Back in August I mentioned in this post that one of my goals for this site was to double RSS readers by February 7th, which would mark 1 year since I started this site.
Well, let me tell you that I think I need to set loftier goals. At the time, I had 41 RSS subscribers. As of the 13th of December, I have 123!
Here are the statistics:
How’d you do that?
Back at the end of July I installed a little plugin called What Would Seth Godin Do? It’s a nifty little plugin that you can use to customize a message that people see when they arrive on your site. I have mine set to display only where I have the custom WordPress code implemented (more on that in a minute), and I display a different message depending on if the person has visited my site before or not.
If you have visited before you see this message:
And if you have never visited before, you’ll see this:
Data is Nothing without Tracking
When I installed this plugin back in June, I decided to do something that I had never really done before, that being tracking events via an event in GA. I use this code:
This is awesome because now I can see the growth of RSS subscribers over time in GA. This helps to pinpoint what exactly moved the needle:
But hang on…this doesn’t stack up. I installed the plugin and I’m tracking using Events, but why doesn’t my Analytics show the clicks?
The answer is simple, yet surprising. Apparently subscribers are not using the plugin to subscribe!
So where are they clicking?
Unfortunately, I can’t pinpoint it. Because the number of clickthroughs to subscribe to my blog is actually a pretty low percentage, Google’s In-Page Analytics sadly does not give me any statistics.
What I’ve Learned
I’ve learned a couple of lessons through this. First, check your data before making assumptions about where conversions are coming from. I had assumed that my signups were coming from the plugin until I checked the Events (which I do not check often enough, apparently).
Another lesson I learned is that having multiple RSS signups above the fold of the site is a good practice. Duh, right? I guess you never really know until you see it in practice, though.
Am I going to remove the plugin? No, because it did bring me a few signups recently (intriguingly, not until the beginning of December…) and I do not think it takes away from my site, but I may test moving it around to see what happens.
As I’ve said time and time again, this blog has been quite a learning experience for me. I’m interested to see what happens in the next months as I test more extensively.