Do you Analyze the Source of Your Readership

Readership - Where does it come from?

The follow­ing are the statist­ics of where I have my reader­ship has come from over the past 3 months:

Breaking it down


Facebook, Social mediaI regularly check my statist­ics and know they have changed over time. After the site stated the sole source of my reader­ship was Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus.

Facebook is, of-course, the largest social network in the world with somewhere near 2 billion members world­wide. Experts say to make best use of the site your posts should excite and be relev­ant to your network. Include pictures and a hasht­ag as well.


Being Noticed by Google


Google SearchWhen you start your blog you will have too few pages for search engines to notice you exist. This is true, even if you imple­ment the Google Analytics plug-in for your site. Having built this site from the first post it has been by monit­or­ing my statist­ics that I know that I had negli­gible traffic attrib­uted to search engines before reach­ing 50 pages on this site. This is an exper­i­ence I have also observed with blogs I have created for clients.

I could find my pages by title or key word, but was not able to gain any traffic through searches. The special­ist nature of this site, being focused on writing and blogging, may explain this, but I believe it has more to do with reach­ing a critic­al mass and being taken seriously by search engines.

One thing it is also possible to find with Google Searches is some idea of geograph­ic­al location. Expand out the report and you can see the local­ised search engine. Mine include reader­ship from USA, Canada, Israel, Czech Republic, United Arab Emirates, UK, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Norway, and other locations around the globe.

Another aspect of search is the use of images. Ensure that you document the image using the “Alt Text” for all the images you use. This has two roles. If the image cannot be displayed because of a technic­al diffi­culty then this altern­at­ive text is displayed instead. Secondly it provides search engines a method to search the images you use on your site. Image search will bring in the occasion­al reader.


Role of Social Networks


Twitter BirdAccording to these statist­ics approx­im­ately 65% of my traffic comes from posting on Social Media. It proves that writers have to consider the value of social sites, like Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and others as a means of publi­city. I have also included Live​.com in this list as it is loosely associ­ated with the social activ­ity of your Microsoft account. Remember your mood may impact your how you inter­act on social sites but they are your principle publi­city engine.

For your inform­a­tion Linkis is a  link custom­iz­a­tion service for boost­ing social presence, associ­ated with Twitter, so I have included this within social network traffic.

You may validly ask how come LinkedIn is not included on my list? There is a simple answer — I don’t believe the target audience members for this site are not included in my LinkedIn contact list. Remember each social network has a slightly differ­ent focus. Consider who is a part of that network versus who is in your target audience. LinkedIn gener­ates larger reader­ship for other sites I work on.


Links from other Blogs/Sites


shar like data web blogOne of the greatest forms of flattery is to have others mention you. I have always been an advoc­ate of provid­ing links to other sites from whom you find useful stuff (inform­a­tion, data, quotes, etc.).

To have others provide links to your site can occur in many ways. The most valuable is to have anoth­er site mention your content. There are, of course, plenty of ways to cross promote your work, perhaps by writing guest posts on anoth­er site. The most effect­ive is always having other writers provide un-prompted links.

SEO special­ists, like Neil Patel, of QuickSprout, say that the mot effect­ive way to gener­ate in-bound links to your mater­i­al is by provid­ing outbound links to other people’s work. I agree it is an import­ant method, especially linking to those sites you regularly visit. When combined with comment­ing on other people’s sites it brings recip­roc­al traffic. You comment on their site and they spend a little time looking at yours (especially if they have an interest in the mater­i­al you offer). Perhaps you will cause them to critique something you have written and this new piece, because of the link, brings with it traffic. It may require you to gener­ate forty outbound links to bring one inbound link, but each inbound link is precious and should be treated with respect.

Another associ­ated method of gaining traffic is Gravatar (a service for provid­ing globally recog­nised avatars), when you leave a comment. These avatars are globally recog­nised because millions of websites use them to identi­fy users. You should spend time creat­ing a good Gravatar profile, a profile that will help people under­stand just who you are and what websites you use.


Stumble Upon and Social Bookmarking sites


I do regularly add mater­i­al to StumbleUpon, Reddit, Del​.icio​.us, Digg and other social bookmark­ing sites. The role of social bookmark­ing is to flag pages you like to other people sharing your tastes. I have found them to provide a consist­ent small volume of traffic, this quarter it was StumbleUpon that provided the links, the previ­ous quarter it was Reddit. Monitoring this over sever­al years (for sever­al sites I manage) I notice traffic comes in waves then not at all for months on end. But you should ignore social bookmark­ing at your peril.

Even though they only repres­en­ted 2% of the traffic this quarter you should not ignore the impact they can bring. 2% of 1,000 readers is 20 people, these are 20 people that could be precious to you.


WordPress and Blogger


If you have created a blog through either WordPress or Blogger there is a small persist­ent social impact from having an up-to-date profile with visible links. Other WordPress bloggers who follow your site, automat­ic­ally, get notific­a­tions when you publish a new page. The recent posts from all the sites you follow are avail­able on your WordPress Reader, where you can look at sites you follow, discov­er contents from recom­men­ded sites or search for content.

The benefit may only be occasion­al, but it is worth having. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and others can see your page.

As this is a WordPress site I can only read WordPress sites. If your blog is on Blogger simil­ar function­al­ity exists for the sites you follow on Blogger. A pity neither WordPress nor Blogger recog­nise their compet­it­or blogs. You can also add sites you follow to a feed reader, like Feedly, Flipboard, or Feedspot.


How Long do People Stay?


Through all the statist­ics avail­able the number of pages people look at is inter­est­ing. For GobbledeGoox I currently obtain 1.9 page reads per visit. Knowing how many pages people read per visit is helpful. If your score is low, e.g. 1.01 would indic­ate that visit­ors are simply reading the one post that initi­ated their interest on your site and little else. One aspect I need to work on is the number of pages my reader­ship view, my current target is to reach more than 2.

Some sites I have worked on get a score higher than 2.5 pages per visit­or. This is excel­lent news, but these are sites are company blogs and not a blog built by one person.


Most Popular Articles?


PopularWhat should you write more about? This is a frequent question that bloggers ask. If you look at your statist­ics, partic­u­larly looking at the most popular posts and pages it is possible to see those that have driven most interest. What has been you most popular content over all time? Is it the post on “How the Beatles intro­duced you to Popular Music” or “Mick Jagger’s love life”?

Knowing this can help you plan what to write next, return­ing to success­ful subjects can help you drive further reader­ship. If you look at all time statist­ics it tends to be the best guide here. The most popular over all time for this site include:

Some of these are subjects I wish to cover again. Your most recent contri­bu­tions are unlikely to appear on top on the all time list because they have not had time to gather momentum. This is one reason to constantly refer­ence back to your earli­er posts.

At the other end of the spectrum are the subjects to avoid, those having the poorest all-time reader­ship.


The Source of your Readership


Knowing the source of your readers can help you identi­fy their needs. For example if many of your readers come from an on-line direct­ory then one option you may consider is advert­ising in that public­a­tion. This may bring more readers.


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