July 2016 Traffic Report

I've come to love the end of the month. It's because I get to see my blog and social media stats for the month. While I'm watching my stats throughout the month it's always interesting to see how much of an impact the last couple of days make or don't make to the overall picture.

With July we're smack dab in the middle of summer when people are vacationing and would be spending less time online. I also didn't do a lot of blog promotion on social media. So combining all this with the July 4th holiday and the decreases and small increases I saw for June I anticipated July to not be that great of a month. 

July 2016 Traffic Report | A Relaxed Gal

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Lo and behold, when I looked at my blog stats in Google Analytics on August 1, I was surprised by what I saw.

July 2016 Blog Stats

  • Sessions: 3,556 (+28%)
  • Users: 2,853 (+28.4%)
  • Pageviews: 5,031 (+21%)
  • Pages/Sessions: 1.41 (-6%)
  • % of New Sessions: 72.64% (+0.5%)
  • Bounce Rate: 82.82% (+1.81%)

July 2016 Top 5 Blog Posts

  1. 10 Ways To Keep Pimples At Bay
  2. Why You Should Pre-poo Before Washing Your Hair
  3. How I Manage My New Growth During Relaxer Stretches
  4. Product Review: Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream
  5. The Benefits Of Pre-scheduling Your Blog Posts

July 2016 Top 4 Traffic Drivers

  1. Pinterest
  2. Direct (people using bookmarks to my blog or going directly to the site)
  3. Google/organic (people searching online using keywords I've included on my blog)
  4. Stumbleupon
  5. Facebook

July 2016 Social Media Stats

  • Bloglovin: 85 (+5)
  • Facebook: 39 (launched in July)
  • Google+: 58 (0)
  • Instagram: 234 (+22)
  • Pinterest: 791 (+174)
  • Twitter: 304 (+10)

How I did with My July Plans

When I started putting this traffic report together I realized I didn't set any plans for what I would do in July. I guess I knew that I wouldn't be spending much time on my blog during much of July. Since I didn't have any July plans to report on I'm going to share what I think helped contribute to the increases I saw and what didn't contribute and why.

Related read: June 2016 Traffic Report

What worked

I'm still seeing a lot of growth in my Pinterest followers. This can be attributed to my being consistently active on the platform by using BoardBooster. Additionally, Pinterest has grown to be my largest traffic driver. It's now driving about 40% of my traffic.

Over the last couple of months, I've noticed that I've come in less than the 500 pins I'm purchasing each month. So I've started making changes in the number of pins per day. I'll be pinning more at the beginning of the month and will pull back towards the end of the month if needed.

BoardBooster has been great for me. I can easily find and get pins ready to be added to my boards. And it only costs $5 for 500 pins. I definitely recommend you give it a try which you can do by signing up here.

What sort of worked

The good news here is I finally crossed the 300 follower mark. The not-so-good news is how long it took me. One thing I think that contributed to me getting to 300 followers in July is I started posting more in the second half of the month and changed up the hashtags I use.

It seems like I've been in the 200's with my Instagram followers for ages, but it's really only been the last couple of months. Though my Instagram followers increased by the most amount this month, I believe my engagement has increased even more. I'm getting more likes and comments on my images. I've also seen more clicks coming through to the blog from Instagram.

I think posting better images has greatly contributed to increased engagement and clicks. I've changed the apps I'm using to edit my Instagram images which are creating a more cohesive look to my feed. I'm also using more hashtags and more popular hashtags.

What didn't work

I finally put the blog on Facebook. While I've been on Facebook since my college days (don't ask how long ago that was) I was hesitant to have a page for A Relaxed Gal. The hesitation really came down to having another social channel to management. What prompted me to create a Facebook page is I was looking at some sponsored opportunities for social and many of them wanted me to have a Facebook page. So I signed up for one. My mistake was creating one and not putting much thought behind it. I gained about 39 followers in the first few days after launching, but haven't gained a single follower since.

August Goals

I've decided to set specific goals for each month and August is being designated the month of growth. I really want to grow my following and reach more people.
  • Grow my pageviews to 5,500. Originally I set a goal for 5,000, but then I saw I actually surpassed that in July.
    • Promote, promote, promote on all my social channels. Also, share at least two posts a week in the Facebook groups I'm a part of.
  • Increase my Facebook followers to 45. My ideas on how to do this are
    • Make sure I've got Facebook icons on my blog. I've only added the Facebook icon to the ones in my header.
    • Promote my Facebook page on Twitter a couple of times a week.
    • Encourage follows of my Facebook page in my posts by adding it as a P.S. underneath my signature.
  • Grow my Pinterest followers to 1,000. I really want to reach the 1,000 mark next month. I'm well on my way because as of the writing of this post I've crossed the 800 mark. To achieve this I'll be
    • Pinning more each day than I have been the last couple of months. As I mentioned earlier I have 500 pins with BoardBooster and haven't been reaching that number.
    • Promoting my Pinterest page on my other social channels. I'm not sure how many of my followers are the same on each channel so by using the Pinterest app on my Facebook page, tweeting about my Pinterest profile, and posting an image of it on Instagram I'm hoping to entice those who only follow me on one or two channels to follow me on more.
  • Increase my Instagram followers to 300 by
    • Posting at least once a day. This will take some dedication as I'll need to spend some time during the week prepping some images so I can make sure I have something to post every day.
    • Continuing to up my hashtag game. I started seeing more growth when I began using different hashtags than I had before. Some of those hashtags are were some of the more popular ones on the platform.
  • Grow my Twitter followers to 350. This still seems like a low number, but it would be the most aggressive growth I would receive this year. My plan for doing this
    • Pre-scheduling my posts so I'm posting throughout the day, every day in August.
    • Using more popular hashtags and using only one or two hashtags per tweet.
How did you learn from your July blog stats?