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.