SideGains March 2020 Blog Traffic Stats

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March 2020 Blog Traffic Stats

This is my 9th blog traffic stats report for SideGains… and it comes at a very strange time indeed. The UK is currently in lockdown, as are most countries worldwide, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

We’re all getting used to a different way of living and working right now. Schools are closed and non-essential businesses have most of their staff working from home where possible.

Since I work from home my working location hasn’t changed, but my working processes most certainly have. My daughters are at home now 24×7 and my wife too is working from home with her office closed. I love having them around because my working day is quite a lonely one sometimes.

I’ve written about the negatives of home working previously (What Working from Home is REALLY Like) so it’s a nice transition for me. It’s definitely harder to get work done since there’s always something happening around me now… but I’m happy to have them with me.

So… here are the blog traffic stats for March 2020. I’ll provide commentary for each of the different sections to provide context for the numbers. Also, you can see my full blogging story for each month since July 2019 here: SideGains Blog Traffic Stats.

March 2020 Blog Traffic Stats from Google Analytics

It’s been my best month of visitor growth percentage-wise since August 2019 as I’ll outline below. Yes, my visitor numbers are not going to earn me a decent side-income yet, but month-on-month growth continues. The main reason for this growth was a sudden uplift in average search position around 22nd March, primarily for one of my landing pages: How Much Money Can You Make Blogging?

The page began ranking for a group of terms a little unrelated to my niche, and so I expect that this will drop as time goes by. In fact I’ve already started to see a slow decline in average search position since that date. Still… it’s nice to see a good spike of traffic.

Looking specifically at March 2020 and comparing it to February 2020, Google Analytics shows the following:

MonthUsersSessionsPages Per Session
February 20205336161.36
March 20208529291.17
  • Users have increased by +59.85%.
  • Sessions have increased by +50.81%.
  • Pages Per Session has decreased by -0.19 pages.

This is a big jump percentage-wise, but worth remembering that February was a short month… albeit a leap year this year. This means I’m comparing March with a month which has 2 days less.

It’s encouraging but next month could see a slowdown slightly because the spike in ranking will will likely decline. We’ll see I guess.

SideGains Search Console Stats (Search Type: Web) March 2020

Google Search Console Traffic Stats March 2020

So… Google Search Console showed a really big month-on-month movement for Web searches in March compared to February.

MonthClicksImpressionsAvg. CTRAvg. Position
February 202016725,6000.7%44.7
March 2020435121,0000.4%23.1
  • Clicks have increased by +160.48%.
  • Impressions have increased by +372.66%.
  • Average CTR has decreased by -0.3 percentage points.
  • Average Position has decreased by 21.6 places.

This has been the biggest jump in Google Search Console stats since I began the SideGains blog project. In a large part this is because of the hike in search position for the post I mentioned above. That said, I have seen a general uplift in rankings across my older landing pages, which is likely due to Google’s shuffling of the index and my older pages beginning to gain some authority.

As I always say though, I use GSC as a kind of barometer rather than a precise indicator of growth as Google Analytics provide more detailed data on where SideGains is heading. But you can see from my Google Analytics data that there is an uplift across the board.

Blog Posts & Pages

The shorter month means I’ve had two less day with which to post… I would likely have added one more post with more time.

Here are all the posts I made in February 2020.

DatePost TitleWord Count
2020-03-028 WordPress Optimization Techniques & Maintenance Tips1,904
2020-03-03SideGains February 2020 Blog Traffic Stats1,341
2020-03-04How Bloggers Get Paid – An Introduction to Monetization2043
2020-03-05Blogging About Blogging… Is it Cynical & Unethical?1,185
2020-03-09WordPress Categories vs Tags: A Simple Guide1,583
2020-03-1012 Reasons Why Your Blog Traffic is Depressingly Low2,652
2020-03-13The Infamous Not Provided Keyword in Google Analytics1,100
2020-03-18Why We Must Continue Blogging Through the Coronavirus944
2020-03-22How to Find Broken Links in Google Analytics1,047
2020-03-24Google Analytics Alerts Could Be Your New BFF!575
2020-03-30What is Content Marketing & Why Bother With It Anyway?1,193
2020-03-31Where is the Favicon in WordPress & How Do I Make One?1,095


Total Word Count16,622

At the end of March I have a total of 121 posts. I made 12 posts in March 2020 (3 more than February 2020) totalling 16,622 words (3,378 more).

Social Media

I’ve continued to be very focused on Pinterest in March largely due to adopting Tailwind, which has made it much more easy to manage large-scale promotion. I’ve still been active in Twitter though there’s no doubt the change in working practises due to the coronavirus has held me back somewhat. That said I began picking up my Twitter activity towards the end of March. I’ve still just kept Facebook ticking over but I’m not touching Instagram for now.

Below are my stats broken down by social media channel.

Twitter – @gains_side

MonthTweetsImpressionsTotal Followers
February 20205226,500216
March 202019435,600230

You can see I was much more active in Twitter in March in terms of tweets… almost 4x as many as February.

Follower growth is slow but I think it’s down to not being as regular with tweeting as I should be: I tend to have spurts of activity then quieten down when I’m distracted by other essential tasks.

I think consistency is key, so I am going to create a plan to try to stick to in April, which will include much more engagement with others.

However, you can see compared to February that there is clear relationship between tweet volume and impressions… though in my figures above it hasn’t been linear growth.

Pinterest – @SideGains

MonthTotal PinsImpressionsTotal Followers
February 202033339,080102
March 202080428,370129

I’ve really ramped up my regular Pinterest activity in March due to Tailwind. It’s made managing Pinterest scheduling so much easier and combined with Tailwind Tribes my pins have been starting to get shares.

I posted 471 pins in March, which are not all my own of course… that would be spamming and I’d likely get my Pinterest account suspended for spam.

You can see using Tailwind and pinning more frequently has increased my follower numbers. These are small numbers but important… follower growth has to be a priority for me in order to increase my reach in Pinterest as well as drive more traffic.

I have started to get more visitors to SideGains from Pinterest, but nothing like the volume I’d like. As with most other things online… it takes time and consistent effort to see results.

April will see me continuing my pinning schedule with Pinterest and also working to engage more with pins and other pinners.

Instagram – @gains_side

MonthNew PostsTotal Followers
February 202006
March 202007

I’ve managed to gain 1 follower in March… yipee!

Of course I say this with a dose of irony because, as I’ve mentioned in previous blog traffic stats reports, Instagram for me is presently parked. I simply can’t take on the extra effort involved in building out content for Instagram as I’d be too stretched.

For now I’m focussing only on Twitter and Pinterest and I’ll perhaps revisit Instagram in the future.

Facebook – @SideGains

MonthPostsPage ViewsTotal Page Follows
February 2020555105
March 2020641104

Just as with Instagram, Facebook is taking a back seat for me. I’m just really sharing posts occasionally so it’s no of course there’s little growth here.

As with Instagram, I’m keeping Facebook on the back-burner for now.

What’s Next for April 2020?

March was a great month in terms of month-on-month visitor growth. In terms of April…

  • Continue apace with Tailwind to keep my pinning schedule filled with pins in advance.
  • At least 14 posts on SideGains. I had this target last month and fell under by 2 posts.
  • More regular and consistent Tweeting (and scheduling of Tweets). I’ll use TweetDeck (Twitter’s scheduling tool) for this.
  • I may see a drop in traffic as the ranking boost I had in March appears to be levelling. To counter this I’ll need to start working on building links.

That’s it for March… be sure to check back next month to see how things progress!

Thanks for reading!

Paul

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