June was rocky for a while, and there was a lot to get through but when I step back and look at the stats, I’m broadly happy. There were 21 posts made on the site, with 17 of those being reviews. I’ve added another feature to the site this month too, which is interviews. I published three of these in June and I’m working on more now. With more posts, it’s to be expected that pageviews would be up. This was more modest than I anticipated but on the other hand, I also took some mental health time out and stopped promoting things aside from an initial post once published. Also, you never know what will hit and what won’t. You just have to get your head down, put out work you’re happy with and if people vibe with it they will read and share.
- Pageviews – 626 (⬆ 12.59%)
- Users – 362 (⬆ 7.42%)
- Sessions – 459 (⬆ 13.61%)
- Pages/Session – 1.36 (⬇ 0.9%)
- Goal 1 – Viewed >1 page – 79 (⬆ 49.06%)
- Goal 2 – On-site >2 mins – 30 (⬆ 25%)
- Goal conversion rate – 23.75% (⬆ 24.6%)
- New Visitor – 86% (⬆ 1.48%)
- Returning Visitor – 14% (⬆ 66.66%)
In order for the site to grow, I would need one of two things but ideally both. First, for a blog to grow it needs to have a percentage of returning users who spend time on the site and read everything. The core of most media businesses now is subscriptions with the implicit understanding that these people are paying because they enjoy your content. This core can be so valuable that many outlets make little to no effort to bring in new readers. That’s the second part I need – a consistent drip of new visitors, with the hope that some percentage of these become long-term returning visitors.
Like the turtle, I’m going to keep grinding down the slow and steady road because that’s the only way I can consistently keep up the habit of listening to and writing about new music. The numbers above paint a positive picture in that regard. the pageview increase is positive but modest, the user count is up and new users is up by 1.48% which again is a positive step but also fairly modest.
One side of the puzzle, “putting bodies in chairs”, is described above. Keeping them there is the other side. For this I look at things like bounce rate, the number of sessions and average session duration. This month the bounce rate is down by almost 5% (which is good) and the number of sessions is up by just over 5% too. So this shows a pattern of people staying on the site longer. To counter this good news, the average session duration fell by close to 20%. I think this is because there were a few anomalies last month where people were on the site for upwards of 10 minutes. I can only assume a few people listened to the embedded music in the reviews (which are there strategically, for this reason. Surprise!) and this bumped the average time up dramatically. We’ll see next month I guess.
To end this section on a positive, I am pleased with the goal performances. This shows that a higher number of people are viewing more than one page in a session and are also staying longer than two minutes. These may or may not be the same people and I would expect to see Goal 2 converting lower than Goal 1 anyway. Two minutes online is a very long time!
- Social – 69.92% (⬆ 39.46%)
- Direct – 20.05% (⬇ 48.25%)
- Organic – 9.49% (⬆ 288.89%)
- Referral – 0.54% (⬇ 33.33%)
This shows where all of my traffic comes from. In terms of being able to spend less time shilling myself on social media and have the website do the heavy lifting for me, I need to see organic and referral going up consistently so it’s a little disappointing to see my modest referral traffic trend downwards. Only a little disappointing because truth be told I didn’t spend any time on this side of things.
This website right now has very little domain authority. This is one of a number of different factors search engine algorithms use to decide the prominence each site takes in your search results. Improving this is largely a matter of putting out content consistently that people read. Positive average pages per session and time-on-site, and a downward trending bounce rate are all good indications that your site is being read.
But because the web is a web it matters if people link to you as well. If Metal Hammer linked to my website in one of their articles, some of their domain authority would be transferred to me. In the SEO biz, you call this “link juice”. Don’t call it that around Zelda fanatics though.
So I need more link juice from sites with equal or greater domain authority than me, which will massively contribute to my organic traffic % and also indirectly boost the direct traffic – if you see something like “In an interview with A Certain Taste recently, the band said…” you may not click the link but you might remember the name of the website and look it up later. Obviously, I’ll never stop promoting stuff on social media so that will likely be a big percentage for a while, but I need to actively work more on the above.
When we break down the social traffic we see:
- Facebook – 55.77% (⬆ 19.83%) (of all social traffic)
- Twitter – 39.62% (⬆ 80.70%)
- Reddit – 3.85% (⬆ 400%)
- Other – 0.76% (⬇ 83.33%)
The Reddit change is modest but great to see because I have been sharing reviews more there with an unselfish attitude. This means I post the whole review in a relevant subreddit and just put my link at the top with a message letting people know where to find more.
I expected Facebook to fall off and Twitter to pick up the slack. As mentioned last month, there were only two articles responsible for the majority of the traffic, and such is the nature of this sort of thing. You can never really tell how well a piece will go over. I didn’t realise so many people would come in from a French post-rock review. I wasn’t even going to cover it! But Rob dug it so he wrote it up and it did well.
Going forwards I’ll keep sharing everything on Facebook and Twitter and slowly build audiences on both platforms, as well as posting full reviews on Reddit. It’s fine if it’s slow. As long as the arrow trends up 📈 🙃