Edward asks – ‘How can I know where the readers of my blog mostly come from? Search Engines? MyBlogLog? Other Blog’s Links?’
Finding where the readers to your blog mainly come from is something that is well worth doing as it can help you grow and improve your blog.
There are many statistics (or metrics) programs out there available for you to use to get this information. They range from the free and very easy to us to paid packages.
Let me outline four that I use on most of my blogs (note – there are many others and I’m sure readers will suggest their favorites in comments below):
Sitemeter – this is one that a lot of bloggers use because it’s very simple to install and gives you some good, basic, useful information – it’s also free (as long as you don’t mind everyone else being able to see your stats too). I use Sitemeter on many of my blogs and find it very useful for checking how a blog is doing from day to day (or hour to hour). While it’s not quite as accurate as some of the other stats packages below (I find that it under estimates actual figures) but many bloggers find it a useful tool to get a feel for what’s happening on a blog quickly.
Google Analytics – Google’s stats packages is quite a bit more advanced than a package like Sitemeter. While it does give you all the same information it also allows you to track a whole lot more and even to set goals and track them. I don’t use Analytics on a daily basis – but find it a very useful to check into every week or two to see how the blog’s performing on a higher level.
Server Side Stats (AW Stats) – If you host your blog on your own server (or a shared one) you’ll almost always be offered some sort of statistics package. For example many servers will offer AW Stats. Again, these stats are very comprehensive. While Sitemeter will only really show you statistics for the last 100 visitors on your site – packages like AW Stats will give you stats for all your visitors over different time periods. Again – I don’t use AWS on a daily basis – but if I’m wanting to do more detailed analysis of how my blog is going this is where I’ll head.
103bees – in addition to the above packages I do also use one more that has more of a niche focus – search engine traffic. 103bees looks at those arriving at your blog after doing a search on a search engine and gives you an array of useful information about them including the words that they use, the questions that they ask etc. While you can get a lot of this information from the above packages too, 103bees put it in really useful form.
But the above four stats packages are just the ones I’m using. What do you use and why?