Achieving Growth: Seeing the truth behind my sites (analytics)

The numbers do not lie

Posted by Leo Lu on October 21, 2017

How do you learn from an action? Reflection. That’s what I did upon reviewing the Google analytics after posting a site I published anonymously on Reddit, an online community catered towards specific topics, and linking my personal website to a bunch of my LinkedIn posts.

As I’m still new to analyzing the different metrics, I can only make partial sense of the data. Thus, I will be linking screenshots of the Google reports to leave the source untouched. The below is just my opinion on what I think happened; it’s easy to connect the dots once everything is done but everyone has his or her interpretation.

Spreading a message on Reddit

see analytics here

I won’t mention the address to this website. However, for context, I created it to show a positive example of self-development, and the high levels of engagement received from the Reddit post I created helped a great deal in spreading this idea.

In a highly active online community with a group of users binded by a commonality, there tend to be vocal members. I saw this firsthand from the number of direct visits I got to my site - surprisingly, out of the 198 sessions in the first five days I created my post, 105 were through direct traffic and 93 through referral (the Reddit post that had the link to my secret site).

A post such as mine that had a niche message targeting an engaged audience allowed the word to spread. I’m sure members of the subreddit felt strongly about the content and therefore shared it with others, resulting in a greater level of organic over referral traffic. It comes to show the power of niches, for while they won’t capture the attention of the great majority of people, the users that they do get on board are already highly engaged with the power to create momentum.

Building a brand through LinkedIn

see analytics here

Repetition, repetition, repetition. It takes a while for people to come to recognize something, and I made sure to keep driving the message of my personal brand by promoting my website, linking it in my relevant posts. While the results have been mixed, there are a few best practices I’ve come across:

To become known, there must be a point of differentiation. In an effort to be creative in my posts with links, I’ve learned to either write in my posts either one a strong one-sentence statement followed by the link or a long-form text post, putting the link in the first comment of the post. Either received far more positive reception that simply a link without any text at all, one devoid of any user statements. The key to the one-liners was strength, for it serves as a hook to grab the viewer’s attention to then find out more information in the links. For the longer post, it’s a way of telling a story, to paint a picture while still leaving more to be explored in the link. By ensuring my point of view was made explicit in my LinkedIn posts that linked to my website, I kept providing previews to the viewer of what I was about.

All in all, it takes patience, perseverance, and personality to capture an audience on the web. It took time for both of my sites to rank higher on Google’s search and gain more visibility. It required repeated exposure to my content for my personal website to get repeat visitors (as seen in the big difference from my other site). And a memorable site name helps a great deal - my site is called which makes it concise and to the point.