Archive for the Category »Stats «

I love numbers.

In fact, my real job is all about numbers.

Whether I’m bidding a job, pulling measurements off of blue prints, balancing check registers, costing out jobs, billing customers, preparing payroll or compiling governmental reports, I’m surrounded by numbers.

I’m in my glory.

Today’s Lesson

When I started blogging, one of the first things I noticed was how numbers play such a big part in blogging.

With the ability to sign up for numerous statistical programs, we not only get to observe the growth of our blog, but we can also learn and improve our blogs based on the numbers.

Statistics can tell us:

  1. How many visitors we have each day/week/year
  2. How long someone stays on our site
  3. How many pages a visitor clicks on
  4. If our advertising campaigns are working and making us money
  5. The time of day our posts generate the most traffic
  6. How many subscribers our blog has
  7. How many visitors we get from different countries
  8. How many comments our blog posts generate
  9. How popular our blog is with Google (page rank)
  10. How many posts we’ve published
  11. How we’re doing in comparison to previous days or months
  12. The number of inbound links we have
  13. How many comments our spam filter has caught
  14. How we rate on Alexa
  15. Plus much more

As much numbers can be beneficial in our real lives and in blogging, they can also play havoc on our emotions.

Whether it’s the fact we gained a pound in real life or lost subscribers to our blog, numbers can easily make a good day bad.

Although I try not to over analyze nor let my blogging numbers affect my mood, when I check my stats, I can’t help but think I could do better.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

If you look at any of your blogging numbers and they’re not meeting your expectations, what’s your first reaction?

How do you keep your blogging statistics in the proper perspective?

Care to share?

signature for blog post.

Numbers are everywhere

In the real world, we use numbers for our age, our weight, our size, our wages, our eye sight, the time, the speed at which we drive, how we’re graded in school, for the price of things, and the list goes on.

It’s often written, “numbers don’t lie”.

But, we know they can.

Today’s Lesson

It’s no surprise numbers are a tool of measurement in blogosphere.

A lot of bloggers measure their success by their numbers.

With blogs we have our visitor counts, page views, comment counts, feed reader subscribers, an Alexa rating, Google page rank, a bounce rate and if we monetize a blog, how much money we make.

With social networking sites there are the number of whom we follow, how many follow us and how many updates we’ve made.

In life, many people use numbers to compare themselves to others and/or to boast. It is often because of “the numbers”, some end up with an inferiority complex. In blogosphere it appears to be more of the same.

Since I’ve been blogging I have looked at the earnings, comment count, RSS reader count, Alexa ranking and/or Google page rank of others with thoughts ranging from “I’m impressed”, to “I’m envious” to “Those look like they’ve been manipulated”, to “I don’t care” and everything in between.

In some aspects I like that others show their statistics as it gives me an idea of what a blog is capable of. But on the other hand, I haven’t liked the negative emotions the numbers can ignite.

What about you?

Today’s Assignment

When you see the numbers for other blogs, what is your first reaction/feeling?

Have you seen instances where numbers are posted, but they’ve proven to be incorrect?

Raise your hand and share your thoughts.

signature for blog post.

For great articles of how blog numbers can lie, see:

Blogs and the Art of Deception
False Profits – Why You Should NEVER Trust Online Income Earnings Claims

Google Analytics Doesn't Match Awstats and Webalizer statistics

Google Analytics vs AwStats vs Webalizer statistics. Many bloggers and/or webmasters may ask, “Why is there a difference between these numbers?”

Add Woopra, WordPress Stats, Sitemeter or another statistical program to the mix, and it gets even more confusing.

Truth be told, anytime we begin to compare the results from more than one statistical program, there will always be a difference as each program uses different matrix for measuring the results.

Although many bloggers measure their success by how many visitors arrive on their site, more important is why, how and what we can do to capitalize on our statistical data.

Today’s Lesson

Let’s take a look at what is behind some of the numbers and questions we can ask ourselves.

“How are people finding our site?”

  1. Are our visitors finding us via search engines? If so, was it a post where we used SEO (search engine optimization) i.e. keywords?
  2. By referral? Are visitors coming to our site via another site? Did we leave a comment on another site and from there, we’re being found? Did another blogger link to us?
  3. Did our numbers increase due to social media? Did a post get Stumbled? Dugg? If so, what did we do to make our content so value based others felt it was worth spreading the word? Can we duplicate it? Can we consistently produce great content?
  4. Is my traffic coming from social networking sites, such as Twitter? Did we self promote a post and/or did others tweet or retweet it?
  5. Or is our traffic arriving “direct”? Is the visitor typing in our URL? Is the name of my blog memorable?

Are my page views up or down? Which posts are the most popular? Why?

  1. What is the first impression we’re making with our blog? Is it pleasing to the eye? Enticing a visitor to stay? Does it have flashing banner ads? Is the content easy to find? What are we showing above the fold?
  2. Is my blog is easy to navigate? It’s a known fact, if a blog is hard to navigate and other posts or pages aren’t easily found by the visitor, they’ll leave. We need to give them more than one choice. Remember, we’re often only as good as our current post.
  3. How new is my blog? Brand new blogs usually take time to get found. It’s up to us to develop our online presence via commenting or using social networking sites to get the word out.
  4. Have we increased or decreased our posting schedule? Obviously, even our regular visitors aren’t going to be revisiting us if we aren’t producing new content. A change in our publishing schedule is often reflected in our numbers.
  5. Have we increased or reduced the amount of time we visit other blogs? Spend on Twitter? Are we getting our name “out there”? Again, how much time we spend in blogosphere can affect our stats.
  6. Do our post titles sound intriguing or boring? Our titles can either entice others to click through, or not
  7. Are we using SEO? Although many of us don’t want to change the way we write, occasionally using search engine optimization techniques and/or plugins will help to drive traffic to our blogs. Should we consider using SEO techniques more often?
  8. How do we differentiate ourselves from other bloggers who write in the same niche? If we’re using the same theme, are we making it “look” different? Is our spin on the topic original or does it appear to be canned content? Re-massaged material? How are we showing our originality?

Although visitor counts will tell us whether our blog is growing, or not, it’s the other data that is shared in our statistics that reveals the most.

Today’s Assignment

If, or when you look at your stats, do you find them confusing?

Are you capitalizing on the benefits statistics are offering, If so, how?

Which statistical program is your favorite?

Raise you hand and share your thoughts.

signature for blog post.

P.S. The detailed explanation of how statistics are calculated is best left to those who write the programs. Listed below are several links to Google Analytics, AwStats and Webalizer. If in doubt, check your favorite statistical program and read which matrix they use.

Google Analytics IQ Lessons
Simpletons Guide to Web Server Analysis
Webalizer FAQ page
Webalizer README page
Awstats FAQs
(From AwStats) FAQ-COM250 : Different Results Than Other Analyzer

Photo Credit: Lordcolus

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