End of Month Traffic Report – March 2014

Traffic March 2014Its that happy time of the month again where I bring you the previous months ups and downs and compare them to the month before.

However, the observant of you may have noticed that February was an unusual month. Why? Because I had purchased a traffic injection to test out the effectiveness of my welcome page. The influx of clicks led to a massive upsurge in people on site but unfortunately this upset some of my key factors in the process and in hindsight it was a painful experience to Alexa rankings which plummeted like a stone.

After a month of normal activity everything has returned to normal but it leaves me with a problem. I’ll go into more detail later on. As such this traffic report will be a bit longer than the previous reports but keep reading, you might learn something!

 

March

March has been a difficult month in terms of providing content. I have had a huge dip in time available to work on my content offerings this month so at worst I’ve been posting once a week which is below my target of 2 posts per week. I’ve also had a general issue with expanding topics at the moment because lots of people are talking about exactly the same things. I have to work on value which is difficult on areas I have not talked about before.

 

Posts this month

 

How did these posts do?

The end of month traffic report for February did okay. It is not the highest performing of my reports but not the worst performing either. WordPress Stats indicate 6 views.

Content to those who want it was a post that did rather woefully although it is better than zero. Total views equals 4.

Those things we neglect performed with a pitiful solitary view.

Tackling Facebook got an average 8 wp stat views. I was quite impressed with this because Facebook is already a rather well covered area.

It’s follow up, part 2 didn’t perform as admirably with 0 views.

Overall post performance this month was:

JLP Facepalm

Now. Its not all bad news.

I received my first follower in StumbleUpon.

I have 4 followers in my Tumblr associated blog: Social Wrestle.

My One Month On: What’s happening post performed well once again with 13 views taking it to an all time record of 64 overall.

I got to peak under the hood of two of my blogging friend’s WordPress sites. WorkAfter60.com and Globalhurricaneblog.com.

  • WorkAfter60.com is a blogging site aimed at the maturer market for exactly what it says on the tin; working after 60. I like the site so far and I’ve provided Tony with some assistance.
  • Globalhurricanceblog.com is aimed squarely at Generation X (from post war 1960s – 1980s according to wikipedia). I was able to fix this issue.

 

The Stats

Okay, so I made you wade through a bit before you got this far. Its all part of my plan. (evil laugh shortcode goes here).

I have a new feature that I’ll rollback to February and January’s stats.

Introducing the Dashboard:

 

The Blog Prefect Dashboard

The Blog Prefect Dashboard

The Dashboard is a new visual metric for those who haven’t got the time to wade through. The dashboard is colour coded in a traffic light style system so green is good, amber is average and red is bad.

It does have one other colour. The colour purple.

Purple is associated with setting new records, so if I have a month that beats all historical records in one avenue, this indicates an exception beyond expectation! Those familiar with Formula 1 (a particular interest of mine) will know that purple is akin to setting new lap records. When someone “goes purple” they aren’t short of breath.

Why have I decided to instigate a dashboard? Other than just as a visual aid, dashboards play an important part of data aggregation (that is to say grouping data into useful statistical information). Commonly, big reports feature a dashboard metric. Often there are dashboards present in some of the big analytic providers (Alexa, Google Analytics, Clicky and more).

There are 7 elements to this feeling of wellbeing that I am measuring.

  • The left side of the graph (the meaningful side) is the data that represents how well the quality of my work is being received and what value it imparts to the reader. It comprises three elements; Average Time on Site, Bounce Rate and Post Performers.

Average time of site is measured in seconds. Bounce rate is measured as a percentage. Post Performers displays the highest performing viewing numbers for one article (this dimension I may adjust in future).

  • The centre element is set aside from the metrics, it is somewhat intangible in essence. Instinct is an important Human trait and one that can effect how we feel and react to situations occurring around us. When things go well, we feel brilliant. When things don’t go according to plan we take stock and might feel deflated for a time. The gut feel is a measure outside the numbers. This element can never be purple.

I hope never to be in the red on this measurement because that means all is wrong with the world. An amber score is also a troublesome area because ultimately I should be improving from month to month.

  • The right side of the graph is the chaotic side. It is uncontrollable in the sense that whilst I can have some very minor influence it is the audience that decides. This side has the classic three measures that the classic marketer used to hold up as important; Referrals, Page Views and Visits.

Referrals are entirely random, dependent on someone looking for what I’m hoping the search engine will present in front of them. I prefer the WordPress Stats slightly more than the Google Analytics views for this purpose as they provide more detailed information of the origin in a better visual way. Page Views

March’s Dashboard looks like so.

 Dashboard Mar14 vs Feb14

The issue with the dashboard is that February was hit by an unexpected circumstance. My boost from Karoshio pushed the figures up wildly. This has really messed up some of the results in February. The ATOS figure (average time on site) took a massive hit to the negative. As ATOS is one of my prime KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) comparing March to February is an issue. I have therefore decided to provide a second look at the figures as based on March 2014 vs January 2014.

For more information on this phenomenon, please follow this link back to February 2014’s End of Month Traffic Report.

The corrected Dashboard.

 Dashboard Mar14 vs Jan14

Continuing on that theme I have also compared the previous traffic to January as opposed to February for the very same reason. The results are quite different

 

The End of Month Traffic Report – March 2014

EoMTR GAF

 

ATOS – Average Time on Site, GAF – Provided by Google Analytics

9 minutes 16 seconds  Inverse 1163.64% on  February, adverse -38.36% on January.

Against an unusual month the data looks phenomenal but against a normal month it looks quite bad. December and January had very strong ATOS figures and there is still signs that this has buckled considerably.

 

Bounce Rate – Actual Traffic data, not filtered – Provided by Google Analytics

67.65% adverse -9.75% on February, adverse -9.14% on January.

This is the lowest recorded bounce rate since July 2013. Excellent! I need to keep pressure on making this number drop. This is the only measure where being adverse to previous figures is good because less is more!

 

Page Views – Provided by GAF and WordPress stats

GAF – 116 adverse -73.46% on February, inverse 50.65% on January.

WordPress – 158 adverse -92.54% on February, inverse 38.6% on January.

Going by the GAF figures when comparing to January, the uptake has been pretty awesome. It is interesting to show just how wild the difference is between filtered data and unfiltered data from WordPress.

 

Visits – Provided by GAF and WordPress Stats

GAF – 19 adverse -87.42% on February, inverse46.15% on January

WordPress – 57 adverse -95.31 on February, adverse – 24% on January

On first hand it might make a puzzling result but GAF figures win prizes and 19 is a new record. Hooray for the purple! To explain that a bit more fully WordPress statistics aren’t entirely reliable. They don’t take into account those who bounce. My filter is specifically set in Google Analytics to trap people over 30 seconds, hence no bounce. You should never take people seriously who quote numbers at face value. Quality is better than quantity, good is the enemy of best.

 

Referrals – Provided by WordPress

  • Google Search 29
  • Google Image Search 7
  • Bing 3
  • Google+ 6
  • WordPress Dashboard 4
  • AngryJoeShow.com 1
  • Miscellaneous Yahoo Search 1
  • FinancialSamurai.com 1
  • Geekfellows.com 1
  • Private Network 1
  • Ok.Hu 1

 

Conclusion (So What?)

Something I always mention with boring regularity is not resting on my laurels. It’s a Roman saying that Emperors passed around back in the day. It means, don’t sit on your butt staring at the ceiling. There’s lots of work to be done.

March was a crisis for original content. I had some real struggles trying to put together interesting articles (which is unlike me). February faired a lot better in many respects. I can’t attribute my dips this past month to my Study commitments alone. I’ve had a negative life event which has also caused me issue. I’d prefer not to elaborate on this but it has put my head in a different place and for blogging you need the head in the right place.

 The Welcome Page is on my slate. I had a deep look on the 2nd April at trying to remedy it but have a difficulty of where to start. I could perform a scorched Earth policy and go from scratch but am lost for a good way to drive people away from the welcome into better things. Keeping it simple has been mentioned. I recently downloaded the content of the welcome page into a word document and was shocked to see how long it was. No wonder it isn’t working! Also, due to this Bloggy theme, I’ve had to change the templates of some of the pages as sidebars were essential.

You may notice the so what? in brackets above. This has come about because in analysing data you end up with a bunch of numbers. The important part is knowing what to do with those numbers. Perhaps the happiest stat up there is the bounce rate drop. That puts a smile on my face. I have more optimisations I need to carry out to make the bounce rate a better picture in future.

In putting this End of Month Report together I realised how deficient the last one was for February in comparison to January. I have therefore had to go over what I’d left out in February in order to supply data here for March’s comparisons. The beauty of blogging is that articles can be corrected over time.

Two things I have definitely noticed are that comment rate has increased and that search engines are picking me up quicker and more than they did before. These are two criteria that come with age.

 

As a footnote

I greatly enjoy writing the End of Month Traffic Report, regardless of the results. My greatest hope is that it can bring you some divine help and inspiration if you are wondering how or why something is not working.

Observations

  • Rather than ask you questions on my results, do you have any observations you’d like to share? Any words of wisdom? Any of your own anecdotes?

 

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