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The good news is that I'm saving money on mid day movies now :) Getting a pcmcia wifi card w/ my tmobile acct. has also made work more enjoyable, as I can work from Starbucks or Borders.
Pray tell, Europe for Visitors.....how is an "editorial" travel site different from a travel site looking to earn income?
Hey, most editorial sites are "looking to earn income," too, just like most magazines, newspapers, and book publishers.
But in answer to your question, the differences have to do with what might be called the "travel-planning cycle." A person who's thinking about a vacation may go through several stages:
1) Thinking about where to go. ("I think I'll go to Europe this year. Italy might be nice.")
2) Gathering general information. ("What is there to see in Venice and Rome?" "How do I get there?" ["Should I travel on my own or buy a tour?" "What's it going to cost?")
3) Making travel arrangements. (Booking hotels, buying rail passes, renting cars, etc.)
Stages 1 and 2 may occur months before the actual trip, while stage 3 is likely to take place closer to the departure date. This means that an editorial site's overall traffic is likely to grow earlier in the season than the traffic of an e-commerce site that's selling hotel rooms or rail tickets.
Traffic on an editorial site's affiliate pages is likely to follow the same pattern as traffic on a booking site, of course. A typical visitor to my site might come back a dozen times or more during the travel-planning season, but he or she probably won't book a hotel room, rent a car, or buy rail tickets until fairly close to the departure date.
Slightly OT side note: The travel-planning cycle is one reason why "content sites" or editorial sites have more revenue potential than many of WW's members seem to think. Not every traveler is willing to search on "Elbonia hotels" in Google and book through an unknown affiliate site. Many feel more comfortable using affiliate links or clicking on text ads at a site they've come to know and trust. I'd guess that the same phenomenon exists in other topic areas, from computer products to digital cameras to dating services.
Yah, couldn't agree more.
Monday's and Tuesdays are still really strong. By Thursday it really slows down in a bunch of different industries I work in. Not so much the traffic, but the sales...
Monday and Tuesday of this week were fine but Wednesday and Thursday are about 30% down and that's a lot.
I check my positions and nothing's really changed - it really worries me because I can't find the reason why.
You worry until the traffic increases again - sometimes you wonder if it will , because if it don't, you're out of business.
I wish there were a way to track the reasons for these fluctuations.
An interesting factoid from our site-- we host a subsite dealing with how to recycle old computers, which peaks out on traffic every year in January-February-March. Our traffic also increases steadily through the spring, and I think the pattern is partly due to new computers from the holidays going online then, along with a new bunch of Web users.
April-May were our peaks, with June tailing off and July looking really low. I do believe that a certain amount of our decreasoing traffic was attributable to 'Esmerelda' as our SERPs suffered a real drop after mid-June. Thankfully in the last week they seem to have climbed back to where they were before that fiasco, and on some KWs we are actually doing better than ever now. However, even with a return to normal on the SERPs we look as though we will be about 25-30% down this month. Besides the general drop in users over the summer months, I attribute our falling visitor numbers on the the following:
1) Big investment decision are not made after late-May, and certainly not in July and August. No one wants to take any decisions, let alone multi-million dollar ones, without a full team around. September/October and January/February/March are good months for this.
2)We are in a very niche area that is attractive to many polsci/economics students looking for work when they finish up. So we lose on the university traffic in the summer months. March/April are very busy for this - they realise that the big wide world is looming but are not too caught up in final exams.
3) We cover a specifc geographical region, which traditionally shuts up shot in July and August and so we lose a lot of our regional traffic.
Great thread. I know I am not alone and probably shouldn't panic.
So when should this summer not-much-activity phase get over. By which month?
Maybe never. Just as the Northern Hemisphere's summer slump ends, the Southern Hemisphere's summer doldrums will be underway. :-)
'cept there's considerably less people in the south (much so!).. multuplied by a factor that on average they're much poorer! ;) We find the northern hemisphere summer is much more significant for our traffic, referrals, and earnings.
Summer, for my long established clients is slow. Where they have 10,000 targeted hits per month in Dec, they may only have 1,500 in Jul and Aug, and they may go a week without a sale. For the new clients, it's different..
New clients see an increase in traffic month after month, because they are building, engines picking them up, more pages added, and more longevity/popularity points. But, all that said... I have one client who competes with another. One has had the site up for 2 years, gets 80,000 annual highly targeted hits, and had only 1,500 hits, ballpark, in June. The new client, 4 months since launch, is getting 3,000 hits predicted for July, already reached 1,500 before the 15th, with a two day loss of traffic due to the holiday. The older client has the larger site, offering a wider range of products.
The two go head to head in search, both with dozens of top rankings each, and yet the newer site is getting double the hits, daily.
The only thing that is different between the two, is one listens to everything I tell them, does exactly as I advise, and is on my elbow constantly... eager to build their business. That is the new client. The other, second guesses me, does crazy things without consulting me, like trying to the move the NS, crashing the site, and crashing the rankings only last week, and to get the client to do anything my way is like pulling teeth. I handed that one an established site, with established traffic, and they take it for granted, and have now created a train wreck of the site. The new client, came to me and we built their site together, they are fresh and new, and established b2b internet shoppers, will click that link in search, before they will click the older client's link, to see what they have.
Bottom line is... you can do many little things that make a difference in traffic and sales, But reputation means a lot on the web, and being the biggest, guarantees you nothing. Get slack, and you will slide. You have to stay tight, fresh, exciting, and rotate your products.Use the dog days of summer, to redesign your site, and give it a fresh look,
answer emails within minutes or at least hours, and be friendly and eager to assist the potential client. Clear up vague terms, and if you sell products, you need to do same day shipping. If you are not, your competitors are kicking your fanny all the way to their bank.
as i build more SE optimized pages i'm expecting future summer dropoffs to be less dramatic, and hopefully even eliminate them completely :)