Long gone are the days when I would log into statistics interfaces every hour (and more) to see how many visitors my sites had and how much money I'd made by result.
And I'd be lying if I told you that I check them faithfully even once a week nowadays.
I didn't realize how complacent I'd become in that regard until a friend mentioned that her traffic had suddenly tanked from one day to the next and that she suspected it had something to do with it being an affiliate site.
After our chat, I decided to check Google Analytics and look at the statistics from my own affiliate sites.
I was stunned by what I saw on the Google Analytics homepage… one of the sites had a very large numeral circled in red with a descending arrow in front of it… -54.59%.
My heart dropped when I saw this graph on the Dashboard for that site.
ZERO visitors for over a week?
Now I could have rushed to some very bad assumptions about the immediate future – thinking that this traffic wipeout was going to be a big hurt in financial terms, or about all the work I'd have to do to bring it back to life, or worse, trying to negotiate with the folks at Google to re-instate the site and its rankings.
But the numbers just didn't make any sense.
I knew the site must have had some traffic because comments were being placed on the posts on a daily basis.
And although Analytics indicated the site's status as Receiving Data, it just didn't seem right.
What had I done? What changes had I made? And then it occurred to me that I'd upgraded the theme to StudioPress Genesis little over a week before.
Sure enough, when I checked the theme settings (and Genesis Hooks), I saw that I hadn't placed the Google Analytics code in the new header. (Google indicated that the status was OK, because it was reading the code from some old HTML pages that are still on the server.)
So, quick as a bunny installed the code and by the next day I saw that the traffic statistics were indicating normally.
Actually, they were better than before, because instead of ignoring the site, I published a couple of posts in the meantime and saw about a 25% spike in my average daily traffic.
Moral of the story?
Don't get all stressed out by what seems to be a catastrophic event… in most cases the problem has an easier solution than what you might expect. 🙂