Taking a look at Jetpack Stats

Let me state upfront that I love Google Analytics. I use it at work in 13 Llama Interactive to measure the effectiveness of the campaigns that my team runs.

That being said, I will try and not be too biased about comparing Jetpack Stats to Google Analytics. As a marketer, the way I look at an analytics package is from an ability to extract a fair amount of data.

However, Jetpack Stats is on top of WordPress and available to all WordPress based sites which are connected to the WordPress.com site. This makes Jetpack Stats primary user base as bloggers.

Let’s see what Jetpack Stats has to offer.

The wp-admin Dashboard Integration

Jetpack Stats puts a nice pretty looking graph on the wp-admin Dashboard. This is how it looks like for my site –

Jetpack-Stats-on-wp-admin-Dashboard

Now, this is fairly similar to the Audience Overview you get when you check out Google Analytics.

Google-Analytics-Dashboard

Straight off the bat, I prefer Jetpack Stats overview as opposed to the one given by Google Analytics. Jetpack Stats also provides me with how my posts have performed this day, this report would be available in GA witin the Behavior section, the Site Content report.

The Top Searches that you see in the screenshot would have been helpful had it been accurate. Unfortunately, Google accounts for the majority of organic traffic on my site, and most of that traffic is encrypted. Thus, these keywords that you see (really, I rank for ‘big ass girl dunes’) are not a complete set!

Jetpack Stats does not talk to Google Webmaster Tools, which now is the only source of this keyword data.

Jetpack Stats Posting Activity

One awesome feature about Jetpack Stats is the posting activity screen –

Jetpack-Posting_Activity

This data is shown with a correlation of average traffic per day as well as traffic per month. You could always get this data in Google Analytics (here is a useful post I had written some time back – Google Analytics for Content Marketers).

It’s just this kind of insights that makes me keep Jetpack around for my measurement requirements.

Jetpack Stats vs Google Analytics

Jetpack Stats is a very lightweight tool and it would be useful for a simple blog. However the minute we enter the realm of finding user engagement and performance marketing, Jetpack simply does not have those features yet.

This is where Google Analytics shines through with its Event tracking.

Having said that, Jetpack Stats is an apt solution for a user who is more focused on the publishing process.

Correctly using the Read More tag

Read More tag

As a blogger who has been writing for the past 5 years or so, I was always confused about the Read More tag. This is a tag that you will find in your WordPress editor besides the Toolbar Toggle button.

Why would one want to insert their content with this tag? Wouldn’t it fill up your blog content with such intermediate tags and break the reader’s flow? Let’s go find out how to correctly use the Read More tag.

Continue reading “Correctly using the Read More tag”

Taking WordPress to Scale

I originally wrote this post on the 13 Llama Blog.

 

Having your own website and maintaining it has its own set of wins and losses. If your site is not popular enough, that’s a heartburn.

Then one fine day, you get TechCrunched or Mashabled or Redditted – and boom, comes a spike. Or even better, you start doing well on your own and the traffic grows. Soon, this traffic becomes so big, that your existing hosting plan starts creaking and squawking under this load.

This post is for those of you who have a site which has loads of traffic, so much so that the site performance is under impact due to it. Like quite a few of our clients. *Touchwood*

Continue reading “Taking WordPress to Scale”

Some WordPress plugins to Enhance WordPress Websites

WordPress plugins

In a prior post we saw 5 wordpress plugins which you should always install. If you have missed that  article then you can read it here.

In a follow-up post we will discuss some more WordPress plugins. Today’s plugin will be those which I and many other WordPress authors use to enhance the visibility and performance of our site.

WP Super Cache

I am in love with this particular plugin as it has helped me a lot in my WordPress development.

All webmasters know that the site response time is an essential part of your Website SEO as well as site statistics. Studies say that most visitors don’t like to wait for more than 10 sec while the site keeps loading. This is one of the main reason behind scrapped articles which results in higher Bounce rates.

WP Super Cache helps you reduce the site load time by serving your site from cache to the visitor. This plugin serves your dynamic site as a static HTML website to the visitor. Thereby reducing the load time significantly. It also has an compress pages option which compresses your JS, Images and other scripts and html adding to the site reduction.

Following are recommended settings in the plugin

  1. PHP caching.
  2. Compress pages.
  3. Don’t cache pages for known users.
  4. Cache rebuild.
  5. CDN support.
  6. Extra homepage checks.

This plugin helped me achieve a Pagespeed of 87 from 81 which is at significantly higher side of the marking being a WordPress news/articles website.

 

WassUp Real Time Analytics

wassup real ime analytics

Wassup is my personal favorite Analysis plugin and I’ve been using this plugin for the past 2 years. Wassup provides almost realtime analysis of the visitors. This plugin comes with a dashboard widget giving an idea of the traffic and online visitors.

When we visit the plugin settings page it provides much more in-depth details of the visits. It provides

  1. IP
  2. Pages visited
  3. Type of visitor (Spam, Spider, Bot, Human etc.) and much more info.

My personal experience shows that the plugin provides almost same statistics as the Google analytics just this is a compact version and worth a try.

 

Adminimize

This particular plugin is most helpful when there are more than one contributors to the site or you are developing a website in which you required to display only certain menus to the user as they may not require most of the menu.

Now WordPress does offer some default role based accesses, however, I have noticed that more often than not these roles are not completely usable.

Adminimize Options

Above image is sufficient to give you a hint at what this plugin is capable in doing.

 

Enable Media Replace

enable media replace plugin

This is a real helpful plugin. Most developers have a habit of uploading new content on the site when any wrong media files are uploaded. But mostly they forget to delete old incorrect files. Enable media replace helps in such situation.

When installed and activated this plugin puts a  Upload new File button in the media file .

This can be found in Media →Media File Name

In this it allows to replace the media file with the new one and also it replaces all the references of the old file in complete site with the newer file.

 

NextScripts: Social Networks Auto-Poster{SNAP}

snap

SNAP is a very helpful plugin for connecting all the social media to the wordpress blog. All the SMO’s out there love such plugins as these reduce their efforts.

WebMaster have to just write the article. SNAP will automatically post the said article to all the connected and configured social media accounts.

Following is the networks supported by the plugin

Blogger/BlogspotDelicious.
DiigoFacebook
FriendFeedInstapaper
Google+ (with third party API library)LinkedIn
LiveJournalPinterest (with third party API library)
StumbleuponTumblr
TwitterPlurk
vBulletinvKontakte(VK.com)
WordPressYouTube

Free version of the site allows adding only a single account of all above mentioned social sites.

Go Google+ for higher SERPs on Google

Once you launch a site, the work is not done … in fact the work of a webmaster has just begun! One clear metric for the success of your site (especially early on) is site traffic. Over a period of time as your site matures and you get a better sense of what drives your site, you will tend to discard this metric, but initially it is always traffic.

Search as a major component of Traffic

Traffic Split for kidakaka.com
Screenshot from Google Analytics on the traffic source split. 82% search, 14% direct and 4% referral (I have to drive this up!!)

One good component of traffic is search, traffic that comes searching for content relevant to your subject. Yes! There are people out there who are actively searching for things about which you want to write!! Right from narrow niches such as Pathare Prabhu Recipes to broad gulches such as Being Awesome in Excel.

For content rich websites, Search is a major component contributing to the site’s traffic. For example, 70% of my site’s traffic comes from Google Search! This is actually higher than what I wanted it to be and I try to bring it down by driving traffic via other sources, however I will always want a good fat 40-50% traffic coming to my site via search.

In fact when I started working on my site on a regular basis around 6 months back (as part of my new year resolution), I hardly realized that it would make such a big difference to the traffic split.

How to acquire Organic traffic?

There are a lot of agencies out there who promise that they will ensure that you would start ranking on your set of keywords. Here’s a starter for post for those who want to get into SEO, go read this and stop paying agencies a lot of money for barely scratching the surface.

If you want to acquire organic traffic, then write good content … write about things that move you, about things which you are passionate about. Write from the heart, and forget about those grammatical mistakes. If you have a friend who is a grammar nazi, get him/her to review your post later on.

Ranking that Content higher on Google

So now that you have a stream of content on your site, how to ensure that people who are searching for your subject matter actually end up finding your website?

This is where your friends and social circle comes in!

Sharing your content with friends and getting them like/+1 the content is a social signal that search engines read. This acts like a testimonial for your site in the eyes of the search engine.

See this for yourself, take one article on your site and like this on Google+. Then search for this article via your friend’s Google id … note the before +1 Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP) and the after SERP.

Google+, you have my attention

Here is a list of things that you need to get setup on with Google+ –

  • Setup Authorship on Google – This will link your Google+ profile to the content you create. It also ensures that your Google+ profile pic is displayed besides the content you write and this gets shown when someone is searching for the content that you have written. Stats provided by Google on this suggest that linking Authorship will get you a 30% boost in your organic click-through rates Authorship_of_Kidakaka
  • Be active on Google+ – Make this a part of your daily routine. Google+ is good for content discovery, try and meet new people on Google+, focus on increasing the number of people who are in your circles and who have you in their circles. This will increase the visibility of your content on Google for at least those people. In case if you have had some interaction with them, then chances are they would want to read what you have to say about the subject that they are currently searching!
  • Get those Google+ Shares – To initially start off, ask your friends to share your site on Google+. This works. It does wear down on your personal equity, but what are friends for if not to help you out :-D

Don’t simply take my word for this. Even Moz (erstwhile SEOMoz) says that there is correlation between Google +1s and Higher SERPs. In layman’s terms what this means is that the more +1s on Google+ your article gets, the higher will it rank on Google.

So get on this network and start using Google+! Instead of wasting time liking lolcats on Facebook, try and use your spare time