Saturday, February 9

Public Service Announcement 1.01

Ask and ye shall recieve--Becoming Mommy, Lizzy in the Burbs, Jenny H, and The Red Door all wanted to know how to find out what Google searches point to your blog. I know of three reasonably good (and FREE!) ways to start finding out that bit of information:

1. Sitemeter--Just go their site, open a free account, and add the code to your blog. Sitemeter will show you how people find your blog (referrals), where they are located (OK, technically it shows you where their IP address is registered which can be ALTOGETHER different from where they actually are, but still), and how many visits and page views you had in a specified time period. Just for the sake of being thorough, a visit is supposed to be the number of unique people that visited your blog. A page view is the number of pages that were viewed. So if one person visits your blog but reads three different pages, it will show one visit and three page views. Sitemeter is what I have used since I made my blog fully public back in September and while I have found that its not the best alternative, I keep using it so that I can see the monthly history. One downfall to Sitemeter is that the free account will only hold 100 referrals. That may seem like a lot, but you find that they disappear way too soon when you want to go back and look at one. Another drawback is that its reporting is not as good as some of the other choices out there.

2. Statcounter--Same thing as Sitemeter, except that I think the reports are a little bit better. I'm a fan of the Keyword Analysis screen because it shows you your most recent search engine hits in a list. the Cames From screen is also handy because it shows you all of the referring links for your blog. For example, I can see that 44 of the last 500 people that came to my blog came from my Blogger About Me screen. I would think it's safe to assume those are all people following comments. The free account is limited to storing your last 500 entries, which is, of course, five times as many as Sitemeter.

3. Google Analytics--I just added Google Analytics a week ago, and I think it's my favorite. The reports are really fun (In part because of all the pretty pictures. What can I say? I'm easily amused by pretty colors.). It shows all of the same information as the other tools. Since I just started using it, I don't know how much history it holds, but I suspect it's quite a bit.

Right now I have all three of the stat counter utilities running on burghbaby. If I had to jut pick one to use, it would probably be Statcounter, but only because I haven't been using Google Analytics long enough to decide if it is truly better than Statcounter, of if I've just been wooed by pie charts. I strongly suspect that I'm going to find that Google Analytics is better. Regardless, I'm pretty sure all three are female, because they can't seem to agree on the number of page views I've had in the past 24 hours.

More PSAs to come, including how to customize a Blogger template to make it less fugly.

7 comments:

  1. I love PSA's- I'm odd like that. Can't wait to read the next one- I do need to learn more html tricks & tips. I'm liking the changes so far!

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  2. Ok, so I feel like a complete idiot! I've been using statcounter for some time and I didn't realize it had all that information. I just clicked on the name link and saw the number of page loads, unique loads and returning hits. Thanks for pointing out all that other stuff on the side.

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  3. Statcounter and Analytics are my favs. Sitemeter is laaaaaaaaaaame. ;) lol

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  4. I am a big fan of the purdy pics and bar graphs on Google Analytics. In fact, if there's something going on and I can't see my pics and graphs, I freak out and get shrill with Justin to please.fix.it.now! Must.know.blog.stats.now!

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  5. Thanks for that information that I have been wondering about. I have used sitemeter for several months and it never seems to answer my questions about how people got there so I think I will try the others...

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  6. Now this is fun......I haven't experienced any of these, so I just joined google. I let you know what I think as soon as someone comes over to my site!

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  7. I've been using Google Analytics and am very happy with it.

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