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My blog stats for the past year
Image by gillicious via Flickr

Ladies and Gentleman, today you life and your blogging habits, as you know them will change forever! And not necessary to the best as I’m about to show you how to get MORE information about your blog, how your visitors interact with your content and where they are coming from than most bloggers need to know!

In Fact – Stats Tracking is One Of The Most Addictive And Time Wasting Activities You, As A Blogger Can Participate In!

I highly recommend you stop reading RIGHT NOW and don’t click that “Read More..” link to save your sanity and time!

OK, so I see you are determined to know! Well, this could be a GREAT thing as well as BAD thing for you. You have to exercise the discipline and limit time you dedicate to stat tracking to avoid waste of time and if you manage to do so – you are going to be a MUCH MORE INFORMED blogger.

5 Stats Tracking Plugins

…presented in this post will allow you to see more details about your blog traffic, its source and how your visitors interact with your content than you ever thought possible!

1. WordPress.com Stats

Along with Google Analytic’s this plugin might be that is needed for the majority of bloggers as it allows you to re-use same WordPress.com API you are already using for Akismet and presents you with most of the useful statistics you need:

  • Top Pages and posts for different time frames with default being today
  • Your referrers, to help you see who sends you traffic
  • What key phrases lead from Search Engines to your blog posts
  • What links were clicked in your blog content
  • List of incoming links, mentions of your blog url on other blogs

Because it is a plugin maintained by WordPress core team, it is always timely updated and you can be sure it will continue to be compatible with all the latest upgrades.

wordpress-stats

2. Google Analytic’s Integration Plugins

Instead of picking and choosing any specific plugin, I simply give you URL to search results in WordPress.org plugin repository. You choose which one gives you the options you need as this breed of plugins integrates Google Analytics into your blog.

I do believe that you MUST have Google Analytics on your blog for stats tracking and comprehensive reporting but I choose NOT to use plugins but simply manually insert code into fotter.php right before the </body> closing tag. Just inspect the source code of this blog and you see what I mean.

I like to use as few plugins as possible and by doing this manually I save on page load by not having an extra plugin for the task that can be easily accomplished by hand. But if you are not into modifying theme files or like to switch themes often – these plugins will make sure that you blog will be tracked no matter what you do!

google-analytics

3. Visitor Maps and Who’s Online

In my testing this plugin added to the page load speed and I eventually disabled it but if you want to know EXACTLY who is visiting your blog, what OS, Browser they are using, where they are coming from and what is it they are reading – this plugin will be a God sent!

I promise you that you can get more information than you ever bargained for by using this one but do pay attention if it impacts you blog loading speed, as implementation of this one might actually cause people to click away instead of waiting for your content to load and all you will see is How Many People Left Your Blog without reading it!

visitor-maps

4. Lijit Statistics

This plugin allows you to integrate your WordPress blog with free Lijit account. Great option to enhance your blog search as well as to get a LOT of information about your blog. It does help you get more traffic as your blog becomes part of their searched network and presented on other blogs 🙂

Anytime I can get free traffic – I’m game, especially when it is integrated with my favorite time wasting exercise – Traffic Stats Checking!

Couple of the most important statistics I look for from this one is Last Searches Performed on My Blog and Last Searches That Returned No Results!

It opens up an opportunity for me to create content my readers and visitors are looking for and one that doesn’t exist yet. Obviously that the younger your blog – more opportunities you will have as with age it seems sometimes that we cover pretty much most of the important ideas 🙂

lijit

5. Feed Stats

Yeah, when we are talking about stats – your RSS readers information is VERY important. Number of RSS readers on the blog is in fact one of the aspects many bloggers, including myself always put forth as it shows Stable Readership Base that can be used when selling advertisement space on your blog among the few other things 🙂

This plugin give you easy access to see:

  • Subscribers
  • Hits
  • Reach (see the FAQ section for more information about this)
  • Item click-through
  • Item Views

Pretty nice but it does require that you burn your feed through FeedBurner as it uses its data to provide you with stats.

feed-stats

Conclusion

5 plugins I have just shared with you can make you a lot more informed blogger and help you determine what works and what doesn’t in your promotional efforts but I recommend you use these plugins in moderation!

Just because something is available to you – doesn’t mean all of it have to be used. If you attempt to utilize all plugins at same time – more than likely your blog load speed will be impacted!

Choose what stats are important to you – use appropriate plugin to get it! Enjoy and as always – comment on this post and share it using options provided!