So, you’ve got your blog up and running. Are you tracking your blog’s usage statistics? No? Then stop right there! It’s important to know how many visitors/pageviews you get in a month. Why? Well, it’s a good gauge of how well you’re blog is doing.
I’m serious, no one should be without blog statistics. It won’t cost you a dime, and it won’t take much effort to set up.
The two most-used stat-tracking systems work on any website, without installing anything. You just need to paste a couple lines of code into your blog template.
Google Analytics is my favorite tool for stat-tracking. It can track nearly anything you’d want to know about your website. Recently Google added a really cool feature that allows you to add/remove little “StatBoxes” on the main page, so you can keep an eye on your statistics without digging through menus. All they need to do is add AdSense and FeedBurner statistics and it’ll be just about perfect.
pMetrics is less intimidating than Google Analytics, though it’s a pain typing the URL in. Everything is easy to navigate, and clear as to it’s function. The developers at pMetrics have put in some great features that are hard to find elsewhere too. You’ve got FeedBurner stats, a live-updated view (sort of like DiggSpy) of the traffic to your site (really cool if you have a heavily-trafficked site), and you can tag IPs with names so you can complain to your friends that they’ve only been visiting once a week.
Both operate in a similar manner. You register, enter a couple things about your site (URL, RSS feed, etc) then you paste a bit of code into your blog template. After a couple days, you’ll start to have meaningful stats on the site’s dashboard.
Can’t decide on a stat-tracking site? Use ‘em both. In the end, if you decide you like one better, ditch the other one.