and thinking and I’ve come up with two possibilities:
1 – I haven’t been posting as much. Every week since April the 10th, I have posted a consistent 4 posts a week here. The next week is when search traffic started going sideways. The three weeks prior to that, I posted 5-6 posts each week. That’s one possibility.
2 – I haven’t been focusing as much on specific search keywords and phrases. I honestly think this is it more than posting schedule. From Jan through March I really tried to focus on specific keywords and phrases not only in my post title, but in the post as well. And it really worked, I got excellent search rankings usually within a few hours for whatever search keyword/phrase I had targeted.
So here is the (very) inexact method I have come up with to test to see which is the cause of my flatlining search traffic.
This week, I will post 5 posts here. This one is the second for this week, so there will likely be a new one here on Wednesday through Friday as well.
Next week, I will go back to posting 4 new posts here, but each one will be search optimized with a particular search keyword/phrase in the title and the post.
Then in a couple of weeks, I’ll report back and share the results with you. My guess is that 4 search-optimized posts will produce more search traffic next week, than 5 non-optimized posts will this week.
And no, this isn’t a perfect test, and it won’t definitively prove anything. This is more about me wanting to get a better understanding of how my blog works, and what impacts search results. That way when I am at a conference and someone asks me a question about search traffic, I can give them my own experiences, instead of just regurgitating what some other blogger wrote 😉
If you obsess over your search traffic as well, what have you discovered that impacts it? Do you think posting more often or spending more time optimizing for search will help me?