Understanding Your Blog Statistics

Please welcome today’s guest poster, Tara Anderson. She is one very smart cookie and has some amazing advice for you on getting to know your readers. Knowing who your readers are is very important when working with PR! You will need this information when pitching and determining which pitches will work well on your blog. Let’s give our guest lots of comment love-which by the way is now do-follow:) Our guest blogger next week will explain why that really helps you!

My name is Tara and I’m a stats junkie. While acknowledging is the first and most difficult step, I haven’t always been this way. It really started when I took a job at Lijit and began to understand the power that useful analytics have. There is no excuse, in this new decade, not to know as much as possible about your blog readers.

[Disclaimer: I work for Lijit. I check Google Analytics occasionally and only understand them at the most basic level. If you’re looking for an explanation of GA, I’m the wrong person. And this is the wrong post.]

You might have heard some talk or read some posts about “reader intent”. The most basic definition of this is exactly what you might think: what is a reader doing on my site. I hope they’re laughing at my most recent attempt at humor, but I don’t know that for sure. I also want them to get a better feeling of who I am, but that’s another thing I can’t be certain is happening. What I do know, if I have Lijit installed on my blog, is what my readers are doing with that search box.

And that, my friends, is where the power of the Lijit stats comes into play. Let me show you what I mean…

Think you don’t have readers in other countries?

Think again. With the world getting smaller, chances are better than ever that your page views are coming from a variety of places around the globe. Turns out I have way more readers in Spain than I ever thought.  Also…with this stat, I ALWAYS know when my mom has been reading my blog. Tell me, that’s not useful information.

Curious about how people are finding your blog?

Statistics screenshot: Top Searches

Who isn’t? This list tells you exactly what people are typing into Google, Bing or Yahoo in order to end up on your site. In addition to being highly entertaining, it gives you a window into what people, or at least the search engines, think you’re an expert in. (And in case you’re wondering, yes, I was an extra in the movie Office Space.)

Care about community?

Statistics screenshot: blogroll

What kind of a blogger would you be if you didn’t? We let you know what other blogrolls you’re showing up on so that you can return the favor, or at least send a note of thanks. Lijit has over 2 million blogs in our network, so while there might be a few omissions from that list, we know about a LOT of blogs. We probably have you covered.

At this point, you might be scratching your head and wondering to yourself, “Doesn’t Lijit provide search for my readers?” Yes, in fact we do, and that is where the analytics around reader intent become most interesting. Especially if you’re a stats junkie like me.

What are people searching for on my blog?

Statistics screenshot: Top Searches

This is the bucket o’gold, folks. Unless you’re paying big money for a stats package, you’re not going to be able to find this information anywhere else. Your readers are actually typing terms into your Lijit search box…this is ENGAGEMENT at its finest. (Well, besides comments, which we all love…) But taking the energy to find out more about your content means that your readers are actually doing something other than just reading your blog—perfect example of intent. They are looking for more and Lijit is helping them to find it.

What should I be writing about?

Statistics screenshot: Last Search

The million dollar question, right? While my personal Lijit stat doesn’t include anything on the above list, let’s say that the term “blogging” was on there. If someone is searching for blogging on my site and not getting any results, that’s a huge lightbulb and the very next thing I should be writing about. Because I care about my audience and because they think I know something about blogging…which may or may not be true. J

In the interest of space, I’ve shown only five examples from the many different stats we provide. We also let you know what search results your readers are clicking on the most, what search engine they’re most frequently coming from and how much money you’re making on ads. You didn’t think I was going to skip over the money part, did you?

Our service definitely helps your readers to find even more of the awesome stuff. That’s important. But, in my opinion, our true value lies in how we can help you, the blogger, to be an even better blogger. You don’t have to pay anything for Lijit and the information we give you…priceless. (Not to mention that we make things super easy by emailing you a weekly stats summary every Sunday night!)

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment (we listen!) or tweet something out (we care!). I’m happy to help as well, so shoot me an email (tara@lijit.com).

It’s easy to sign up and install Lijit. You can do so here, if you’re interested: www.lijit.com

I appreciate Barb giving me a chance to explain a bit about the stats that Lijit offers and if you’re still wondering about Lijit, give our search a try at the top of her blog. She’s using our WordPress plugin, which allows you to hijack your default WordPress search bar. (Insert blog terrorist joke here.)

Thanks again and I hope to see you all Lijit soon!

About Tara:
Tara’s been a public school teacher, restaurant manager, stand-up comedienne, massage therapist, and is now the Marketing Manager for Lijit. She spends her days reaching out to new and potential Lijit users along with maintaining the company’s blog and Twitter account. When not figuring out new ways of growing the Lijit community, she enjoys backpacking, running and writing about funny things that happen to her over at her personal blog, TallTara.com.

Would you like to be a guest blogger for PR Mondays? Send me an email.

Comments

  1. Thanks for having me Barb! And for using Lijit…

    See you later this week!

  2. Hey Tara – this is really good! While I have google analytics on my personal blog, I never check them because lijit gives me everything I need – all summed up in a nice weekly email I might add. Whenever I set up a new site, I install Lijit first, and google analytics later.
    My recent post How to print for cheap without refilling your own cartridges

  3. What a great post. Thank you Tara and Barb. I love this series and I'm thinking you convinced me to ad least try Lijit on my blog. :)
    My recent post Not Me Monday: Diapers and Jeans

  4. Wow. You’re smart AND you’re funny? How not fair is that?

    Thanks for sharing your vast array of knowledge along with the accompanying vast array of Lijit Helpful Stuff For Bloggers.

    My recent post Haiti. Tears. Beauty.

  5. Wow. You're smart AND you're funny? How not fair is that?

    Thanks for sharing your vast array of knowledge along with the accompanying vast array of Lijit Helpful Stuff For Bloggers.

    My recent post Haiti. Tears. Beauty.

    • Becky, you're too kind. I actually believe you can't have one without the other…being funny is only good if you're making smart jokes. And vice versa.

      Glad you enjoyed the post. Feel free to send other questions my way!

  6. Thanks for the helpful intro. I'm using Google Analytics – barely scraping the surface but I'm always on the lookout for other blogging tools.

  7. Great post! I am a long-time Lijit user and I highly recommend it.
    My recent post Average Jane's Studio Kitteh Update

  8. Lori Cooney says:

    So, I'm totally new to this blog scene and loving learning all that I can…Barb, you are the absolute best! This was such an informative post. I'm excited to get started on my blog, even though I'm SO stuck on choosing a name, but when I do I'll be sure to use Lijit too. Thanks Tara:)

  9. Thank you Tara for this explanation! So very helpful!
    My recent post Everything In 2010: Week 4

  10. I just signed up for legit today = how I found this blog. My stats haven’t started coming in yet….hmmm… but I’m really looking forward to them. I am obsessed with my site meter stats but more info is better, right?
    my last post http://seesaw.typepad.com/blog/2010/01/max-fleish

    And you can bet I’m subscribing to Elementary Spirits RSS.
    My recent post max fleischer and the Rotoscope: Out of the Inkwell

    • Liza, you'll receive a weekly stats summary every Sunday night that comes to your inbox. Additionally, you can log into your Lijit account at any time and click on the 'Stats' tab in order to see your real-time stats.

      If you have other questions, feel free to send them my way. And thanks again for using Lijit!

  11. Hey Tara,

    I have a question for you. I noticed that the Lijit plugin is one of the last things to load on my site, I wonder whether this has any impacts on my google analytics code which is located much further down on the website than the Lijit code. The reason I'm asking is because I noticed my Lijit plugin reporting much more visits than my Google analytics.

    Thanks.
    David.
    My recent post 529 Plans Are The Best Choice If You Want To Save For College

  12. I haven’t used Lijit before so I’m definitely going to give it a try. Thanks for the explanation!

  13. You bet…it was my pleasure. Be sure to send any Lijit questions that might come up to me!