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Hit counters, statistics, visitor analysis

After you have created your very first blog and you have decided about its style, you can consider some gadgets to add on to your site. If you start a blog, most likely you will be curious if anyone reads it. To discover the popularity of your blog, you have to install a counter or statistic tracker.

In my opinion, the optimal and most reliable solutions are the server based statistics. (And of course the most reliable is to run a blog on your own server) If you are able to do the latter, most likely you are a trained webmaster. This post is rather for simple users that are not really experienced in the field of computer, for people who are not willing to be a professional programmer but would like to run a blog/website with simple solutions.

Even if you don't have your own server, it makes sense to write an e-mail to your host service provider asking if they have any official tracker set up for their customers. In same cases, they can provide you at least some basic data.

If you wanna know about the visitor statistics, you have to find your own way to track it. There are thousands of solutions which you can find by googleing these keywords: "hit counter, visitor statistics" or any similar expressions. They all work with a tracking code which is given in html format. This code has to be inserted into your site. Most often, I use the following counters:

Free hit counter
Free Hit Counter

This is the most simple solution which is available here: FREE HIT COUNTER
It counts every page hits but lately you can set it up to measure the unique visitors instead of the page hits. The difference is obvious if you downloaded your own site twice and your mom also downloaded it twice the page hits will be 4 altogether. This means 4 pageloads occured on your blog. But the value of the unique visitors will be only 2. Why? Because two persons made those 4 pageloads.

This counter is very simple, a pure single information on your pageloads or on your unique visitors which is visible directly on your site.

Extreme tracking

This counter is more sophisticated but still provides simple data. It is available here: www.extremetracking.com

extreme

This solution gives you definitely more information on your visitors. You can track the number of unique visitors, make a geo tracking (which means that you can discover the location of your visitors). In the referrer tracking section, you can have some info about the websites that refer to your blog and about the most common keywords that has led people to your site through search engines.

The disadvantage of this counter is that it doesn't archive your visitor stats. You can see the last 20 days/weeks/months only.

Statcounter

I like this counter because of its visual solution. It is not really detailed but you can have a perfect overview on your improvement on your site. The counter is available here: www.statcounter.com

statcounter

Google analytics

One of the most detailed visitor statistics are provided by google. After inserting the tracking code you will get a lot of really useful information and analysis for free on www.google.com/analytics

The site is available only if you already have a google account.

analytics

Google analytics is able to give you professional and dynamic information on your visitors. If you have a plan to take your project seriously, I think google analytics is something you have to try. Beside tracking your visitor stats, you can evaluate your campaigns, your sales or you can compare your results with other sites or with previous time periods.

Reliability

Do not be surprised if you try different counters and each of them will give you different results. My experience is that none of them are totally accurate. Even google analytics is slightly under/reporting your stats which are due to different reasons. The definition of hits, visits, pageloads are not the same at every service. Important dimension are the duration of the impression or the speed of the loading.

My advice is that choose one counter, rely on the data provided by that only one. On a long term, not the accuracy of the single days are important but the tendency of the changes.

3 comments:

uptownnerd said...

hit counter available at Gostats.com is very comprehensive and provide minute to minute updates of page views, unique views and loads of other options to choose from,

uptownnerd said...

hit counter available at Gostats.com is very comprehensive and provide minute to minute updates of page views, unique views and loads of other options to choose from,

Thomas said...

If you want to find accurate website analytics go to Gostats.com

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