How We're Growing Our Website's Traffic To 10,000 Monthly Visits

We’re on a mission to grow our website’s monthly traffic from organic search to 10,000!

Every month we break down the raw stats of our website traffic, discuss key findings, and give you a preview of what we’re working on publishing in the coming months.

We also want to provide data-backed evidence to support the methodologies, strategies, and tactics found throughout this site. In other words, practice what you preach.

We’re focused and committed to delivering value to marketers in the nonprofit community and are hopeful that through that these efforts we’ll reach our goals.

Feel free to click on any month below to show the results.

Nonprofits Source - July 2018 Traffic Results

Key Findings:

  • Total traffic is up 10.65%,  4,810 vs 4,347.
  • Organic traffic increased 10.23%, 3,717 vs 3,372.
  • Time on site increased by 30.06%, 1:51 vs 1:25.
  • Our email list continues to grow at a steady 100 subscribers per month.

Content published in July 2018:

We spent all of July focused on recovering from our page speed penalties, which hit our traffic growth hard back in June.

I am pleased to announce that we’ve successfully recovered from this issue and are seeing big gains in search traffic across the board.

Pages on our site that were published back when we started (August 2016) are beginning to rank for competitive keywords.

For example, our article 15 Online Fundraising Ideas and Strategies (That Actually Work) ranks #13 for Online Fundraising, which generates over 4,400 searches per month.

Our focus now, more than ever, is to continue producing helpful content for the community.

Here’s what you can look forward to in August 2018:

  • A mega guide for online donation pages.
  • 1 new narrated digital marketing courses.
  • A remastered digital marketing plan.
  • 1 new podcast episode.

As always we love feedback and welcome any in the comments section below.



Nonprofits Source - June 2018 Traffic Results

Key Findings:

  • Total traffic is down 6.82%,  4,347 vs 4.665.
  • Organic traffic decreased 5.44%, 3,372 vs 3,566.
  • Time on site decreased by 18.19%, 1:25 vs 1:44.
  • Our email list grew by over 100 subscribers – a new record for a 30 day period

The greatest lessons in life are sometimes learned the hard way.

During June 2018 we had expectations to grow our search traffic by at least 1,000 users (conservatively) or by 2,000 users (optimistically).

Unfortunately, we ran into issues with configurations to our site causing page load times of 40 to 60 seconds.

Needless to say, this is unacceptable from an end user’s perspective.

Our audience is incredibly important to us and we’re sorry for letting you down.

We’ve been working closely with our hosting provider (who is fantastic and we cannot possibly thank enough) and we believe to have solved the issue.

In fact, recent reports are showing the sites speed is performing better than before.

Here’s the learning outcome for me:

I’ve written about this in the past, but page speed is a core ranking algorithm used by Google to ensure a high-quality user experience.

Our page 1 rankings saw little change (thankfully) which is why we were not hurt as much by traffic loss.

However, as a result of Google algorithm, every keyword and phrase on page 2 and below plummeted stifling the growth we had expected from the previous month.

In addition to this, we didn’t add any new content during the month of June.

Part of this was due to my own personal burn out with writing content.

This is going to change.

I am pleased to say that we have finished recording three episodes of our upcoming podcast, Causes Getting Attention, which we hope to have launched as soon as mid-July 2018.

This podcast is aimed specifically for marketers who want to leverage digital channels to grow their online brand.

In this weekly interview-style format, we sit down with nonprofit marketers and industry professionals and ask them how they are getting results when everyone else seems to be struggling.

Meanwhile, we’re doubling down our investment into content marketing.

My hope is by the end of July 2018 we will have published:

  • 4 new blog posts.
  • 3 podcast episodes.
  • A mega guide for online donation pages.
  • 1 (maybe 2) new narrated digital marketing courses.

We really are working hard to provide the most value to the community that we can.

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we scramble to meet the demands that generating quality content is placing on us.

In the meantime, we’d love to hear your feedback as well as thought on what topics we should cover on our site.

Feel free to leave a comment below!



Nonprofits Source - May 2018 Traffic Results

Key Findings:

  • Total traffic is up 20.32%, 4,665 vs 3,877
  • Organic traffic grew 16.89%, 3,446 vs 2,948
  • Social media traffic is up 94.62%
  • Referral traffic from Twitter grew 161.54%

Total traffic missed expectations by 1.6%, however, grew by 20.32% from 4,665 vs 3,757. Traffic growth is down 10% from previous month.

Our organic search traffic missed expectations by 4.5%, however, still grew 13.61% from 3,446 visits to 3,033. This is down 16.39% from previous month.

While difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of this slowing growth, we can confirm Memorial Day weekend significantly impacted results, resulting in a loss of 300 visits from the previous month.

That being said, we do have a plan. Our focus in May was to launch and promote our social media marketing resources page for nonprofits. Back in late March, we published a resource page (4,000-5,000 words) about social media. It included resources for strategic planning, implementing winning tactics as well as providing helpful tools and downloadable templates.

In addition, we reached out to key influencers in the social media and nonprofit space asking them the following question:

“What is your number one social media tip for nonprofits that want to grow and retain their audience online?”

We’re seeing strong positive activity in our keyword growth for the page and expect it to begin generating 100 – 200 views per month in June. Ultimately, our goal is for the page to drive over 2,000 monthly visits. In order to reach this goal, we’ve reached out as part of our promotion outreach to obtain high-quality backlinks to the page. This, in combination with lower keyword difficulty and our domain/topic authority, has already positioned over 20 keywords, totaling 700 organic clicks per month, on the first page.

Our online giving statistics page continues to grow, amassing nearly 100 referring domain links to the page. With 3,912 total page views in May, this page represents 43.07% of the total traffic to the website, down from 71% in April.

This massive shift was caused by a reaction to the backlinks earned on the online giving statistics page. For example, our online fundraising ideas and strategies resource grew 60.22% (181 to 290) visitors during May, as did our blog page receiving 66.33% (98 to 163) more traffic.

When a single page receives a large quantity of high quality backlinks other pages on your site receive that “link juice” in the form of link equity if you have internal links or domain authority, thereby influencing your entire domain. In this case, the latter happened. With an influx of high-quality backlinks, other pages on my site have begun to rank as Google has begun to trust the content on my site.

The Twitter accounts have also been a wealth of opportunities, from sharing content to getting guest contributions and even audience feedback. To date, we have grown the @nonprofitsource and @jfirch Twitter accounts by 600 relevant followers. As a result, our referral traffic from twitter grew 161.54% (26 to 68). Overall referral traffic from social media grew 94.62% (93 to 181).

To increase our Twitter traffic we scheduled 30 posts using HootSuite and auto-scheduled them throughout the day 5x a day. Then, we followed 100 niche people and companies on Twitter that fit our target audience. People have begun to follow back and offer invaluable insight and feedback to our site, for which we are extremely grateful. Next, we sent direct messages to people asking if they wanted to collaborate, start a conversation, or even offer feedback.

Finally, we have invested significant resources in updating older pieces of content that we hope to re-release soon. This is a big play for us and if things go well we will expect a huge spike in traffic.

P.S.  Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 of our free digital marketing course, which will be released in June!

Nonprofits Source - April 2018 Traffic Results

Key Findings:

  • Total traffic is up 27%, 3,877 vs 3,047.
  • Organic traffic grew 30%, 3,033 vs 2,327.
  • Search traffic accounts for 78% of total traffic.
  • One page drives 71% of unique page views.

We’ve spent the last 2 months aggressively building links to our content with the purpose of ranking in search results. The clear winner is our online giving statistics resource, with 61 referring domains linking to the page and accounting for 50% of page views. 71% of those unique page views (3,253) were from organic search.

In order to continue to grow our website traffic, we are focusing on increasing the value of our content. This means we’re investing time in updating older content pieces as well as adding more valuable information to existing resource pages. We also just released part 1 of our narrated digital marketing course, which has been a huge success so far! We expect part 2 and part 3 to be released in June.

Finally, we’ve been hard at work building partnerships within the communities we serve. First, we have accepted a speaking engagement in July to present a course on digital marketing at the Foundation Center. We’re also excited to announce our new podcast, Causes Getting Attention, which will be released in August 2018. Lastly, we are working with a number of partners for guest contributions.

This combination will allow our site to continue to grow viewership and create more value in the nonprofit and association community.