November 2016 Traffic Report

The holiday season is in full swing and Christmas is right around the corner. This also means that the time has changed so the days are shorter and it gets darker earlier. When this happens I'm less motivated to do things during the evenings and this has resulted in me only posting three new posts this month. On the plus side, I did come up with about 20 new post ideas and also created two new YouTube videos.

Since I didn't feel like spending much time this month created new content I decided to spend my time focusing on improving my blog's organic reach or SEO. Before I dig into this, let me define what SEO is and why it's important for my blog.

Growing a blog: November 2016 Traffic Report | A Relaxed Gal

(This post contains affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.) 

I started off by doing some research online and finding tips from other bloggers on things you can do to improve the SEO of your blog.

Overall month-over-month I saw the number of unique visitors decrease, which isn't too surprising since I didn't post much new content and the holiday season started in November. What did improve month-over-month was the amount of time visitors are spending with my content and my bounce rate. Both are slowly moving in the right direction.

I share my monthly traffic reports partly to hold myself accountable and help me keep a closer eye on my monthly stats. I also do this in the hopes of helping and encouraging other bloggers who are looking to grow their online presence.

November 2016 Blog Stats

  • Sessions: 4,054 (-13.49%)
  • Users: 3,109 (-16.27%)
  • Pageviews: 5,720 (-12.90%)
  • Pages/Sessions: 1.41 (+0.71%)
  • % of New Sessions: 66.92% (-5.17%)
  • Bounce Rate:80.83% (-2.36%)

November 2016 Top 5 Blog Posts

  1. Why You Should Pre-poo Before Washing Your Hair
  2. How To Keep Relaxed Hair Moisturized In The Winter
  3. Product Review: Cantu Shea Butter Leave-in Conditioning Repair Cream
  4. Achieving Smooth Hair After Relaxer Stretching For 9 Weeks
  5. 4 Benefits Of Using Coconut Oil On Chemically-treated Hair 

November 2016 Top 4 Traffic Drivers

  1. Google/organic
  2. Pinterest
  3. Direct
  4. Facebook

November 2016 Social Media Stats

  • Bloglovin: 87 (-1)
  • Facebook: 71 (+8)
  • Google+: 61 (0)
  • Instagram: 284 (+9)
  • Pinterest: 1569 (+215)
  • Twitter: 381 (+14)
  • YouTube: 53 (+6)

How I Did With My November Goals

  • Grow my pageviews to 7,000 - NO
    • As I mentioned earlier I didn't post a lot of new content this month, so I'm not surprised I didn't meet this goal.
  • Work on improving my SEO - YES
    • Since I wasn't really spending much time in November creating new content, I decided to spend more time updating old content to improve my SEO.
  • Grow my email subscriber list to 50 - NO
    • I did gain about 18 new subscribers this month, but I didn't even get halfway to my goal of 50 total subscribers. The main reason for not reaching this goal is I didn't promote my email list outside of adding a signup form to a few of my popular posts.
  • Add more images to my photo library- YES
    • I think I should have been more specific about the number of images I wanted to add to my photo library. I ended up only adding two. 

What worked

SEO optimization for old posts
This was pretty much the only thing that worked for me last month. Probably because this is really the only thing I worked on for the month of November. To optimize older posts for SEO I started with creating a list of my most popular posts. I then when to each post to
  • Review the content to see where the keyword gaps were 
  • Update the content and added missing keywords
  • Update the metadata
  • Add related post links
  • And in some cases change the post title to include keywords
Since I started doing these things I've seen a 21%+ month-over-month increase in my organic traffic which has made me very happy.

What didn't work

Growing my email list
I really didn't do much to grow my email list outside of adding a signup form to the sidebar of my site and to some of my popular posts. I need to be more aggressive with promoting my email subscription and creating incentives for people to sign up. I think I will leave that as a goal for 2017 instead of tackling it in December.

My December Goals

  • Grow my pageviews to 6,800
    • I'm going to be more realistic with this goal this month. What with Christmas only a few weeks away and the time change I anticipate my blog post schedule will be impacted just like in November.
  • Continue improving my SEO
    • Optimize another 20 posts for SEO. Organic traffic is now about 1/3 of my traffic and surpassed Pinterest to be my number one traffic driver. This is crazy when just about a month ago half of my traffic was coming from social sites. 
  • Complete my January content calendar
    • I've started planning my January content and I want to finish it this month so I can start creating and scheduling my content.
  • Start my February content calendar
    • I want to be more organized with my blog in 2017 and consistently create content. The best way to do that is to plan and schedule my content for each month.
What's been going on with your blog lately?