I’m very excited to have the opportunity to host a Mini-Challenge for the 3rd Edition Bloggiesta put together by Natasha of Maw Books. The last Bloggiesta was my very first and I accomplished so much that I knew I wanted to participate again. So, without further babbling on my part…

As a book reviewer or someone just looking to improve their overall site, stats can be a very useful tool. This can also be a source of great stress and confusion for most bloggers, even those of us who have been doing it for some time now. So in an effort to help sort through the numbers and get to the information you *really* need to know we’re offering up this mini-challenge. The overall goal here though is to have fun, learn something new and hopefully improve on your already fabulous site!

**Your assignment: Set up one account with a Stats Site and have some fun with it!
**

**Sites:**Each of the sites listed below can take up to 24 hours to verify your website information. No two stats sites are exactly alike and there are quite a few more than are listed below. Make sure to use a reputable company and try to keep it to a minimum (don’t try all of them at once). So, pick one or two to try at the beginning of Bloggiesta and then come back to start utilizing and understanding how they work after you’ve set up your account. If you have problems setting up your account or questions about the process don’t hesitate to ask either via Twitter or by email

*the1stdaughter {at} gmail {dot} com*.

**Google Analytics**(Personally, this is the one I use and I really like how easy it is to use.)

***Added***WordPress users may want to install this plug-in to make it really easy to access your GA stats: Google Analytics for WordPress**Woopra**(Similar to Google Analytics just a different style.)**Site Meter**(I also use this as a backup, easy to grab stats. They also email you once a week.)**StatCounter**(Simple to use counter showing number of hits and location daily. Also, one of the few that work with WordPress.com websites.)**IceRocket by Blog Tracker**(Suggested by Stacy from A Novel Source)

**Let’s Play Around with That Great Data Now:** There are a few “Big” things that can get you started off in your journey with stats. Below is a list of suggestions to start with as well as some tips on where to find the information you’re looking for. Remember that the data you are looking at will only be from the date you started your Stats account, most don’t go back to your blog start date.

**Average Daily Hits.***The number of people visiting your site everyday.*

Using Google Analytics click on the**“Visitor Trending”**Tab and then**“Visits”**. This will tell you the average number of visits per day based on the dates you put in the top right box.**Average Monthly Page Views.***The number of “pages” viewed each month. Pages can be tabs, menus, archives, anything that takes them away from the home page.*

Using Google Analytics click on the**“Visitor Trending”**Tab and then**“Pageviews”**. This will tell you the number of pageviews for your site based on the dates you put in the top right box. If you want to calculate your monthly number, just pull out your calculator and divide the number by of months during this time.**Average Monthly Unique Visitors.***The number of “brand new” visitors to your site.*

Using Google Analytics click on the**“Visitor Trending”**Tab and then**“Absolute Unique Visitors”**. This will tell you the number of unique visitors for your site based on the dates you put in the top right box. If you want to calculate your monthly number, just pull out your calculator and divide the number by of months during this time.**Current RSS Subscribers.**Make sure to head over to Puss Reboots Mini-Challenge to set up your RSS feed. Once this is done you can install a button that tells you how many subscribers you have or just check it from time to time.

**Additional Tools:**

**Problogger:**If you haven’t subscribed to Problogger’s site, I would highly recommend it. He always has a ton of great tips for improving your site. His article**17 Statistics to Monitor on Your Blog**is perfect for anyone at any level and will give you some extra fun things to look at with your blog stats over time.**Google Analytics Blog:**This is perfect because if you have a question, they’re sure to have an answer. If you are a beginner, they even have a category to use to get started called Beginner Topics.**YouTube**also has a great video by Google called,**Beginning Analytics: Interpreting and Acting on Your Data**, just don’t pay attention to the bit about e-commerce unless you’re really interested in it. There are also some other great Analytics videos on there you can check out.**Smashing Voice**also has a fantastic Guide to Using Google Analytics and Tools.**Woopra**has a great set of posts all about Using Woopra, as well as a video review that has me thinking about trying it out.

Remember, this should be fun! Play around with the stats and use them to make your site better. If you notice a particular month has low visits, take a look at what you blogged about and compare it to a more visited month. You may find that your visitors like a certain post more than another. Use these tools to keep improving and enjoying your blogging experience.

I’m by no means an expert, but if you have questions, again, feel free to contact me either on Twitter, via email (*the1stdaughter {at} gmail {dot} com)* or on my contact page.

Natasha has some wonderful prizes for those of you who participate in these challenges so once completed this challenge **come back and let me know** how it went in the comments below. You have until the end of Bloggiesta to complete this mini-challenge and report.

**Enjoy the Bloggiesta festivities and ‘Ole’!**

Thanks this post was really useful. I have installed Sitemeter on my site, and love looking through the stats. My question would be: do I have to install Google Analytics too? does it give any plus than Sitemeter or is Sitemeter enough? Thanks for thsi challenge.

sorry, forgot to leave my e-mail: stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

I use Google Analytics, and it’s been extremely helpful. I didn’t actually know about any of the other stats sites, so I’ve been checking them out. The Problogger site is great, too. I’ve been reading over the 17 Stats to Monitor page that you linked to, and it’s definitely helped me evaluate what posts are the most popular.

[…] #5 – stats – done! @1:00am Sunday […]

Thanks for the mini-challenge! I fumbled my way through Google Analytics and I think I’ve got it all set up!

Awesome mini challenge! I have Google Analytics all set up and working now

Thanks for the mini-challenge…it was good for me to re-vamp my stats and also just pay attention to them in detail a little bit more. Thanks for the well wishes too!

Courtney

Stiletto Storytime

Great tips! I’ve used sitemeter for years, but I think I’ll try out Google Analytics for more specific info.

I’ve been using Google Analytics for awhile. But, this weekend I decided to learn a little more about how it works. I’ve just been glancing at the numbers from time to time.

Thanks Danielle for this fun mini challenge. I already use Google Analytics, Site Meter, and Stat Counter. But had never hear of Woopra. I have it set up now and interested to see which one I like the most.

neverendingshelf@gmail.com

Thanks for all the info! I’ve had Google Analytics installed for a while but now plan to use more of its features.

I signed up with sitemeter yesterday. I just checked the site (1 1/2 days later) and it is full of zeros. It says NO ONE has visited my site. I know this isn’t true because I have new comments and followers since I signed up.

Any ideas on what is going wrong?

Thanks,

Heather

I tried out stat counters, but I’m not sure if I’ve gotten it to work right yet. I guess only time will tell!

Thank you for the great mini-challenge!

The email is: sugarcubequeen (at) gmail (dot) com

[…] Danielle at There’s a Book (@the1stdaughter) – Do you know what programs you can use to discover your stats and what the heck do they mean anyways? […]

Okay! It’s all set up! I don’t have much data – but if I never start I’ll never have any. At least it’s a start and I can use it from now on to see how my blog does! Very cool! Thanks! jen@teachmentortexts.com

Thanks for the reminder to check my stats! This and the ProBlogger post helped me make more sense out of exactly what I’m looking at. There’s almost too much information on Google Analytics!

I just added Google Analytics recently but hadn’t figured it all out yet. Thanks for the links! Very helpful. I’ve had Sitemeter on my blog for a while, but I tend to ignore it.

I finally got it figured it out. It works! Thanks.

Glad to hear it!

I’ve been using Google Analytics through Google’s site, but I didn’t know about the plug-in. At your suggestion, I just added it. At first, I wasn’t sure what to do with it, but then I watched the video the creator has up on the plug-in website (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/google-analytics-for-wordpress/) and I realized just how cool a plug-in it is. Thanks!

[…] It’s All About the Numbers @ There’s A Book […]

Thanks for the suggestions, they’ve really helped with my blog. Now I know where all my readers are coming from and what sort of posts they read.

Glad this was still linked! times have changed since I made my first website (1998) and had a simply view counter and guest book on there LOL but I just installed the Google Stats program, basically right now it will be reminding me that I have very few visitors lol but hopefully that will change, have only been blogging in this space since October. Thanks for the info! I’m not good at math but I’ll let the program do the math for me 😉

Very cool…got Analytics set up and analyzing away. It’ll be interesting to see what goes on behind the curtains that are backstage! ^_^

myneedtoread (at) gmail (dot) com

Okay, Google Analytics, giving it a try! Thanks 😀

[…] Stats How-to’s at There’s A Book – Do you know what programs you can use to discover your stats and what the heck do they mean anyways? […]

[…] The biggest help, so far, has been Danielle’s Mini-Challenge from the summer 2010 Bloggiesta: Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge: It’s All About the Numbers. […]

Thank you so much for this post! I decided to work with Google Analytics and love it! Its very easy and now I know more about my blog visitors. Also, now I’m also following ProBlogger and Google Analytics Blog, they have great tips!

You are so welcome! Happy to help!

I absolutely agree! Problogger has so many great tips, it’s a fantastic resource!

[…] Danielle at There’s a Book (@the1stdaughter): I took a look at my google analytics. I’ve had it on my site for awhile, but it’s been so complicated, I haven’t tried figuring it out. But, I looked at a lot of the other stats, including bounce rate and tried to determine what types of content works best on my site. […]