First time poster but I'm sure people here can help.
I'm editor of a significant (but previously neglected) website but I'm the only editorial employee.
My job description changes daily but what's constant is this...
I'm being given KPIs to boost traffic to the site and the only way I'm allowed to do it is by creating articles that, "Get lots of traffic initially and have a long tail." I'm not allowed to write news so everything has to be product reviews or product-related features.
I'm being told this is how to progress because some 90% of our traffic is From Google Search. However, our top 30 traffic drivers are years-old stories including one which is a proper Google Answer.
To me all these old top stories are like lottery wins. You can't predict that some click-baity out of date article from two years ago will still be featured so highly. However, I'm being told that this old, traffic-happy content is what I need to emulate to boost traffic.
I recently started getting micromanaged to the point where I have to get everything approved before publishing and only to write broad content with Google-friendly titles etc. I got praised for what I came up with but its not getting any traffic spikes.
Now to me, traffic on a site with very few return users and with heaps of competition is most likely to grow for free by social and newsletter (the site map is hugely out of date and I've not been allowed to update anything). It's an old site with loads of content but the layout is out of date and many sections are completely dead.
so what are my options for increasing traffic with no budget and a broken site? Can I really hope to just keep writing good stories in the hope that one of them goes nuts and keeps going nuts? I get occasional short-term spikes but they're hard to come by and not the sort of articles I can do daily.
Is there any article regarding it not being a viable business model to rely purely on organic Google Search on a day to day basis? Or is it possible and I'm wrong, please?
My job literally depends on this as it's proving very difficult to manage my boss' expectations.