We recently spent far too long trying to find a WordPress plugin or other solution that would show us not only backlinks to us, but where those inbound links were landing. In other words, when you have referral traffic, to what page on your WordPress site are they referring? Here’s the solution.
When you search for WordPress plugins to show incoming links (also called backlinks, inbound links, or referral links or traffic) you will find a multitude of plugins designed to show you a list of all of the sites that linked to you, whether they are stand-alone backlink plugins, or part of a multi-feature plugin (usually an SEO plugin).
You can also find any number of plugins that will show you which pages (posts, articles) your visitors are landing on. These are highly specific, telling you when the visitor hit the page, what page they hit, where in the world they are located, their IP address, their operating system, etc. etc..
You would think that with the ability to a) note the incoming link (referrer) from where a visitor to your site came, and b) note where on your site that visitor has landed (on what page), that somebody would have put the two together and created a plugin that would let you know, at a glance, that, for example, Example.com was sending people to your site from their article at example.com/really-cool-info and that the link to your site that they published in that article was https://www.theinternetpatrol.com/how-to-deal-with-those-pesky-telemarketers/
Now, there are several big online SEO services that may do this – or they may not. Some of the bigger names are Majestic, Ahrefs, and Moz. They all are enabled in much the same way: you add a snippet of their code to your site, and then they are able to grab your traffic data, and massage and analyze it.
The thing is, without adding the code to your site and setting up an account there is no way to know if this does exactly what you want, and these services all charge way too much money per month (generally from $50 to $400 a month) if you are looking only for that once piece.
It was, in a word, ridiculous that we couldn’t find anything that did this one, what is to us very obvious, thing. After all, there are any number of reasons that one might want to know exactly what is being said, and where, around a link to your site, and to what it is linking!
In a last ditch attempt, we once again went to the plugins section of WordPress, spent what seemed like an eternity searching, searching… and then…a glimmer of hope.
A WordPress plugin called Hitsteps, that seemed like it might, just might, do what we were looking for, although it didn’t say it outright. However buried within all of its features it seemed to have the ability.
It also seemed to be well-reviewed.
So we downloaded and installed the plugin, with fingers crossed (which made it hard to type, but we did it).
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Hitsteps is another one of those online sites that gets your traffic data and then massages it into a UI, but they clearly want business from WordPress sites given that they offer, you know, a WordPress plugin. Now, several online SEO services offer WordPress plugins, don’t get us wrong – Hitsteps though had the right combination of ease of installation and use, good pricing (including free) and, most importantly – the potential, we hoped, to show us explicitly who visited which of our pages and who had sent them there from which of their own pages.
Once installed, we activated the plugin by going to the site and getting an API key. If you decide to try Hitsteps, don’t be confused by the pre-populated API key, which will throw an error saying that your trial license has expired (we have no idea why they have the plugin install that way – if we had to try to come up with one negative thing to say about them, we guess this would be it).
You don’t have to pay to get that API key. You don’t even have to give them any credit card information, because the free trial is free forever. In other words, they have a free version! The free version is for users with a single site, with up to 2000 page views a month. We’re not going to go into all the various options and differences between the paid plans ($4.99, $9.99, $21.99, and $49.99 per month), but suffice to say that we think the $9.99 or $21.99 a month is well worth it for what you get here (you can see the plans for yourself, and also register for a free account, here).
Well, we guess that last was a spoiler, because if we are willing to pay for it, that must mean that…
A Solution that Shows You the Incoming Links Where Your Traffic Came From AND the Pages on Which They Are Landing!
Now, Hitsteps doesn’t quite package it up that way, but check this out:
Now, the UI will only display the top level domain, however the link button will take you to the actual source.
At this page, at this link, http://www.fixya.com/support/t8742611-statement, someone posted about this helpful page of ours: https://www.theinternetpatrol.com/are-you-showing-a-mystery-charge-from-402-935-7733-via-paypal-in-your-bank-or-credit-card-account-heres-why/
(Thanks, Eddy Tam, for the shout-out!)
Needless to say, we are pleased as punch with this, which was as close to exactly what we were looking for as we could hope for.
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