Sunday, November 22, 2015

Let's Do This: Traffic Report for October 2015

It's that time again. Time to sit down and see whether or not social media efforts are increasing awareness of this site. The raw data compiled in this traffic report comes from Google Analytics, the various social media channels themselves.

Take time each month to see if your social media efforts are supporting your business goals


What would you like to see covered in a blogger's traffic report?

I'd like these reports to be informative to other lifestyle writers. What are you curious about? What would you like to see me track or discuss?

Social Media Platform Growth for October 2015

As mentioned last month, I decided to start estimating social media platform growth based on what I'd seen the past month. Context for my growth rates.

Social Media Platform Growth for October 2015


In the table above, orange values are areas where I missed expectations. Green values are areas where I met or exceeded expectations. Right now, expected growth is calculated using the growth for the previous month. There's a potential drawback to this simplistic calculation. If I successfully promote a specific social media channel one month, the next month I'll miss expectations because my growth calculation combines organic growth and paid promotion. As I start doing more promotion, I may revisit this so that I can track uplift (additional growth seen from the promotion over what I could have expected through organic efforts) more clearly.

Another number I track is my total reach. Total reach includes everyone across all of my communities and doesn't account for duplication. (RSS feed subscribers and newsletter subscribers are included in this number.) Based on engagement patterns across my various social media channels, I don't think there's a lot of overlap. My assumption is that total reach is probably about 3 to 5% lower when overlap is accounted for. Currently I don't track relative weights of the individual social media channels to my total reach. I might in future reports.

Site Traffic Report for October 2015

More important than the raw follower or fan counts for a given social media channel is how those followers or fans help you achieve your business goals.

In 2015, I wanted to focus on brand awareness, so I'm tracking new visitors to my site from the various social media channels. Instagram is the one exception where this is not as easily measurable. In 2016, I'm going to focus on conversion, specifically newsletter sign ups.

Site Traffic Report for October 2015


Each month I look at users and the percent of new visitors. This gives me the total new visitors to my site for the month. I then look at the social dashboards in Google Analytics and see which social media channels referred visitors and how many of those visitors were new to my site.

I calculate the impact, overall % of new visitors generated by the channel. This helps me prioritize which platforms to focus on. It also helps me identify which platforms I may not be making the most of, for example, Pinterest.

November 2015 - Goal Planning & October 2015 - Traffic Report


Referrals from Social Media Channels

In October I posted three times, compared to twice in September. The increased publishing resulted in higher return visitor rates for the month as well as higher average session duration and pages per session.

To give you a relative benchmark to compare reach of my site with others, I've added pageviews to the monthly reporting. As I've mentioned, pageviews can be gamed and artificially inflated. The number I'm reporting filters out my visits to my own site, analytics bots, etc. to give me a better idea of engaged readers or real people accessing the site.

Referrals from Social Media Channels for October 2015


Pinterest Engagement

Pinterest is a social media channel that I'm not using effectively. At the end of October, I said I'd like to see at least 1% of my new visitors come from Pinterest, which is lower than most sites see. I saw 0.77%, less than the 0.93% I saw in September.

My results don't surprise me. I didn't actually take any action that would increase Pinterest referral traffic; no work, no gain. I don't typically or consistently pin from here. My most popular boards are related to my marketing business and I don't share that type of content here.

I did do a lot of clean up of my lifestyle boards in anticipation of more regular recipe and home decor posts here are we settle in to The Nest. So as I start pinning a broader mix of content, I expect that I'll start seeing my referral traffic from Pinterest rising.

Instagram Engagement

In October I shared a mix of business and lifestyle content.

The links that were time-sensitive saw engagement whereas the link from the archives did not. In November I'm going to repeat the formula a little more consistently to better gauge which content converts the best with my community on Instagram.

Take time each month to see if your social media efforts are supporting your business goals


Net Income for October 2015

Net Income equals Revenue less Expenses.
$1,089.70-$172.47 = $917.23.
Revenue and expenses are broken down as follows:


  • Freelance Writing: $1,088.00
  • Sponsored Posts: $0.00
  • Google AdSense: $0.82
  • Amazon Associates: $0.88
During November, I'm going to continue experimenting with how I feature products that I own and recommend through Amazon Associates. Recent success involved products featured in the reference section of a newsletter.


  • Hosting: $14.99
  • Social Media Posting/Monitoring: $152.48 ($1.49 + $5.99 + $145)
  • Advertising: $5.00


Social Media Platform Goals for November 2015

In November I'm going to focus on three platforms, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook. The numbers I'm swinging for are:

  • Instagram: 1,500 followers
  • Pinterest: 1,500 followers
  • Facebook: 700 fans
I decided not to focus on Google+ as it isn't yielding any traffic to either of my sites or Twitter as it requires too much effort for consistently low growth.

During November, I'll be redesigning pins from popular posts and cleaning up the pins to The Road To The Good Life I have. Depending on how quickly I get the posts cleaned up, my efforts may or may not have a noticeable impact to my referral traffic. With consistent pinning of my work--especially marketing and social media content--I'd hope to see at least 5% referral traffic from Pinterest.

While I'm not focusing on growing my Twitter community, I am going to work on engagement.

What are your goals for November?
What are you doing to get there?
genuinely eden

Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.