4. Using WordPress and Jetpack site stats

Jetpack

When I began to put a lot of work into my website, I signed up for the least expensive Jetpack plan. I wanted to backup my site easily and protect it against spam. Another nice feature: Jetpack integrates visitor statistics into your WordPress site. To access these stats, login to the administration page for your site. Under Jetpack in the left side menu, choose Site Stats to view daily visitor reports.

A bar graph shows site statistics for Digital Stories Canada on 17 October 2020
Jetpack interface shows visitor statistics for the previous month and details of today’s visits

The bar graph in the screenshot above tells us how many page views took place daily over one month. Referrers could be search engines or social media sites. Top posts – here’s the breakdown of the four pages viewed so far today. And how many videos have played.

View of Jetpack interface showing yesterday's site visitors
Details from Jetpack on yesterday’s visitors to the site

The image above shows yesterday’s visitors. There were 6 visits to the home page, including one looking for Photoshop tutorials. The digital stories were grouped by those that received the most comments. Visitors tend to prefer short curated collections.

WordPress

If you log into your WordPress account, you’ll get a similar report. This bar chart breaks it down into views and visitors, which is nice. And further down the page, you can see at a glace, that today’s four visitors were from Canada.

Site statistics interface from WordPress
WordPress shows bar graph and geographic location of visitors

When pages are promoted on social media

Yesterday, I uploaded a new digital story, completed by comic Heather McLean. She shared the link on social media. As a result, many more visitors arrived at the Digital Stories Canada site.

Jetpack interface shows site visitors
After a new digital story is posted and shared on social media, visitors increased on December 28 and 29
Jackpack interface for Digital Stories Canada
Details of 28 December 2020 visitors to Digital Stories Canada

As you can see in the details of Jetpack’s report, 145 visitors watched Toby Sharp’s new digital story on 28 December. 11 visited the home page and 5 viewed the new digital stories from Fall 2020. 89 visitors were referred by Facebook and 3 from Twitter. Storytellers support the site by promoting their own work on social media.

At the end of this analysis, I’ve got a list of keyword phrases that I know are working: digital stories, community digital stories, Mount Pleasant history, How to clean up a scanned document in Photoshop, Photoshop scanned image cleanup, and Photoshop scanned photos cleanup.

Now let’s see if we can figure out what else to include on our list of potential keywords in the next tutorial. What I’d like to know – are there a lot of people who search for the terms the site is ranking for? Which are the most popular? If digital stories is not that common a term, how could I rephrase it? How do I think like the potential visitors to my site do?

Did you look at the search terms visitors used to find your site? Did some of the results surprise you? Use what you’ve learned: think about the questions that site visitors are trying to answer by visiting your site.