I have seen a bunch of articles with tips on reviewing your blog and website’s performance for the year. They all seem very complicated to me.
I’m going to do something much more simple this year. I want to answer these questions:
- What worked? (What will I do more?)
- What didn’t work? (What will I do less?)
The numbers don’t lie.
Here is my analysis for my main website, The Religion Teacher, in 2017. I’m only looking at traffic sources and top pages.
Website Traffic Sources in 2017
According to Google Analytics, my top ten traffic sources are:
- The Religion Teacher Email Newsletter List
- Direct Traffic
- The Catholic Toolbox
- The Religion Teacher Individual Membership Email List
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization has always been the foundation of my website’s success. Clearly, though, I need to continue to focus on this strategy as a way to get traffic.
- Pinterest SEO – I knew Pinterest was a big traffic source, but it is almost three times as much as Facebook. I barely spent time on Pinterest at all this year. I need to be more deliberate about my SEO strategy there.
- Email Newsletter – My emails to the newsletter list were very sporadic. Next year I am going to send a weekly email at a designated time and day to make sure I don’t miss a week without sending good resources to my community.
- Facebook Links – Facebook did make the top ten, but my time is better spent on SEO. Some might say this is a mistake, but the return on my time on SEO is 5-10x than getting website traffic from Facebook. Mostly this is due to the fact that links appear less and less in the news feed because of changes to the Facebook algorithm.
Top Pages in 2017
According to Google Analytics, these were the top pages in 2017:
- Lent Activities
- Advent Activities
- Catholic Mass Activities
- Catholic Worksheets
- Catholic Lesson Plans
- Confirmation Activities
- Rosary Activities
- Catholic Ice Breakers
- Beatitudes Activities
- Activity Pages – I may have created activity pages for all the major keywords religious educators are searching for in their lessons, but it is worth spending the time to find anything I may have missed.
- Update Popular Pages – So much traffic comes into these posts that it is essential to go back and update the links and optimize the pages to make sure they are valuable resources that visitors return to again and again. The best performing new post/page for the year didn’t even make the top 30 for the site. Focus on the backlist content in 2018!
- Teaching Strategies – I created a lot of videos that turned into posts to help teachers conduct their classes. These ideas made an impact, but ultimately teachers find tools to be more useful.