So the last week has been spent getting traffic to your site. How’s it going?
If you think the answer to that question is ‘fine’ or ‘ok’, then let me ask you again. Differently:
- How many unique visitors are you getting a day?
- How Many repeat visitors are you getting a day?
- What are you most popular posts?
- What is your bounce rate?
There is really only one tool you need to track almost everything to do with your blog or site and that is Google Analytics. They have every tool you could need to track all the above questions and more.
Go to https://www.google.com/analytics/ and sign up if you have not got an account already. It can be a bit fiddly, but if you follow the steps one-by-one you can easily add your blog into the analytics so that every visitor is tracked and their actions reported clearly to you. The setup takes a matter of minutes, but you need to wait a few days for the data to start flowing into your account.
Whilst you are there, you need to sign up with Google Webmaster Tools. It is there you can see whether Google has spidered your site, and more importantly, where you can submit your sitemaps to Google to get faster indexing. That’s all in another post on here.
There are a number of plugins that you can use that claim to pull the Google traffic stats into your blog. You would probably only want to do this if you didn’t want to open another browser window to your Google Analytics. The plugins only give you a fraction of what Google can, and are fine for checking that traffic is as expected, but not something you should use to really understand your traffic.
Let me give you an example:
The following page is a sample from the Yoast Google Analytics plugin for WordPress. Its ok, gives you a few headline numbers but that’s it.
The following page is just one of the many pages you can get from Google. All the information you need is on one page, simply laid out, and easily read.
The Google Analytics gives you so much more, and the graphic is less than 1% of what you can get. Seriously, if you don’t use your Google Analytics then you are just playing about and not serious in making money.
So you have these stats now. So what? How do you interpret them and what are you going to do with them.
If you have created your blog from new, and are following the challenge, then you stats will look very much like the above. An initial bit of activity as you get the first page up. Then a quick burst of traffic that falls back; these are the people coming to check you out, the traffic falling as they don’t return. Then as you add more content, people come, read, and then return later to read your next bit of content.
The main point here is that you need to keep your visitor stats in mind at all times. It will be even more important when you start to collect opt-ins or paid links. The stats tell you what the visitors are looking at, where they are coming from, how long they stay on your site, where they are leaving you for and more.
If your traffic dips then you need to understand why. Is it because you have stopped doing something, is it a natural reaction to an activity done? You want to increase time on site, and you want to increase repeat visitors. The stats give it to you in cold facts; don’t get angry or emotional about it, just get onto addressing it.
Remember, in the challenge you were tasked to create the blog and then get some traffic. If you created a post only once a day, then you would still have only 10 posts maximum. Remember the video you had to make? Well that adds a considerable amount to the time-on-site value that Google loves, as people actually watch it. It adds a lot of other stuff too, but I am only talking about visits here.
On the very first webinar it was said:
Traffic + Conversions = Profit
You should be able to monitor the Traffic part of the equation, and you should be looking at it every day.
Conversions can be monitored in the next week or so.
Profit will come after that.