How do you acquire visitor statistics if you can’t (or don’t possess the technical knowledge to) gain access to the site’s hosting control panel? This is a challenge many companies find themselves in after trusting a third party to handle every aspect of their social media presence – a frustration experienced recently by one of my clients, John.
In this case, after a minimal amount of research on John’s behalf, I installed Jetpack by WordPress. Jetpack is a free WordPress plugin that provides statistical blog reports including:
- How many times each individual blog post has been viewed
- Views per day
- All-time views (from the time Jetpack is installed)
- Date with the most views
- Details of referring search engines, websites and online services
- Top pages and posts, with number of views and graph option
- Search Terms people used that brought them to the blog/site
- Calendar View of days, months and years indicating the number of site visits and change analysis
- Subscriptions to posts and comments
By installing and monitoring Jetpack, I was able to analyze and determine the types of blog content John’s audience most appreciates – and since I’m a writer too, I provide them with more of it!
But Jetpack is more than just a reporting tool; it’s loaded with features that can be enabled for:
- Social networking sharing and comment system – which helped increase the number of unique visitors to John’s blog
- Contact forms that can be connected to Akismet – which helped reduce the amount of SPAM coming in through forms
- Email subscriptions – which are appreciated by people who don’t like RSS feeds
- A Tweet widget – to display Twitter Tweets on the blog site
- Spell, style and grammar checker
- Gravatar hovercard popups – for an interesting experience
- Displaying image galleries in a carousel format – kicking the image appearance up a notch
- A mobile theme – for ease of viewing the blog in mobile devices
Many of these features are available in other individual plugins, but I like the convenience of having all of this in one dashboard. Additionally, the more WordPress plugins you have installed, the larger the load can be on your hosting web server – and I have clients whose sites have been temporarily blocked by their hosting providers for placing too much load on the server. It’s comforting to know that this won’t happen to John’s site.
Jetpack by WordPress can be downloaded and installed via FTP or installed directly in your WordPress installation by following these simple instructions:
1. In the left navigation bar click Plugins > Add New
2. Type Jetpack and click the Search Plugins button
3. When you see Jetpack by WordPress, click the Install Now link and follow the configuration instructions.
Or, you could simply ask your Virtual Assistant to do this for you.