As a blogger, you probably care about your site’s total traffic. However, even if you’ve recorded how many people visit your blog on a monthly, weekly, or daily basis, you may be wondering whether your numbers are adequate.
To decide whether your WordPress blog is receiving enough traffic, it’s important to evaluate your total number of site visitors against other key metrics. This will help paint a more complete and realistic picture of how successful your content is at drawing readers in.
In this article, we’ll cover five additional metrics that you can use to analyze your total traffic, and gain insight into whether your blog is attracting the readership you need to achieve your goals. Let’s get started!
How to evaluate your site’s traffic levels (5 key analytics to track)
Traffic is certainly important, but it’s not the only metric that matters when it comes to evaluating your blog’s success. Just because people are visiting your site, doesn’t automatically mean they’re engaging meaningfully with your content.
By evaluating your traffic alongside additional metrics, you can gain deeper insight into the people who are visiting your website. Here are five additional analytics to keep your eye on.
1. Evaluate your sources to learn where is your traffic coming from
Most web traffic comes from one of the following sources:
- Direct visitors, who access your site by typing its URL into their browsers.
- Search visitors, who discover your blog via a search engine such as Google. This is also referred to as ‘organic’ traffic.
- Referral visitors, who arrive at your blog via a link that’s posted on a third party website, blog, or social media platform.
Identifying the source(s) that deliver your highest-quality traffic can provide valuable information. ‘High-quality traffic’ refers to visitors who take desired action on your site. This might include subscribing to your newsletter, sharing your latest post on Twitter, or some other positive outcome.
Once you know where your high-quality traffic comes from, you can invest additional time and effort into attracting more visitors from that specific source. This might mean improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), investing in social media ads, or other techniques.
However, you should avoid the temptation to focus exclusively on a single source. The internet moves fast, and to protect your blog against changes, it’s important to be able to draw readers from multiple channels.
For example, say you concentrate solely on boosting your search traffic. If Google changes its algorithm, you might lose a significant portion of your readership.
2. Determine how long are visitors spending on your website
The amount of time visitors spend on your blog is a strong indication of how much they’re enjoying your content. If you have a high volume of traffic but a low average session duration, there’s some kind of problem that is driving readers away.
One possibility is that there’s a technical issue that’s preventing visitors from enjoying your blog, such as slow loading times. By identifying problems and improving your blog’s performance, you should be able to increase your average session duration, and get more value from your traffic.
It’s also possible that your posts in some way don’t meet readers’ expectations. For example, if your headlines don’t clearly explain what your content is about, visitors may become confused and leave your site when their questions aren’t answered.
There are many strategies that can help you optimize your headlines and maximize your posts’ relevance to your target audience. Keyword research, social listening, and even social media polls can provide valuable insight into this area.
3. Assess whether your bounce rate indicates a deeper issue with your website
‘Bounce rate’ refers to how many people abandon your blog after viewing a single page. Many bloggers see a high bounce rate as a negative result, as it means readers aren’t further exploring your site and consuming more content.
Similar to session duration, a high bounce rate may indicate a technical issue. It can also indicate that visitors like the idea of your content, but dislike its execution. For example, websites that are guilty of using clickbait headlines often experience high bounce rates.
Bounce rate can help you understand your traffic, but it can also be deceptive when viewed in isolation. For example, someone may visit your latest blog post via a link they spotted on Twitter. This visitor reads your post in its entirety, enjoys it, and then exits your blog.
This is a positive interaction, but since the reader only viewed a single webpage, it still contributes towards your bounce rate. To avoid misinterpreting your data, it’s important to evaluate this metric alongside other information, particularly session duration.
4. Figure out if you’re converting one-time visitors into loyal users
While traffic levels are important, you should monitor how much of it represents new visitors, and how much represents repeat readers. A large percentage of recurring users indicates that your blog is gaining a loyal following. This bodes well for your traffic levels moving forward.
You can divide your traffic data into new and repeat visitors using Google Analytics by navigating to Audience > Behavior > New vs Returning:
When determining the percentage of repeat visitors, it may also help to examine your direct traffic metric. If someone types your blog’s URL into their address bar, it suggests they’re familiar with your website. This often indicates that they’re a repeat visitor.
5. Look at social shares to see if visitors are endorsing your content
Social shares are a particularly important metric to track. A high number indicates that visitors feel your content is valuable enough to promote within their networks.
Social shares can also drive other metrics, including traffic. Every time someone shares your blog with their network, it’s an opportunity to connect with an entirely new audience. If your content consistently receives a high number of social shares, then you should expect to see an increase in new visitors.
If your website doesn’t already prominently feature social sharing buttons, then you can add them using a plugin such as Social Media Share Buttons. There are also many themes that include this feature.
How much traffic should your WordPress blog be getting?
Determining how many visitors qualify as ‘enough traffic’ can be tricky, as every WordPress blog will have its own definition. For example, a blog that publishes new content every week will likely expect a steadier stream of readers than one that takes an ad-hoc approach to publishing.
Instead of defining success by a specific number, it usually makes more sense to monitor the direction of your traffic. If the number of visitors to your site is steadily increasing, then you’re on the right track. However, there’s no number where you should stop pushing for bigger and better results.
Attracting a high volume of visitors is always desirable for bloggers. However, your traffic levels alone don’t tell you whether readers are enjoying or engaging deeply with your content. By monitoring multiple metrics and looking at them in relation to one another, you can gain a better understanding of what guests think of your posts.
When it comes to how much traffic your WordPress blog should be getting, there’s no one straightforward answer. You’ll want to define your goal for this metric by considering it in context with your sources, session duration, bounce rate, and other key factors.
Do you have any questions about monitoring your WordPress site’s traffic? Let us know in the comments section below!