Monday, August 31, 2009

Your Blog Analytics

Graphic from

Do you have a site meter installed on your blog? If so, do you get weekly reports? Every now and then I go through my Monday morning report, and although I'm not sure what some of the features mean or do, I'm getting better at deciphering the techno-hieroglyphics.

Like those information overload junkies on the commercials, I love all the data, stats and graphs and pie chart graphics whizzing around in my head. Like the pie chart above which shows how long visitors stayed at my blog last week (from less than five seconds to more than an hour), it's all fascinating to me.

I like gazing at the world atlas and seeing little flags representing visitors' countries, seeing what things visitors downloaded and through which points on the blog they entered and exited.

My favorite stat is probably the keyword analytics. This function shows what words were plugged into search engines to bring folks to Gumbo Writer. I guess if I was a more savvy blog owner, I'd put more effort into post tags and titles to get more visitors. (Isn't that what's known as SEO?) But since I just like to write what I write, I don't concentrate on it. Are these things considerations for you when you post to your blog?

Here are a few recent breadcrumbs that lined the GumboWriter trail:
  • tgif quotes
  • gumbo writer boudreaux and thibodaux jokes
  • best chicken recipe
  • boudreaux and thibodaux jokes
  • easy gumbo recipe
  • boudreaux tib jokes
  • best chicken recipes ever
  • Did Margaret Mitchell drink from mason jars
  • Beach Glass and other Things by Angie Ledbetter
  • best+chicken+recipe
  • "oh you dirty little devil"
  • unusual trivia about food or fruits
  • Boudreaux and Thibodaux
  • quote tgif - thank god it's friday- because they can do what they really want to
  • porch chops casserole
  • melissa marsh meteorologist
  • pasta for 40
  • boo no the go
  • mr wedding cakes king cakes
  • TGIF poem
Some of the keywords make me smile or laugh out loud. It's like a puzzle; trying to figure out how someone put in certain words and ended up here. Was it on purpose, or pure happenstance? Fun to ponder!

There are lots of technical aspects of statcounter I don't make use of, but browsing through the categories every now and then is fun. Here's a list of some of the other functions available, and which maybe I'll dig into more thoroughly some day:

  1. Statistics
  2. Summary
  3. Popular Pages
  4. Entry & Exit Pages
  5. Came From
  6. Recent Keyword Activity
  7. Search Engine Wars
  8. Downloads & Download Activity
  9. Returning Visits
  10. Recent Pageload Activity
  11. Recent Visitor Map
If you use these functions at your blog, what's your favorite? And what use do you get from them?


Deb Shucka said...

Margaret Mitchell drinks from mason jars? Really? I don't pay too much attention to my stat thingy because I don't get it. It's probably a learning that needs to happen at some point since I'd like to increase my readership. I do love seeing all the different countries though. That makes me feel worldly. :-)

Melissa Marsh said...

Melissa Marsh metereologist??? Now that's weird. Though I do know there is a Melissa Marsh who is a metereologist. She took the .com web addy. :-)

Cheffie-Mom said...

I actually just started learning what all of those things mean! It's very confusing! I also had some pretty funny key words myself!

Janna Qualman said...

I take a gander at my results every once in awhile, but there's a lot I have trouble deciphering. Maybe I'll go have a looksee today!

Scobberlotcher said...

Love the search lists, too. I like to look at mine. One combined my name with MILF so what does that tell me? ewwww!

So, did MM drink from mason jars? :)

Anton Gully said...

I use Google Analytics and find the stats interesting, but I'm into numbers. Only been using it a little over a week but I do seem to get a lot (well, as a proportion - not a LOT by any other measure) of people clicking into the blog from their search engine and immediately leaving. I can't say I blame them, I feel like that myself sometimes.

Hilary said...

Yup.. the keywords always crack me up. It's something I'll check out every couple of weeks just for the laughs.

Elizabeth Bradley said...

I'm curious, do you use the freebie version, or do you pay extra? I am wondering if paying in necessary.

Scott said...

You mean I'm supposed to put a stat counter on my blog? : )

I don't have one, don't want one, and there's not enough time! Ooops, sorry, that one snuck in there.

Seriously, I hated statistics in college, and don't want any reminders . . . ever again. Oh, wait, your blog reminded me of stat class. Oh well, my therapist was wanting to take a longer cruise . . .


Angie Ledbetter said...

Deb, I'm just skimming the surface of what all's included in the weekly reports too. Need to find time/druterhs to get in there and really learn it. One day....maybe. :)

Melissa - I laughed at that one too. I guess somone was trying to find the weather girl MM and came here in their search.

It is confusing, Cheffie. Probably why I haven't delved deeper.

Janna - look at the 'purty pictures and maps' like I do. LOL

Eeeeeek, Scobberlotcher! Some young'un has a crush on you. If you're into technical stuff, you could track down whose ISP that came from. And I liked the Margaret Mitchel search too. (I had a post about mason jars long ago.)

Aww, Anton. That can't be true. I'm coming over and checking out your blog home in a minute! Thanks for dropping in here.

Hilary - hear ya. :o)

I use the absolutely totally completely free version of statcounter, Elizabeth!

LOL Scott! I don't do numbers, maff or stats on any level above rudimentary (did I spell that right?), but enjoy looking at the words and graphs and little maps. :)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

I still haven't figured out how to look that stuff up. I'd probably spend too much time there, also. You are much more computer savvy than me.

Jody Hedlund said...

I will have to go to my stat page and see if I can figure out the analytics too. It would be fun to see how people are finding my blog!

Mandy said...

Funny you should post this Angie. I just signed up for the Google Analytics. I'm trying to look into some of the stuff you mentioned now but I find it overwhelming. I would like to put a RSS feed on my page so that people could subscribe via e-mail, if they want, but I don't know how to do that yet. I'm trying to look at a few tutorials, but again, it's overwhelming.

I like the idea of having hidden stats just for my own purposes. I always feel a little hesitant on the sites that have those "traffic feeders" right there front and center on their page so the author knows it's me and how long I visit. I understand why people do it. I'd like it too but I'd want mine to be hidden so it's less intimidating. If you find out some good information or tips, let me know! Thanks!

Diane said...

I am not that technically savy. It would be curious as to how people find me and by what key words! :O)

Suldog said...

I like to see the numbers, but some can be misleading. For instance, the "how long did they stay" stuff is, I think, dependent upon visiting more than one page. If someone is only on your front page reading, and then clicks to some other site, I don't believe it registers much time even if the person was reading for a few minutes. I may be wrong on that, but that's what I recall gleaning from some one of my statcounters.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Midlife &, nobody would call me a geek or techically savvy. LOL. Statcounter was easy or else I couldn't have installed it or know how to even look at the report maps and such. And it's *free*! :)

Jody - It really is fun to look at every once in a while.

Diane - See reply to Midlife & Mandy. LOL. It's pretty simple with

Hey Suldawg. Yeah, I'm not much into totally following stats or polls of any kind since they're so easily manipulated and "guess-timated," but I do like looking at some of the stuff for fun.

Rodell said...

This all looks fun. I need to get hitched up and glean some info. Thanks for another great tip, Angie!

Donna M. Kohlstrom said...

I had bunches of all that techno/stats stuff and rarely looked at it so I deleted all mine. Stats watching, for me, means less time visiting you all and enjoy others visitng me! I deleted Twitter and Facebook too. I'd rather be blogging and writing.

The Things We Carried said...

I need to learn more about all this!

Lori said...

I am generally overwhelmed by the statistics. And they can also become addictive. So I try to avoid paying much attention.

Angie Ledbetter said...

You're welcome, Chris Rodell. You'll probably get much more out of it than I do with my casual browsing.

Donna - I look at a report every couple of months and that's it. No FB for me and I'm just a Twit dabbler. :)

TTWC - Me too!

Lori - Peeking at 'em the way I do, no chance of addiction blooming. LOL

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Someone found me with "Wildflower Toddlerhouse." ????

Shammickite said...

boo no the go???? What?

Embee said...

I don't get nearly enough blog traffic to pay any attention to the stat counter thingy. I probably wouldn't have a clue how to decipher it anyway. But all those silly key words you listed about your blog made me giggle. Maybe someday if my blog is ever as big and famous as yours, I'll take the time to figger it out!

Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Hey Cuz! I look at the Feejit live every once in awhile and I am shocked sometimes at what word searched gets them to me! :)

Vodka Mom said...

to be honest, I am COMPLETELY FASCINATED by the Site meter stuff!!!

I need some internet rehab!!!

♥ Boomer ♥ said...

Afraid I don't pay attention to that. Daughter does and keeps up with that, but not I. I do well just to express myself 3 or 4 times a week. :-)

... AND, learn as much as I can while I enjoy tidbits from around the world! I love the tidbits you share.

Michelle H. said...

I have a hate/hate relationship with stat counters. Sitemeter never worked on mine, and the other I have now, I can barely get onto their website to check.

I mainly go through Google Analyticals when I'm curious about my keywords. Strangely enough, the biggest hits I get on keywords are for song lyrics and whenever someone is looking up my full name.

Debbie said...

I have something but it isn't as fancy as yours. I mostly ignore it because I am the type of person that could get consumed by something like that!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Carrie - did ya ever figure out the connection? :)

LOL Shammickite. The only thing I can figure is there's a Boo & Thib joke that has that phrase in it.

Embee - Well, you got the "big" part right. Not so much on the "famous." hehe I don't even look at stats except to get a giggle and to see the neat map that shows visitors' countries. All the rest of it's over my head.

Carol/Cuz, yeah, it's all about the fun for me too.

Vodka Mom - You must be innundated with stats with all your visitors & comments! Maybe you can give the rest of us neophytes a tutorial? :)

Boomer - I enjoy your blog too!

That's interesting Michelle. Wonder what it means? LOL

Debbie - The statcounter must be easy as pie since I was able to install it when I started this blog last September. And I don't know enough (or care) about the functions to become addicted. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

You know, I used to have a stat counter on mine and then a few months ago deleted it. Why? Because if I went on and found a drop in numbers, I found myself discouraged and not enjoying the process and people. I don't count anymore--just enjoy and I know that's not the best way to go about it--but I am so stinking insecure, I had to!

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