Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Troy

AALBC.com Traffic Continues to Improve: How This Info Can Benefit Your Site

Recommended Posts

AALBC-Contibnues-to-improve.jpgI'm not sure if the graph on the right is legible, but it depicts the source of AALBC.com's traffic for the three month periods, May 2016, May 2015, and May 2014.  For each of these periods more than 90% of my traffic comes from three sources Organic Search (visitors who arrive at the site as a result of a query on a search engine), Direct Traffic (visitor entering a URL directly or clicking a bookmark), and Referral Traffic from other websites.

I picked May because it is a typical month, not the busiest month, usually February (Black History) and November (holiday shopping), nor the slowest month usually July (vacation time). While I'm not sharing my specific numbers, just percentages, the information should still be useful.   

AALBC.com's Website traffic has also steadily increased and improved on virtually every single metric.

The website's upgrade which has been ongoing for the past 6 month, and will probably take a year to complete, has resulted in an anticipated improvement in engagement, based upon the average number of pages views, per visit.  The number of pages viewed per visit more than doubled since 2014.  

This is on top of an increase in the number of overall visitors which continues to grow each year; up 108% from 2013, 80% from 2014, and 68% from 2015 for the month of May.

Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc) has held steady at roughly 3% the past year I've greatly reduced the amount of time I spend engaging directly on social media--limiting my activity to posting links usually directly from the page I'm sharing, without visiting the social media site. So it is good to see that a tremendous reduction  of time spent on social media has had no adverse impact on the traffic generated from social media.

In fact, because website traffic is up overall that 3% actually an increase in visitors (all organic) from social media during the periods measured. The vast majority of social media referral come from Facebook, Twitter is a distant 2nd and all the others including Google+ and Pinterest are negligible sources of traffic to AALBC.com

Referral traffic (visitors directed by hyperlink on other sites), as a function of percent of total traffic has declined steadily over the past three years dropping from approximately 12% to 3% of overall traffic.  Referral traffic tends to be the highest quality traffic, visitors referred from other sites tend to stay on the site longer and view more websites than any other source.

Sadly, the decline of referral traffic is due to a few reasons; (1) a decrease in the number of websites that historically linked to AALBC.com; (2) the trend of larger sites not to link to other websites; and (3) a trend toward Facebook away from standalone websites as one primary web presence.  

All of these problems feed on each other making the others worse.  I've actually invested years trying to change this trend; obviously with little impact. All I can do is continue to link to other websites and continue to fight, because as referral traffic dries up, we all becoming increasingly dependent upon corporate website for traffic—which comes at a much higher cost.

I'm sharing this information to potentially help other webmasters by giving them another website to which they can compare their stats and ideally, figure out ways to improve their traffic.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great post Troy. It's always good to see the results of work on a site. I understand appreciate the struggle. You definitely benefit from consistency. I have a question for you. Is your message board the ultimate driver of traffic to your site? I know that personally have the Stream bookmarked and I very rarely go to the homepage to get to the message board because I know that the message board will have a new topic, or some debate and it has the type of engagement that drives the type of quick visits that we all tend to do. I don't typically browse through the other parts of the site until you share a link from inside of a post here.

I've begun doing a new feature on my sneaker site to increase traffic and it's working great. I'm using the Press This feature to share sneaker industry news. Obviously I need to do this for CBP, and I will, but content is king for us until we can get a cosign or share from a larger platform (which still only provides a temporary bump in traffic unless the bigger site shares the info consistently).

Nice update anyway and congrats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @CDBurns  This discussion forum, in general, is not a major driver of traffic to his site.  I think it should be, and could be, but for now social media owns that space.

That said, two popular pages on this site for May (shown below) are here on the forums.  Over 1,500 people who visited "The 10 Best Damn Websites Period" post and spent on average 6 minutes of the page.  Even though there is not much conversation on these pages they are read frequently.  

The overall driver to the site is content related to books.  The lists are very popular including the various bestsellers lists, children book lists, etc.  These pages are far more popular than anything on the discussion forums.

The articles I've written about the clousre of bookstores are very popular: http://aalbc.com/blog/index.php/2014/03/31/54-black-owned-bookstores-remain-america/index.html  Even through this article was written over two years ago, it consistently bring at least a thousand readers a month often many more.  But other sites link to this article and as discussed referral traffic is a key to our collective survival, though it is a tool few of us use.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Considering what UPROXX and the like are doing I can see how the LISTS posts are the primary drivers of traffic. It's easy to share this type of info and it allows for engagement. There is a reason why so many people create those lists that have clickthrough pictures for the countdown. I guess the goal is to continue building the lists... which you said a while back that you would focus on anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well to be clear while I recognize how lists attract visitors; I'm not interested in building list solely for that reason, and I'm definitely not interested in creating lists for the sake of having people click through multiple pages to see each item on a list--I hate sites that do that. (I'm not suggesting that you were saying this Chris, I'm clarify this for other readers who may not know this)

I use list in the in the content of aggregating information about books.  For example take a look at the page for Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming, you'll see that the book has been recognized in a variety of ways, bestsellers lists, awards, book club reading lists I think this is where the real value lies it helps readers find good books. 

I actually was not familiar with UPROXX until now. Honestly I'm not interested in replicating their model--though I can see why it would be much more lucrative than what I'm doing.  You'll notice the site is much harder to navigate due to the prominence and positioning of ads. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's funny how UPROXX works. I actually hate that they bought Dimemag.com Dime used to be one of the best basketball mags and sites in the biz and it has just fallen apart. I guess the same problem in publishing with Black websites has happened in every industry. There used to be a ton of indie sports site, now there are only a few. Those left over are basically getting what they can and exiting. You can see why they are doing so though. When they become a part of the machine there is a lot of dough in the payout... but it leaves the market less interesting. Check out this post on how much Hypebeast (a former indie lifestyle blog) garnered in a Chinese IPO: http://www.cbpublish.com/lifestyle-blog-hypebeast-soars-708-in-record-asia-debut-bloomberg/

I hate those clickthrough lists, but I get it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×