So I decided to check out how most of my growth in 2011 happened. I was looking for anything that lead to an increase in signups, traffic or revenue.
The blue line is traffic and the pink is revenue:
Note: Graph from DigMyData.com
One thing that jumps out is that revenue growth was been strangely steady throughout 2011. Nothing gave me a huge jump in revenue at any point in time it seems. Actually, the graph is a little misleading because October, November, and December revenue growth was slooow. I saw about 4x growth in January over those months (3x in a few others).
Anyways, things that worked:
- Getting a blog post and tweet from 37signals for a Highrise integration
- Doing an AppSumo deal
- Doing a couple of interviews (Mixergy and strangely enough The Startup Foundry)
- Cross promotion email with My SEO Tool
Those gave me some nice traffic and resulted in more signups but the best was definitely the integration (which is consistent with what I’ve seen in past integrations).
So what did I learn?
The “needs improvement” stuff:
- Traffic hasn’t dramatically increased in a year
- I didn’t try enough enough new things — I need to experiment more and push on the things that seem to be working
- Annotate more of my experiments (there were several things that I tried and went nowhere but I can’t remember since I didn’t jot them down anywhere)
- Do more integrations and make sure they get promoted
- More cross-promotion emails
- Interviews are stressful for me but take the opportunity when asked
- Revenue kept increasing even though traffic stayed about the same (on average)
What about SEO?
While my monthly total traffic at the end of 2011 was about 13k/month, I stared with 10k/month. Not a huge increase.
If I look into search traffic I see that it increased from about 3.5k early in 2011 to about 7k by the end of the year. Double the traffic and it basically accounts for the 3k/month increase I had by the end of the year. OK, but I need to do better.
Top Referrer Sites?
- diythemes.com — 9,304
- speckyboy.com — 5,192
- appsumo.com — 2,414
- ryanscherf.net — 2,134
- freshbooks.com — 1,013
- news.ycombinator.com — 1,010
- mixergy.com — 846
Interestingly enough the highest converting sites look very different from this list. The other thing that jumps out form looking at the list is that I need to do a better job of getting write-ups on other sites. These numbers are lame.
So while I had 3x increase in revenue and did some work on the conversion side of things, it wasn’t an amazing year on the marketing side of things. This year I’m already off to a better start and have some new things I’m excited about trying 🙂