I use a few traffic stat programs for my blogs, Google Analytics, StatCounter and Get Clicky. Do not ask me why I use all three, because my answer would probably be “I don’t know“. I guess if I had to give you an answer as to why I use three different sites for traffic stats it is because all website analytic tools seem to calculate visitors differently. A friend of mine told me the other day that Compete only tracks US based traffic and of course I found that out after I sent my stats to a company with a direct link to my Happily Blended Compete Site Analytics. Google Analytics is great but I don’t see the same number with them as I do with StatCounter or Get Clicky.
If I were to log into the three sites I use for monitoring my traffic numbers then it would go in this order that they show least to most – Get Clicky, Google Analytics then StatCounter. It seems StatCounter will usually show me the highest number, but it’s not so high that it seems unrealistic – all average out to be a similar number. Why should someone like me who blogs daily track traffic on my website?
For starters, if you are advertising your website on other places over the internet such as Twitter, Facebook or maybe a paid ad then you will want to monitor how well those places are for referring traffic to your website. With networking sites like Facebook or Twitter you don’t want to spend all your time on one or the other unless they are truly bringing you in quality traffic or a decent number of visitors daily. If your Twitter, Facebook and other networking efforts don’t seem to bring a bit of traffic in then you may wish to analyze where the main portion of your traffic is coming from and adjust your marketing time accordingly. What I am trying to say is “spend the majority of your allotted networking hours on the sites that actually bring you visitors“.
Next you want to see that over the years your website is growing, not declining. Now take my site for example here we have Happily Blended Blog, in January I had over 12K visitors yet as the months of Summer and changes in my life came about my stats went down half that. Now if you peek at June 2010 you will see my stats are starting to climb back up again and I am confident they will be back to the normal and go beyond soon enough. I am always confident in my ability to network and gain more visitors. It’s all a numbers game though, reality is it is the “quality of visitors” not the “number of visitors” that grace your site on a monthly basis. With a blog, you want to read comments as often as possible and if you have 12K visitors monthly yet only 2K comments, it may sadden you or make you wonder why people are visiting but not commenting. I am just tossing numbers out there, we all have our “comfort numbers” I guess, I mean I really don’t have a comfort number, but I bet you might! The whole point is “you want your website to grow continuously overall in a years time or month to month“.
Last but certainly not least it is always fun as well as a good thing to do, find out what key words or search items have brought people to your website! Whether you are a website or blog owner, it is still consider a “site” and you certainly should be sure to have it optimized for search engines. If not, man oh man, you better get on it or hire a virtual assistant who offers that service to assist you. I personally suck at having any particular keywords for my blog, I bet Happily Blended works wonderfully in Google if you search for it, brings me up as the first two links and then the 2nd main link down is the feature I had at About.com Stay At Home Moms channel. Not that I want Happily Blended as my main keywords, it works for now. So when you have site analytics tools you are able to review what searches and key words are bringing people to your site. I haven’t any weird ones, but I bet if you take a peek you will see some odd search terms that bring people to your site. So this point is “make sure that your search engine terms used within the site are actually being used to bring traffic to your site“.
Overall the importance of tracking traffic to and from your website is to do basic marketing analysis as you would do when selling a product. Research, analyze and adjust based on your final analysis report. This sounds all professional and long winded, but reality is it can take just a couple hours at the most to review stats, search engine terms and determine if your ad dollars and time are being spent wisely.
So … what tools do you use to track traffic on your website?