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Referral Madness: Why Website Referral Stats Are So Important

WordPress Website Referral Stats

Do you know where your website traffic comes from?

If you answered no, you are not aware of taking advantage of some great information available to you at your fingertips. This info is called your referrers.

Referrers are where your traffic is coming from before visitors land at your site, where your site visitors were when they clicked on a link to enter your website. Your hosting server tracks this info no matter what type of site you have HTML, WordPress, Joomla, PHP, or ASP.

You would be negligent not to take advantage of what these details can offer your website marketing strategy. Referral statistics are a gold mine of data to help you grow your website.

Referral stats are invaluable because you can…

  • See what websites are linking to you so you can visit them, thank them and open a dialog for future collaboration.
  • Get a good idea of what information folks are most interested in. Not only because you were linked to but by how many folks followed that link to see what you have to say on the topic at hand.
  • Review what pages within your own site were the doorway or first impression to your site and rework them if necessary. Don't fall into the trap that your “home page” is where everyone will enter your site. The fact is many don't. They'll follow referrers from search engines and other sites to internal pages within your website.

When you know where your traffic is coming from, what topics searchers find interesting, what pages keep them on your site following links to more of your hand-crafted offerings — you then know what's hot!

Referrers in Google Analytics

How to Find Referrals in Google Analytics

When you are in your Google Analytics dashboard for your site, gravitate to Acquisition > All Traffic then Referrals. There you will find the sites, including search engines, that referred visitors to yours.

While you are there, check out Channels. That will give you a view of your referral numbers compared to Direct, Organic Search, and Social traffic. Again, all necessary data to let you know where your traffic is coming from.

Why Referrals Matter

You can use this information to provide more of the content others indicated is worth linking to. You can build upon what's there and look for ways to entice visitors into signing up to receive your posts.

Add Calls To Action (CTA) to contact you for more information. Beef up info about your services or segue into closely related topics that visitors will also be interested in.

WordPress has several related article plugins that will suggest content to keep folks on your site. I use Yoast SEO Premium which includes a widget I can add at the bottom on every post and page. Who doesn't want visitors that stick around longer to read more of our content?

If you are not hooked up to Google Analytics on most shared hosting platforms, you'll find your referrers in the Logs section, under names like Webalizer, AWStats, or Urchin, to name a few. To find out where your stats are located, search your hosting provider's Knowledge Base for “visitor stats,” and they'll point you in the right direction.

If you don't have a host that offers this necessary and valuable information, move to a host that does. Or find out how to or get help on hooking up Google Analytics. But, again, this is information that is not on a need-to-know basis — this is the info you need to know.

At your service,
Judith: WordPress Consultant and Coach