Welcome to another edition of the Blog Prefect Traffic Report. Looking at April’s results is quite interesting and somewhat puzzling too. I believe the data to be correct based on the high number of visits versus page views but it makes for concerning reading.
Normally I don’t start out with the red alerts but I had set a line in the sand last year on bounce rate.
Bounce Rate, as you should know, is a percentage of your audience that just plain didn’t interact with your blog when they visited. High bounce rate shouldn’t concern you if the content you created is meant to be read quickly (like news sites). If it is the intention for people to dip in then dip out, they will.
For my site, some of the articles are above the minimum that Google likes and a lot of them are in between what Google classifies as “in depth” (a post over 2000 words) and standard. A number of my articles do go bigger. My two big articles this year thus far are Gamers Great Expectations which weighed in over 5000 words and How to make Google+ work for you which went over 3000.
- Click here to view Gamers Great Expectations
- And here to view How to make Google+ work for you
To clarify my point, I expect people to read for at least 30 seconds if they skim reading and considerably more if they are not.
My bounce rate has busted that red line and looms at 4.75% over the line. In visual terms if a long jumper was making a take-off it would be marked as a foul. The jumper would have put their whole foot over the white line and not a few toes.
To add to this high number which is now at 84.75% (at time of writing), I am required to look at the website and the reasons why people are skipping out. I am having to be more critical over the whole design and in the end this may lead to a change in Theme.
As a side note, this change in numbers may have come about as an adjustment in the way that Google Analytics functions. The keen observers of you should notice that some of the metrics in Google Analytics changed this month. With that change, there may have been some revisions to the count. Many site owners now have the opportunity to change over to Universal Analytics from the traditional “Classic” version as the beta stage and the Google VIPs have had it rolled out. Universal Analytics adds a lot of data on demographics that the Classic version did not (Useful stuff like Gender).
The reason in particular that this climb concerns me is that last month my numbers were the best bar my partial launch month in June 2013 so to go from the best to the worst indicates some serious issues. This is also Month 10 of Blog Prefect and I had expected for the situation to be better rather than worse.
There are some factors I have to take into account though.
My general post rate has dropped considerably in the last couple of months due to an aggressive schedule so this may have an effect. I have also never seen an April through so am not aware what kind of trends I’m like to expect from seasonal effect such as Easter holidays. As was seen in my December traffic, I took a heavy hit during the holidays. It seems that my content currency is weak during those periods.
I’ve been pinged (or bounced) a number of times by a website who has been tracking me, possibly because a competitor has similar content. Semalt.com is the place and that has been adding to my bounce rate with low quality time on site. The odd thing is that Semalt shows up on my referral info whereas other pings are generally filtered.
I later discovered after some research that these peeps are a Russian outfit. No surprises.
Something I’ve found particular unusual is a phenomenon of old posts getting viewed at an improved rate from when they were originally posted out. I’m not sure why they get a second bite of the cherry like this but there are many of my old posts which I’ve moved on from that still resurface from time to time.
Now there is nothing unusual with this, in fact, I quite like that some of this old content is getting a second hit with the bat but some of the old information is “perishable”. I have in past, embarked upon cleanup missions, where I’ve gone through a certain number of old posts and tweaked them to how my currents pieces look. This is because over time some of my thoughts change on subjects or new information has come to light.
It is quite easy to take the view on posts that they can be fired and forgot about. However, some of those old posts do need revisiting on occasion.
Going through old posts also helps generate some fresh ideas. It is a bit like treading on grapes, you never get the whole amount of juicy goodness out of those grapes for your wine creation process unless you stamp them good for at least 20 minutes. I have already proved with the Needs Improvement series that some content can be improved considerably beyond the scope of the original.
My University studies have also been a high priority and the amount of reading in the current tome has been offensive in size and shape.
Posts this Month
- Two Common Points Raised by New Bloggers
- Niche Dilution Ills
- End of Month Traffic Report – March 2014
- How to remove the default image link when inserting images in WordPress
- How to Make Google+ Work For you
- Tumbling with Tumblr
Two Common Points Raised by New Bloggers = 4 views
This was a inspired find from a conversation via the comments on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income.
Niche Dilution Ills = 3
Another inspired find once again from Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income. It’s amazing what you can find when you read the comment reel.
End of Month Traffic Report – March 2014 = 3
The normal round up of months affairs but introducing the very first dashboard.
How to remove the default image link when inserting images in WordPress = 2
This was a long keyphrase attempt for a WordPress tutorial I adapted from WPBeginner.com.
How to Make Google+ Work For you = 15
A large guide on how to use Google+ to keen effect. This was a much longer post at 3,000 words and took longer than my standard posts to construct.
Tumbling with Tumblr = 5
This was a little introduction to Tumblr and what it was all about along with the reason I use it.
What was good with all the posts this month was the fact that I didn’t have any with 0 views. I hate it when I do. The disappointing factor was that none of the posts generated any social signs which I needed. My worst performing post in terms of manpower was the End of Month Traffic Report. My best performer was How to Make Google+ Work For you but it was very time consuming to put together.
So with that Melodrama out of the way, let’s get to the Dashboard:
It has been a strange picture this month, more overall visitors than last, better engagement on some posts than last but low views total. Something else to throw in the pot is that Google changed and tweaked a few things in Google Analytics such as change the term visitor to sessions. There have been some observable differences since the tweak but at this time I can’t make a determination between whether those changes have a true correspondence or not.
End of Month Traffic Report – April 2014
Hopefully you should all be aware of the staple report by now but if you are new to the site then I shall run through some of the basics.
Firstly my prime statistical piece of information is provided by the Average time on Site. I take this from a filtered criteria which is based on those not from my geographical location and those viewing for more than 30 seconds. I’ve determined that 30 seconds is the minimum skip reading time that most people will need to scan my average post. This data is provided from Google Analytics exclusively.
The second most important statistic is Bounce Rate. This is the percentage of people who don’t bounce out after reading the page they came to see. As I mentioned before, my bounce rate has been high. Unlike Average Time on Site, this metric is not filtered in Google Analytics because my GAF filter is non-bounce traffic. Bounce rate is important because it gives you an idea of how well your targeting strategy is working or if there is a site problem preventing people getting further. It is a black and white figure, one that only goes up or down and only ranges between 0 (which is impossible to reach) and 100 (which means everyone who visits your site is leaving it after one page).
ATOS – Average Time on Site, GAF – Provided by Google Analytics
5 minutes 57 seconds or 357 seconds, adverse 35.79%
This was a collapse on last month and was disappointing.
Bounce Rate – Actual Traffic data, not filtered – Provided by Google Analytics
83.16% adverse 15.51%
This was an incredibly high number and is bad for my ranking. This number must not persist.
Page Views – Provided by GAF and WordPress stats
WordPress: 97 adverse 38.61%
GAF: 42 adverse 63.79%
Both stats looking bad this month.
Visits (Now known as sessions) – Provided by GAF and WordPress Stats
WordPress: 71 inverse 25.56%
GAF: 13 adverse 31.58%
Shocking, the only green of the campaign. Fear not though, the GAF information is of more interest and shows that my valued readers are down just under a third on last month.
Everything took a slip from March apart from the WordPress stats on visitors which have shown quite a high level.
Visits per Visitor
Something else I don’t usually report on is the visits per visitor mostly because this is in flux. However, April has had the lowest representative figure on record at 1.37.
Referrals – Provided by WordPress
- Google Search 20
- Google+ 12
- Semalt.com 6 (low quality)
- Google Image Search 5
- Dogpile.com 1
- Yahoo Search 1
- Bing 1
- Facebook 1
- Dlinksearch.com 1
After a bad April I decided to take some reflective time out to see what I could see, also I need to mince my way through studies and an assignment. I have been late in producing this Traffic Report as I had quite a lot to do, indicative of my lack of time control at the moment. However, I do have some interesting things for May and because it is the month of my Birthday I am entitled to be cheerful. 🙂
The major problem I’m having at the moment is the right nucleus of loyal audience. I am aware that this takes time to build and as I will be writing about in May, there are some benefits and drawbacks to writing about a broad topic for your niche.
I would also like to hope that Semalt.com burn in hell as you guys are really hurting my numbers with low quality hits. Your reverse logic advertising sucks!