31DBBB Day 30: Monitor Your Blog

MeasurementThis is Day 30 of 31 Days to Build a Better Blog, a group project 60+ of us bloggers are doing together in an effort to help each other become better bloggers.

Wow, the penultimate day of a very intense group blogging project. Thank goodness for weekends :)

Today’s task is perfect for gauging how much of a difference the 31DBBB project has made on your blog. If you had already setup a way to measure your blog before, then you would be able to see that difference even better, otherwise it is never too late. I know that there are many 31DBBB peeps that do not have self-hosted  blogs, but the concept of tracking visitors and visits is an important part taking your blog to the next level, and therefore worth considering.

Here are some ways that you can measure your blog’s statistics (as you can see in the eBook there is a lot that you can measure):

Non JavaScript Enabled Hosting

That would mean WordPress.com hosted blogs. I am not sure why you can’t run JavaScript, wordpress must have there reasons, probably security. That kind of shuts out every kind of Analytics mechanism. However not all is lost because there are other options:

  1. WebMaster Tools (Google, Bing and Yahoo): They give you the ability to view the performance of your site.
  2. Built in statistics: Blogs on wordpress.com do display search keywords, referrals, incoming and outgoing links.

JavaScript Enabled Hosting

If you are self hosted then you can do almost anything, since most of the Analytics tools, implementations, interfaces, etc use JavaScript. I believe that Blogger.com hosted blogs also fall under this category – please correct me if I am wrong. In that case:

  1. Google Analytics. This should be the go-to tool for everyone. It is free and it gives you a lot of information. The hard part is understanding the numbers and graphs, and doing something about them.
  2. Yahoo Analytics. Unfortunately this is a paid service, confound it. If you are actually using it – I would love to hear your thoughts.
  3. Site Overlays, TouchMaps etc. Google has a Site OverLay that gives you little percentage boxes indicting where people click. A search for plugins will get some interesting utilities that will show you where people click and navigate to. This kind of thing can give you the general feel of how people move around in your blog or website.

Some lists on other blogs:

  1. 10 Free Analytics Tools for Ministry Sites (ChurchCrunch)
  2. Track Online Traffic (Mashable)
  3. 20 Blog Analytics Tools (toprankblog)

A couple more:

  1. woopra – I used this for a while. It integrates nicely with your Google Analytics Account as well as providing real time statistics and information as people visit your site. The only problem is that it runs as a separate application that keeps you wanting to see what is happening. Spirt-levelYou can even start a chat with a visitor.
  2. getclicky
  3. chartbeat
  4. piwik
  5. postrank
  6. trendrr
  7. buildstats
  8. quantcast
  9. compete

Beware:

I have even been caught staring at my stats and trying with all might might to will the numbers up. I have been fixated. Do not fall into that trap. Also each more is another JavaScript that you have to add, which will take a toll on the performance of your blog. At times I have even see the script loading and loading and loading – forever.

Discussion

  1. What are your thoughts on Analytics and measuring your blog’s statistics?
  2. Have you made use of any? Have they helped in any way?
  3. What type of statistic/s do you hope to improve upon?

The Extra Mile

A few other things you can do to take your blog, other bloggers, and this project even further today…

  • Reply & give other bloggers feedback on the little things they do.
  • When other bloggers include a link to a new article they’ve posted today, click, read, and comment on it.
  • Review Chad Estes’ blog and give him some feedback.
  • Tweet, share, & bookmark this post.

[images by fishyfish_arcade, Balakov]

Phillip Gibb; I am a Christian, a husband to a beautiful wife and father of two stunning children. It is my dream to make a Film one day and to Glorify God on my journey there. I blog at SynapticLight and twitter at phillipgibb.

Digital Video editing and content enthusiast making connections to be salt and light on the Interwebs.

21 Responses to “31DBBB Day 30: Monitor Your Blog”

  1. How to increase your blog traffic by over 100% (Phillip, thanks, you are part of the over-100-percent ; – )
    http://greeninventionscentral.blogspot.com/2010/0

  2. 1. I like analytics. I use google analytics. I agree that it is a bit tough to make sense of at times, but I like the information. I like seeing all the countries and cities that have accessed the blogs. I also like the traffic information.
    2. The only real use I have made of this is counting how many countries the blog has been read in. And to determine best use of video. Not everyone is using Cable internet and has the latest browser. This helped me to decide to keep video file size small so that more people can use it. I was suprised about how many dial-up users are still out there…
    3. My goal is the same – to reach people.

    New post – Why stay here until we die? – http://www.ronniespoon.blogspot.com

  3. I use a combination of tools. I am currently using stats from Google Analytics, Google Web Tools, and Feedburner. This covers all of the needs I have right now. I am particularly fascinated with being able to see which searches keep people on my site the longest. They are usually not the one's that I expect.

    My post for today is: http://larrywestfall.com/dont-whine-dont-complain

  4. I am currently only using Google Analytics but has been a great step forward for me. I love the info. It has really helped me to see what networking has resulted in the most hits. It is encouraging to see that not everyone just clicks thru.

  5. I've been using Google Analytics and Feedburner to access my site. Google Analytics is something that I am quite familiar with because I also use it at work to track the performance of our companies' website.
    I think Philip brings up a good point at the end. You don't need to load every analytics program you find onto your blog because the JavaScript is going to slow it down, leading to frustrated readers.

  6. I started using google analytics and it at least gave me a comfort that a few people were reading.

    What was truly amazing is that the first day of our 31DBBB has been my highest ranking post to date it blew everything out of the water! So that was great.

    A side note for anyone that ever puts a new layout on their page…..Don't forget to add the analytics code back!!! I did this last week and was wondering why I was getting zero hits a day for a week!!! It finally hit me. : )

    Live and learn.
    http://ragamuffinray.blogspot.com/2010/06/so-long

  7. Right now I'm just using the built in statistics tools that wordpress provides. They're pretty good but i find it's difficult to track what people DO once they get to my blog. That's the hardest thing I've dealt with, although it is very clear that people tend to read my blog only when I have some new material up there.

  8. I'm still on the free version of WordPress so like Philip said can't use anything using JavaScript which eliminates a lot of options like Google Analytics.
    I use the stats that are built in the most, and then also use Google Webmaster to measure the statistics. For now these are meeting the needs of my blog especially since I can't use JavaScript anyway.

    Post for today is "What Do Community and Cheerios Have in Common" http://tijuanabecky.wordpress.com/2010/06/11/what

  9. I too am just using the free version of WP, and although, as justapen pointed out, they provide some decent analytics, they're not great, and so this is yet another reason to go self hosted.

    It's so tempting to fixate on the numbers. I'm a church employee, and we do that in churches all the time. It's very difficult to resist that temptation.

    • Oh yes indeed … it's a sad fact of life that we all fixate on something. No matter how well adjusted we may be.

  10. A couple of others that play nicely with WP blogs are Counterize and Wassup.

    There's a good few there I'd never heard of but I like google analytics and woopra for mine along with the stats that my hoster provides as well. It's interesting you mentionnot getting fixated because it would appear that each stat pack I've tried seems to interpret the same stats in slightly different ways….

  11. I added stats from http://www.statcounter.com/ a couple weeks ago as part of the 31DBBB project. I have liked it so far. On the summary it tells me page loads, unique visitors, and returning visitors. It also has stats for entry, exit and popular pages; keywords: came from; exit links; recent vistor activity and maps; and more. Good stuff. And free.

    My post for today is about kids and Jesus: http://junctionforjesus.blogspot.com/2010/06/thre

  12. I have Google Analytics on it my site(s) and that's about it. I just setup feed burner for my blog when we started this, but for some reason can't find the login to see if anyone subscribed! Not sure why it's not under my normal account. Oh well.. set it up again.. Feel free to go subscribe!

    I look to see what traffic I get and where it comes from. Only look about once per week to see if tweeting about my blog caused any results.

    Here's my blog today as I talk about the top 13 things I don't get the point of.. World Cup is mentioned.. http://guardraildamageahead.com/things-i-just-don

  13. Thanks for providing those tips on blogging :)

    Luke 6:38
    Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
    Let that beautiful verse sink in and surf on over to http://www.hybridhondas.com. Please click on a link or two when you’re there. It costs nothing and by doing so you’ll be helping a fellow brother out so he can continue helping others.
    Please spread the word to other brothers and sisters. Be blessed and thank you

  14. In monitoring your blog, I commend the use of Google Analytics. It has been one of the most powerful tools I use in my blog. I recommend it to any one.

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