Is anybody reading this? Tweak your WordPress home page to get better traffic data. [Part 2 of 2]

This is part two of a two-part series on improving WordPress blog traffic statistics. In Part 1 I explained how to set the RSS feed settings to drive users from an RSS reader to your site. In Part 2, I explain how to use the “more” tag in WordPress to drive users from your home page to the specific post.

Many WordPress blogs are set up to show a few to dozens of full posts on the blog’s home page.  This seemingly makes it easier for readers to read the last several posts without adding another “click” to dig deeper into the site.

But if a user scans through the posts, reading some and ignoring others, there is no way to indicate which posts he found useful. By tweaking your WordPress home page, you can dramatically improve your website traffic statistics.

When you set up a WordPress blog, among the litany of configuration options is to choose how many posts you want to display on the home page. In the first post, I showed you the RSS setting on the Settings > Reading page. Return to that page to adjust the number of posts that show on the home page:

That was the easy part. The next part requires a bit of attention on your part when you author a post. Get familiar with the “More” button in the toolbar. After writing your introductory paragraph, click this button to insert a break in the post. Then continue writing (see, it isn’t that difficult).

What this will do is display just the portion above the More tag on your home page. To read the full article, users will need to click the title into the full post.

This has two key benefits:

  1. You can display more post “snippets” on your home page, providing users the opportunity to scan through the last several posts and get a better handle on what your blog is all about.
  2. You get better traffic metrics as the posts that are of greatest interest to your readers will have a higher hit count.

Naturally, your data collection efforts will depend on selecting and regularly checking a WordPress plugin designed to gather blog statistics. I use FireStats, though there are number of other excellent extensions.

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