Do you know how many people visit your blog? Do you have any idea from where they are coming, what they do and where they go?
If you don’t then you are doing a vital blogging mistake!
You need a way, a software to measure your blog visitors. You need to track it so you will know how you are doing with your blog.
And yes those fancy looking hit counters are not professional solutions when determining the success of your blog.
So, why you need to track your blog statistics?
Simply because you want to know whether your efforts in blogging are working or not? This in depth article will help you setup your own traffic analytic software and understand different key elements to track.
The number of visitors can be defined as a metric of success in blogging. The more visitors means more readers, more leads and more customers.
So far I have used google analytics for years to track my blog visitors.
You can read: How to setup google analytics on your blog
Few months ago I did a redesign of my blog and I wanted to use a different stat software for my blog. I was fed up with the idea that google was dominating the whole internet. And why would I give google access to my website statistics?
Anyways I came across Clicky web analytics.
I added that on my site and I must say, it changed the way I used to look at my web analytics.
Clicky gives you a much more in depth view of your website visitors. Even better, it is real time. You can know how many people are reading your blog RIGHT NOW!
So how do I install Clicky on my site?
Go to GetClicky and sign up for your free account. Now add your site and you will be provided with a tracking code. It’s a code that looks something like this,
Where to find clicky code?
It’s located in Preference > Tracking code
Basically you have to put this code in your website HTML or at the site footer.
There is a great plugin in wordpress by Yoast to add clicky on your blog.
Download it here: Clicky by Yoast
If you are using thesis theme, then go to thesis > Site options > Stats & Tracking Scripts and put it over there.
Go to Layout and click to add a gadget and add an HTML gadget,
Now paste the code and save it. Make sure you put this gadget at the bottom of your blog layout, like in the footer,
So right after you have successfully inserted your clicky code, you should start to access your traffic details within minutes.
In google analytics, things look like this,
Now this is where Clicky beats google analytics. In the google analytics software you will have to wait 1-2 days to start seeing traffic.
Clicky shows you traffic as it happens and by the hour.
I can now see on which hours I get the most visitors.
So here is a quick overview of clicky dashboard,
The basics, it shows your traffic at a glance,
Visitors by hour,
Incoming links that’s sending you traffic.
This is a great one so you can quickly see the pages that are linking your content and you can engage with them right away,
These are the top keywords that people type in google, bing, yahoo and sites to find your blog,
The countries that are sending you traffic,
All the pages of your blog ordered by views,
This is the best way to organize blog visitors by their source. You can easily see which sources are sending you traffic.
This is way better than the confusing google analytics dashboard where you are left with a pie chart.
How to understand your blog data?
Now after a while when you have generated enough data from your blog, let us analyze this. Now if you are a new blogger then this data may be too little to come to a conclusion. What we want to analyze should be a couple hundreds of visitors. Say, take 1 week worth of data if you have very low traffic at the moment.
On the basic box, you can see all sorts of data from your blog at a glance. Now allow me to quickly run though each of them,
Visitors: The total number of users that have visited your blog. Unique visitor (UV) means the person who has visited your blog once in the past 24 hour period. If the same person visits twice, then the number will be: 1 Unique Visitor and 2 Visitors. By default, there will be less UV’s then the number of total visitors.
A new visitor means that someone who has visited your website for the first time of their browsing history. Clicky sets a cookie (tracking code) in their computer to understand this.
Hint: The more is better
Actions: This is similar to page views in google analytics but it is more than page views. Basically clicky counts “actions” performed by the user. Say it can be a download, a page view, outgoing link, flash event or a video play. This makes it even more accurate.
Similarly an average action is total actions divided by the number of users.
Hint: More actions are better
Total time & average time per visit *Important! This will be the gross amount of time people have taken to browse your blog. And the main important part is how long they read your blog on average. You want to make your blog sticky and make sure they stay there for longer.
Hint: More average time is better
Bounce rate *Important! A bounce rate is when someone comes to your blog and then exits your site without looking at another page. This is bad for your blog. Typically you want to make more people to read more of your pages. Getting traffic is hard so you have to make sure they are actively participating and convert into loyal readers.
Hint: The less bounce rate is better
Feeburner subscribers: If you have enabled the feedburner account in Clicky, you will see the number of feed readers of your blog.
IMPORTANT: The number of page views, average actions and bounce rate has a bigger impact on blog SEO. Google and other search engines want to send more people to active blogs. So if you are failing to engage readers, then you will not receive search engine traffic. Even worse you will lose leads & opportunities.
Clicking on any link will open a new page with even detailed measurements.
One great thing I like about Clicky is that I can track the hardware and mobile visitors that my blog is receiving,
From Platforms > Hardware -I can see all these mobile devices that I am getting traffic from.
In google analytics this was way too much complicated to understand.
Even I can see that game consoles that are browsing my blog!
About plans and subscription
Clicky is a great piece of web software but the free plan has some limitations. You can track one website and limits upto 3000 visitor tracking a day. If you are a newbie in blogging, then go for the free plan and enjoy clicky, since as a new blogger you won’t probably have more than 3000 visitors a day.
Now when you are getting serious with you data and need to add 3 sites, then consider a subscription of as low as $4.99 a month.
So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and start measuring your blog visitors.
Which web stat software you use? Do you use google analytics? Would you like to give Clicky a try after reading this review? Let me know in the comments please!