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Top 10 blog statistical metrics to track and why


Written by:
2010/06/18 08:28 AM RssIcon

Analytics Statistics are an important aspect of your blog or website if you want to make it a success. But statistics are useless if you do not know what to look for, how to interpret it. Statistics are meaningless if not applied correctly.

You need to keep track of your blog's statistics primarily to see what you can learn from it. Obviously you have to have some statistical collecting package installed.

Analyze your total visitors, most popular posts, referral sites, traffic sending keywords, bounce rates, visitor's avg. time on site etc. Google Analytics is the best tool for this kind of information.

Today we are going to go through some of the important metrics to track and what they mean.

1. Total Visitors

This is probably the most widely tracked metric. Because it is a moral booster and probably is seen as a direct sign of the popularity of a blog or website. Problem is that statistic packages available today are for the most part imperfect.

The thing to watch is not how many visitors you get, but the trend of your visitors. Does the trend go up or down. If so why?

Once you’ve found out, what do you do about it?

2. Page Views

This metric shows how many page views there were on your site. This is important because it shows how engaging your site is.

If your page views are close to the number of visitors, it means that your visitors are not browsing through your site. They normally read one page and then exit. What can you do to encourage them to read more?

You want your page views to be at least double your visitors or more. so that you can have a page view per visitor ratio of more than 2:1

3. Most popular posts

Self explanatory. Check to see which posts and what type of posts drew the most visits and or page views. Then endeavour to do some follow-up posts and / or write a few similar posts

4. Popular Keywords

These are words and phrases that were used to get to your site while searching, using the popular search engines like Google. They are the phrases that are sending the most traffic to your site. Take note of these keywords, then plan to write a few articles or posts that include them or are focused around the same theme.

See if you can optimise your other pages and posts to take advantage of these popular keywords.

6. Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is related to site visitors and page views and page views per visitor. Bounce Rate is measured as a percentage. It tells you what percentage of readers visit your site and then leave without browsing your site. They generally only read the one page and care not for any other pages on your site.

How can you decrease your bounce rate? How can you encourage your readers to read more? research some ways in which you can encourage your readers to stay longer.

The bounce rate will normally be different per site and per niche. So it’s difficult to estimate what a good bounce rate is. But generally you want to be below 60%

7. New vs. Returning Visitors

It will give you the idea if you are successful in converting your visitors into loyal ones or not? If your returning visitors are increasing together with new visitors, it's a good sign for you.

8. Top exit pages

These are pages that see the most readers leave. Check these pages to see how you can encourage more site browsing. Include more links to other related posts. Re-write the post or page to be engaging. Is the page too boring, is it too long or too short?

9. Referral sites

Which sites are sending you the most traffic. If it is another blogger. Write them a thank you email. Perhaps try to build up a relationship. Try to send them some of your traffic by writing an article that praises them and their site.

Don’t do it for just the one blogger, choose the top 5 or 10 and aim to improve that relationship.

10. Weekly and monthly trends

Check your stats over time. Compare periods to see what the trend is. Is it an upward trend or a downward trend. Some trends you want going up like visitors and page views. While others you would like to see trending down like bounce rate.

Remember that this is a patient game, and that stats mean more over time. So stick with it, be patient and committed to succeeding.


What have you learned from your site statistics lately? Which metrics do you consider to be important? Have I missed a few? Why not share with us your thoughts.

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