How to Check Website Traffic on WordPress
You have just launched your personal blog and it is slowly climbing the ranks of the search engines. Now what? How can you tell if all of that hard work is paying off? The answer is simple: you need to track the numbers!
Website traffic is one of the most essential metrics when it comes to blogging. Knowing how many visitors you are getting and what platforms they are coming from will help you make much-needed adjustments to improve conversion. For example, if you notice that most of your traffic is coming from Facebook, you might want to try taking some paid ads to drive more traffic to your site.
Top Engagement Tools For WordPress Bloggers
The most popular social media platforms aren’t going anywhere, so you might as well learn to work with them effectively. That way, when the time comes to expand your reach, you will know exactly what to do. Here are three tools that every WordPress blogger should have in their arsenal.
Hootsuite is popularly known as the social media dashboard for bloggers. The platform aggregates all of your social media accounts (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) under one roof, providing you with a single source of content from across the web. What’s more is you can tie the content into a cohesive narrative and engage with your audience on a deeper level than you ever could with individual platforms.
Hootsuite also provides you with analytics that dive into the performance of every single content piece you have ever posted. If you’re serious about growing your blog, having complete control over the content posted to your various accounts is a must.
Buzzsumo is a content discovery platform that connects brands with bloggers and influencers for mutually beneficial relationships. Basically, you submit a piece of content that is either brand or product related and the platform does the rest. Once the content is approved, it is available for republishing on your behalf.
The benefit of this relationship is that the influencers get to promote the brand and the brand gets the piece of content to boost their own cause and growth. So, in a way, you are serving both your audience and the brand. What’s not to love?
Google Analytics is undoubtedly the most popular analytics tool for webmasters and bloggers. The platform provides extremely in-depth reports into the traffic of your website, as well as some interesting tidbits about the demographic of your audience. For example, we know that 54% of our readers are based in the U.S., 28% in the U.K., and 18% in Canada.
The best part about Google Analytics is that you can import all of your other analytics platforms into one, creating a single source of truth for your entire digital strategy. Essentially, with Google Analytics you can find out exactly which content pieces are resonating with your audience and which ones aren’t.
How to Track Website Traffic on WordPress
Now that you have a basic understanding of the analytics platforms that WordPress developers and bloggers use, let’s discuss how to actually track the traffic to your website. There are two basic ways to do this: manually and with help of a third-party tool.
If you want to track the traffic to your website manually, you first need to install a plugin for WordPress. The most popular plugin for this purpose is WordPress Analytics. After installing and activating the plugin, you will find a dashboard similar to the one below:
The Different Types of Visitors to Your Website
The dashboard provided by WordPress Analytics will guide you through the different types of visitors to your website and allow you to further classify them by various dimensions. Take a look:
New vs Repeat Visits
You will first want to examine how often your audiences come back to your site. Essentially, there are two types of visitors: repeat and new. A repeat visitor is someone who has visited your site previously and is coming back for more. New visitors are people who have neither visited nor purchased any products from your site previously.
What is interesting is that even though most of your audiences are repeat visitors, you will find that new visitors represent a significantly larger share of the overall pie. This is because new visitors are the bread and butter of the search engine optimization (SEO) industry. When performing SEO for a client, almost all of the work entails bringing in new visitors via various methods (e.g., content marketing, social media, and organic search).
Demographics vs. Behavior
Next, we will discuss the difference between demographics and behavior. Essentially, demographics are the raw data pulled from which the behavior analysis is performed. When we refer to demographics, we are usually referring to a specific group of individuals based on age, gender, or geographic location.
Behavior, on the other hand, is the action or reaction a certain group of people take in relation to a particular event, place, or thing. In other words, we can track the behavior of your audiences to see how they interact with your content.
Browsing Behavior vs. Conversion
Depending on how you define it, the term “conversion” can mean many different things. For the sake of this article, we will define conversion as the action or result of a visitor taking some sort of positive step once on the site (e.g., making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or subscribing to a blog).
Now that you have an idea of the basic terminology, let’s discuss how you can go about converting these visitors into paying customers.
The first thing you will want to do is examine your overall browsing behavior. Essentially, you will want to look at the traffic coming to your site and the paths that they are taking. Take a look at the below screenshot, which will give you a good idea of the traffic to and the conversion of “www.shoppingbuzz.com”:
The Different Paths That Website Visitors Take
As you can see from the screenshot above, most of the traffic to “www.shoppingbuzz.com” comes from social media channels like Google and Facebook. It also appears that a fairly high percentage of the site’s visitors are doing some degree of product research before making a purchase. What is also interesting is that, based on this data, the site’s visitors are largely concentrated in the South and Southwest U.S. If this sounds like your site, you might want to consider investing in a paid traffic campaign through a reputable source such as Google Adwords or Bing Ads.
Pricing and Terms of Service
If you decide to go this route, you will want to work with a reputable company that can help you optimize your ads for maximum impact. Also, make sure that you read the fine print before agreeing to any kind of contract. The last thing you want to do is sign up for a paid traffic service only to find out the terms of service stipulate you must buy a certain amount of traffic or pay monthly fees. This is why it is extremely important to research the service’s terms thoroughly before committing.
How to Increase Website Traffic
If you are looking to increase the traffic to your website or blog, you have a few options. The first thing you will want to do is review your site’s performance in comparison to comparable blogs. Comparing your site’s performance to that of other blogs helps you pinpoint the areas in which you can improve (i.e., the weak spots). For example, if your posts usually don’t quite live up to the standards of other established blogs in your niche, you might want to try making some minor adjustments.
Another option for increasing website traffic is to create compelling content that will keep people coming back for more. It is important to note that the content you create must have value in order to attract and retain an audience. Create content that is useful, entertaining, or informative and use online tools like HubSpot’s Content Organizer to keep track of all of your content ideas.
WordPress is a free content management system that is both simple and flexible enough for the average blogger to use. The key takeaway from this article is that you simply need to understand the different types of visitors to your website and how you can engage with them to increase the chances of conversion. With that, we conclude our overview of the basic terminology surrounding website traffic. Now that you are equipped with the basics, feel free to continue reading to learn more about growing your blog.