The intention of this post is to establish the unique visitor traffic baseline for my 30 Day Traffic Challenge. Since this is about traffic, I turned to Google Analytics to see if I could easily determine an appropriate timeframe with which to compare my future performance.
It would be easy to use a monthly average based on the prior 12 months or year-to-date traffic, but since my traffic has steadily increased over that time, I didn’t feel that would really provide an accurate read on the situation.
In the following chart you can see I was able to identify 3 plateaus since the beginning of the year. In the Jan-Feb timeframe my traffic sat around 1,600 unique visitors per month. In the March to Jun period traffic hovered around 2,000 and from July thru October, it has increased to approximately 2,900 unique visitors per month. Given the sizable differences, I think it makes most sense to establish the baseline on the last 4 month period.
Next I focussed on the exact period in question. Google Analytics tells me I had 11,700 unique visitors during the last 4 months from July 1 – October 31st. Divided by 4, this is equivalent to 2,925 unique visitors per month.
So . . . 2,925 unique visitors per month is my baseline and 8,875 unique visitors is my goal for November!
Kinda scary if you think about it. A much safer metric to target would have been pageviews, since it’s relatively easier to get more page views from exiting traffic than to drive more unique traffic in general. But, I think targeting unique visitors is worth the fight — I need some new eyes on my content!
Again, some quick math concludes this is about 293 visitors per day. Sweet! We can do this!
Now that we’ve got that covered, let talk about some things I need to do right away.
First, I just revisited my kick-off post for the 30 Day Traffic Challenge and “pinged it” with Ping.fm. This is a great tool, because it allows you to send a link to a number of popular social media and other bookmarking sites at once. For example, my Ping.fm account is set up to notify 16 social media sites, including my Twitter account and Facebook Page. This is a huge timesaver and has great search engine optimization implications.
There’s some debate over the use of tools such as Ping.fm to send the same post to multiple sites at once. My argument is that everyone has their preference for where they consume content. Some of my readers are on Twitter and others are on Facebook. There is some overlap but by and large, they are separate. Even if some of my followers are connected with me on multiple platforms, chances are that they have chosen one platform to spend a majority of their time on and therefore are probably not going to see my post more than once.
In terms of SEO, it’s clear that social media content is playing an increasing role in how content surfaces on the front page of major search engines. In my experience, it seems like roughly 40% of the search results I get on Google these days are related to one of my social media account relationships. I only see this trend continuing and therefore think it’s important to feed these platforms with links back to my website. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
Meta Tag Keywords and Descriptions
Meta tag keywords and descriptions are still an important element of driving traffic to your site. Keywords in and of themselves are critical to any sep campaign. Long-tail keywords in particular are the keywords that users enter into search engines to find your content.
For most of us, long-tail keywords probably manifest themselves in the form of 1) our personal or brand name 2) a unique phrase we may use frequently throughout out website and blog posts and 3) a keyword phrase we’ve specifically researched and optimized our content around. All three are valid and can drive good traffic. Check your Google Analytics for more information.
One area I really need to work on is taking an extra minute to define my blog post meta tags and description. For the last 12 months or so I’ve just let my WordPress theme take care of this for me. Unfortunately, when I look at the source code of my pages, I’m not happy with the resulting meta tags, so I’m going to do this manually throughout the course of my challenge to really get a handle on this important detail.
Fortunately, the Thesis Theme I’m using for this blog has a great setup of post option boxes where I can set the meta tags.
I’ll explain this in more detail later, but I’m going to use a tool called Market Samurai to analyze my long-tail keyword choices and selection.
Any thoughts on meta tag keywords and descriptions?