I used to help manage and facilitate the online presence of around 100 small businesses as part of an agency. This meant that when they saw a drop in customers, I would get a call. Every time, they were convinced that we were ruining their website and Yelp page because nobody is coming into the store. And none of my team had the time or bandwidth to personally run one company’s entire marketing campaign. It was a very stressful job.
Each time, I would offer the same thing. I can look at their online traffic with them and help them figure out what they can do to build it up. They were never satisfied with that. To be fair to the customers, our sales team regularly told them that we would take care of everything. They were under the impression that they were basically getting a marketing team for $299 per month.
Unfortunately, taking me up on the offer to look at their WordPress traffic would have actually helped a lot. There is a lot you can learn from that data. And it goes deeper than “how many people clicked my links?” And sometimes, the solution to poor performance is not a lot of work. You might just need a small tweak.
If you are interested to learn more about interpreting your WordPress traffic figures, please use the table of contents below.
Table of Contents
What is WordPress Traffic?
Traffic is all about visitors. It is the number of people who visit your site. However, there is a little more that goes into it than that. It is not simply every person who clicks on the link to your website. It also is not a single number. When studied, WordPress traffic stats show information about a lot more.
It can show what visitors did on your site. It can show where those visitors came from. Do you want to know the average time your visitors spend on your site? There is a metric for that. Pretty much any condition you can think of can be included in your traffic statistics. Just knowing the number of visitors actually does very little to help you generate more traffic. It is when you look at the details that you find trends and possible solutions.
How to see WordPress Traffic Stats
The tool you likely hear about the most is Google Analytics. This service has been used for years to help people track their website performance. It is difficult to think of other readily available services that provide so much in-depth feedback. It takes a little effort to get the ball rolling, but the insight you gain from the information is well worth it.
To get started, you just need to access Google Analytics from your Google search engine. If you cannot find it, do a quick search for it. Google will point you right to it. From there, you need to create an account. Your account includes some baseline information and your domain. Things get a little more complicated from there. This includes things like tracking codes and implementing them in one of a few different ways. Depending on what method works best for you, you can get set up Google Analytics in more than a couple of different ways. This guide from WP Beginner gives an overview on how to get Google Analytics running for your WordPress site.
Do not worry if you are overwhelmed at first. The number of different categories is staggering. The system is set up to organize the data in dozens of different ways. While you can try to dig deep into discovering your target demographic and similar details, the results center around the basics.
A high-level view shows you the number of users and the number of sessions. This shows you how likely it is for the same user to return to your website. Another comparative metric is pageviews. Now, you can see the rate of how many web pages were visited. This way, you can see if people are more likely to leave your website after one page or stick around. Of course, there is also the average amount of time spent on your site and the ever-famous bounce rate.
How to Increase Blog Traffic with WordPress
To even think about increasing your traffic, you have to make sense of your traffic stats. You have to figure out what it means if it tells you that your number of visitors is equal to the number of sessions (you have no repeat visitors). What does it mean to see that you have a bounce rate of 99.5% (most people are leaving your site the moment they enter it). The list goes on. If your stats reflect 1 page per session, then people are looking at one page and leaving.
The numbers themselves are not the problem. Trying to get more visitors to your site or get your previous visitors to return will get you nowhere. You have to think about what it all means. If you have a significantly high bounce rate, then your website is likely being shown to a disinterested audience. it may be that your search result is popping up for people looking for something completely different. You might need to consider keyword research for your topics.
Lack of return visitors means that there was nothing that made your site memorable. Either that or your content pushed them away. Either way, you have a lot of work to do. Also, it could be that you need a way to get your visitors engaged. Even something as simple as a contest can help inspire someone to come back to your site later. The more someone visits your site, the more likely they are to visit again.
What about visitors that only see one page? Honestly, they didn’t see a reason to stick around. There is a reason many of the highest performing blogs have a list of related posts on the sidebar. If you visit a blog to learn more about Obi-Wan’s parentage, then you likely want to learn more about Darth Maul’s long lost siblings. You have to deliver the content your readers want to see before they get a chance to leave. And that is where appropriate tagging and categorization come in.
A lack of new users is all about exposure. Search engines will not do you any favors. If they feature you high in the search results, they think it will benefit them. You have to do some of the heavy lifting yourself. That means marketing.
It is hard to talk about blog traffic without mentioning SEO. Search engines play a huge role in how websites perform. The vast majority of internet users rely on search engines to get them where they want to go. If Google does not rank your website well with relevant keywords, then users do not even have a chance to judge your site for themselves.
These days, best SEO practices are a lot closer to realistic and genuine content. Search engines want people to use them People use search engines that deliver them to sites they want to see. So sites like Google work countless hours to make their web crawlers as intuitive as possible at picking out websites people want to see.
There is a ton that goes into SEO. There are full books written on how best to handle it. We have more than a couple of articles on SEO tips. It includes a system of keywords, metadata, images, consistent updates, backlinking, social media, and more. If you are serious about your website’s traffic, then you need to make sure to know how to take care of your SEO.
Websites do not see growth in traffic by accident. Everything is calculated. Nobody will guess your domain name and find your blog. Even if your blog is perfect for someone, that does nothing for them if they never know it exists.
Search engines are great for getting in visitors, but the visitors who make the most difference are the ones you interact with. Marketing is more than shoveling advertisements everywhere. Get involved in social media groups around your blog focus. Find local groups or meetups to attend. Do anything to start interacting with potential visitors. Actually become part of their community. After they know you, they will feel much more comfortable visiting your site regularly.
Best Hosting for WordPress Site Traffic
It is great to see your traffic stats and tweak your content, metadata, marketing, and more to see positive change. Unfortunately, not every aspect of your traffic performance is determined by your actions. For example, your web hosting might be affecting your stats. Nobody can read your amazing retro review of Casablanca if your site is offline. Nobody will care to read it if your site takes too long to load. Your web host can be sabotaging you.
That is why you have to find fast and reliable web hosting, like with WP Super Host. As a high-quality WordPress host, we take care of your hosting maintenance so that you can focus on more important things. We make sure everything runs efficiently and consistently by monitoring our websites for uptime, WordPress updates, and plugin compatibility. And while you are analyzing your performance data, we also provide a speed report that includes suggestions on getting the most out of your website.
The benefits do not stop there. Our 24/7 support team and automated daily backups ensure that we always have your back. And we have not even mentioned that we provide CDN, free SSL, SFTP access, and much more. So when you are ready to find hosting for your new or existing website, take a look at the high quality and affordable web hosting packages from WP Super Host.
Never overlook the usefulness of tracking your WordPress traffic. Even when things are going well, a downward trend is better dealt with early. Keep your finger on the pulse of your online presence to get ahead of issues before they begin.
The details can sometimes look confusing. It can also feel like you are setting yourself up for a lot of work. However, that is not always the case. Sometimes, you just need to keep your eyes open and make adjustments. A small adjustment today can save hours of work in a few months.