04 May Getting the stats on your blog
By Beth Graddon- Hodgson
All bloggers, whether business or casual use a statistics measuring tool with their blog, after all, it’s pretty cool to see just how many people are interested in what you’ve got to say, no? The complexity of the tools varies, with the most basic allowing you to simply see the number of page views for each blog post. The more complex ones can tell you everything from how readers came across your blog, to the countries that your readers live in.
We’re not going to focus on the tools out there and the features that come with them in this post. More than likely, if you’ve had a developer or hosting company setup your blog, they’ve already installed some kind of stat tool for you and if not, they are fairly simple to find. Instead, what you really need to know is what you can learn from the stats in order to improve your blog and better appeal to readers.
Don’t just look at your stats for bragging rights. You’re welcome to go around saying “woohoo my post on the best food for little dogs got 1,000 reads in a day!” if you’d like, but if that’s all you do, you’re missing out on an opportunity to get even more readers.
So, what can you learn from your blog’s stats, you ask? Here are the basics:
- The posts people love – once you’ve got a good inventory of blog posts going you’ll find not all of them perform equally as well. Don’t get caught up in the specific numbers of hits each post received, but do look at which topics performed better. Then, try and judge what you did in the posts with the most hits versus the ones that bombed. Was it the specific topic area? The tone or style? Try to find the trends and carry them through to future posts. It’s not foolproof. Sometimes you’ll have posts that did far better than you could have imagined, while ones you thought would rock are barely viewed. It happens on occasion, but in general it’s a good rule of thumb.
- Where your readers are from – in this context, we’re talking about their physical location. It’s an element often overlooked, but if you figure that the bulk of your readers are coming from the UK then you’ve got a couple of choices. If they’re within the target market for your business, give your posts a local presence. If they’re not then you need to change some things to attract some more readers who might actually be in a position to take advantage of your business services.
- How people are finding your page – figure out how people are finding their way to your blog. Is it through links from other sites? Specific search engine searches? Clicking on a social network link? This can help show you what strategies are working and also allow you to make connections with those people and sites that might be helping bring in your readers to increase the benefits.
- Which posts are most engaging – you don’t even need a stat tool to tell you this; you’ve just got to look at the number of comments you’re receiving on specific posts. The more chatter, the better. Numbers talk, but actual comments should you’ve really engaged your readers and got them thinking with great topics.
There’s a lot more you can learn from your stats tool, but these are the basics that even the least technologically savvy business blogger should be taking advantage of.
If you don’t have a stat tool already and have been inspired to get going right away, here’s a great summary of the best options
Beth Graddon-Hodgson is a professional writer/blogger and the founder of WriteSourcing a professional blogging, writing and editing service. You can read her posts on blogging for business here at the Wax blog every Tuesday.