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.
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?”
- Are our visitors finding us via search engines? If so, was it a post where we used SEO (search engine optimization) i.e. keywords?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Do our post titles sound intriguing or boring? Our titles can either entice others to click through, or not
- 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?
- 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.
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Lordcolus