It is better when maintaining a website to have a couple of methods of monitoring your traffic if possible. If you are blogging with WordPress then there are plugins such as WP Stats that do a brilliant job and Google’s Analytics package will provide more than enough information for you to be ploughing through all day long.
Installing Google Analytics
Getting started with one, or both, of these is easy. For Google Analytics, sign up for a Google Account (if you haven’t already done so) and then sign up to the Analytics service, giving your website address. You are then given a snippet of code which you cut and paste into your website.
It is best if this code is pasted late into the code on the page, usually just above the closing HTML tag. This way if it is slow loading, as it often seems to be, the entire page is not affected. Once inserted, stats should update every night to include the previous day’s statistics.
Traffic Statistics For WordPress
For WordPress blogs download the WP Stats plugin, activate it and enter your WordPress API. Make sure that the footer of your website includes the required wp_footer() code and then immediately start recording and displaying statistics. One of the great features of this tool is that it does not store the data on your database, thus saving you space.
Why Employ A Backup?
But, why should you use two package? Well in short, for confidence. If you only use one and one day it is showing a reduction or a huge increase in visitors, you will want to make sure these figures are correct and it is not, instead, an error with the reporting.
So having another source of traffic monitoring is a great help and will put your mind at rest. The backup package does not need to be anything too complicated. If you are using Google AdSense and that is on every page, then that also will give you a good indication of what patterns or website traffic you are experiencing daily.
What Should You Do With The Data?
So, now you have your statistics, what do you do with them? Well for a start, watch for the general traffic trend. Is your website traffic increasing, decreasing or level?
How are people finding your website? Are there key websites that are referring you visitors or search terms that send you a lot of visitors? If so, is there anything that you can do to improve the position? For example, if a keyword phrase sends a lot of visitors from a certain search engine, but you are listed 3rd in the results, can you do the work required to get you to 2nd or even 1st?
Look also at what your visitors are looking at – which pages they are seeing the most. It can be worth, if certain pages prove popular, making sure that these are easy to find for future visitors.