I was one of the first plugin developers to add a dashboard widget to your dashboard when you installed one of my plugins. I’m hoping people will follow me in doing the reverse as well. While it generates traffic, it doesn’t generate sales. Let me show you.
When I added mine, in the beginning, it drove lots and lots of traffic. People weren’t used to it yet and thought I had somehow “found my way into core”. Recently, I’ve added more elaborate tracking to my WordPress SEO plugin links. Allowing me to see how much traffic the individual sections of my plugin were sending back to my site. Let me share that with you now (click for a larger version):
As you can see, the widget sends a bit of traffic (1800 visitors in total) but only drove 3 conversions… Conversions on my site are click outs on affiliate programs and, more importantly, sales for my website review service. Turns out, people clicking on from the plugin interface or the plugin link are far more valuable visitors than people clicking on the dashboard widget.
So, in an effort to annoy less people and focus on the traffic that matters, I’ve just pushed out version 1.1.5 of my WordPress SEO plugin, without the dashboard widget. I will shortly remove it from my Google Analytics plugin too. Of course other developers should do their own analysis if they want to, but for me it’s clear that the widget doesn’t help enough to be interesting.
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