Project Urchin - Update #4


Author: Daniel Cuttridge

This month I pulled back on publishing to spend my allotted 4 hours on making some on-page adjustments and setup some tests.

Project vitals

  • Posts published - 6
  • New post total - 108
  • Impression change - +65.93%
  • Traffic change - +31.68%
  • Revenue change - N/A

There hasn't been huge growth in impressions or traffic this month, but keyword growth has been explosive.

Anything else?

I pulled back on publishing a lot this month.

In addition to 5 regular posts to the site, I also added a single piece of supporting content to add some additional terms to the sites corpus.

A site corpus is essentially a collection of all the terms and phrases on your site. The closer this matches the corpus a search engine has for a topic the better chance you have of receiving a big relevance boost.

This was an important supporting piece to add because after 100+ posts there were still some important topical terms that had not made it into the site. That is because I have focused on doing a specific post type, so having the supporting piece come in to seed these terms for the site was a high-value task.

Meta-Description Tests

With the time-constraints I set on this project I haven't had a chance to set meta-descriptions for all of my content.

It has been years since I tested whether meta-descriptions will push the needle in terms of rankings. I know many people say they have tested it and that they don't. Unfortunately, I am not the most trusting person. So I like to test these things for myself (especially because these did once push the needle for me).

This test is running on just 6 URLs. I don't have all the test data back, but there is some interesting/wild data so far.

Month 4 - Project Urchin - Meta-Desc Test
Month 4 - Project Urchin - Meta-Desc Test

Missing Topics Test

This test is different to the general corpus seeding I talked about at the beginning of the update.

This test involves finding missing topics or sub-topics in an article and adding them in, or using them as jumping off points for extra sections to add.

I am still waiting on the results.

Consolidation Test

One hub I published a couple of months ago had not performed well.

This made it a great candidate for a consolidation test.

A consolidation test of this nature means taking those posts and publishing them all in a single post... In this case they are all now published under the parent as h2s.

This means instead of x5 50 word posts, we now have a 100 word parent with 250 additional words. It isn't long-form, but in comparison to the usual content length on the site it is a giant.

I am still waiting on the results.

Keyword position performance

Keyword report

  • Keywords in top 50: 248 +119
  • Keywords in top 20: 138 +87
  • Keywords in top 10: 65 +38
  • Keywords in top 4: 20 +6
  • Keywords in position 1: 3 +3

Goals February - March

- Publish 10 posts.

- Ideate and setup some new tests

- Set out strategy for future growth

Final word

I have a lot to think about this month in terms of future strategy...

  • Adjust the current hour per week I put into the project?
  • When to start outreach?
  • What should the /blog/ supporting content strategy be?

Stay tuned for next month to find out where we go from here.

Got questions? Feel free to ask them on my forum.


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