Welcome to guest writer James Adams who provides some useful tips on how we can attract new visitors to our blog by paying close attention to its traffic data.
You wouldn’t leave your wallet on the table in the food court at your local mall, but many bloggers leave money on the virtual table every day because they don’t learn all they can about their visitors. Analyze traffic data from your blog and uncover a wealth of information that can help you make your blog more appealing to your visitors and hopefully increase its ability to attract new visitors and increase your bottom line.
The following eight tricks for analyzing your blog’s traffic data will help you make the most of this largely untapped resource.
1. Find out your traffic sources
Visitors to your site may come from search engines, directories, other blogs, or direct hits. This lets you know how well your various marketing efforts are working so you have the chance to tweak them as necessary to make your blog better and more profitable. For example, if you are spending a lot of time trying to develop traffic from social bookmarking sites and no traffic comes, you may reconsider your tactics or focus your marketing efforts on another tactic. You can also find out what sites that link to yours bring you the most traffic. This helps you focus your link exchange efforts.
2. Discover your popular content
By checking your traffic statistics you can find out what topics are your biggest draws. Armed with this information, you can focus your content to appeal to your readers while abandoning the topics that are flat.
3. Evaluate organic versus paid traffic
Your blog’s traffic data complement data supplied from AdWords and AdSense to help you determine the effectiveness of your paid advertising campaigns. Similarly, you can tell how much organic traffic is coming your way. This information will help you with your site optimization and keyword selection. Overall, you want to keep a balance between traffic you pay for and traffic that comes to you naturally.
4. Test new ideas
Your blog’s traffic data can help you identify ideas that work. You can compare results from different versions of your landing pages to get a sense of what formats, layouts, and tweaks work the best for your blog.
5. Use WordPress Stats
If your blog is hosted on WordPress.com or if you use WordPress on your hosted site, you can click the “Site Stats” link on your dashboard to get details on traffic volume, referring websites, popular links on your site and more information that will help you monitor your blog’s performance. This information gives you real time statistics for you blog so you can find out right away if your recent blog post is a hit. If you are into programming, you can write your own customized routines that access the WordPress Stats API to deliver the information you want.
6. Examine your raw log files
If you operate a blog on your own hosted or dedicated server, you can download log files from your hosting provider. These log files are very detailed and normally require an analysis program to generate reports. WebTrend is an example of a premium log analyzer, and AWStats is an example of a free log analyzer that can also do the job.
7. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a powerful option that many bloggers use to monitor traffic because it is very easy to use and it reveals valuable information about traffic patterns. Rather than relying on log files from your server, Google Analytics collects its own data on the fly, making it especially attractive to sites where bloggers do not have access to server files.
Woopra offers a traffic analysis service that gives you another perspective on the performance of your blog. Woopra is different from other analytics tools because it has desktop client software that collects and displays data in real time and allows you to perform in-depth analysis on the spot.
These eight tricks for analyzing your blog’s traffic data will help you leverage important information that is already in your possession to help you focus and optimize your blog. Try these tricks today and experience the untapped power contained in your traffic data.