Three Services to Track Your Blog Stats

Friday, October 23, 2009

I am often asked which sites bloggers in the wedding industry should use for tracking visitor statistics for their own websites and blogs. Whether you want to measure your wedding blog's traffic or simply channel your inner Nancy Drew, here are a three analytics services and some thoughts on each:

Google Analytics
Cost: free
Google Analytics is, by far, the most powerful free tracking service available on the market today. It is even better than some of the paid services (in large part because it used to be a somewhat pricey paid service before Google bought it). It allows you to track unique visitors, returning visitors, the amount of time those visitors spend on your site, the keywords people type into Google to find your site (example: wedding florist in San Francisco), the time of day your blog gets the most amount of traffic and much more.  In addition, Google also recently purchased Feedburner, which tracks subscribers, and has been integrating those statistics into Google Analytics as well. If you only had to choose one statistics tracker to use, I would recommend Google Analytics.

Cost: free for the most recent 500 visits, then $19.99 and up per month
Perhaps the most useful function of Statcounter is the ability to track the IP addresses of each visitor to your site and the ability to tag those IP addresses for easy identification on future visits.  Because of this, I know exactly when specific people are on my site, including competitors, and exactly which pages and outgoing links they visit.  It is also helpful in knowing which pages potential clients have looked at so I know going into a meeting what they have read about my company and what they may have missed. I would not recommend using Statcounter on its own as it is not always the most accurate in recording each visit, but it is good in combination with other services.

Clicky Web Analytics
Cost: begins at $9.99 per month
Clicky features the ability to track and tag IP addresses, but also allows you to track product or link downloads per IP address. This makes it very easy for me to keep tabs on how many of my ebooks are downloaded, which are the most popular and who is downloading them. Clicky also allows you to integrate with Twitter links and track those as well.

There are many other statistics trackers available, but these are some of the most accessible cost-wise and powerful results-wise for solo entrepreneurs.

For best results, I recommend using a combination of different services and not depending solely on one. All of these analytics services will allow you to export data so you can keep it on file and create your own benchmarks to compare where you are at now, six months from now, and so forth.

Do you currently track your wedding blog or website's analytics? Which services do you use?

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