Since a lot of my analysis reports are wrapped up in confidential work, I decided to do an analysis of my own site. I don’t do this as often as I should and never for public view. Partly because I want people to think there are hundreds of people visiting my site so they should too. If I show the real numbers, it’s less impressive.
Notes: I added a real homepage* on February 5th. Previously, my homepage was just a list of my latest blogs**. I hadn’t been thrilled with that, but I also didn’t know what else to do. At least people would know what they were getting when they got there. However, other sites’ blog post after post appeared showcasing sites with interesting homepages. The artsy type of homepages that drew you in because they were so damn beautiful. Although I wasn’t 100% satisfied with mine, I went ahead and set it live. I’ve edited it a tad with smaller image files since the old ones took “forever” to load. But I still see people bouncing after seeing just the homepage, so is it really working?
Since the new homepage doesn’t have any blog descriptions and simply links to “Blogs”, it would be expected that returning users would have a lower bounce rate. This is because the users would not be able to see if there is new content by a quick glimpse on the homepage as they had before. Bounce rate did drop after the new home page for returning users, but not by much.
However, because of this, it would be expected that returning users view more pages after the switch. They would need to see at least (1) the homepage and (2) the content list, for blogs or fiction, before viewing any content. Yet, there were more page visits before the switch.
To see if the homepage was interesting enough to get new users intrigued enough to investigate, bounce rates for new users were compared. After the switch, new users bounced 10% more. There were more new users after the switch, but not enough, as the same number of new users went on to view a 2nd page (20 users vs 20 users). So while there were more people visiting, there was a lower percentage for engaged users.
Overall, there were fewer page visits after the new homepage. If users wanted to view other blogs, for example, they no longer go to the homepage to see the list. However, total % exits were higher for the new users on the homepage after the switch. So even if users didn’t see that page first, it wasn’t keeping them as interested as the previous homepage. Though, the % exits for return users decreased. Which could slightly be skewed, as they were anticipating the old homepage and went on to find that view.
Suggested Action: Add content to the homepage. Potentially summaries of latest blogs and latest fiction to drive exploration to both sides and to keep it unique from the blog listing.
Despite having approximately the same amount of sessions (296 vs 301), the first time frame has significantly more pageviews. To eliminate the possibility of more content being produced, new blogs were counted and approximately the same amount of content was released during each time frame.
While it appears that new users pageviews increased, the number of new users was also higher. Therefore, the pages per session was approximately the same for new users in both time frames (1.54 and 1.56). However, the amount of time spent on the pages was decreased. And lastly, almost all the bounce rates and % exits were worse, or higher.
Overall, the blogs got more views in the first time frame despite having the same amount of fresh blogs being published. And the blogs also had a better bounce rate and % exit.
To further decrease the number of views on blogs, there were views on pages that didn’t exist during the first time frame. Meaning the pageviews determined in the previous section were not all for blogs. These items included pages such as the resume (47 views) or story page with a YouTube video embedded (10 views). There were also more views on the fiction pieces during the second time frame (13 to 21 views).
Suggested Action: Evaluate the blog content being created within the first time frame and why it might be better. The first time frame did include the elopement blogs, which were very successful with family and friends.
The total amount of users went up, from 202 to 232. Though the amount of returning users actually went down, from 45 to 23 users.The Organic Search and Referral traffic decreased. With these two channels having such a low starting number it isn’t much of a concern, despite them having decent pages per session and session duration. The two pages hit from Organic search in the 2nd time frame were the two Webflow reviews. The Search Console was not set up until late February so no data is available to see what users searched to find the homepage or main elopement blog.
A larger majority of the users are coming from the other two channels, Direct and Social. When looking at only returning users, though, the scales tip dramatically towards Social, which takes up about 70% of the acquisition for both time frames.
Social media was a bigger contributor during the second time frame. Which could correspond with the greater emphasis on using Hootsuite and social media platforms to post related content. Though these users aren’t clicking around as much, it could be a valuable start.
Social media is going up from an increasing amount of sources. While originally it was dominated by Facebook and slightly by Twitter, now LinkedIn and Pinterest are rising up. Facebook clicks are mostly found by friends and family, while Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram, are all widely seen by unknown people. Possibly meaning the people that do visit, visit out of a common interest instead of simple familial ties. LinkedIn rising matches the rise in the pages related to job searching, as those two pages made the top 10 shared links.
Suggested Action: Keep up the social media engagements, potentially increasing them as they’ve dropped off in the past few weeks. Make sure links to the job-related pages are in the LinkedIn profile summary, not just the homepage.
* Newer Homepage
** First Homepage