Niche Site Case Study 1 – Update Sep-14

This is the third monthly update for the Niche Site Case Study, where I will show you how I take a niche and attempt to rank a website that earns a passive income. With the ultimate goal of flipping this site for a 16-20x multiple.

The First ‘Normal’ Month

So after all the ups and downs of the spammy links attack, September was quiet, very quiet. In fact, I put in zero hours on the site.

Why?

Well partly due to lack of time and partly to give the site a break and see how it was treated by Google without any additional content or backlinks.

To say I was pleased with the outcome is an understatement. I believe this site has the potential to hit mid 4 figures /month if given the proper focus and attention.

What Happened In September?

SERP Movement

SERP Rankings September-14

 

Niche Site Rankings Sep-14

 

The table above shows some of the keywords I m tracking in SERPBook. Now the site is performing well I will add more keywords to the campaign and start to target & track those.

Traffic

Last Month

Clicky Basics Aug-14

This Month

Clicky Basics Sep-14

Well, traffic volume is certainly on the up-and-up, with a 427% increase from last month bringing a total of 2,319 visitors.

One statistic that is interesting is that my average time on site is over 1 minute less than last month, yet my bounce rate and average action per user remain the same.

I can only assume it’s down to August being a poor comparison due to the short time the site had recovered in the SERPS.

Earnings

I don’t normally share income on this blog, however, for this niche site I am willing to break that rule!

Amazon Commissions Sep-14

The site made a total of £208.63 ($336.32) in September, which is more than a 700% increase from last month!

Total Earnings To Date

  • June-14 – £47.53
  • July-14 – £64.54
  • Aug-14 – £25.77
  • Sept-14 – £208.63
  • Total – £346.47 ($558.53)

If we were to look at the current site value, I would use a 15x multiple (this is the rough average of site sales between Flippa and EmpireFlippers – with the latter being the higher of the two).

That would give us a site valuation of £3,129 ($5,018) – (which is the latest monthly £208.63 x 15, however you usually take the average of the last 3 months)

Do I think the site is worth that much? It’s too soon to tell given the short space of time since the drop in rankings and the recovery in the SERPS, but probably not.

It would be great if I can get the site to continue its trajectory (October is already looking promising) however I am all too aware that there is a Panda update imminent and with the latest PBN scare…who knows what can happen!

Next Steps….

Given that the site seems to be on the up-and-up, here are my plans for the coming months.

More Content

I will have a batch of content created this week and will publish this at a frequency of around 2-3 articles per week, targeting longer tail and brand keywords.

Improved Navigation

I’m embarrassed to say that the site looks terrible and the navigation sucks big time. Maybe this is why the CTR is high as people just want to get off the eye-sore of a site and check out the products?

In August I attempted to make the site look nicer with a different theme that killed the CTR – so I need to tread carefully. Ugly does work sometimes.

The change I will make will be to aid the user and also for SEO benefits (Silo’s etc).

I will leave the theme alone for now and perhaps improve the logo but this is not that important for now.

Improve The Site Speed

The current Pingdom test shows me my current homepage load time is 8.47 seconds, which is terrible!

Pingdom Speed Test Sep-14

I have identified a plugin that is causing most of that delay and I will attempt to get that down to as low as possible.

I think site speed and user stickability is super important in today’s Google Algo, so I will do all I can here.

Your On-Page SEO is super important and for this site it’s gone overlooked for too long.

Mini 5-10 site PBN

Despite the recent Public Blog Network attacks by Google, I will make a start on a small PLN (Private Link Network) of super related domains, with relevant and high-quality content.

I have a VA that can churn out 20 articles per week, all of the same quality on a specific topic. She is very good and reliable.

I cannot tell you how important it is to get people you can rely on. I prefer using UpWork to manage my writers, however, one tool I am looking to switch to is CopyCog which was developed by Gael Breton of AuthorityHacker.com.

I’ve tested the beta and it will make content management so easy. He is offering the product for FREE so be sure to check it out.

So back to the PLN…I won’t be building any links from the PLN this month, I will give the sites at least 3 months to mature and get some good quality content up etc. I will also use this mini-network to build a blueprint for future PLN’s.

Having a process I can follow to create a high authority link site that will pass a manual review, use social profiles, and stand on its own 2 feet will be worth its time investment 10x over.

Analytics & Tracking

Whilst I have the site set up with Google Analytics and Clicky, it needs more attention.

For starters, I don’t know which pages are pulling in the most traffic, which are leaking visitors and how they interact with the site.

Knowing all of this will give me the opportunity to update and optimize each and every possible element so that when I do push higher in the SERPS it won’t be wasted.

Key Takeaway Points

  1. Last month I said “Sometimes doing nothing is the answer” and September is evidence of that.
  2. This may very well be my last niche site – however, to take the next step it will need to develop into an authority site
  3. Once you hit a certain income/traffic level, it’s important to have a plan in place for growth

Are you continuing to build niche sites or moving onto authority sites?