Dont Get Stuck on Traffic!

Thats right, Dont get stuck on traffic! and by traffic I’m not referring to the traffic on your daily commute to work. I’m talking about your blog. A common misconception people have with their newly established blogs and websites is that because they don’t have a high number of visitors, that their site is doing so well. By this, I don’t mean that having a lot of traffic doesn’t mean anything but what I mean to say is that you have to understand where your visitors come from and who visited your blog. Any good statistics counter will give you the following basic information: Unique Visitors, Reload and Total Visitors. Most people look at their Total Visitors to see how much traffic they get and although this is an acceptable method, it can be a little deceiving. Let me explain why.

What Sounds Better To You?
Let me pose a question to you. What sounds better to you, when you have 50 visitors one day or when you have 100 visitors the other day? Most of you would assume that a 100 visitors means better traffic but what you forget to look at is how many unique visitors you had. Unique Visitors means, how many people actually visited your website that way. The unique visitor number doesn’t account for re-visits meaning if someone visits your website more than once a day, then it will still only be counted once. What unique visitors allows you to see is how many different people visited your blog during the day. Going back to our example, if I told you that the day that we had 50 visitors, 30 of them were unique whereas, the day we had 100 visitors, only 25 of them were unique. Now which one sounds better?

Why Low Traffic Shouldn’t Disappoint
So now that we have that understood, lets see why low traffic numbers shouldn’t be disappointing. Here are a few reasons:
1) Any amount of traffic is good as long as it gets better progressively. Just because you have 5 visitors on the first day of your new blog, doesn’t mean that your blog is a failure. As long as the number of figures rises progressively, you are in good shape!
2) Anything good takes time to get noticed. Most of the top ranked blogs haven’t sprung up overnight. It takes a while before your blog will start seeing high amounts of traffic, unless ofcourse you have great networking skills.
3) As your blog gets older and if you are still motivated to put forth the effort, then you will see traffic rise. Dont forget that motivation is the key to keep your traffic coming in. If you start to slack off, you will see your traffic fall, if not dive off a cliff!

How Do I Keep Track of My Traffic?
A lot of people use Google Analytics to monitor the traffic on their blog. I will be integrating Google Analytics into my blog very soon. I have to mention that I did have Google Analytics before but because earlier my blog was running slower, I had to remove it. I logged into my account today to provide for a screenshot so you can see what it looks like:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics not only tells you how many people visited your blog but it tells you what percentage of those visitors are direct visitors, referred and how many came through search engines. Best of all, it tells you how long people stay on your blog. Remember, that your goal is keep your readers on your blog longer. When I had tested Google Analytics, my average time was 13 minutes which seems pretty good to me. Aside from that, Analytics is highly detailed and is a great tool to look into to monitor every aspect of your blog demographic. I have re-activated Analytics and will be seeing how well it monitors my blog. It is very important for a blogger to see what posts are the ones that get the most page views because it tells you what type of post do your readers like to read.

Plug-in: WordPress.com Stats
Besides Analytics, I have a plug-in called WordPress.com Stats and it makes you get a WordPress API key (which is free) but it lets you also get more detailed blog traffic reports when compared to a generic stats counter. The plug-in is actually quite useful and easily accessible, considering that it is installed into your own WordPress dashboard! You should give it a shot. I would like to talk more about the plug-in but I rather dedicate an entire post to it later on with screenshots to better explain how it works.

For now, I hope that you see why traffic can be a little deceiving if you forget to see how many unique visitors you had because for all you know, the 100 hits you received last weekend could have been thanks to your own frequent visits! Keeping jokes aside, remember not to be disheartened by low numbers of visitors because all you need to do is stay motivated because sooner or later your blog will get noticed. Also, considering installing the WordPress.com Stats plug-in that I mentioned or signing up for Google Analytics. The more you know about your visitors, the more you know about what kinds of posts work for your audience and what doesn’t. On a last note, what kind of traffic analyzer or traffic counter do you use?