If you are trying to increase the traffic on your blog, you first need to understand who is currently reading it and where they are coming from. Of course, you will have your regular readers, friends, family, or enthusiasts who are interested in the same topics you are. But I’ll bet you’re getting more traffic than just your friends and family, and those are the people you need to understand better.
One of the first places to start is to implement Google Analytics on your blog. It’s pretty easy to do and will only take you a few minutes. Google Analytics is probably the best free website analytics tool out there, and with it you’ll be able to track your blog readers a little more carefully. Google Analytics will break your traffic down into different areas that you can easily read and understand.
1. Direct Traffic
Google will give you your overall traffic and also let you know how much of that traffic comes from direct visits. That is, how many people are typing your URL into their browser and going directly to your blog. These are probably your friends and family, but it could also be people who just really like your blog and follow it. This is the category you want to see an increase in the most.
2. Search Engines
Google will also break down your traffic so that you can see how many of your site visits come from a search engine; people who are searching for content like yours and have found you. These are usually first-time visitors, but you can convert them into repeat readers by providing them with good content. The higher you rank in search results, the more your traffic will come from this source, so it’s important to work on your search engine optimization (SEO) to boost your page rank.
3. Site Referrals
Google will not only tell you how much of your traffic came from links on other web pages, but it will also give you the names of those pages. If you notice you are getting a large number of referrals from a particular site, reach out to the owner of that site and see how the two of you can work together to boost the traffic to both sites—it’s mutually beneficial.
4. Social Media
Increasingly, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media site are becoming referral juggernauts. Pay attention to the traffic that is coming from these sites and capitalize on it as much as you can to promote your blog.
Once you understand where you traffic is coming from, you can better improve your site and your content. In fact, you can even go beyond simply categorizing your blog traffic and directly ask your readers what they think about your site with online survey software, like that offered by KISSinsights, which will give you direct feedback from readers on questions you want answers to. Getting the data is one thing, but when you know how to read it, you have real power to increase the traffic to your blog.