Sunday, June 26, 2011

Blog Statistics! (And do they matter?)

Many writers I know are allergic to statistics. When these writers get too close to a statistic, they tend to exhibit one (or more) of the following symptoms: headache, drowsiness, nausea, blurry vision, irritability. Personally, I've never had this problem with statistics.
Earlier today, I decided to play around with the design of my blog and check in on my own statistics. (By the way, you can sign up for e-mail updates over on the right.) What I found was interesting--to me anyway.

Most common browsers:
44% - Internet Explorer
28% - Firefox
13% - Safari
9%   - Chrome

There were a few others in there too, which is why those numbers don't add up to 100%, but these were by far the most common. I remember when IE was far and away the top dog, so it's interesting to see the other three creeping up.

Top referring sites:
Poetic Asides

The order of these is a little surprising. I would've thought Facebook was on top, and though I don't often refer from my Poetic Asides site, I'm delighted to see that Google searches refer better than my popular poetry blog. It means that I must be doing something effectively with my SEO. Speaking of which...

Top search keywords:
Robert Lee Brewer (Robert Brewer and Robert Brewer Twitter were also in the Top 10)
My Name Is Not Bob
Best Blogs to Follow
Best Christmas Albums (Top 10 Christmas Albums was also in the Top 10)
Best Meatloaf Ever

First, I'm glad that people who are searching for Robert Lee Brewer and My Name Is Not Bob can find this blog. Second, I'm surprised that people find my blog when searching for the best Christmas albums and best meatloaf ever. I'll take what I can get, I guess.

Here are the posts that have performed best on MNINB:
All-time: Best Blogs for Writers to Follow (originally posted 2/9/11)
This month: Revision Tips for Writers (originally posted 6/8/11)
This week: SEO Tips for Writers (originally posted 12/23/10)

Sooooo... Do statistics matter?
They do; they do, though not as much as some people would have you believe. Knowing trends and past performance is important for figuring out what has worked in the past and what may work in the future. However, I don't think it benefits most bloggers to sit around monitoring their stats day and night.

My advice is to check your blog statistics every so often and think deeply about the following:
  • How can I improve my blog traffic from other sites? Maybe there are ways to use Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn more effectively. Maybe there are ways to improve SEO for search engines like Google.
  • How can I keep that traffic engaged on my blog? Maybe there are certain topics that just naturally draw more interest than others. Think about what they share in common. Of course, you may also need to increase the frequency of your posts.
For me, I know that I should probably start really hammering away on amazing Christmas albums and meatloaf.


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Rachel Green said...

it blows my mind
that people still use
internet explorer

Jennifer Ruth Jackson said...

I'm not good at SEO or stats.
I have a poetry contest going on there right now, though. It's about as technical as I can get... lol

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Jennifer, I use blog stats as a more general indicator, along with a lot of other information, including feedback from readers in the comments and via e-mail. The stats let me know what's really going on, but the actual feedback is more helpful than the stats most of the time.

Ahkenaten Kor said...

I agree with that. I don't really care about traffic to my blog, but sometimes it's interesting to see how people end up at your blog. I once had someone come in from a site that helps to improve one's golf swing!I agree with that. I don't really care about traffic to my blog, but sometimes it's interesting to see how people end up at your blog. I once had someone come in from a site that helps to improve one's golf swing!

Tressa said...

"Stat?! Stat?! What is 'Stat'?" Sorry, trekked out for a moment there. I only recently "discovered" Stats and it appears I have much work to do!

Robert Lee Brewer said...

Just remember, Tressa, stats are just numbers. Nothing too dangerous.

Kerry Dwyer said...

It amuses me that the search term that hits my blog the most often is 'slut'. I am sure most of them will be disappointed to find there is only one slut reference on my blog and that is the Slut's guide to housework. :)