How long to wait before deeming project a success/failure?

22 replies
Hi everyone.

Like many on here, I'm new and keen to succeed. I put together a website around 4 weeks ago centering around two children's product which sell very well on Amazon. As I don't have any other sites to use for backlinks, I've been using Facebook, Digg and other baby forums to promote my new site. Traffic is VERY minimal, although i am ranked in 9th place for my keyword in Google. I chose this keyword based on Google's keyword tool (it showed me around 1,500 searches per month globally and 350 locally). I've not seen any traffic for this keyword, but two visits yesterday for related searches. It's impossible for me to improve my site by testing as i don't have enough traffic. So my question is how long do I wait before deeming this a failure? I'm on the first page of Google results and I've promoted the site using social networking sites, but unsure what to do now.

Many thanks.

Jodie
#deeming #long #project #success or failure #wait
  • Profile picture of the author Chrismiksen
    I won't introduce my ignorance into this thread and attempt to assist you, as my abilities are far more suited for writing than starting an individual site around IM. However, I will say that four weeks is nowhere near long enough to deem your efforts as a success or failure.

    This comes from my experience with content-oriented sites and from dealing with clients.

    Good luck with your site and keep going.
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  • Profile picture of the author jodiesmitham
    Thanks for your encouragement. I had wondered if I had picked a keyword with too few searches per month.
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    Jodie Smitham

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    • Profile picture of the author Chrismiksen
      What does the search data look like?
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  • Profile picture of the author jodiesmitham
    It showed 1,500 searches a month for my keyword, but more specifically 350 per month in the UK where I am based. I looked st Google Insights and this keyword isn't dropping in popularity.

    Google Adwords said the keyword was 'medium competition'.
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    Jodie Smitham

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  • Profile picture of the author alexanderhitler
    Hi....your thought really nice. I will support you in my way.
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  • Profile picture of the author andynathan
    Jodie,

    Not to be rude, but 1 month? That is it? The internet is not about instant riches. Yes, in the 90's that did happen, but you just started. Do not give up.

    There are a million different ideas listed in this forum to help you that you have not explored, but more importantly there are things that you are just starting to do with social networking and seo that you need to give time to work.

    I started blogging almost 2 years ago. The first month, I think cracked 100 people on the site. It sucked. Now I have close to 8000 visitors a month. It was a slow build, but it was worth every second.

    Here are a list of things you can do:

    1. Start blogging to bring in keywords from other sites. It will dramatically increase the amount of traffic.
    2. If your Amazon products are yours, start looking for Amazon affiliates. They have the largest affiliate list in the world aside from Clickbank and maybe CJ.
    3. Build your list. Your site will not magically impress people the first time they go there. At least most people. Instead, they want to learn about you from a distance. Email works well for that.
    4. On the baby forums look for power partners, people who can promote your products and you promote theirs.
    5. Give out free samples to mommy bloggers. Some mommy bloggers have huge followings.

    Hope this helps. Not trying to be harsh, but you are at the beginning of the journey. Don't end it prematurely.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Jodie send me your keywords and your URL, and Ill double check everything for you.
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  • Profile picture of the author steve cooper
    Jodie,

    My advice is to Keep the momentum going and start creating more sites while adding articles and backlinks to your existing site, don't get bogged down with your first attempt and don't lose heart.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by steve cooper View Post

      Jodie,

      My advice is to Keep the momentum going and start creating more sites while adding articles and backlinks to your existing site, don't get bogged down with your first attempt and don't lose heart.
      Its pointless creating more sites, or doing anything for that matter until she knows what shes doing now.
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  • Profile picture of the author steve cooper
    Hey Johhny,

    Your probably right and once you check out the website you might have some more idea. I was just making the point to keep going and not give up if your first attempt is a failure but hopefully you will give her a few pointers in the right direction.
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  • Profile picture of the author JCorp
    Gain more knowledge, exhaust all traffic resources, invest a little $ if you can on paid ads and what not, tweak your website, apply more SEO...count those first four weeks as a preliminary/test run...the real work begins now.
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  • Profile picture of the author jodiesmitham
    Hi Andy, thanks for your feedback. I guess that was my question - is 4 weeks enough time to assess whether it's going to work or not. If I'm on the first page of Google, then there's not much else to improve on with regards to the search? The product is not my own.

    Steve/Warrior600, thanks for your encouraging words.
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by jodiesmitham View Post

      ...is 4 weeks enough time to assess whether it's going to work or not.
      Time is irrelevant.

      If its going to work, it will work. If its going to fail, it will fail.

      How long it takes for either of those two is anyones guess.

      ...still no PM, so Im assuming you're not interested.
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    • Profile picture of the author andynathan
      Originally Posted by jodiesmitham View Post

      Hi Andy, thanks for your feedback. I guess that was my question - is 4 weeks enough time to assess whether it's going to work or not. If I'm on the first page of Google, then there's not much else to improve on with regards to the search? The product is not my own.

      Steve/Warrior600, thanks for your encouraging words.
      Jodie,

      There is not a lot I can add from what the others that posted after me have not discussed. 4 Weeks is not a long time. Let me know how I can help you.
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  • Profile picture of the author jodiesmitham
    Johnny, I sent you a PM straight after my post - did you not receive it?
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    Jodie Smitham

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    • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
      I should chime in here to point out that almost all of the traffic for your keyword (or any keyword) goes to the top three websites in the Google results. The traffic you get at #9 is bound to be minimal, and is not indicative of your project's potential at all. Keep working at it!
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    • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
      Originally Posted by jodiesmitham View Post

      Johnny, I sent you a PM straight after my post - did you not receive it?
      No Jodie, nothing.
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  • Profile picture of the author jodiesmitham
    Thanks burningdrive - the top 5 are all big retailers, so I doubt I'll surpass them.

    ramone_johnny, I sent a second PM to you only to be told that I need to post 50 times before I can PM. Is there any other way that I can contact you? No problem if not.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jon Patrick
      Originally Posted by jodiesmitham View Post

      Thanks burningdrive - the top 5 are all big retailers, so I doubt I'll surpass them.
      I wouldn't assume that. Big retail sites (like Amazon, for example) often have product pages at the top of the results based purely on their sites' overall ranking power. When that happens, the individual page you're seeing in the results often isn't actually very strong. It doesn't have many links pointing to it, and it can probably be outranked by a website which has decent backlinks and is optimized for the product in question.
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  • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
    As the others have pointed out, Jodie, 4 weeks may seem like a long time, but it's really nothing in "IM years" It's certainly way too soon to deem anything a "failure". Remember, you're trying to build a business... it takes time!

    As for your #9 ranking, that's a good start. However, don't expect a huge surge of traffic with it. I've seen studies that say the 9th result on page 1 only gets about 3% of the clicks - so, with 1,500 searches per month, that's only 45 clicks.

    And, while we're on the subject, I have to ask - you're signed out of your Google account when you look to see where you're ranked, right? Otherwise, you'll see your site ranking much higher than it actually is. So, first and foremost, make sure that you're really ranked at 9.

    As for the traffic that you are getting, what are people doing? Are they sticking around? Are they leaving within a few seconds? If you haven't already done so, sign up for Google Analytics to get some detailed information about how long people are sticking around and where they're coming from.

    If you're getting a tiny bit of traffic - but it's good traffic (meaning that people are checking out different pages and seeing what you have to offer) - that's a good start. And, it's a sign that you're doing something right

    However, don't rely just on Google for your traffic. Get out there and start promoting! You've already started on some forums, so make sure you've got a signature, and make sure you're contributing solid information.

    But there's a ton more you can do right now. Look for some guest posting opportunities, which can bring you tons of traffic - even if you're nowhere to be found in the search engine rankings. Join LinkedIn, join some groups that are related to your niche, and get involved with the conversations there. Start up a Twitter page, and follow people in your niche. Odds are, some of them will follow you back. Start a blog on your site and sign it up for an RSS feed. That will bring some folks your way, AND it will give you a chance to regularly update your content (something that the search engines love!)

    Also, take a look at your top 3 competitors, and see where their links are coming from. Chances are you can get links from some of the same places (like getting a listing from the same directory or publishing an article to the same website). That will help you build links AND play catch-up with your competitors.

    Good luck!!
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  • Profile picture of the author jodiesmitham
    Thanks very much, Nicole, for taking the time to reply and for providing me with lots of info. I was logged in to Google when I performed the search, but am still in 9th position when logged out (phew).

    I have already installed GA and this is what I found. There have only been two Google searches where my page was found. The search terms were 'how do I switch on and off <product>' and 'how do I fold down <product>'. The bounce rate was 100%, but I expect that as there are only two pages on the site with reviews of only two products. What was disturbing was that they only spent a few seconds on the page. The review is very comprehensive, as advised by others, so it looks like they were not prepared to sift through the copy (both answers were in the text). I have since added some 'shortcuts' to the relevant headings on the page, but I suspect that they have already purchased the product.

    Your suggestions on getting traffic are excellent and I'll take them on board. I had a question about the signature on emails etc. I am somewhat concerned about promoting this website to people I know because it's purely a site about a product I thought would make me some money via Amazon. Do you think I should promote it anyway and any subsequent product sites I create to people I know?

    Thanks again.

    Jodie.
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    • Profile picture of the author NicoleBeckett
      Originally Posted by jodiesmitham View Post

      There have only been two Google searches where my page was found. The search terms were 'how do I switch on and off <product>' and 'how do I fold down <product>'. The bounce rate was 100%, but I expect that as there are only two pages on the site with reviews of only two products. What was disturbing was that they only spent a few seconds on the page. The review is very comprehensive, as advised by others, so it looks like they were not prepared to sift through the copy (both answers were in the text). I have since added some 'shortcuts' to the relevant headings on the page, but I suspect that they have already purchased the product.
      Hmmm... with only 2 visitors to draw from, it's tough to tell. It could be that they didn't want to sift through something long, OR they scanned your content, found the answer they needed, and left. Some sites have a naturally high bounce rate (like squeeze pages... after all, it doesn't take long to enter in your email address, and there's nothing else to see!)

      I think your best bet is to focus on some promotion now and see what happens as you get more traffic. If you're getting more visitors and they're all leaving after a few seconds, then it will be time to look and see what the problem is.

      Originally Posted by jodiesmitham View Post

      I am somewhat concerned about promoting this website to people I know because it's purely a site about a product I thought would make me some money via Amazon. Do you think I should promote it anyway and any subsequent product sites I create to people I know?
      To me, you can never go wrong with putting a signature in your email (with a link right to your site). That way, you're not shoving a pitch down people's throats, but you're giving them the option to visit the site if they want to. Heck, in my own emails, my signature has a link to my site, a link to my Twitter, and a link to my blog feed.

      But don't just stop with signatures in emails... Get on some forums, and create signatures. That way, when you make an insightful post, people instantly have a way to learn more about you.

      After all, you obviously believe in the product, or you wouldn't have picked it. There's no reason to feel "bad" about promoting your site!
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