Time for a check in on The Bamboo Bumble. Every couple of weeks, I want to take a snapshot of progress, what worked, what didn’t work, lessons learned, etc. to help me to continue to build on my affiliate marketing and SEO knowledge. Hopefully, others find this information valuable as well.
I work hard to generate meaningful content for my sites. I do use AI to help build the content, but it is the human touch that is required to make sure it ultimately ranks in search and ranks well. If folks aren’t engaging with the content, it will fall in the rankings very quickly. You can never 100% future proof your content against Google’s Helpful Content Updates (HCU), but making sure the content is quality is the best thing you can do along with the technical SEO elements.
Check out the previous post here! It lays out what was done to set the foundation on what I am doing, and where The Bamboo Bumble is going!
We’ve passed the 3 week mark (24 days since launch), so it is a good time to snag some data on how well the site is doing. With that being said, the holidays definitely slowed down some of my progress, but there is still some good news to report.
Google Search Console – How is The Bamboo Bumble Doing?
I went from 7 blog posts 2 weeks ago to now having 13 on the site. The focus is very much on quality over quantity. It would be wicked simple using tools like ZimmWriter to have hundreds of articles published, but that’s not the goal – especially now with Google’s updated algos. There are tons of sites out there that are plummeting in search rankings because the primary tactic is volume – a lot of these sites are still making $, but the AI and Google algorithm is only going to continue to get better in ensuring the content is quality if it is going to rank. Additionally, if no one engages with the content (page dwell time is short), that’s a strong signal the content is mediocre and folks aren’t finding it helpful.
This is pretty interesting. The previous average position was 68.6 where I’ve now driven the avg position down into the mid 50s. Additionally, the avg position specifically on 12/31/2023 was 49.5 – that’s less than 50! I’ll take it.
Another quick item to take note of in GSC is that I am ranking and being displayed in Google Discover. This is a nice added bonus.
Bonus impressions and bonus clicks!
Ahrefs – Are We Ranking for Keywords?
I am now ranking for 94 keywords (it was 13 as of 2 weeks ago!) with my best ranking sitting at < 20 in SERP. Not too bad for only having a little over 3 weeks of work in! As I keep producing, Google should keep pushing me closer to the top for even more keywords. This is great.
Bing Webmaster Tools
I mean, why not? I’ve been submitting my URLs into the Bing Webmaster tools as well. Google is #1 by magnitudes for search volume, however, Bing is the default search engine on many Windows machines out there. Might as well submit the URLs and see what kind of performance I get.
Pretty cool – there are over 431 additional impressions and another click! If I look at the KWs I am ranking for and the position, this is really impressive:
Top 10 in many cases with a top 1 even! It might not be driving that much traffic as of yet, but I will definitely continue to submit my URLs to Bing Webmaster tools.
Vanity vs. Meaningful Metrics
This is a tough one right now – the metrics above really are vanity as they do not translate to any money at this point. I do have affiliate links embedded in the pages pointed to products and product pages on Amazon – the question is if any of the people hitting the site are clicking through and actually making purchases. Unfortunately, earnings still sit at $0, but I am optimistic the number will start climbing sooner rather than later.
Google Ad Sense and Backlinks
I was denied for Ad Sense at this point – which I am totally OK with. At the time I received the denial, I had 8 articles published and the site had been around for about 2 weeks. In the next week or so, I want to get the site to 20-25 articles and then I will circle back on Ad Sense.
Backlinks are on hold until I get to that 20-25 article mark. Then I am going to start chasing these in earnest. This will drive domain authority, and keep driving The Bamboo Bumble up the rankings.
Custom Star Rating WordPress Plugin
I did spend some time writing a simple WordPress plugin. There are pay and freemium plugins out there, but I didn’t want the extra bloat, and the functionality I needed was super simple. Building my own gave me the opportunity to learn more about plugins, how they work, and let me write some code.
See that super fantabulous and awe inspiring review star widget in the screenshot? By writing the plugin, I can now display these types of star ratings for any of the products I review very easily using WordPress short code notation. It’s a combo of a little bit of PHP and a bit of CSS to pull it off. Without going into too much technical detail, there’s a static asset that represents the 5 stars. The asset is displayed in grayscale, and then the asset is displayed in color over the top of the grayscale with CSS clip path being used to cut the top layer down to size. It was fun to create, super light weight, and reusable!
Custom Chrome Extension Amazon Review Collector
Lastly, I wrote a quick Chrome extension that allows me to collect Amazon reviews for a specific product (in a way that does not violate their terms). They do have a cap that limits you to around 100 reviews (there are ways to get around this a bit, but it is still limited). Basically, what this extension allows me to do is to collect the reviews and then I can use ChatGPT to help me harvest interesting information from the reviews. Pros, Cons, etc.
It’s a little clunky and I have more that I can add to this for sure, but it certainly helped me collect and aggregate the review information for this post here:
Being able to harvest sentiment out of the most recent 100 reviews will be super valuable in understanding what the broader use base for these products are feeling and experiencing with the products. This extension is going to be a huge time saver – especially as I scale.
Conclusion – The next 2 weeks
The goal for the next two weeks:
- Get the number of articles on The Bamboo Bumble up to around 20-25 with the majority being topical authority articles with a few additional review articles. This will start to shift more towards review once we get closer to 30.
- Get approved for Google AdSense and get that configured for the majority of the posts and pages
- Continue to tune SEO for the blog
- Dig into SEO for Voice Search. This seems like it is only getting bigger, and I want to make sure my articles are tuned appropriately.
In about 2 weeks I will do this again – capture progress and what I did to get there. Exciting stuff!