My 10th SideGains blog traffic stats report… boy has that come around quickly! Like everyone probably, my perception of how quickly time is moving has changed since the coronavirus lockdown began in the UK. Each day appears to be melting into another and each week into the next.
My blogging life hasn’t changed too much to be honest, though I’m probably way more focussed upon it than I was before the pandemic reared it’s head. Perhaps it’s why April saw a big jump in visitors, especially in terms of organic traffic from Google.
I’ll give you the numbers and analysis below, but I suspect I may have turned a corner. If you believe in the tooth fairy and unicorns, perhaps SideGains has managed to get out of the fabled Google Sandbox, if there is such a thing!
Without further introductory blather, here are the blog traffic stats for April 2020. As per usual, I’ll provide detail for each of the different areas I’m tracking to provide context for the stats. Don’t forget… you can see all my monthly stats since July 2019 here: SideGains Blog Traffic Stats.
April 2020 Blog Traffic Stats from Google Analytics
Yet again I’ve seen a big jump in traffic… this has been the case for every month since July 2019, the exception being October 2019 where there was a very small drop. The increase would be even greater given I’m comparing April to March, with March having 31 days and April only 30.
I reported last month that I’d seen a increase in overall search positions for a whole bunch of keywords. So far this doesn’t appear to have changed and I’m pulling in more visits for the pages I’ve created across the board, though one or two stand out and bring in a little more traffic than the others.
I did lose ground on one of my posts in April, but I expected this. I reported on this sudden and pretty huge spike for one post last month for a keyword that wasn’t really relevant. That post has now dropped down in the search results as expected.
Looking specifically at April 2020 and comparing it to March 2020, Google Analytics shows the following:
|Month||Users||Sessions||Pages Per Session|
- Users have increased by +60.21%.
- Sessions have increased by +70.83%.
- Pages Per Session has decreased by +0.14 pages.
This is a big jump percentage-wise, especially considering April has a day less than March… and it’s very satisfying jump to see.
I’m starting to get to a point where I’m actively thinking of ways to increase my growth month on month. There are 3 big pushes I’ve undertaken for May as a result:
- Increase my activity in Twitter according to a new approach… I’ll write a post about this later in April.
- Committing to a 30 day blogging challenge, to increase content and try to get a boost in search engine results through sheer force of will!
- I’ve been working on a sociable Pinterest marketing strategy to try to drive visits from Pinterest. It’s a lot of work but it’s beginning to have a positive effect (more on this below).
The growth in April 2020 has really given me huge motivation to push harder than I have to date to really make some traffic gains.
SideGains Search Console Stats (Search Type: Web) April 2020
Google Search Console is of course in line with what Google Analytics shows. The month-on month growth is impressive here too for April compared to March 2020.
|Month||Clicks||Impressions||Avg. CTR||Avg. Position|
- Clicks have increased by +103.22%.
- Impressions have decreased by -10.74%.
- Average CTR has increased by +0.4 percentage points.
- Average Position has decreased by –5.9 places.
GSC is showing another whopping month for click growth in percentage terms, though don’t let me get ahead of myself since these are nowhere near great numbers to start making a decent income! If I could continue growing my visitors from Google organic searches every month by +100% for the next year, I won’t be complaining! This will level off though for sure.
My aim is to grow month-on-month by +30% for the next year so anything above this is putting growth in the bank, so to speak!
Impressions have decreased according to GSC by -10.74%. This was to be expected since I saw a huge jump in impressions last month because a specific post I’d published seemed to jump up the SERPs for a bizarrely unrelated search query that drove masses of impressions and lowered my average search position.
That page has now dropped back down the results for that keyword and experienced a corresponding decrease in impressions and search position, which I expected.
The positive impact of this is that my average click through rate has improved by +0.4 percentage points, which is double what it was last month. This is not unexpected when a post you have ranks for a term that it’s not really relevant for. In this case it may show high in search results, but people won’t click and visit because they can see it’s not relevant to them.
I use GSC Web Search Report as a kind of barometer rather than a precise indicator of growth. Google Analytics provides more detailed data on where SideGains is heading. Did you know, you can connect GSC and GA together to find keyword data hidden by the “not provided” keyword in Google Analytics?
Blog Posts & Pages
Here are all the posts I made in April 2020.
|Date||Post Title||Word Count|
|2020-04-03||SideGains March 2020 Blog Traffic Stats||1,486|
|2020-04-06||Google AdSense vs Google Ads… An Absurd Comparison||512|
|2020-04-07||9 Reasons Why You Should NOT Start a Blog||1,981|
|2020-04-08||An Unfortunate WordPress Admin Login Problem||620|
|2020-04-09||How to Change WordPress Passwords||689|
|2020-04-14||What is Google AdSense & Why Use It to Monetize?||1,138|
|2020-04-15||How to Create & Edit Reusable Blocks in WordPress||1,476|
|2020-04-21||How to Display Category Descriptions in WordPress||1,233|
|2020-04-27||A 3 Step Sociable Pinterest Marketing Strategy||3,205|
|2020-04-29||My 30 Day Blogging Challenge||1,082|
|Total Word Count||13,422|
At the end of April I have a total of 131 posts having published 10 posts in April 2020 (2 posts less than March 2020) totalling 13,422 words (3,200 words less).
I did struggle to maintain my output in March, largely due to having good weather in the UK and spending 2 weeks building a path and raised flower beds in my garden! This is now complete and so I’m now back in the saddle and striving to hit my 30 day blogging challenge objectives.
Pinterest and Twitter have been my focus in April.
I’ve begun a much more targeted approach in Twitter and really worked hard on a Pinterest marketing strategy to try to build followers and visits to SideGains. This approach already seems to be helping things to move in the right direction, but I won’t have a clear picture until the end of the April. You can never draw really useful conclusions on your marketing efforts until you have a good data set to look at.
Anyway, here are my April stats broken down by social media channel.
Twitter – @gains_side
You can see I was much more active in Twitter in April in terms of the number of tweets I made…. 100 more than March.
Again you can see from my stats comparing April to March that again there appears to be a relationship between tweet volume and impressions.
Follower growth was slow but I think again it’s down to not being as regular with tweeting as I should be and also tweeting at the wrong time of day. My new approach to Twitter is shift to a North American time mindset and put more effort to tweet and engage then. Most of this I’ll handle using TweetDeck, but it also means I’ll stay up a little later at night to be present when my Twitter people are present!
I’ll document my new approach to Twitter in a dedicated post later this month when I’ve got something concrete to share.
My objective for May is to increase my Twitter following.
Pinterest – @SideGains
|Month||Total Pins||Impressions||Total Followers|
I mentioned above I’m following a very methodical sociable strategy for Pinterest, that takes quite a bit of effort each day. However, since starting it around 23rd April I can see the most positive changes in engagement and followers since I began using Pinterest more seriously back in January 2020.
This strategy seems to be working really well. I’m using Tailwind to manage the heavy lifting of scheduling posts and amplifying my pins through Tailwind Communities. If you’re serious about Pinterest I highly recommend it.
If you set up a paid account through the image link below I’ll get some monthly credits… but you can sign up for a free account to give it a test drive. Personally speaking, it’s something I couldn’t live without now!
I’m getting more visits directly from Pinterest so my account is beginning to gain ground. You can see my impressions are increasing and I’m also winning more followers. Right now, I put this down completely to my 3 step sociable marketing strategy for Pinterest, but I won’t know quite how effective it’s been until I review it at the end of May.
Instagram – @SideGains
|Month||New Posts||Total Followers|
I’ve managed to gain 2 followers in April… though in fairness they’re people I know!
Instagram is still parked. I have way too much on my plate to even think about adding to it on any sort of basis, let alone the 3 – 10 posts I’d need to make to start building followers.
When you’ve started a blog and you’re spinning lots of plates already, of course promoting your blog is important. However, to my mind you have to focus on the social media platforms that are most likely to drive traffic for you to begin with. For me at the moment, Instagram just doesn’t fall into the most likely traffic-generating channel.
So for now it remains parked!
Facebook – @SideGains
|Month||Posts||Page Views||Total Page Follows|
Facebook, like Instagram, is parked for me. I’m just really sharing posts occasionally so it’s no surprise there’s little growth here.
I’m not going to add anything further on this right now, since there’s really nothing else to say!
What’s Next for May 2020?
April was another great month in terms of month-on-month visitor growth. For May, this is what’s coming up:
- Working through my 30 day blogging challenge. This is a lot of work and I need to be on my A game to hit my objective of posting 1 blog post a day for 30 days!
- Continue growing my follower base in Twitter. I’ll create a post about how I’m attempting to do so later in May 2020.
- Apply the various techniques I’ve documented in my 3 Step Sociable Pinterest Marketing Strategy. This too is a lot of work on top of everything else I’ve committed to this month.. but I have a feeling this is going to be very exciting!. I’ll be writing a post about how well it’s worked later in May.
That’s it for now. Come back in early June 2020 for the next exciting instalment!
Thanks for reading!