NICHE EMPIRE PROJECT
Inside what it takes to build a profitable online property.
MONTH 3: JANUARY 2019
In this article:
Another New Site
LAST MONTHS EARNINGS (USD)
TOTAL EARNINGS (USD)
ARTICLES PUBLISHED (83 Total)
MONTHLY GOOGLE IMPRESSIONS (thousand)
MONTHLY GOOGLE CLICKS
Month 3 has arrived and we’ve now got a healthy number of articles on the website (83). Organic traffic is up by 352% with the rest coming from general testing and adding content to the site.
The total number of visitors is up by 248% although the numbers are still low of course. Total sessions also up by 179.63%. Still not pulling up any trees but we are still firmly in the Google sandbox and we should be in a good position once we are set free!
The above graph looks pretty flat but this is where my the favorite graph showing a rolling total for active users comes in (see below). You can see that things are trending in the right direction nicely.
Once again some good improvements in terms of how many times we’re showing up in Google and the resulting number of clicks. 6.6k impressions last month and 21.7k this month.
You can see that this graph seems to show a downward trend towards the end of the month and I think this has to do with the fact that I implemented A LOT of internal linking this month (See below). Something that you can’t do until you have articles on the site. I expect things to settle in the next couple of weeks and a return to our upward trends.
Highlights: What I did this month
There were three main focuses that I think are worth discussing this month.
- Internal linking
- Primary keyword pillar articles
- Starting a new site
This month was the month for picking up on internal linking. I could not have done it until now as there were not enough other articles to link to each other.
I systematically went through every article on the site (for my more focused niche – see ‘niching my niche’ in last months post) and added inline internal linking from one post to another focusing primarily on making sure that as many posts as possible linked back to my main ‘money’ review articles.
Why is internal linking important?
There are a number of reasons for doing this.
Firstly, by linking articles from one another, you are sharing any SEO ‘juice’ Google has for a page around the site. If a page on your site has a certain amount of ‘equity’ with Google then by linking from this page to another you are passing on some of that equity to the new page.
Secondly, you are telling Google what the website is about and what it’s most important pages are. If a page gets a lot of internal links then this is a clear indicator to Google that this is what the site is about but also that this page is more important than others.
Hopefully, this will result in Google viewing that page (as long as the content is good quality) more favorably.
Thirdly, it was observed after the Panda update that websites with more internal links tend to do better than those that don’t. In general, it is assumed, great websites also have great internal linking.
Finally, it allows you to pass visitors around your site more freely, directing them to the ‘money’ pages and also reducing your bounce rate, another positive metric for Google.
If you do any amount of research on ‘internal linking’ then you’ll find that some people recommend different ‘linking strategies’ ranging from very strict structures to something a little more relaxed.
However, I think that you can overthink this aspect of SEO and trying to maintain a ‘strategy’ for internal linking can become a bit of an overhead.
I think you’re far better off just linking to pages that make sense within the context of the article always mindful that you want to link people back to your main ‘money’ pages.
So, I try to send a lot of links to the most important pages and link to other articles where it makes sense. I also think this is a less risky long term than having a very rigid structure. I’m always wary of ‘manufactured strategies’ instead of going for something more natural because Google may look upon this badly longer term.
That said, when I get a new ‘category’ added to the site, I won’t link across categories too much as this will dilute the relevance of a category somewhat. (This is something that is recommended by the ‘silo approach’ so I am being a bit of a hypocrite, but relevance is so important these days. Natural linking should produce topic silos of sorts anyway, I’d just guard against it being too rigid). However, if it makes sense on the odd occasion, I’ll be happy to do so.
For any new articles written, internal linking will be part of this exercise going forward. In addition, I’ll be sure to add 4-5 internal links from other articles to the new article.
Primary Keyword Pillar Articles
The website at the moment has one specific niche but I’ve yet to tackle the ‘primary’ keyword as it’s a little more competitive than others and in honesty, probably out of reach for a while yet but there are a series of second tear keywords that I have been able to go after.
As an example (not my niche):
- Best Tennis Balls – Very competitive
- Best Orange Tennis Balls – Not so competitive
- Best Pink Tennis Balls – Not so competitive
But now I want to tackle this ‘main’ keyword and I will add internal links from all the second tier articles to my primary keyword article. As such, I’m going a bit bigger for my primary keyword and creating a 5,000-word article which covers all aspects of, in this example, ‘tennis balls’ and offerings that are available at the top and budget ends of the market.
In addition, I’ve also created another pillar article which is a ‘buyers guide’ that lists and categorizes all the products in my niche, which will ultimately link off to relevant articles for products I have reviewed.
These are articles that should be able to acquire links once I start outreach and link building to the site.
Another New Site
Given how painfully long it takes for sites to age in Google these days, I decided to start another site which will focus purely on a micro-niche. This site will never be that large but I wanted to have a go at creating a micro-niche site in addition to an authority site as a useful exercise.
This will very much be something that I will work one when I have the time but wanted to get the site up and live with a few articles so that the site can start to ‘age’ so I can skip the first 6 months of sandbox time when I do come round to spending more time working on it.
Nothing too much to report. Article writing has been going well and I’m glad that I’ve managed to get the big exercise of internal linking completed.
The biggest challenge at the moment is patience. 3 months feels like a long time and an incredible amount of work has gone in to this project so far. And right now, we’re not seeing the fruits of that labor.
However, I know it will pay off in the end. It’s important in these early days to not lose heart and continue to working as hard, if not harder so that when good things come, they come thick and fast.
All going well. As expected up until this point and hoping to see further progression next month.
Next month I’m going to focus on SEO metadata which I’ve not given too much attention to so far, as my main goal up until this point has been just getting new content on the site and indexed.