James McQuarrie is a UK based Product Leader who helps teams discover, design, build and deliver digital products and services that delight their users.
Over the last few weeks I’ve written about how at the end of 2021 I made a year long plan to write a blog post per week at Tidy in order to try and increase the traffic to my Shopify powered solid shampoo bar store.
As I wrote last week, over the course of the year I wrote 39 blog posts of the planned 52.
Each time I published a new blog post I shared an update on the Tidy Instagram account, sometimes cross posting it to my personal Instagram account. I also shared a link to the post and a brief intro to it on Tidy’s company LinkedIn page and cross posted that to my personal account too. On occasion I shared the update on Facebook, but not every week.
Here are the results of that experiment.
Let’s look at the numbers, starting with the positive.
Over the course of 2022 the store saw:
- the number of sessions year on year increase by 76%
- the number of orders year on year increase by 67%
- total sales year on year increase by 35%
- the number of sessions via direct visits year on year increase by 61%
- the number of sessions via social year on year increase by 217%
- the number of sessions via search year on year increase by 136%
- the number of sessions via “unknown” sources year on year increase by 453%
- the number of sales via search year on year increase by 306%
- the number of sales via direct traffic year on year increase by 31%
- the number of sessions via LinkedIn year on year increase by 10,000%
- the number of sessions via instagram by year on year increase by 615%
Over the course of the year the store saw:
- returning customer rate decrease year on year by 23%
- conversion rate decrease year on year by 34%
- average order value decrease year on year by 21%
- an increase in the number of sessions from the USA year on year of 92%, and an increase in Canadian sessions of 170% (I’m targeting the UK, which in fairness was up by 78%…)
- a decrease in sales via social year on year by 35%
Not a single blog post accounted for more than 100 visits (as the landing page for a visit) over the whole year.
Only 7 orders were placed by customers who’d arrived at Tidy by landing on a blog post. All year…
Over the whole year there were 23 out of 39 blog posts (~60%!) that were the landing page for 10 or fewer visitors.
Most popular blog posts - top 10 by visitor numbers
- How to make your own Tidy solid shampoo
- Head and Shoulders solid shampoo bars - go buy them now
- Introducing our solid shampoo bar’s ingredients. Ingredient number 3: organic coconut oil
- Reduce, reuse, repair, then recycle how to use your shampoo bottle
- Head and Shoulders solid shampoo bars - first impressions
- The bad batch, when solid shampoo making goes wrong
- Introducing the Tidy first 100 club
- The 3 things Tidy is looking to prove
- Sharing is caring - OHANA
- 9 ways to reduce your environmental impact while using tech
So what’s the conclusion, what’s next?
I think the impact of the (semi-)regular blogging has been positive.
The numbers (overall) are headed in the right direction. I was starting from virtually zero (which is why some of the percentages above are so large…)
I think the experiment has gone some way to prove that this approach is a slow, but steady one. Every time I published a new post, there was a spike in activity on the Tidy store.
I’d be interested to test where the law of diminishing returns kicks in for blog posts. One post per week generates a spike in traffic. Would one post per day have an exponentially similar effect? Or would posting more than X number of times a week reduce the impact overall?
That’s not an experiment I’m going to be able to sustainably run, I just don’t have the time (or frankly, the content ideas) to publish that frequently.
I still don’t have consistently high enough visitor numbers to be able to class the “getting traffic” problem as solved. I also still don’t have enough cash in the bank to be able to experiment with paid traffic in a meaningful way just yet.
So for the time being I’m going to continue with the blogging experiment - something I’ve failed to do regularly this year so far… and try to learn from what went well in 2022. Doubling down on the type of content that seemed to be more of interest to my intended audience (folks who’d buy solid shampoo for men). While continuing to use the blog as a platform for building not just brand awareness, but making sure folks understand the brand’s purpose.
All with the goal of proving there’s a market for this type of product in order to convince more shampoo makers to loose their bottle and go solid, supporting my ultimate mission of reducing the number of shampoo bottles men in the UK throw out each year from ~64 million to 0.