I have just looked over the BBQ website stats this month and noticed the performance is down in both visitor numbers and commissions generated. It is difficult to tell exactly why but I have gone over a few points here just to get an understanding of it and to see if it is something to worry about.
Just to remind you this is the Amazon affiliate website that I created during the Earn1000 Course. It’s goal was to get to the point where it would make over £1000/year in extra income.
May 2016 was the benchmark month.
In May 2016 there were 9743 sessions (visitors to the website) over 31 days, which averages out at 345 sessions (AKA visits) per day. Pages views were 2.93 per visit. This means on average every visitor to the website visited nearly 3 different pages on the site. Average time on site was 2:12mins with a bounce rate of 40.37%. Earnings were £1089.09 and generated purely from Amazon commissions. This worked out at £35.13 per day. To break it down even more it was equivalent to £0.11 per session (or each person who visits the website is worth 11p).
June was not as good.
In June 2016 there were 5900 sessions over 30 days, which averages 197 sessions per day (about 150 less per day compared to May). Page views were 2.87 per visit. Average time on the site was 2:30mins with a bounce rate of 44.66%. Earnings for June were £632.77, which is £21.09 per day. This works out at £0.11 per session (or each person who visits the website is worth 11p – the same as in May).
July is down again on June.
It is only the 16th July as I write this, so for the first 16 days of July 2016 there were 2281 sessions, which averages out at 143 sessions per day (around 50 less the in June and 200 less than in May). Page views were 2.8 per visit and average time on the site was 2:12mins with a bounce rate of 47.26%. Earnings for the first 16 days are £161.86, which is £10.11 per day. This works out at £0.07 per session (or each person who visits the website is worth 7p).
So what is happening to the BBQ website? Why are visitor numbers down and why is the average value of each visitor also down?
To give a definitive answer is very difficult, especially when statistics such as average time on the website and number of pages visited by each person is very similar across all months. Bounce rate has increased slightly which is not a good sign, but it is still at a relatively low value so it does not concern me too much. This implies that website is performing just as well as it did and therefore Google should treat it the same since there are no obvious signs to make it treat the website less favorably.
The average value of each visitor was 11p for both May and June, but fell to 7p in July. This could be due to a few reasons, but perhaps the most plausible are that less people are actually buying a BBQ, or when they do they are buying slightly lower priced BBQs.
In May 2016 we had just 13 days where it rained (in Hull where I am looking at data from). That is 42% of the days across the month. In June we had 18 days where it rained (60%) and in July so far we have had 6 days where it has rained, which is 37%. Note though that this is just data from Hull and not across the country and also it does not take into account how long it rained for or how much rain there was. So maybe it is not the best data to look at. Perhaps I am clutching at straws?
From the 9743 people who came to the website in May 2016, 5485 landed on the homepage (56.30%). 8.93% (870 people) landed on the ‘/gas-bbq-reviews-2015-2016/’ page and 6.72% (655) landed on ‘/article/best-gas-barbecue-2015-2016/’.
In June 57.05% of the visitors landed on the homepage, very similar to May. 5.10% landed on ‘/article/best-gas-barbecue-2015-2016/’ and 5.08% landed on ‘/gas-bbq-reviews-2015-2016/’. This was a bit of a change compared to May, although it does not signify why total visitors to the website was down. Also the average value of each visitor was 11p, exactly that same as in May.
In July 58.75% of visitors landed on the homepage, again pretty close to the other months. However the 2nd most visited page was ‘/best-stainless-steel-gas-bbq-grills/’ at 5.87% of people. Only 3.07% of people landed on ‘/gas-bbq-reviews-2015-2016/’ and 2.89% on ‘/article/best-gas-barbecue-2015-2016/’.
This may be a contributing factor to lower visitor numbers and also average value of each visitor in July. But the reasons why less people landed on the website is likely down to two main factors. One is that not as many people were searching for BBQ related terms in June and July when compared to May, or my webpages were not showing up as highly in Google search results for key search terms when they were in May.
I cannot control scenario number 1, this could be down to the weather or peoples finances. Although the weather in June and July has not been great so far so this is a potential issue. It is looking like it will get hotter in the coming days though.
If scenario number 2 is happening then it is either that Google does not think my webpages are as strongly linked to the search terms as it did in May, or there is more competition and other websites are ranking above mine. This could well be happening, after all I have literally shown hundreds of people who are interested in making an affiliate website how to make this exact one. So it does not seem like a stretch of the imagination to think some people may have used what I have shown them to build direct competitor websites.
This is fine, and I always knew that this was a possibility and likely a probability. I have shown and done what I needed to do with this website. I have shown how to make an affiliate website from scratch and use it to generate over £1000 in profits (the fact that I made over £1000 in one month is a bonus).
I do not know what the future holds for this BBQ website, but for now I am adding fresh content and possibly I will apply more advanced content creation and marketing to grow the BBQ website. This is a challenge for another day but for now the website has made a total of £2414.85, which is great for what I class as a foundation website. It is a base to launch a potentially bigger website if I choose to follow this path.
Yes commissions were down in June and likely in July compared to May 2016, but the BBQ website is easily making over £100 a month at the moment which was always the target. The bar we set high in May when the website generated over £1000 in commissions, and perhaps this was too high.
The number of visitors and commissions generated from the BBQ website are still great, with well over 100 people per day visiting it and spending at least 7p each. It may not sound like much but it all adds up.
I really hope you are progressing with your Amazon affiliate website. Remember things take time but once you get your content ranking in Google you will make some money. Then you can continue to grow your website with the aim of attracting more and more visitors.
P.S. Maybe it is the sun but first thing this morning I checked my affiliate orders and saw this:
Total orders of £1000.27 and because I generally get 7% commissions this will be around £70. Hopefully there are more days like this.