My 13th traffic stats report and as you’ll see, July has been a tricky month for me.
It all began in June actually. I’d pushed myself hard to work on a 30 day blogging challenge in May: I worked everyday for 30 days to publish blog posts and the experience took its toll. Most days throughout this challenge I was up working early in the morning and going to bed in the ball park of 3am.
I’d burned the candle at both ends to meet my objective and by the end of it I was exhausted and bored of blogging. Even though I’m well aware of the risk of blogging burnout, I don’t think I realized quite how much the experience would take out of me.
In June 2012 I’d struggled to get back into a blogging rhythm… but this carried over into July. Another contributory factor was that my organic traffic took a nosedive in June, which dovetailed with my burnout.
I struggled to find motivation and this carried over into July. I’ve been working hard on promotion, especially in pinterest, but the blogging schedule I’ve been religiously sticking to since I started SideGains fell away completely.
You’ll see this reflected in the number of posts I published last month, which is something I need to address.
That said, it is time really that I focused less on blog post numbers and more on promoting what I write, which is what I’ve done in July… by accident really.
This month, I need to get back on the horse but as I say, it’s important to balance content production at this point with promoting the heck out of what I do. I’ve identified the principal reason for my traffic decrease that started in June… and it’s time to do something about it!
A Note on My Traffic Decrease in June 2020
I’d reported last month about the traffic decrease. I could see how I was being affected in Google Analytics, but I didn’t understand the reason why. Sadly because I was exhausted I reacted in a very subjective way to the traffic decline.
I should have remained calm and objective but instead I took it personally and felt like throwing in the towel.
After a lot of analysis (and soul searching) I now believe the main reason my traffic decreased was because I lost some pretty powerful links that had been helping to bolster my ranking in Google search.
Link building is something I’ve pretty much neglected up to now because I was so focused on building up my content portfolio. I could carry on knocking out blog posts but I’ll probably be in a very similar position this time next year without building up some authoritative links.
I have a plan (I actually putting this underway in mid-July when I saw the lost links) and it’s something I’m much more focused upon now.
I’m pretty confident this will help me going forward.
So let’s move on… the following are my blog traffic stats and analysis for July 2020. As always, you can see all my monthly stats since July 2019 here: SideGains Blog Traffic Stats.
July 2020 Blog Traffic Stats from Google Analytics
You can see from the chart above how my downward trend for traffic continued into July 2020. While there will always be fluctuation, this is the first time I’ve seen two months of traffic decreases next to one another.
I’ve explained the reasons why I believe this has happened so I won’t rehash it. The difference between this my position now and the position I was in last month is I have a clear way forward to try to grow again.
So let’s just look at the numbers from Google Analytics to compare them to last month.
|Pages Per Session
- Users have decreased by -19.87%.
- Sessions have decreased by -15.28%.
- Pages Per Session has increased by +0.17 pages.
You can see a decrease in users and sessions: 374 users and 334 sessions less than in June. There has been a small increase in the number of pages per session in July of 0.17.
I’ve now missed my target month on month growth of 30% for the past two months, so I have a lot to claw back. As I said last month, it’s a lesson that as far as search engines are concerned, upward growth is never guaranteed.
SideGains Search Console Stats (Search Type: Web) July 2020
Here’s how my Google Search Console Stats for May 2020 compare to April 2020.
According to Google Search Console:
- Clicks have decreased by -22.86%.
- Impressions have decreased by -30.20%.
- Average CTR has remained static.
- Average Position has increased by 1.7 places.
Google Search Console shows a similar percentage decrease in clicks as Google Analytics at -24.82%. Impressions are showing substantially higher decrease that GA percentage-wise at -30.2% compared to June. The drop in impressions of -33,669 is down to the lost positions in search ranking, which I’ve discussed.
Thankfully, Google Search Console is reporting an average position increase in July so it’s not all doom and gloom!
Click Through rate has interestingly remained the same as June.
If you haven’t read one of my monthly reports previously, I use GSC Web Search Report as a rough guide to indicate what’s happening with SideGains. I cross reference this with other tools for my own personal analysis.
Blog Posts & Pages
Here are all the posts I made in July 2020.
|SideGains June 2020 Blog Traffic Stats
|Essential Pinterest Questions and Answers
|11 Powerful Reasons Why You Need a Self Hosted Blog
|17 Ingredients for Blog Post Format Perfection
|Total Word Count
At the end of July 2020, I have published a total of 171 posts since I started in July 2019, having published 4 posts… that’s 2 posts less than June. The total word count for July is 9,415, which is 2,585 less than the previous month.
I’ve said this before but I’ll say it again… I need to up my game!
As per recent months, I’ve mostly kept my focus upon Pinterest and Twitter… though I lost steam with Twitter from the middle of July as I upped my game in Pinterest. I’ve really left Instagram and Facebook untouched since it’s not where I see traffic growth and there are only so many hours in the day.
You have to choose your battles!
Here are my July 2020 social media stats broken down by channel.
Twitter – @gains_side
*Tweet counts include Tweets and Replies.
I was a a lot less active in Twitter in July in terms of the number of tweets I made…. 325 less than May. Even though I was less active, followers have grown by 57. I’m pleased with this since I struggled to find a rhythm last month as I’ve said.
My objective for July (May too actually!) was to increase my Twitter following to hit 500, so I’ve missed the mark on that. But at present it seems possible I’ll surpass 500 in August as long as I get back into a routine.
Pinterest – @SideGains
Pinterest has been my real area of focus in July as I’ve spent a lot of time on Pin design and a whole new approach to scheduling Pins.
I won’t go into too much detail now since I’ve only been running this since mid-July, so it’s early days to draw too many conclusions.
As with SEO, it seems that Pinterest is not a quick way to build traffic these days and so the results of any new strategy have to be seen over the long term before I can determine anything concrete in terms of improvements.
More to come on this!
I’m still using my sociable strategy for Pinterest, in addition to my new approach to Pin design and my new pinning strategy. I hope to report more on this next month.
July was a good month compared to June, as you can see. Impressions are up by 12,580 and I’ve gained another 50 followers. This is a pretty big jump month on month and I’m super bhappy about it.
But it’s taken a lot of work!
My sociable Pinterest marketing strategy definitely supports my new approach to pinning and this wouldn’t be possible without Tailwind to manage scheduling posts and amplify my pins through Tailwind Communities.
As I’ve said before, if you’re really serious about Pinterest, Tailwind is a must… read my review to find out why.
Want to Really See a Difference on Pinterest?
Check out my review of Tailwind App for Pinterest… a tool to super-charge ALL your Pinterest activity!
Instagram – @SideGains
Despite not working at all on Instagram I’ve gained 4 followers. There’s not much to say about this apart from Instagram is still an area I’d like to work on, but I don’t have the time to do so right now.
Facebook – @SideGains
|Total Page Follows
I made 1 post in July, which drove most of the page views over 2 days… an interesting insight.
As with Instagram though, I won’t dwell too much on Facebook, since it has to take a back seat to make room for Twitter and Pinterest right now.
What’s Next for September 2020?
July was tough… mentally. I found it a real effort to get any kind of blogging rhythm and struggled to write blog posts.
Blogging is hard work, make no mistake. I started my first blog way back in 2006 when getting traffic and earning money was honestly not that difficult.
Times have changed!
Pinterest absorbed a lot of attention for me last month, but there are encouraging signs. However, as I mentioned above I feel the halcyon days of pinning up to 50 pins a day and growing accounts super quickly are long over.
There are thousands of blog posts claiming that Pinterest delivers fast growth for everyone… but I feel that many of high ranking pages in Google search need updating. Just because you disable the publish date from blog posts, it doesn’t mean you can’t see the original published date in the source code. 😉
That’s all for now on July 2020. Let’s hope for less gloom from me in my August report!
Thanks for reading!