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Februrary Traffic and Leads graphic

Hey everybody!

I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted much lately but I’m back now, and have some exciting news!

Before I share the exciting news with you, let me explain why I’ve been MIA lately…

I’ve been spending a lot of my time growing a different website for the past few months. It has taken me away from growing my traffic and leads at Insurance Blog by Chris.

Therefore, either because I was too busy or simply didn’t have anything new to share, I took a hiatus.

I’m planning another big push this year on IBBC, though, so this is an awesome time to begin reporting again.

What you Missed

First, let’s get you caught up with what you’ve missed, since my last traffic report  in Aug 2014.

I wish I could say you missed a lot, but I actually only published one post on IBBC since August.  In fact, I only published 2 posts all of 2014 on IBBC.

Added Responsive Design to IBBC

The biggest project I worked in the past 6 months was upgrading IBBC from Thesis 1 to Thesis 2.

After the upgrade, the site looked much better on mobile and tablets, but it pushed my quote form down below my articles.  So I also had to have my web designer optimize the smaller formats of the site to include a button to get a quote at the top of the article like this.  (You can see the menu also collapses nicely in the responsive theme):

IBBC_Responsive_Design

Responsive Affect on Conversion

It hasn’t had as much of an impact as I would have hoped.

Site wide, during the 3 months prior to the change, I was averaging a 4.71% conversion for visitors getting quotes.  From November through February, I have averaged a 4.85% conversion.

The cool thing is that my conversions on mobile devices increased around 70%!!!  

I’m really happy about that.  When you get 20,000+ visitors per month, even the slightest change can get you a lot more leads.

Note: I’ll be publishing a review of how I increased my mobile conversion by 70%.  If you want to be notified when I publish it, sign up for our newsletter below.

Let’s take a look at the traffic and lead totals since August:

  • September 2014
    • Leads: 921
    • Traffic: 20,714
  • October 2014
    • Leads: 1,044
    • Traffic: 20,163
  • November 2014
    • Leads: 977
    • Traffic: 20,423
  • December 2014
    • Leads: 850
    • Traffic: 18,363
  • January 2014
    • Leads: 1,192
    • Traffic: 24,313

Okay, so now that we’re caught up on what you’ve missed, let’s talk about what happened in February.

VISITOR TOTALS FOR FEBRUARY 2015

Here’s the google analytics breakdown:

Sessions_overview_for_February_2015

As you can see we had 21,795 visitors.

We also had 1,099 quote requests (Goal 2 in the image). That makes a total conversion of 5.04%, up from 4.90% in January.

Goal_Conversion_Overview_Feb_2015

MONTH-OVER-MONTH CHANGES (January 2015 – February 2015)

  • Traffic: 24,313  -> 21,795
  • Leads: 1,192  -> 1,099
  • Pages/Session: 1.69 -> 1.69
  • Average Session Duration: 1:36 -> 1:36
  • Bounce Rate: 75.90% -> 76.83%

Overall, it was a down month.

We notice that the leads are way down, but so is our site traffic. We must keep in mind that February is 3 days shorter than January. While that sounds inconsequential those three days account for about 10% of the month.  Since both traffic and leads are down by about 10%, I’m not too worried at this point, and hope to rebound in March.

MOVING FORWARD

I’ve got some big plans moving forward!

Before I explain them, let me step back for a second and tell you that I have had many struggles with over the past year. I have had my hands in too many projects and have not focused on growing Insurance Blog by Chris.  I have many ideas for articles I want to write, power pages I want to create and ideas to generate high power back links to the site. I simply have lacked the organization and structure to get these projects done.

However, I’m happy to announce that all that is about to change after hiring my first ever project manager!

For you to understand what he is going to help me with, let me tell you about how I might have gotten an article published during the past couple years…

Here’s what the structure might have looked like:

I might assign the article to my writer.  Then I would record a Jing video for him or write him an e-mail giving him an outline of important things he needs to mention in the article.  This way the article contains some good insider’s information and doesn’t appear to have been written by a freelance writer who doesn’t really know life insurance.

Then I would have that writer complete the article.  I would pass that on to my assistant who would post the article to my site, and add in all the necessary steps for SEO, internal links, headings, title tag, etc.  He would then save that in draft form and I would come back to the article in Word Press and upon review I would publish it.

The actual process won’t change too much under the project manager, but that’s not the point.  My problem isn’t the process.  It’s the fact that I simply would never assign the articles to my writer, so the first step of having the article written would never get done!

There are many reasons for this. The primary one being that I blame myself for being a terrible manager.  In fact, it’s very sad to hear my VA’s calling me asking for more hours when I actually do have a lot of work for them to do, but simply don’t take the time to assign it to them.

Here’s where the project manager comes in…

In a weekly call I have with him we will plan out every article that needs to be written four weeks in advance.  We will assign each task that needs to be completed in order for the article to be published to its proper owner or contractor.  By having this weekly call, not only will it provide the necessary accountability for me to assign those articles but it will also provide additional accountability for me to do the tasks that are assigned to me.

In the end, we will have one spread sheet (we’re using Smartsheet.com for this). All of the contractors, including myself, can see exactly what is expected of them and when it’s due. It will also become a hub where we can communicate with each other about the projects. It will allow us to make notations about problems we’re having getting a project done and allow us to send communications to other contractors about what we may need them to do prior to us completing our tasks.

I can personally attach notes to the file and instructions to each task so that the contractors know exactly what to do and the other contractors can see what they’re doing.  This way the work being done is all through e-mail and it’s public, keeping everyone in the loop.  It’s already getting me motivated to get some work done.  I’m proud to say I actually just posted my first article of 2015 on Insurance Blog by Chis this month! I have another one scheduled to be posted next week and probably a third before the month is over.  On top of that, we have assigned promotional tasks to renew our efforts in getting word out about the site, which has been lacking for a long time.

That’s it for the February report.  I can’t wait to check back with you in April and review everything that has happened in March! I am excited to see these changes take Insurance Blog by Chris to the next level.  I’m hoping to hit 30,000 visitors per month by the end of the year.

Take care everyone and I’ll see you next month.

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