The theme of October’s marketing data was: organic content marketing pays off. While I already knew that was true, it’s exciting seeing it happen on such a small scale. Much of my work in the past has been as a full-time content marketer, which means I wasn’t simultaneously running a business. As such, I’ve experienced a lot of self doubt—and frustration. I could do so much before, whereas now I can do very little.
This month is proof, however, that if you put in the time, you CAN see results. Great content, smart keyword choice, high-quality backlinking and consistent marketing (even if your audience is teensy weensy) does work over time. If you’re still struggling in this area, let me first say: I feel you. Secondly, check out my content marketing packages—I can help you get on track.
Now, it’s time to dive in.
Marketing Data Overview
I’m so excited to see my traffic increasing overall for the month of October, from sessions and pageviews to organic traffic. Check it out:
I’m most excited to see the increase in organic traffic. The value of organic content marketing is that you do a lot of work upfront to enjoy the long-term benefits. With a great backlink profile, high-quality content that readers find valuable, and an engaged audience, you can eventually push less to enjoy the same benefits, RE: high traffic and an engaged audience.
I wanted to share the graph below to show you the increase in organic traffic over time; since January of this year (2018). As I looked at it, I found myself trying to answer the question of “why” as I noticed the peaks and valleys.
After a cursory analysis, cross-checking my data with Moz’s timeline of Google Updates, the increases in traffic over the course of the year correlate with Core Google Algorithm Updates. These updates continue to benefit people like us that are creating great content but struggle to compete with massive competitors.
Google wants to connect searchers with the most valuable and relevant content, but if you can’t rank, how can you ever get in front of the people who need to find your articles and website? That’s what these updates are often working toward—a better experience for the searcher.
It also means smaller sites can get a little more love if they’re doing all the right things. Check out the graph below, with the approximate date of two specific algorithm changes circled:
Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty of what worked and what didn’t. Want to see previous month’s marketing data? Check out August and September.
Things That Worked
#1: More sharing on Twitter = increases all around.
I’m really excited to see that my hypothesis was correct, at least for month one. With my new intern, we’ve been posting on Twitter five times each day, along with RTing, commenting and liking throughout the day. (Follow me @JThiefels!)
My guess was that by pushing more on Twitter I’d see an increase in engagement and followers. As the one social network that consistently drives traffic to my site, I’d like to also see click throughs increase. I went from 55 tweets in September to 141 in October and within this first month, I saw some great improvements.
See a screenshot below of my Twitter analytics dashboard:
Some specific things I’ve noticed:
- On average, about 1 in 3 tweets get some kind of engagement. Before it was nearly zero.
- My follower count increased by 14 percent, from 646 to 740—almost 100 new followers in October.
- Traffic to my website went from 13 to 20; a small change, but a sign that things are moving. Interesting to note that nearly 100 percent of those clicks are coming from my bio link, rather than blog posts I’m sharing. I’m interested to watch this trend in the coming months—this may be a hotspot for high-priority links. I will report back next month!
#2: Changing my Instagram mindset.
I’ve talked about not counting your followers and being more authentic on Instagram, yet it continues to be a challenge for me to simply let it evolve into whatever it’s going to be. This month, I decided to take the pressure off and use it for what it is—a networking tool; a way to share my life with professional friends, share my expertise where possible, and connect with like-minded people.
While I didn’t see any outstanding improvements in follower count, and saw even less good news when I looked at clicks to my site, I am enjoying the work a lot more. If you follow my stories, you likely know that I’m transitioning into some new work and projects. I now see Instagram as being a valuable tool for the space I’m moving toward and sharing my voice on topics I’ve never felt I was “credible” enough to share on.
It’s important to remember that mindset shifts like this are just as important as actual data. How we feel about what we’re doing dictates how well it works—if you’re half-assing the work, you won’t get results. Period.
P.S. Follow me on Instagram to stay connected!
#3: I’m ranking for “social media coaching.”
I am so excited to have gotten two separate requests for social media coaching this week! When I told my husband, he immediately hopped into an incognito page and typed in “social media coaching san diego”—what did we find?? My social media coaching page is ranking third for that search! What’s more, my Google business page is right at the top when you search “social media coaching,” which is of course based on current location.
See the search results below for “social media coaching san diego” and “social media coaching.”
I also know that this ranking in search is what earned me at least one of the leads I got last week, which has now converted into a coaching session this week. Organic content marketing works if you DO the work (and do it right). Plain and simple.
Things That Didn’t Work
#1: Extra traffic did not = more conversions.
While I did see an increase in conversions this past week, technically, overall, I’m not seeing many leads come through my site; nor have I been able to drive a lot conversions with my freebie.
Though I’m listing this as “things that didn’t work” I know why this is happening and have plans in place to resolve some of these challenges:
- The opt-in freebie isn’t as appealing as I’d like it to be. I know it’s valuable and helpful, but I’m excited to get a newer freebie live that will be broader, and likely attract a wider range of visitors. (Want to create your own opt-ins? Check out this digital freebie guide.)
- I’m currently developing a content-focused freebie with a sales funnel to help drive conversions that way—that’s launching in January, so stay tuned!
- My social media coaching page is getting a lot of traffic but not many conversions. I have a few page updates in the works and in mind that will be coming soon, including video content and some fresh educational content right on the landing page.
What Does Your Marketing Data Say?
Did you dive in this month? Do you see any similarities with my data for October? Comment below or reach out on social media!
Curious about my social media coaching?
“She unlocked social media clarity for me. If social media feels like throwing Jell-O at a wall right now, do yourself a favor and talk to Jessica Thiefels Consulting!” – Justine Nelson, client and founder, Debt Free Millennials