The Retail Season is Good


Visitors are buying in volume this December

The retail selling season is great for affiliate sales.  I knew things would be good but the results are unbelievable.

Traffic is increasing and is far higher than my initial estimates.

Visitors are buying more and more items.

I would not have been able to predict this rate of sales growth even if you told me the traffic numbers for the month.


First off, here are the traffic stats.  You can see there is a pretty steady increase over the last 30 days.  This indicates that Google is ranking the site well since I am relying on Organic Search Engine traffic.  In other words, the SEO is proving to be very good.


Traffic Statistics over the last 30 days. (Nov 11 – Dec 11, 2013)


Second, we have the statistics for the front page.  This indicates that the information on the front page is helping the visitors solve their problem.

Great! That means we’re making the internet a better place.

(Also, people are buying things which is the actual goal so – Awesome.)

Visitors are staying on the page for over 5 minutes.

Visitors are staying on the page for over 5 minutes.


Last, we have the number of items sold on December 11th and the conversation rate.

This is where it gets really interesting.  

We can see that only 22% of the total items that were purchased originated through product links on my site.  The rest of the items were just other things the visitor ordered at the same time.

78% of the total items purchased were just other items.

Amazing.  The other result is that the conversion rate is through the roof!


The main takeaways are:

  1. That it is really good to have a firm #1 spot in late October so that you can ride the retail roller coaster.  Having well done SEO and solid content is helpful.
  2. You can gauge the quality of content by monitoring the time that a visitor spends on your front page.
  3. Just get people over to Amazon and let Amazon convert visitors to buyers.
14 comments… add one
  • Roberto

    Hey Doug, CRAZY stats you have there!
    Cool to see how people just buy things on amazon… even unrelated to what they were searching at first.
    It’ll be very interesting to see how things will change in January/February…

    Anyway, I’ve a couple of questions for you.
    – do you have single, short, reviews of the top products on the homepage?
    – are you still building links “seriously” now?

    Keep up the good work! I will definitely appreciate other updates like this one.

    • Roberto – yes, it is crazy. I can barely believe it.

      I expect a pretty decent drop after December. I think it might be a couple weeks into January though since people may be using gift cards.

      The homepage is a Q & A style with a table. In addition, I feature some very brief reviews on the page for specific needs or users of the product.

      No, I am not actively building links. I probably should get back into it though. At this point, the domain is strong and other folks in the niche would likely be interested in linking.

      Overall, I haven’t done anything aside from answering comments in the last 6-8 weeks. It is actually fairly passive over all.

      Thanks for comments & Questions, Roberto. I hope that helps.

  • Curt

    Hey Doug –

    Great to see you having such success.

    I’m in a similar situation: solid #1 rank, home page seeing good time, loads of visits, and a high Amazon conversion rate.

    Like you, I am finding that a lot of sales are made simply by directing people to Amazon. They’ve spent all the time and money on testing conversions, so why not let them do what they do best?


    • Hi Curt – Thank you.

      Well done to you. So do you have any predictions about after December? Any idea about how much the traffic will drop?


  • Kate

    Hi Doug,
    Sorry if you get this twice – I’m not sure where my last comment went!
    Well done! Really very, very impressive!
    A few questions if you don’t mind;
    1. Are you using your kw in the domain?
    2. Do you write the content yourself?
    3. Have you done much link building?
    4. Was the kw(s) low competition (if you use LTP are you able to tell me the KC?)
    I plan to start a site next that revolves around an Amazon product, people seem to be having a lot of success with them. I’m trying to gather as much info as I can!
    Keep up the great work!

    • Hi Kate, I’ve definitely lost one of my comments in the past. Sorry for the issue…and we only see it once. 🙂

      Thank you…

      1. Yes, the keyword is in the domain.

      2. I wrote about 90% of the content and outsourced the rest. For my up and coming site, I have been outsourcing about 90% of the writing.

      3. Yes, I did a lot of link building…and it was generally what you would expect – Commenting, web 2.0 blogs, article directories, bookmarking, etc… and some old fashioned outreach to other webmasters. I probably spent as much time linkbuilding as I did on content, maybe more.

      4. I used the Google Keyword planner back when I started the site but I think the KC was about 32 – 35. I do use Long Tail Pro now and I really recommend it.

      Thanks for the comment and let me know if you have other questions.

      • Kate

        Thanks for your answers Doug! Yes I use LTP too, I love it. I have quite a few kws sitting in my favourites, I probably spend too much time on it! I’m easily distracted, hence my interest in the project management side of things 🙂

      • James

        Amazing success!
        Which of the article directories did you use?
        How did you configure the web20 sites, what content and how much?

        • Hey James –
          goarticles, articlesbase, abcarticledirectory are good ones to start with.

          I used some fairly poor content on the web 2.0 sites. 3 – 5 articles per blog with 1 – 2 articles linking to the money site. The rest of the links were to authority sites.
          Hope that helps!

  • Awesome man! Those are incredible traffic numbers. Do you know your sites conversion rate from unique visitors to affiliate link clicks?

    • Hey Reggie! Sorry for the delay in my reply here.

      The short answer is no. But I could calculate it from the data I have in Google Analytics, WordPress Jet Pack, and Amazon Reports. That’s not a good solution though. 🙂

      However, I read a post here:

      that outlines a fantastic way to track this stuff. I need to take care of that soon!

      Thanks for the question.

      • Haha awesome. For both my niche sites, I’m using unique amazon IDs to track each of the main pages to see which converts more into sales. Easy to implement and Amazon has a nice layout to present the data in your reports under “Tracking ID summary Report”

  • Winston

    Hi Doug,

    Wanted to ask you about link building.

    1. From your experience, which types of the common link building methods (web 2.0, commenting, article directory, etc.) do you find is more effective?

    2. If you don’t mind, how many links (in total, using the common methods) would you estimate is needed to get some sort of good ranking?


    • Hey Winston – Thanks for the questions.
      1. I think the effectiveness depends on the niche. It is a tough question to answer. It is best to use each of the methods and if you can segment out when you do each of the linking methods you might be able to get a clue about which methods work best for your niche. I will add that blog comments do add a very positive component – more diversity in the linking domains. Sure, they are no follow backlinks but there might not be a better way to get links from hundreds of different domains.

      2. That’s another tough question. It depends on the authority of the domains that are linking. If you have strong domains linking to your site or page, then maybe 10 links will do. You did mention if the links were the ‘common methods’ and for that I would say once you get 50 – 75 backlinks you should see some positive movement. Don’t discount the need for aging a domain…I think 60 – 90 days is the timeframe to get sites to rank on the front page.

      Hope that helps!
      Thanks, Winston, let me know if you have other questions.

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