A week of analytics data is in from my weekend WordPress development project, but which source should I trust?

As many of you know, I’ve been doing a series over the last week focused on launching a WordPress site on one of my traffic domains, TagManager.com. If you haven’t been keeping up with the series, here’s the first three posts in the series (note – two more are coming up):

Part 1: Overview of the process, theme, and hosting provider
Part 2: Configuring Jetpack and Akismet
Part 3: Configuring All-In-One-SEO-Pack

Since it has now been a week since I launched the website I thought I’d share what traffic has looked like. Like I said, this is an interesting development project because it’s not just about building a WordPress site, it’s also about leveraging the traffic that the domain name already has built-into it. What’s interesting is that I see two different numbers (and they’re pretty darn different) when I look at Cloudfare vs. Google Analytics. Here’s the two for comparison:

CloudFlare Analytics

Google Analytics

As you can see, CloudFlare is showing more than 5x the number of Unique Visitors. I’m wondering if any of my readers who are more SEO savvy than me can tell me why there’s a difference and which one I should trust?

One additional note, as you can see, theres a spike in traffic from Saturday through Wednesday, this is coming from additional traffic that my blog sent to the site. So I’d expect the traffic to level off and be lower than this as time goes on, and then hopefully climb back up once the site starts ranging in search engines.

To begin tracking the search rankings of the site I have started tracking the site using Moz. It’s been a while since I’ve used a tool like Moz so I’m still re-orienting myself with it. Rewind ten years ago and I used Moz (then called SEOMoz) all the time, but I’m a bit rusty so it’s going to take some time to get back up to speed and start leveraging all the cool stuff they’ve added over the years.

Okay, that’s it for now, thanks for reading and stay-tuned for Part 4 of my series where I’ll cover the initial blog posts I wrote, pages I setup, and some more details on how I brought this site to life in a weekend.

{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Christoph March 17, 2020, 5:40 am

    I would recommend trusting Google Analytics on this one. I am not experienced in CloudFlare Analytics, but Google Analytics has been very good at filtering bots and automated requests from your data in the past (being JS-based).
    Most “tracking” mechanisms provided by a hoster usually do not differentiate between automated requests and human / real browser requests. They just see a file being requested and add a +1. This would partially explain the gap.

    For getting the first SEO insights the Google Search Console is a good place to start these days. They have been getting very good at showing SERP performance over the last year or so. I was surprised you started with Moz.

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