Do you care about your blog’s traffic? Some people don’t really care about traffic, they just write about what they are feeling. They are happy to just have friends and family find their blog. There is nothing wrong with that. For other people traffic is king. Some people use blog to make money through ads or affiliate offers. Other people use it to build a brand and direct traffic to their money sites. In either of the latter scenarios, traffic is important. If traffic is that important to your site then you have to monitor it. There are a lot of free options out there to monitor traffic. The problem is that people get way too wrapped up in these. If you care about traffic and want to monitor it, then avoid these mistakes:
1. A visible counter: These used to be found on a lot of sites, there is a reason they aren’t anymore. They are lame. Counters on your website are just too old fashioned. No one really cares how many people have been to your site, except you. Besides being cheesy, they are also completely useless and usually inaccurate. There are a lot of options that let you monitor traffic behind the scenes, so stick to them.
2. Living and Dying by Alexa Rank: Alexa is a website that ranks other sites based on traffic. People new to blogging love to watch their site rise on the Alexa rankings. I used to be one of these people until I realized how useless it really is. First off, Alexa only counts when someone with the Alexa toolbar comes to your site. So sites that attract webmasters and technical people will have better results than a site that doesn’t attract people likely to have the toolbar. For example, I had a general interest blog that got about 13k hits per month. My friend had a blog that attracted more techy people and got about 3k hits per month. Even though he had 10k less visitors per month than me, his Alexa ranking was hundreds of thousands better than mine.
You can easily tweak your ranking too. Just install the Alexa toolbar and surf your own site. I installed it last night, and checked out my site a couple times, I woke up this morning having gained 6 thousand spots on Alexa. That was with NO effort either.
3. Stat Addiction: This happened to me and it was worse than crack. I had to wean myself off of checking my stats to curb the withdrawal symptoms. Okay, it wasn’t that bad, but it can be quite addictive. I had three traffic monitors on my site at one time. I had Google Analytics, StatCounter and Woopra all on one site. Besides negatively effecting my load times there is no need for this.
There is no real benefit to monitor your traffic every 10 minutes. I can understand checking it after a new post or something. That way you can monitor how effective the post was. Besides that though, you need to chill out on the traffic monitoring. It is a huge time sink. I was checking my stats 10x a day, taking 5 minutes to do so each time. That is almost an hour of wasted time. I could have created two high quality blog posts in that time. I could have created dozens of backlinks to my site. I could have promoted my blog through social media. I could have done anything more productive than staring at my traffic stats! My suggestion is to check your stats at the start of the day each day, and maybe at the end of the day as well. That way you can still monitor the effectiveness of your content, but you won’t waste hours a week doing it.
Monitoring traffic is important for most blog owners. We all want traffic right? With that said, make sure you avoid the above mistakes. Don’t get swept up in the traffic monitoring hurricane. Traffic is important, but it will come whether you monitor it or not.