This is the final part of a six-part series titled “Up and Running with Niche Sites for Beginners“. In part 5 I explained how to promote your niche website. You can follow along with all six articles from my blog start page.
A fitness expert once said that if you can’t analyze and track your results, you are never going to be successful. He was talking of course about diet programs, but the same philosophy is surprisingly true in the online world. Once you have your niche website completed, what comes next? Assuming you’ve done all the promotion that you need to do to bring in traffic, your next step is to analyze everything you can.
Tracking the performance of your niche website takes on many forms, but there are a few key aspects that you want to pay particular attention to:
- Google PageRank
- Conversion Rates
- Bounce Rate
Of course, since this is your first niche website and you’re probably pretty excited about it, you will likely be keeping track of even the smallest details, such as how many visitors you had that came through Twitter on a Mac using an IP address located in Singapore. It’s great to have that kind of fervor, but once it dies down you need to keep your attention on the four points mentioned above.
Analyzing Your Traffic
A tool like Google Analytics (which we’ll talk about in a bit) makes traffic patterns easy to spot. You can easily view how many visitors you had on a certain day and where they are coming from. It’s vital to locate your largest traffic sources because you can pour more resources into those areas and scrap the sources that aren’t providing you with anything.
Similarly, if there is one source that’s giving you decent traffic, you can focus your energy on bringing more traffic from there. What you are trying to figure out when analyzing your niche website’s data is how to improve the website, and then either applying that newfound knowledge to your existing site or using it when you make your next niche website.
There are tools that will do this for you, but the simplest way to check your PageRank for a certain keyword is just to search for that keyword in Google. It’s rudimentary, but it works. Alternatively, you can use a keyword research tool like Market Samurai that will track your domains and display how well they are ranking for individual keywords. If you find that a certain keyword isn’t doing you a lot of good, you can either boost your efforts for ranking for that keyword or scrap it and focus on the ones that are working.
Tracking Conversion Rates
Your rate of conversion is the number of people who made a purchase compared to the total number of visitors on your site. This is crucial to track because this is what you want to tweak to get the most profit from your niche site.
If your site is getting a huge amount of traffic but your conversion rates are low, you need to fix something on the site. Take it slow, and try one thing at a time so you can pinpoint exactly what is making the difference. Sometimes it’s as simple as changing the font of your articles. If you find that a bold black font works better than a light gray, you’ll be able to use that on your next site.
Setting Up Google Analytics
Google Analytics connects right to your existing Gmail account, so setup is a breeze. If you already have an Adsense account there’s actually a link on your dashboard that asks if you want to set up an Analytics account. You’ll get an HTML code that you need to place in your website’s HTML right after the last [head] tag. There are detailed instructions on the Analytics website.
There are other tracking services that will do the same thing, but Analytics is completely free and will provide a massive amount of depth in your data.
When Will the Niche Website Start Making Money?
There’s no easy answer to this question. It completely depends on the niche itself, how well you researched your keywords and your promotion methods. There are some niche websites that start making a profit within the first few days. This isn’t exactly rare but it’s not exactly common either. Typically, a well-built, search engine optimized niche website should start seeing a profit within the first three months.
During this time, keep paying close attention to the traffic levels of the site and play around with different marketing techniques to determine what brings in the most traffic. Some people say that you shouldn’t even expect to make any money on your first niche site; that it should just be used as education, but if you followed all these tips for creating a niche website you should definitely be seeing a profit, even if it’s a meager one.
When To Scrap a Niche Website
Finally, an easy question. When do you scrap a niche website? In short, never! There’s absolutely no reason to, as long as it’s making at least $10 per year (or whatever covers the cost of the domain registration). You aren’t paying anything extra for hosting, so there’s never a good reason not to just leave the site up.
If anything, you can use it for experiments. If you have a technique that might work, but you don’t want to try it on another site for fear that you’ll mess up a good thing, take one of your lame-duck sites and try the technique out there, tracking the results of course. You can even just use it for motivation to see how far you’ve come from the beginning. Basically, there’s never a reason to scrap a niche site that doesn’t work right away.
Rinse, and Repeat!
Okay, now you’ve gone through the entire process of creating a niche website. Congratulations! You have just created an income stream out of nothing, an income stream that could continue to flow for the rest of your life.
So, what’s next?
The easy answer is: Build another one. If one niche website can make you this amount of money, what could two do? Or three? Or twelve? That may be easier said than done though and you should try to balance the number of sites that you maintain with the amount of time it takes to keep each one producing results. If you try to create too many sites at one time, then they will all suffer, so build your portfolio gradually.
This is the secret of successful marketers, and soon you can be counted among their numbers. The process may seem tedious at times, but always stay positive, and you just may never have to work a full-time job again.
- Start Researching Your First Niche Website
- Find Quality Content for Your Niche Website
- How to Effectively Monetize Your Niche Website
- How to Promote Your Niche Website for Better, Targeted Traffic