068: How I increased my pageviews by 113% in 5 months
Creating content for your readers is an important part of growing your business and website traffic. That's something I learned first hand this year after analyzing my website stats (statistics).
In this blog, I share with you the exact numbers from my Analytics panel (yes, screenshots are included) and the exact steps that I took to achieve a 113% increase in pageviews when comparing the first five months of 2018 and 2019.
My biggest lesson was "Publish useful content weekly" and "Look at your own path of progress." For the full story, see the rest of my blog:
Content creation is a vital marketing tool for your business
In this online era when it seems that every Tom, Dick and Harry looks up things on the internet for every aspect of their lives, it is inevitable that you would want a website for your business or organization. If you have a website with 3 to 5 pages describing your mission, presenting a way to be contacted and other general information, you are way ahead of the curve already. According to a survey conducted by research company, Clutch, a huge percentage of businesses in the United States still do not have a website. With a website, you now have an online presence and a digital business card that can be accessed from anywhere in the world at any time of day or night. Of course, I can help you create a beautiful site in 2 weeks or less.
Unfortunately, simply having a digital business card is no longer sufficient if you want to reach a wider audience, sell your services/products, enroll new members into your programs or fill the donation boxes of your non-profit organization. You need to have a content strategy for your website and regular content that’s periodically updated. I will tell you the benefits of having content on your site in just a second below.
What kind of content are we speaking about?
If you are not already creating content or are hearing this for the first time, you may be wondering, “Sophia, what do you mean by content and where do I start?”
By content, I mean any published material that informs your readers, potential clients, potential new members and any relevant stakeholders about your company or organization. This material can be in various formats including:
+ text articles also called blog posts,
+ videos (either in the form of tutorials, product presentations, interviews, event coverage and other visual content),
+ audio content such as podcasts
+ live webinar style trainings
+ or a combination of the above.
You start with one of these formats that best fits your current goals and business situation. Text articles are the easiest to begin with so if you are starting out make weekly blog articles your first goal. Regardless of what format you use, what is vital is that you create this content on a regular basis.
1| Pick a content format (example: blog or video)
2| Pick a publishing schedule (example: weekly, biweekly or monthly)
3| Stick to it for 2 years to see results (super important)
The topics covered in your content can focus on a mix of themes that help your reader in some way. Ideas for content topics include:
1. Product/Service presentation/demonstration
2. Informing or educating your audience
3. In-depth studies that present a relevant topic in detail
4. Solve a specific problem (without the need of purchasing anything from your business)
5. Case studies of past clients/projects
6. Interviews with other users of your products or thought-leaders/experts in your industry
Types of content I create for my readers
I tend to create video and blog content on my site. My blog articles that are around 1000 to 4000 words. (The word count on this blog is 2688). My videos (also embedded on my YouTube channel) can be anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes long. Long-form articles have been known to be good for SEO but my aim is not to reach a certain number of words in each post but rather to focus on clearly presenting a certain topic or theme that is helpful to my audience. So as a rule of thumb, write as long or as short as you need in order to clearly and concisely solve a problem for your reader.
You will notice that on my website, I create content that:
1. Shows my readers how to technically use the Squarespace platform for building their website
2. Shows my readers how to leverage their website to build an email list
3. Shows my readers business lessons that I’ve learnt that can inspire them in their own business
4. Educates my readers on website-relevant themes such as SEO for increasing traffic, leveraging their website to save costs and growing their online business.
5. Demonstrates design tips for their online presence using free tools (for example: how to design an email header without Photoshop)
All in all, the aim of my content is to help online entrepreneurs and non-profits leverage their online presence to best serve their readers and clients and as a result to grow their revenue as well as create a positive impact for their communities.
The many side-effects and benefits of creating good content
Creating good content has many benefits, both for your business/organization and your clients or potential clients. It truly is a win-win approach when you make serving your readers the goal of your content, not serving yourself as the goal. I have a list of blog articles ideas that I routinely collect on my product management app, Asana, but when I sit down to write a new blog article or create a new video tutorial, I ask myself, “How can I help my readers today?” Then the right topic emerges. Asking the right question, as they say, is key to finding the right answers. Here are some specific positive side-effects of creating good, helpful content so that my readers and clients can:
1| Experience my teaching style: Potential workshop or course students can have a taste of my teaching style so they know what to expect when they purchase an online course or register for a live workshop.
2| Assess my skills before hiring me: Potential clients can see an archive of past content to assess if I have the skills and knowledge to solve their business/organization problems before they invest their hard-earned money to hire me.
3| Save money: My current clients can save money as they can find solutions through my archive of video tutorials and blog articles that solve their problems. They can follow the step-by-step tutorials and implement themselves or delegate to a VA (virtual assistant) so they can rather reserve their resources to hire me for more customized services. Alternatively, they can feel confident in hiring me to do the same knowing that I an effectively solve their problem.
4| Feel good about working with me: All of this builds the like, trust and know factor and my potential clients see my business as reliable, competent and integral and my current clients want to continue to stay working with me.
And we haven’t even mentioned the major SEO benefits that your content brings to your website, helping your business to be found by more people who need and want what your business/organization offers. Nor have we spoken about how this positively helps to grow your email list.
Create Beneficial, Useful Content
As I mentioned earlier, the more you focus on how you can help your readers/clients, the better it is for your business in the long run. For example, one of my clients hired me to teach her how to add a video to the banner of her website. Then a past workshop student emailed me asking me the same. So I saw that this was a topic that was in much demand, so I decided to create a blog + video on that topic which can be freely accessed by both by my current clients and potential new ones.
Not Richard Branson but I follow his philosophy
Some may ask, “why create content that shows something for free when you actually can be hired for doing the same thing?” My answer is simple. I am clear about my aim in my business and that is to be of service. My aim is to help my client. My client can watch the free video tutorial on YouTube and that helps her. But if my client writes me and says, “Hey Sophia, I saw your video on YouTube on how to add a video banner, can you implement that on my site? I have a million other things I need to take care of”. This has happened in real life where I made an in-depth video showing how to step-by-step achieve something and then one of my past clients emailed me. She wanted to hire me to implement the exact same thing for her business.
So now, I have helped my client by freeing up her time. That’s a very fulfilling feeling. Imagine how awesome it is to free up someone’s time - time that is such a rare and dwindling commodity that we all want more of. What good karma you’ve created for your own self by saving time for another business owner. And my aim to of service has been achieved in both scenarios (free content and being hired). Now, I am no Richard Branson who wrote in a recent article that he didn’t start Virgin to make money, rather to make a positive difference in people lives. But I hope you are following my motivation here clearly because this way of thinking will go a long, long way for your business and your own life.
How I increased my pageviews by 113% in 5 months by creating useful regular content
Seeing real data is the best proof! Creating good, regular content has been vital for an increase in traffic for my website. To give you some real evidence, I want to compare the first five months of 2018 to the first five months of 2019. Right now, we are still in the middle of 2019 so comparing all 12 months of 2018 to the five months of 2019 doesn’t make sense to me. Of course, the period June to December of 2018 had a compounding impact on stats for this year so this analysis is not without incompleteness. But it suffices for the point I am making here ⏤ publishing regularly will positively benefit your traffic.
[Jan 1, 2018 - May 30, 2018] Vs. [Jan 1, 2019 - May 30, 2019]
The screenshot below is from my Squarespace Analytics page where I can see the traffic information for my site for the period of January 1st, 2018 until May 30th, 2018 (the first five months). And then below it, you will see the stats for the same time period in 2019 - Jan 1st till May 30th.
Here are the 2018 stats for the first five months:
And now compare, my 2019 stats for the first five months:
You can see that my site generated:
Jan to May
1,646 Unique Views
Jan to May
3,808 Unique Views
You can check your own website traffic stats by visiting your dashboard and navigating to the Analytics> Traffic panel.
Clearly, all three data points saw an increase. When I calculated the percent increase, I found that my website had landed 113% increase in pageviews for the 5 month period that we are comparing here.
To calculate percentage increase, you first figure out the difference between the old and the new data, then divide the difference by the old number and then multiply by 100.
3808-1646 = 2162
.567*100 = 56.77
57% increase in Unique Visits
3914-2017 = 1897
.94*100 = 94
94% increase in Visits
8448-3962 = 4486
1.13*100 = 113
113% increase in Pageviews
So you can see that for all three data points, my website generated a double or triple digit increase: 113% increase in Pageviews, 94% increase in visits and 57% increase in Unique Visits.
The simple way to increase traffic to your site: blogging consistently
To try and make some correlation of the increase in my stats with the content I published, I reviewed my Blog Archive to see how much content I published for the same time period (Jan - May) in 2018 and 2019:
2018 Blogs + Videos
4 Blogs from Jan to May
14 total from Jan to Dec
2019 Blogs + VidEoS
17 Blogs from Jan to May (18 counting this blog post)
? total from Jan to Dec (we are still in May 2019)
Comparing my content creation for 2018 and 2019
So here you see, that for the 2018 time period (Jan-May), I published 4 blog articles and videos whereas in 2019 (Jan-May), I published 17 blogs. That’s 13 more blogs published in the same time period. In fact, that’s more than what I published in the entire year of 2018 (annual total of 14 blogs).
I created four times as much content than the prior year to yield 57% increase in Unique Views. My goal was to create weekly blog + video in 2019 so I should have actually published 21 blogs by May but instead published 17 till now (18 if you count this post which was published on the last Thursday of May). I am still missing 3 posts from my 21 goal and that’s because I missed on content creation in the whole of March and the first part of April due to an unexpected surgery that put me in bed for 4 weeks. Considering all that, I am pretty happy to have 18 published articles this year so far ⏤ a majority of which are long-form articles plus most of them come with a video tutorial. I really gave it my all! :)
Compare yourself with yourself; not with others
Now for some of you these stats may be too little or too big. But that’s irrelevant to me. I have spent far too much time comparing myself to others and it has only pulled me down. The mind wants to compare ourselves with others’ journey but there’s really nothing to compare. We are all on our own unique journeys and although we can be inspired by the success of others and celebrate with them, we mustn’t measure our worth by comparing with others. We need to make our own experiences and learn from them. It is helpful rather to look at the path we have taken and how far we have come. Mistakes are learning lessons and indicators of what we need to change in the future.
The stats I shared with you today are by far not anywhere close to where I want my website traffic stats to be at but what’s important is that I can see how much progress I have made already and have assessed what exactly led to it. Publishing regular content this year has yielded a 113% increase in my Pageviews and that’s a stat worth noting as I continue my content creation plan of action for the rest of the year. Now for me, it is just about following what works and doing it consistently while keeping eyes on my own path.
My biggest lesson ⎯⎯ Publish Useful Content Weekly
In summary: That in a nutshell is my biggest lesson. Focus on helping your readership. Focus on creating useful content. Publish weekly. Look at your own path of progress. I hope you, too, will be inspired by this blog and what I’ve shared today and will begin work on crafting your very own content strategy or redesigning an existing one.
What do you think of the message in this blog article? Do you have a content strategy? If so, what format do you publish in and what topics do you cover? Chime in, in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
Free Live Training
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Hello! Glad to Meet You!
I am Sophia - the person behind this website. My intention is to provide useful content that helps solopreneurs, small businesses and not-for-profit organizations to build trust with their audience, grow the number of beloved fans as well as happy clients. I'm a Squarespace Authorized Trainer and a Certified ConvertKit Expert.
I love helping people through producing my weekly video tutorials and blogs, live workshops and online courses. Also, I work directly with clients in all aspects of content and email marketing strategy + implementation as well as designing high-converting Squarespace websites. Let me know in the comments if you've got a question and I'd be happy to help.