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What Blog Statistic Gets Most of Your Attention?

As part of my daily routine, I check in on this blog to the blog statistics found on the WordPress.com Dashboard. There, I can check only vague information like how many visitors, what search engine keywords brought them here, the most popular posts, and the most popular referals. Back on the Dashboard, I check for Incoming Links, to see who is linking here. If I have time, I will also check my SiteMeter account and Alexa to see how this blog is doing, but I usually do that once a month rather than daily.

On my main site, I get a lot more statistics to mull over, but it got me thinking about which statistic means the most, and which statistic should get most of my attention. Then I stumbled upon ProBlogger’s Which Statistic is Most Crucial to Your Blogging and this gave me a new perspective on my statistic investigations.

Darren Rowse asked the question:

“If you could only check one statistic on your blog what would it be?”

Note – I’m not talking about what statistics package (ie Sitemeter, Google Analytics etc) – I’m talking about one statistic from any such stats package.

Would you want to know visitor levels, your adsense total earnings, affiliate commissions, page views, referrers, outgoing links…. etc?

From among the comments starting to be generated, it appears that page views, unique visitors, and referals are top of the list. People seem to say the same thing: They want to know how many people are visiting, where they are coming from, and what are they looking at.

Still, it begs the question. If you could only check one statistic on your blog, what would it be? And if you are a WordPress.com blogger, are you getting the statistics that matter to you? Are there some statistics you would like to see added here? What do you think?


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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen

4 Comments

  1. Posted March 11, 2006 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    Certainly page views, unique visitors, and referals are important but I would add returning visitors and page views per session – being equally important.

    The returning visitors and page views per session stats tell me how captivating the content is and the loyalty factor. It also is a good indicator of use “ability” or can people easily find what they want?

  2. Posted March 11, 2006 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    I find the search engine keywords as the most amusing statstics on my stats tools. It’s just so funny sometimes to see what people were looking for.

  3. Posted January 13, 2009 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    I agree that we really need the stats to include returning visitors and page views per session.

    I am still learning how to interpret the WordPress stats – learning how to total up the number of visitors vs number of referral sources vs number of pages viewed.

    I have only recently worked out that the home page doesn’t seem to count as a “page view” – I guess because it is the landing page. It’s a shame that I have just worked that out because I had a lot of traffic today that went to the ABOUT page and it is exactly the same as the home page – because I didn’t know to set them up differently. So, I lost the chance to convert some good traffic. Back to the drawing board.

    There is a lot of LIY here (Learn It Yourself). We are also doing some work with Alphainventions to build traffic we can understand and interpret.

    Thanks for asking the question, Lorelle.

    • Posted January 13, 2009 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      A “landing page” is any page on your site that people see first when they arrive on your site. It can be the front, but more likely any page on your site that turns up in their search engines or from a link from another source leading to your page.

      Front pages count as pageviews, if people land on it, but if they aren’t landing on your front page the most, then it’s still a pageview, just low on your stats. Too many people put all their energy into their front page design instead of on the pages which people arrive the most. Your About Page is critical to explaining who you are and what you do, especially the purpose of your blog. It should NOT be the same as your “home” front page view. It has a purpose so let it serve that purpose.

      There are a lot of things to learn, so I’m glad you are really looking at all the statistics and learning how to use them. My work with Woopra is teaching me things I never thought about in the numbers. I’ll be writing more about that there, so come visit me. :D

      As for what Alphainventions are doing, I’m still very leery. There are a lot of complains and while the guy has the best intentions, I would not use it as a resource for stats or traffic building until they have figured out how they are working. That is not a good measure. Go with known metrics and processes to build traffic, like improving your content for keywords and spending time with like-minded communities.


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