Magic Moment: Where does your blog traffic come from?

Demystifying blogging

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It’s always a good idea to know where your blog traffic is coming from, whether your last flurry of social media activity resulted in lots of clicks, or whether that link you placed on a particular website has brought in a few new visitors.

This Magic Moment begins the investigation of this section in Google Analytics that shows how your visitors have accessed your blog. If you click on Traffic Sources > Overview in the left sidebar, you will see this page:

Traffic Sources in Google Analytics

But it is this pie-chart that shows the most interesting information:

Traffic Pie Chart in Google AnalyticsOver 70% found my blog through the search engines. This means they had asked a question or used particular keywords that were directed to my blog.

Now I could get quite excited about this, as it does lend the idea as to which search keywords they used, and perhaps I could write some more posts using those keywords to get more traffic. We shall see what the real story is later in another Magic Moment, and how I could encourage these visitors to use my blog further.

Over 11% of traffic comes from referrals. I would like this to become a lot more in the future, so I will investigate which referral sites have been used and how or whether I can explore more effective use of them to increase more focused traffic back to my blog.

17% direct traffic shows that people know my blog’s URL or at least its name, and by typing it in have successfully gained access to my blog.

And finally campaigns – this is interesting, as I have yet to set up any proper campaigns, so those five visits are very intriguing!

So now I will quickly glance at the first 10 referral sites that sent traffic to my blog (click on Traffic Sources > Sources > Referrals to access this page):

Traffic Referrals in Google Analytics

I will go into more detail in another Magic Moment, as there is a lot to explore here, but I want to show you the top 10 referral sites I am currently getting:

Referral Sites in Google Analytics

The top one, t.co, is Twitter. I am presuming this amount of traffic has resulted from the use of the plugin ‘Tweet Old Post’ that automatically sends out past posts at irregular intervals throughout the day, which helps to keep my blog alive for those who are on Twitter at that moment. Ideally I should be investigating into more activity on Twitter, both automated and spontaneous, to generate some more traffic back to my blog.

LinkedIn and Facebook are also doing quite well, and there is certainly much more I could do on these social media platforms to increase traffic (part of my marketing plan that begins in the autumn).

The others trickle in, and unless you want to do a concerted effort in a particular referral site, or through a special tinyurl associated with a social media platform such as bit.ly or su.pr, it’s probably just worth noting which ones provide how many each month, and raise an eyebrow if necessary at any unusual ones that pop up, especially when viewing the extended list.

More demystifying in the next set of Magic Moments to come…

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Alice Elliott writes the award winning Fairy Blog Mother blog for beginner and post-beginner bloggers to “explain things really simply” about blogging and WordPress. She provides simple, easy to understand, highly visual courses and tutorials using ordinary, everyday words. Visit her new Beginner Bloggers blog to find her latest learning resources.
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