Unlike a commercial website, often bloggers are more interested in writing and reading blogs than spending time on doing web analytics and SEO related activities. And yet curiosity does get the better of you and even a novice takes steps to learn about who is visiting his blog and why.
A cursory interest is poked by the Stats page available on your blog itself. Savvier people get around to studying Webmaster tools offered by Google, Bing et al. But once you are really hooked, serious web analytics options interest you – Clicky is one such cool service that I am just discovering as we speak.
So what are things that would be interesting to know about people who visit your blogs. Guess the basics are known to most of us – their location, whether they are repeat visitors, an insight into the search tags that brought them to your blog, and how they managed to reach your blog. Using WordPress stats page gives you a hang of this fairly early on.
Then one hankers to know more, particularly about how is your presence on the popular search engines like Google, Bing et al as usually they drive the traffic to most of our blogs. Then you discover Webmaster tools and being an amateur SEO hand, making small tweaks and experiments to your blog’s appearance to check its impact of the website traffic you are able to generate. However again there is only a limited amount of data that can be gleaned from these tools.
Now imagine getting to know in real-time some amazing data – how long to the visitors stay on your blog, how they entered and how they exited, a ‘visitor path’ that traces the multiple pages they viewed, the tags that brought them to your blog, their location etc. Am sure that is only the starters one can see at Clicky.com but it is an enticing world for sure. You just don’t realize the amount of time you spend looking at the fascinating data that is generated real-time about your blog site. And it is presented so well with great visuals – the ‘Big Screen’ resembling a vital statistic screen like the ones you see while doing share trading is very appealing. So there you have an amazing option to load yourself with bells-and-whistles while reviewing web analytics for your blog.
There is an interesting concept called ‘Bounce Rate’ – it essentially represents visitors who land at your page but are not interested enough to stick around and look at some of the other interesting stuff that has been compiled by you as blog posts. It is not unusual given that most visitors reach your post through a ‘Tag’ and the content might not be what they are looking for. It is what we do ourselves while surfing the net. It just makes you that much wiser about tagging in your posts – meaningful tags make more sense than mindlessly adding multiple tags that are likely to be far too generic and may cause people of land at your page even when they are looking for something different.
Finally it is early days yet but I noticed a trend in the initial analysis of my posts over the past few days. It takes us at least an hour or so to create a blog post. But the human span of attention for reading it is far less and one often finds visitors quickly flitting across a few posts and moving on. Dedicated reading time seems to be limited to few of the visitors and on an average I doubt whether most people spend more than three minutes on a post unless they are really interested. Guess this means its better to have briefer posts and simpler language. That’s easier said than done, if that is not your natural writing style.
So I am enjoying my new toy for now – am not sure for how long I will be hooked on to it. Nonetheless these represent baby steps by an amateur blogger and I am sure there are more interesting web analytics treasure troves that are waiting to be discovered.