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Blog Exercises: Statistics and Web Analytics

Blog Exercises on Lorelle on WordPress.If you have been following these Blog Exercises for the past six months, your site should be rocking. I asked you early on to define what you do clearly as it helped to clarify your site purpose and goals and your reason for blogging. You were to define your specific audience, part of identifying like minds, those you wish to have in your online community and as customers. In the process, you were to also focus on developing relationships with other bloggers, with those who influence your own work, and how to write about others using proper citation within copyright laws, and how to group people together complemented by association and reputation, and how to become a fan blogger, passionate about your subject matter.

Many of these blog exercises involved improving your commenting and response skills, learning how to create polls and surveys,

You should also now be familiar with trackbacks and backlinks, understanding their power to encourage visitors to and from your site, and how to response to them.

You’ve been working on a consistent workflow, developing your editorial calendar to schedule posts during the year with attention to seasons, anniversaries, industry events, and monthly events and holidays.

With all this excitement on your site, you should be generating consistent content and activity. Right?

It’s now time to start examining all this activity, learning how to evaluate and measure it.

Blog Exercise Task from Lorelle on WordPress.It’s time to talk stats.

Stats from the original stats program for Lorelle on WordPress.Today’s blog exercise is to introduce you to the concept of stats, better known as site statistics, and the basics of web analytics.

Let’s begin with some basic terminology.

Go to “Web Statistics and Analytics Glossary,” an article I published recently to help my college students learn the terminology associated with web statistics and analytics.

Review the words that make up the world of counting visitors on the web. I can be like learning a new language. These are the words of your business, or your industry, as a blogger and web publisher.

Check out your web statistics and analytics program.

Poke around the web statistics and analytics you currently have access to on your site. You may have more than one. Get familiar with it. What features does it offer?

Can you track visitors by type such as unique visitors? Can you easily identify their location? What pages they read? The search terms? Most popular posts? Clicks and referral links? Go through each section and study it. What information does it provide? Does it offer comparisons, comparing one stat to other or against time? Learn what your stats or analytics program can do and the basics of how to use it.

If you are on, check your Stats.

If you have a self-hosted WordPress site, consider adding the free Stats WordPress Plugin found in the Jetpack WordPress Plugin.

If you haven’t already, sign up for Google Analytics.

NOTE: Google Analytics is now available on sites. Go to Tools > Available Tools > Website Verification Services and add the Google Webmaster Tools code there. It should connect directly to your Google Webmaster Tools account, thus Google Analytics. If you wish a more complicated method, Jonathon Balogh found a work-around that is not for the light-hearted and not completely free.

There are a variety of stats and web analytics programs to experiment with. See examples of free or inexpensive options featured in Mashable’s listing of 5 super cheap web analytics tools and VR Marketing Blog list.

Over the next few months, we’ll dig into your stats to help you understand which stats to pay attention to and introduce you to basic web analytics so you can get a grip on how your site is doing and how to make it do better.

Remember to include a hat tip link back to this post to create a trackback, or leave a properly formed link in the comments so participants can check out your blog exercise task.

You can find more Blog Exercises on . This is a year-long challenge to help you flex your blogging muscles.

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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen.


  1. vizzi
    Posted July 19, 2013 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Analytics are very important! They help you to understand your blog and audience. Measuring them and aiming to improve them, give you a great base to move your blog forward.

    • Posted July 19, 2013 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Analytics are important, but only if you understand their meaning. We often become obsessed with tracking data that doesn’t help move the site forward, which will be part of upcoming topics within these blog exercises. Thanks.

      • vizzi
        Posted July 19, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        I agree. But I think they can be invaluable tool to find the things that are working and things that aren’t.

        I look forward to reading them!

  2. Posted July 24, 2013 at 3:02 am | Permalink

    Thanks for an informative article. Also, thanks for reminding me that yesterday I changed themes and needed to put my tracking code back in! I wouldn’t have done it without you. At least not until a few days and couldn’t figured out why I had no data!

    • Posted July 24, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      If you are using, the tracking should be in the core rather than the Theme. If you are using Google Analytics or another web analytics program, use a WordPress Plugin or put the code in a Text Widget to avoid losing it when you change Themes. Such code should be independent of any Theme.

      Always glad to help! 😀

6 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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