I just perused my blog stats for January to see how the month went. Checking your progress and identifying where you’ve performed well and where you need to make changes is extremely important in any business endeavor, and it’s absolutely paramount in the online world.
Quite simply, you have to know how you’ve performed to know if your on the right path. Too many people ignore this part of their business, which is unfortunate because they’re basically running around lost.
I know because I was one of those bloggers who only paid marginal attention to my traffic stats when I was actively blogging this past year. But, with the help of my online coach and the new training program I’m a part of, I’ve come to see the errors in my ways. So let’s take a look.
Blog Stats That I’m Happy With
Let’s start with taking a look at a screenshot of my blog stats from Google Analytics. You can click on each of the screenshots to blow them up and read them. My stats aren’t eye-popping by any stretch of the imagination, but everybody has to start somewhere and this is just the beginning.
A couple of things that really stand out to me is that my traffic is basically holding steady with a less than 1% drop overall. I had some spikes around the middle of the month when I started posting regularly again. I saw a slight dip in traffic towards the end of the month. I’ll discuss why I think that happened a little later in the post.
All my other basic stat parameters look good. Let’s take a look at another screenshot.
My new visitor percentage dropped to 89%. That’s the lowest it’s ever been in the time I’ve been blogging. Now you don’t want this percentage to get too low because that means that you’re not reaching new readers through search traffic, social media, etc. But, my new visitor percentages have always been too high. That means that I wasn’t writing content that would draw readers back to my site over and over. So, I’m bringing more visitors back. That’s good!
The average duration is also up 100%. Basically, it doubled. That’s another testament that I’m providing better content. People are staying here twice as long now as they did last month.
My bounce rate has improved a little bit, also. This is another difficult stat to grasp.
People are going to bounce from your site, or leave quickly, for a number of reasons. And I’ve heard of big blogs having a bounce rate over 80%. But, I’m not a big blog (yes, I’m stating the painfully obvious) so I need to lower my bounce rate as much as possible. That number is going to take some work, though, for the same reason why I think my traffic dipped a bit towards the end of the month.
My page views and number of pages per visit both went up, which is another testament that my new focus and content is engaging people more.
Reasons My Blog Stats Improved
There are a few reasons why I think my stats improved. For one, I’m writing better, more engaging content. My leadership content before was important and had a valid place in the business and online world, but it wasn’t particularly engaging. And unfortunately people aren’t as interested in leadership teachings as perhaps they should be.
So I’ve changed focus with this blog and I’ve started writing on topics that people are more interested in. Now, part of the nice increase is due to being absent during December. But, it’s not the whole reason. Here’s a screenshot comparing the past month to September, when I was still very active and a little more established in the search engines.
My visits and other gross traffic stats are down, but my bounce rate, % of new visits, average duration, and page views per visit have all moved in the right direction. That tells me that overall I’m moving in the right direction as well.
Now, the primary reason that some of my stats aren’t where I’d like them to be is that I’m still getting a lot of search traffic for several leadership keywords that I was ranking for. I think that’s a big reason that my overall visitors are down because the two focuses don’t really relate to each other.
Anybody landing here from the previous leadership stuff isn’t going to find any congruency to their search. And as I continue to move away from leadership terms, that search traffic will drop. It’s going to take some time for me to build up organic traffic for my new focus. But that will happen in time.
So where do I go from here? It’s a matter of focusing on producing quality content, improving reader engagement, and working to increase my traffic from the various referral sources such as Facebook, Twitter, and other blogs.
What About You?
Have you looked at your blog stats lately? How are you doing? Are you continuing to improve in the important areas, or are you sliding a bit and have to refocus your efforts? Let me know your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you have to say.
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