First report for 2012 for my first ever niche site that I started around July of 2011. It’s the start of a new year and this year I’ve decided to take this niche site further and make it into an authority blog for the niche and invest some money strategically to make it a successful Amazon site.
If you haven’t done so, check out the main case study page to track the progress and earnings of this Amazon niche site case study.
Respect My Authoritah! Creating an Amazon Authority Niche Site
Pardon my little Cartman moment for a second.
I’ve decided to turn this little 10-post niche site into an Amazon authority niche site. Here are my reasons why I’m moving away from a thin niche site.
Remember I mentioned that the keywords for this product niche has relatively low exact search volume and it’s a bad niche to get into? Well, after several months of better insights, I figured that there are quite a few long-tail buying keywords and the niche is rather evergreen as well as there aren’t that many ‘new’ products being introduced every few months.
Also, I feel that with a larger site, every single keyword-targeted page or post I add will bring in a few daily traffic, and collectively, these 2-3 digit search keywords will add up and compensate for the lack of search volume for the seed (main) keyword.
Besides, I’m not targeting Adsense revenue for this site, I’m concentrating on Amazon Associate program so the CPC value of my keywords aren’t as important.
Long term, the site will be more sustainable as there are more pages and post that will bring in organic traffic and I don’t have to worry as much if one page gets bumped off in the ever-changing rules of search engine ranking.
The site currently loads the free Flexibility 3 theme. I picked that theme because it’s highly configurable and suits larger niche sites pretty well. I don’t want to spend too much time and money learning a new theme for this site as I’ve tried quite a few already the past 5 months.
I’ll be rearranging the silo theme structure of the site for on-page SEO purposes.
I’ve seen great benefits of having solid on-page SEO for both reader experience and search engine crawling alike on my other sites so I’ll stick to doing the work up front as off-page SEO can get pretty costly over the long run.
I’ll be compiling a list of keywords and generate a site structure that facilitates easy crawling and theme identification for the search engine crawlers while making sure that the new pages get individual traffic daily through organic search.
I’ll most probably remove all but one Adsense unit for the site. Since this will be a very Amazon affiliate oriented site, I’ll need to make sure that the Adsense unit I’ll implement won’t compete with my Amazon call-to-action links and buttons. The few cents that Adsense brings in will be counter-productive if I lose a couple of bucks in commissions from Amazon.
For the Amazon links, I’ll retain the mix of content links, call-to-action buttons like “read more reviews” or “buy now”, as well as add strategic Amazon widgets in the sidebar or footer.
I’ll also add a pop-up window that shows a ‘special offer’ ad for a mid-priced item. It has worked before, but I didn’t give it a long-enough running period to track its efficiency.
OK, let’s proceed to the reports, there’s not much to report for January, but a lot of behind-the-scenes activities are going on that are worth mentioning as it affects my future goals of turning this little site into an Amazon authority niche site.
Long Tail Keywords
I’ve been tracking long-tail keywords that are actually bringing traffic to my site using a WordPress plugin called SEO Search Terms Tagging.
This little nifty plugin allows you to see exactly what keywords brought your visitors to a particular page. You’ll see that search terms ABC sent organic visitors home page, search terms DEF sent them to Product A review, and so forth. It’s very handy.
The results can help you refine your on-page SEO in terms of keyword relevancy, article length, and related synonyms for your page’s keyword also known as latent semantic index (LSI) keywords.
SEO Search Terms Tagging not only tells you the search terms your existing posts already cover, but a ton of keywords you may have missed (up to 500) that are still bringing in traffic.
I’ll be going through the buying keywords on this list and create posts and landing pages for them gradually.
Off-Page SEO and Ranking Keywords
Because I’ve decided to pursue this niche more seriously, I’ve committed to some off-page SEO services for this site. I’ve hired a backlinking provider to do the following:
- Submit 13 articles to article directory for backlinks using Ultimate Article Wizard, LinkVana, SEO Link Vine, Article Ranks, and Article Marketing Automation
- 60 Social Network Links
- 90 Social Bookmarks
- 30 RSS Feeds
- 150 Article Submissions
- 90 Web 2.0 Profiles
- 450 Forum Profiles
I didn’t pick those services individually, that’s just how the package goes.
For my 3 main keywords. Here are the initial SERP using sescout.com (click to enlarge)
The actual link building didn’t start until Feb 1st, so it’s easy to track. So for my main keyword, the site is hovering between the 50s-60s, for the secondary around 500 to oblivion, and for the last main keyword, around mid-200 range.
I wanted to track these using Market Samurai’s Rank Tracker but it no longer works very well due to a software change recently.
According to the provider, the service will be fully rendered around the third week of February, just in time or our end-of-month report for next week. Then the links will gradually get indexed over the next 2-3 months or so. So stay tuned.
The purpose of backlinking would be to get higher up in the search engine search results so I can get more traffic and as a result, more clicks on my Amazon links leading to more sales.
That’s the name of the game basically for niche sites, you need traffic. If you need organic traffic, you better be on the first two pages of Google and Bing.
Given that this site is making some money and averaging 3-5 orders per month with almost no traffic (average of 10-30 visits/day only), so if my daily traffic reaches a couple of hundred a day, in theory, the site should be able to make 5-8x more than it is doing right now.
The recent January Google algorithm change knocked my traffic down a little more than December as well, with some days just hitting 3 visits.
I played around with the Adbrite ad network as well as Chitika ad network for like a week and again, with no traffic, advertisements won’t work.
Collectively, Adsense, Chitika, and Adbrite pulled in a staggering $0.55! Useless!
For Amazon, it was just as bad, as I mentioned, January has been a bad month for me for most of my sites. The combination of post-holiday non-spending and January Google algorithm changes made it a low sales month.
To make matters worse. Someone ordered some spare parts (cheap items) last December and decided to return them, further reducing the amount earned for January.
So in total, the site only made $2.47 – ouch!
I’m not discouraged though because the low sales and advertisement income happened to all my sites and not just this one. This just looks worse because an 80% drop from $20 appears worse than a 80% drop from $1000 in terms of digits.
Stay tuned for February’s report for this Amazon niche site after getting some backlinks done and articles added to the site. Hopefully things would return to normal, or better yet, triple the past earnings.