One Simple Mistake Could Be Skewing Your Website Traffic
I still read quite a few blogs.
There is something I don’t notice as much as I used to, but it’s still out there.
And setting up a blog in this way can skew your traffic results.
I would argue that doing so is not only bad for your traffic stats, but it’s potentially bad for readers.
The issue is putting your entire post on the archive feeds on your blog.
What The Heck Is An Archive?
Go your blog’s homepage. You’ll usually see a list of 5 or 10 of the most recent blog posts. This is the main archive page on your blog. The others are the pages that look the same, but are grouped by categories, tags, date and a couple other things potentially.
In most instances nowadays you’ll see a snippet of the text from the post along with the title and the timestamp. Many also include a image from the post as a little teaser to the full post.
But some blogs still show the entire post on the archive page.
This can skew your traffic.
For example, I visit ProFootballTalk during the football season to see what’s going on in the football world. As of this writing, the site’s main blog page shows the entire post for every post on the main page.
I could read all 10 stories on the main blog page while only counting as a single visit.
It could also skew your bounce rate and time on site stats. If I only look at one page while reading 10 posts and then leave the bounce rate will be high while the time on site will be high as well.
You Act Like That’s A Bad Thing
It’s easy for me to go to ProFootballTalk and read 10 posts without having to click. It’s the opposite of what some other sites do with things like slideshows and other formats that artificially skew traffic the other way usually for advertising purposes.
And that’s fine.
The thing you have to ask yourself is what will provide the best experience for your user so they trust you, see you as an authority on the subject, which leads to them buying something from you.
What I find useful is giving a snippet on the archive pages and getting people into each post. This gets them into comments if you have them. It gets them to see the social sharing icons, which can be on the archive pages, but many times aren’t. It also gets them to see your calls to action, which often come at the end of the post.
So if you’re still showing the entire post on the archive page it might be skewing your traffic and other stats. But more important than that it might be skewing the experience you want your visitors to have when they visit your blog.