October 2008 Traffic Summary

October set all sorts of records for me. Here are the numbers: (note: these are number for my travel blog, not this site:)

Visits 22,222
Pageviews 67,294
RSS 850
Pages per visit 3.03
Bounce Rate 64.37%
Time on Site 2:29

October crushed all my previous months. My high for visits was back in March when I had 13,935. My previous high for pageviews was last month with 29,466.

The astonishing thing in October, and I have no idea why this happened, is that the pages per visit and time on site has increased dramatically. Pages per visit had normally been under 2.0 with a peak of 2.53 last month. So, somewhere along the line, the quality of the traffic has increased.

Where did the October traffic come from?

1. 4,004
2. (direct) 3,904
3. google / organic 3,405
4. 3,263
5. 2,025
6. / referral 660
7. 650
8. 431
9. 408
10. yahoo 390

So, lots of traffic from StumbleUpon and Reddit, but also a ton of long tail referrals (421 total). I think this is just the maturing of a standard network effect of being around a long time. There was only two posts in October that I actively encouraged stumbles for, which is encouraging. That means users are stumbling my content without me doing anything.

70 different pages received at least one visit from StumbleUpon, with 34 pages getting over 25 visits, and 14 pages getting over 100 visits. That is a nice distribution. It means I’m not just getting a single spike for one article. The biggest article for Stumble traffic got 514 visits. The monthly bounce rate for StumbleUpon was a shocking 45%. (shockingly good)

Reddit drove about half the traffic of StumbleUpon, but it was much more erratic. Only 18 posts showed any sort of traffic, with almost all of that for 3 posts. One got 993 visits, with two others in the high 400’s. Nothing else got above 50. Reddit quality was very poor, with a 92% bounce rate and time on site of only 11 seconds. (Stumble traffic was over 1 min)

Whenever I get a link from PVP I get a big traffic spike. This month was no exception. Scott drove over 3,000 visits which was quality. After the link, my RSS subscribers shot up.

I put a big effort into Twitter promotion this month and it has paid off dramatically. My followers are now 1,870 and 650 visits came from Twitter in October. My Facebook page has also passed 150 fans.

My efforts to rank on Google for “travel around the world” has stalled at #21, but I also haven’t done much in the way of link building yet.

I am running a contest during November to encourage subscribers and backlinks. My goal is to get to 1,000 RSS subscribers by the end of the year. If the contest goes well, that could happen by the end of the month. I’d like to hit 1,500 subscribers by the time I get back to the US.

My friend Amy has agreed to help me do marketing as soon as she finishes her move from Minnesota to Texas. That should help a ton. I could drive more traffic from more social network sites if someone spent even a few minutes a day dedicated to it.

My Google Adsense PIN was finally sent to my parents house, and I have Adsense back up and running.

I am considering a weekly or biweekly newsletter, but haven’t taken any action yet. My concern is the amount of work I need to put into it. I think this may be the way I’ll go in the future just because the audience I want to target in the future probably isn’t RSS savvy.

I have also contacted Unique Blog Designs about doing a custom WordPress theme for my site. I think at this point that it would be worth the investment. I’m still dissatisfied with my layout.

I am expecting a dip in traffic in November, just because October was such a huge jump. I will also be publishing a 2009 calendar with Scott Kurtz of my “Skull Around the World” photos.

Oh, I’ll also be adding a top commenter plug-in to this site for those who want some link love.

By Gary

3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.

4 replies on “October 2008 Traffic Summary”

I love how you link using the term “travel blog” or other SEO-ish terms, so innocently, hoping we won’t notice 😉

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