Overview of Traffic Expectations for Aged Authority Site (Graphs)

Ryuzaki

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I exported some data from Google Analytics to get an idea of which of my pages are pulling the most weight for one of my sites today.

The idea was to try to gain insight into whether or not I'm being preferred for any specific topics. I'm chasing passive traffic right now because I've switched this site largely to a CPM advertising model.

I figured why not share the graphs with the BuSo crew. If anything it's fun and it can provide some insight and set realistic expectations for newcomers.

Quick Site Stats:
  • About to hit 6 years old
  • Over DR 50 on Ahrefs
  • Has over 250 posts indexed
It's pretty refined at this point. I deleted ~150 posts earlier this year and am planning on hitting 500 total posts again by end of next year at minimum. It's got it's technical SEO game on point, speed optimized, and every post is optimized for some topic...

Though every post is optimized for a topic, there's many that I didn't do any keyword research for at all in the beginning in my quest to launch. That'll be reflected in the data, as you'll see. Some were made specifically for link attraction, some were made specifically for a certain demographic for traffic leaking, etc. So there's some stragglers that have done as much as 250k views but barely get anything now.

I'm not doing any active traffic leaking, any real social media promotion, etc. There is passive traffic from both of those and various referrals (backlinks).

All of the data below is for the past 30 days.

I'm not showing exact traffic numbers. It's not really relevant to the point, but where possible I'll use percentages. I didn't think this out meticulously. I'm just slapping some graphs and charts together to get an overview and figured I'd share the results.

All Traffic in Sessions


Despite the natural ebb and flow of users over the weekends, holidays, and whatever, traffic stays pretty steady. I'm guessing there's about a 10% in variation between peak and trough. I slapped the linear equation on there (y = mx + b) where m is the slope. The slope is your "rise over run" and any positive number means you're growing over the time period.

Since the run is 30 (days) that tells you I'm averaging about a 400 session growth in this period. This is a number I want to grow aggressively and have been working towards it. I want it "passive" because that'll be sustained, though I do want to be traffic leaking as well.

Every 1000 sessions of growth per month will give me a raise equal to my average CPM for the month. There's no day job where you can give yourself a raise month over month. Day jobbers are happy with a 15 cent hourly raise for the year... "Hey, at least I kept up with inflation and the cost of living." What else is cool is any time I want some extra spending money I can just go do some traffic leaking.

Percentage of Sessions By Popular Post


This pie chart shows the top 10 posts by sessions and then the remaining ~240 posts as 11+. This balanced out interestingly. What this says is my top 10 posts carry 50% of the weight while the bottom 96% carry the other 50% of the weight. It breaks down like this:
  • Top 1 - 18%
  • Top 3 - 31%
  • Top 5 - 39%
  • Top 7 - 44%
  • Top 10 - 50%
  • Bottom ~240 - 50%
This is really scary to me. So just the other day, one of the top sites on the planet decided to post for the keyword my #1 post targets, and within 3 days they bumped us all down a slot. It hasn't impacted my traffic because I'm getting all of the featured snippets on all of the variations of the search. Hopefully that holds out.

I don't think you can get away from this phenomenon. We all know about the 80/20 Pareto Principal. All you can do is post more and more content.

Another thing to do is see what your top 10 posts are about in terms of concept. Google obviously likes your site for that concept, style of formatting, whatever. Replicate it across as many other keywords as you can. My #1, 3, 4, and 6 are all the same due to me applying this method after seeing #1 do so well. I have another one baking that should over take #1 as soon as it gets some links.

You'll know a post is favored or blessed by Google if it owns the keyword, all variations, and all the featured snippets. Those are the ones you want to replicate. So if the keyword is something like "top baseball pitchers" then you can probably take down "top baseball catchers," "top baseball batters," "top baseball base stealers," etc., with the same format. I made those up but you get the point.

Here's the same concept, but the top 25 posts by percentage:


I'm running out of ideas to look at here... I've already got the data I wanted but this post needs more...

Session Percentages by Uniqueness

I'm just reaching for fun stuff to look at now. Here's some interesting stuff based on "styles of page":
  • Searches - 0.08%
  • Homepage - 0.56%
  • Categories - 0.99%
  • Boilerplate - 0.12%
  • 404 Errors - 0.04%
  • Best Roundups - 12.39%
  • Newsletter Confirmations - 0.04%
For those wondering, boilerplate pages are like Contact & About. Newsletter confirmations is a page a user lands on after they double opt-in. Horrible conversion rate but I'm not exactly trying or even emailing the list. A lot of people spend an insane amount of time on their homepage designs but look at how little of traffic even ends up there. Searches are useful but look how little they get used. Category pages is surprising. If I monetized those I could boost my revenue 1%, I'll look into that.

Things Not Included

The main thing that I need to look into later is to take these same numbers and filter out countries that I monetize poorly. My top 10 get a massive amount of traffic from very poor countries nobody is bidding on and that I can't effectively monetize. So maybe if I lost my top post it wouldn't be as devastating as it seems.

I still have this data file if there's anything else anyone wants to see included. I ran out of ideas and need to start doing some real work.

Is there anything you guys can glean from this that I didn't think of or mention? Actually getting the data was too distracting to think while doing it.

I hope you enjoyed it at the least. Newcomers should be able to get a better idea of what to focus on and what not to focus on, especially as they get lost in design-mode.
 
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Have you compared this data to data over a longer period (3, 6, 9, 12 months)? From there you can get some insight into why some pages suddenly climbed / dropped in the SERPs.
 

bernard

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If you want to do a pretty sure thing build, couldn't you simply do a replication of those top performing pages, but using keyword research from Search Console or have those "low hanging fruits" with high impressions and low clicks dissappeared already?
 

Potatoe

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I set a reminder to circle back here about a year later - have these ratios more or less held up over time? Have you still been tracking this?
 

Ryuzaki

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Thanks for the bump. I somehow missed these first two responses when originally posting this thread.

Have you compared this data to data over a longer period (3, 6, 9, 12 months)? From there you can get some insight into why some pages suddenly climbed / dropped in the SERPs.
I haven't done this though I do see it as being useful. I always try to exploit trends I find as they happen live during my efforts to continue growing the amount of live content. But we can likely find even more trends by doing as you suggest. I tend to be very future oriented so I don't revisit old content much or even dig through analytics that much. I definitely should.

If you want to do a pretty sure thing build, couldn't you simply do a replication of those top performing pages, but using keyword research from Search Console or have those "low hanging fruits" with high impressions and low clicks dissappeared already?
Yeah, I've actually done this to great success. That's part of what I meant above about finding "trends", meaning things that Google likes about the way I'm formatting my content for specific query "bundles". If I can find something that works, I roll out as much of it as I can. It works better than great. A big key to it is being "different" than everyone else to some degree, while also having built up plenty of topical authority, which is kind of a prerequisite for getting this level of feedback from Google.

I set a reminder to circle back here about a year later - have these ratios more or less held up over time? Have you still been tracking this?
I'd say the ratios have grown more severe in that my top 3 are carrying even more of the load. This is entirely due to what I've mentioned in this post about finding things Google likes and doing a lot of it. I did it for some insanely high search volume terms and it worked like gangbusters, which only made the site even more top heavy.

It also pushed the revenue through the previous ceiling and then some. Lot of risk, lot of reward. All I can say is to strike while the iron is hot. The only real risk of being this top heavy is not doing it and missing out on the revenue you could have had by being this top heavy.