Something I’m learning a lot about (and I think I have a handle on it) is analytics. What the numbers mean, how they can be used wisely as time rolls on and are they any good for a blog.
I will start out by saying I’m a numbers freak. I love watching my Woopra live stats through the day or getting my daily email feed from Google showing the visits and hits. Sure I don’t get a lot of traffic, but it’s traffic and it’s exciting to see and watch what people are doing.
So, what can I do with these numbers?
One of the important stats you can get is the screen resolution of your regular visitors. Why is this important?
Well, look at the image above. As you can see, only 36 people visit my site using 800x600 – which means that I can comfortably design the layout for 960px wide without fear of really screwin’ with the numbers. No offense you little resolution people.
This helps to cater your site to your majority resolution holders. Which is good..
As the browser wars rage on this is an important stat to watch. Many people know that Internet Explorer (exploder) doesn’t like some CSS or other layout styles. FireFox is usually the browser to use, but many people still use IE. For unknown reasons.
So, watching this stat will help you to know what lengths you need to go through to style your site well. As you can see, FireFox leads the pack. IE 7 follows far behind trailed by the horrid IE6 (why don’t you people upgrade?!). Apple’s Safari is low numbers … you can take all these stats and decide what you want to do. Style for IE6 (no PNG, CSS fix galore) or let them drown? Safari will display the site fine – if IE7 does so will Safari (Apple and Microsoft are good friends, see?).
While not as important design wise, knowing who your visitors are really does help. If you’re serious about your blog, you’ll want to know what kind of visitors you have. As you can see, I have a lot of Window’s visitors. I don’t have very many Fedora, so I probably won’t post many articles or talk about Fedora much (hey, I don’t even use it!). I do have a small group of Mac users rolling in, so I can confidently do something for them – however if most of my users are Window’s based than it is reasonable to think they should be my target audience.
Keywords & Quiries
Woopra also gives you stats like what keywords were used in searching for your site and what queries where used. I can’t remember if Google Analytics does that also – but I’m sure they do since they do adword sales.
According to this stat, Photoshop is the top keyword for my site – so if I want to drive more traffic I’d want to do some articles about Photoshop such as tutorials or free brushes and actins. ‘nen’ is the next keyword – which I have no clue what that means.
Other ENGLISH words that are top are: tutorial, light, desktop, wallpaper. So you can start understanding how this will aid you in sculpting your content
Here you see the queries – what phrases are people searching. ‘Kill them with kindness’ is the top list – which surprised me in this day. Again, you see some foreign text (my blog is translated in a lot of languages) and other Photoshop terms.
Take these with the keywords and you can have a pretty good idea what kind of people browse my site. Mostly it seems people looking for Photoshop tutorials. So, theoretically I should start making my own tutorials.
So, are you see some of these stats do play on what your blog does. Unless it’s just a blog for blogging sake (like my site here) than you really need to look at your current demographic and try and mold your site.
Don’t drop looking at stats. These can be and should be as important as the design and the content of your site. It will help you become more successful in the saturated blog industry because you’ll be able to find your nitch easier and garner to more of your current ‘fan base’.
Good luck and happy blogging.