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Web Analysis and Your Blogs - Part 1

I write a step-by-step guide to improving your blogs using web analytics. View examples with real blog web stats and tutorials of common web analytic tools. This is a series of 4 parts.

Quaisha Thornton, Blogger

January 30, 2012

9 Min Read

I will describe, in parts, how I use Google AnalyticsStatCounter, Blogger Stats, WordPress Stats and sometimes Alexa to analyze, interpret and use web traffic estimates to improve my blogs on WordPress and Blogger


Table of Contents

Part 1

I. General Terms and Definitions

II. Web Analytics Applications – Summary

III. Informed Decisions Lead to Results

IV. Blog Snapshot Quick Analysis for all blogs

Part 2

V. Improvements Description

VI. StatCounter Analysis (Enter the QAnn Blog)


Part 3

VII. Blogger Stats (Cutie, Triple D Gamer)

VIII. WordPress Stats (Vivacious Entrepreneur)

Part 4

IX. Google Analytics (Rich, Born and Became)

X. Conclusion and Common solutions


I. General Terms and Definitions


What are web analytics? Web analytics is the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of Internet data for the purpose of understanding and optimizing web usage. It can be also used for business research and market research. It helps one to estimate how traffic to a website changes after  the launch of a new advertising campaign on a blog, website or other sources such as social networks.

There’s two categories to take into account when using Web Analytics – off-site and on-site analytics. Off-site analysis refers to web measurement and analysis of website regardless of ownership. You measure the potential audience, share of voice , and buzz (comments) that is happening on the Internet as a whole. On-site analysis refers to analysis measuring a visitor’s journey once on your website. Web site performance are measured in a commercial text as well as drivers and conversions of customers.

There are many technological approaches to collecting the data. The two most common are log file analysis and page tagging. Most tools are offering both approaches called hybrid methods. Other analytic methods include the Geo-location of Visitors, Click Analysis, Mobile Web Analytics and Customer Life-cycle Analytics.

The following terms are referred to using tools for off-site analysis: 

Unique Visits - number of user with unique IPs that visit the site in a specific time period.

Regular or returning Visits - number of users that return to the website with previously recorded IPs in a given time period. Helps determine how many unique visitors are turned into returning visitors.

Page views - how many page views were viewed during those visits

Page Loads - how many times the pages were refreshed or newly seen on a given IP.

Bounce rate - How many users that quickly left after visiting the site.

% Exit - The percentage of users that exit from a page.

Average time - amount of time users stay on the site.



II. Web Analytic Applications in Detail


Each of these applications can provide on-site and off-site web analytics for a blog, e-commerce site or regular website. These applications are also free to use and user friendly. When looking for web analytic tools, it’s important to know what kind of data you want to track and how you want to use the tool to do what you want to do.

Google Analytics (GA)

The web-based application is aimed at marketers. GA can track visitors from all referrers, direct and in-direct traffic including search engines, display advertising, ppc networks, email marketing, digital documents with links, even mobile devices. GA is integrated with Adwords so that the casual users can review online campaigns by tracking landing page quality and conversions. A user can set goals to be met in order to improve sales or views on their website. Data shown is not in real-time. It takes about 24-48 hours to see results from a website.

Update: Google Analytics now has Real-Time Stats in beta. In real-time view, you can literally see how long visitors are on your site, either reading content or browsing, in seconds, minutes and possibly hours.


StatCounter tracks projects or websites that you install an HTML code for. You can view in real-time daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly stats on a given website. This differs from GA because it’s in real-time. A user can also view hourly stats, the most popular pages, entry and exist pages, keyword analysis, links, page loads, lookup IP Addresses, and much more. The data is strictly on a view basis only. This means you cannot assign goals like GA to track your progress. This application is best used for beginners and webmasters.

Blogger stats

Blogger stats is not the same as Google Analytics even though Google makes Blogger. The stats are very basic for the casual user and just like in Statcounter, are in real-time. A user can view stats time-line from now, the last 24 hours, the whole week, month, and all time. A week for Blogger is the last five days and gives you a chart with those days listed. You can also view pageviews for each post and each page; Traffic sources including referring urls, referring sites, keywords; and your audience including page views by browser, country and operating system. Google Adsense is integrated with Blogger for easier management on your blogs.

WordPress stats

WordPress stats are very basic just like Blogger. At a glance, you can see a chart featuring pageviews for days, weeks and months. When you click on the day you want to see detailed stats on, it takes you to an overview listing referrers, top posts and pages, search engine terms, and clickable links. On the main overview page, you see all those things for the entire week. By clicking you see a detailed view for last 7 days, 30 days, quarter, year, and all-time. You can also view subscriptions of your blog and a summary table. The summary table lists page views for the whole time-line in a calender type format. It calculates the total, average and percentage change weekly, daily, monthly and yearly.


Traffic Rank (off-site) – a 3-month ranking system based on a combination of page views and users. The higher the page views and user reach, the lower the score until it reaches #1. Alexa tracks users through a toolbar. Therefore their results are based on the number of people using their toolbar or application. Alexa is mostly used and can ONLY be used for high-ranking sites that has a page view or user base of more than 100,000. Anything lower than that number will not be analyzed.

III. Informed Decisions Leads to Results

What does this information all mean in the big picture?

By tracking visitors, keywords, referring links, and more to your website, you’re able to see what are the most popular trends that bring you readers and customers to adjust content or scrap it. Stats are analyzed differently with blogs than regular websites. Though blogs, in recent times, are able to have various pages and use more methods, still the most views will be on the home page or landing page with the blog posts.

For blogs, the percentage of visitors for time spent on the blog will be less than a regular website because they will drop by, read, then drop out. The bounce rate will be high. In this way, you would maybe want to include pages with content or simply improve page views by increasing the amount of blog posts on the blog. If trying to convert visitors into paying customers for an e-commerce blog, the bounce rate needs to decrease as much as possible.

How to use basic analysis to work for your blog – Summary

Analytics are used differently for blogs because blogs generally don’t have a whole bunch of web pages to sort through. Visitors usually just read the latests posts and move on. Here are some ways I use web analytics to improve my blog:

1. Increase page views per visit: I use content marketing to increase visibility on the web including  social media as a fast way to draw in visitors.

2. Referrers and Search Engines: Referrer sites and search engines helps me determine whose sending traffic to my blog and what search trends are leading them to it. Recently, I wrote a post about female characters portrayals in Batman: Arkham City (around the time the game came out). Visitors lurked the blog because they were searching for info about the game. Some visitors really liked it and commented about it on Twitter.

3. Bounce and Exit rate: Referrers and search engines bring visitors to my top content which are the top entry posts on my blog. To keep visitors on the site, I use widgets and other pages full of extra content. I try to redirect the traffic to my other blogs, affiliates and in-post links.

4. Top Content: My top landing pages says a lot of my content and my whole blog. Visitors bouncing and existing at a very high rate lets me know I have to adjust content either by making it similar to the content with high page views, scraping it or adding to it to keep visits longer.


IV. Blog Snapshot Quick Analysis

I manage a total of 4 blogs with two being on WordPress.com and the other two on Blogger. The two on WordPress.com were transferred from Posterous.com. All 4 of these blogs are relatively new and are going through content management and graphical design structures. What’s common among the blogs is a lack of content and blog postings therefore they all suffer from a lack of views compared to my overall reach across social networks.My blog snapshots are quick stat information with images of my blog mishaps taken from the web analysis tools. This helps you to understand what stats I am looking at and how I got informed information to improve my blogs. The next section is all about improving my blogs with the designated web analytic tool. Though any analytic tool can be used to help keep an eye on your blog stats, I’m killing two birds with one stone by picking tools and showing you how it works.

The structure will look like this:

I.    Blog Snapshot: includes the name of my blog, quick stats, type of content description, main features list and past social marketing plan.

  II.   Improvements in detail using said Web Analytic Tool and complimentary images: Example, one of my blogs is designated to use WordPress Stat Management. 

Before diving right in, I have to explain certain terms and why I am improving my blogs. Call it theImprovements Introduction which will be in Part 2 of the series.

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