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28 June 2012

Blog Activity Tracking Comparison

Sometimes readers of your blog will do something to indicate their presence, such as leaving a comment, clicking a like button, or subscribing. Many readers, however, choose not to leave their mark. As a blogger, it's nice to know how much of an audience you're reaching and which of your posts they find the most interesting. This is where activity trackers come in.

Blogger


Blogger gives you many different views of your blog's activity from various parts of your blog's main page.


Blogger Overview Page


The Overview page displays a graph that shows page views for the past week. You can move your cursor around on the graph to see the number of page views for each day. Text beneath the graph indicates the top website sources for your traffic. The Updates box on the right gives you some quick summary information.



Blogger Posts Page


The Posts page lists your posts in descending publish date order. The column second from the right shows the current view count for each post. I like this page the most because I can quickly see how much activity each post has received and which ones are the most popular.


Blogger Stats Overview Page


The Stats Overview page allows you to view statistics by day, week, month, and all time. The Now view is of limited usefulness since it mostly says "No stats yet, check back later."

For the graph, the Day version shows page views by time of day in one-hour increments; the Week version shows page views by day, including multiple points within each day, but does not give a time for any of the points; the Month version shows page views by day, one point for each day; and the All time version shows page views by month, one point per month.

The information in the upper right corner is the same no matter which date range you choose. You can click on Don't track your own pageviews to tell Blogger to not track your activity. This causes Blogger to add a cookie to your browser. If you're in the habit of clearing your cookies, then you must set this every time you restart your browser. I usually don't remember to do that.

The Posts section shows the top 5 posts for the chosen date range ordered by popularity. Each post name is a link to that post. Clicking on More takes you to the Stats Posts page.

The Traffic Sources section shows the top three website sources for your traffic. Clicking on More takes you to the Stats Traffic source page.

The Audience section displays a color-coded world map that indicates which countries are sources of traffic to your blog. The darker the color, the more traffic. Clicking on More takes you to the Stats Audience page.


Blogger Stats Posts Page


The Stats Posts page displays post activity in a bar graph ordered by popularity. Information can be displayed by day, week, month, or all time. The Now view of the page usually says "No stats yet, check back later." Each post name is a link to that post. There's also a Pages section below the Posts section that displays the same kind of information for pages. (I don't have any.)


Blogger Stats Traffic Sources Page


The Stats Traffic sources page is divided into three sections, each of which has a bar graph ordered by popularity. The Referring URLs section shows specific URL sources; the Referring Sites section shows main website sources; and the Search Keywords section shows keywords that have been typed into search boxes. Information can be viewed by day, week, month, and all time. As stated above, the Now view is not useful.


Blogger Stats Audience Page


The Stats Audience page is also divided into three sections. The Pageviews by Countries section displays a color-coded world map that indicates which countries are sources of traffic to your blog. The names of the source countries are listed below the map, ordered by popularity. The Pageviews by Browsers section displays a pie chart along with a list of browsers used by your blog's readers, also ordered by popularity. The Pageviews by Operating Systems section displays another pie chart, along with a list of operating systems used by your readers, again ordered by popularity.


Blogger Settings Other Page


The Settings Other page allows you to specify a Google Analytics Web Property ID that you've previously set up in your Google Analytics account. If you're interested in more tracking information than what Blogger provides, Google Analytics is certainly a good choice. It can give you views by Demographics, Behavior, Technology, and Mobile, as well as Custom information that you set up, plus a visitor flow chart that shows how people move through your blog site.


Google Analytics

Tumblr


Tumblr does not present you with any activity statistics. Some themes have a spot where you can enter a Google Analytics ID. Otherwise, you have to insert analytics code yourself into your blog's html.

Tumblr Theme Controls

WordPress


WordPress gives you many different views of your blog's activity from various pages in your account.


WordPress Main Dashboard Stats Page 01

WordPress Main Dashboard Stats Page 02

The Stats tab on your main account dashboard displays the latest statistics for your blog in various different formats. Up front is a two-week bar chart showing view counts by date with some summary information below. Clicking on Summary Tables displays three sets of view counts in a calendar format: Months and Years, Average per Day, and Recent Weeks.

The Views by Country section displays a world map with countries color-coded by view count and a list of countries by name. You can view statistics for today or yesterday, or click on Summaries to see an expanded view that shows statistics for either one week or all time.

The Top Posts & Pages section displays a list of the most popular posts for either today or yesterday. Clicking on Summaries shows you a list of all posts with view counts for either 7 days, 30 days, a quarter, a year, or all time. Each post name is a link to that post's page.

The Clicks section shows outbound links on your blog that have been clicked on either today or yesterday. Clicking on Summaries shows you a list of outbound links clicked on within either the past 7 days, 30 days, quarter, year, or all time.

The Referrers section shows views referred by links to your blog from elsewhere. You can select counts for either today or yesterday, or click on Summaries to get a list of referrers for either 7 days, 30 days, a quarter, a year, or all time.

The Tags & Categories section shows the tags for your most popular posts over the past week.

The Search Engine Terms section shows the top terms people have used to find your posts. You can see counts for today or yesterday, or click on Summaries to see a list for either 7 days, 30 days, a quarter, a year, or all time.

The Totals, Followers & Shares section shows some quick summary information for different items.

The Comments section lists the top recent commenters, the posts most commented upon, and a summary that includes comments per month, total comments, most active day, most active time of day, and most commented recent post.


WordPress Dashboard Stats Page


On your blog's Dashboard Home page is a Stats area that shows a bar graph of activity for the past two weeks. Beneath the graph is a list of posts ordered by popularity, along with the top search terms. At the bottom is a list of the most active posts in the past day. Each post name is a link that takes you to that post. Pressing the View All button takes you to the Stats page of your main account dashboard.

The Site Stats page on your blog's dashboard is being deprecated since the information it displays is now found on the Stats page of your main account dashboard.


WordPress Akismet Stats Page

The Akismet Stats page shows statistics about comments, spam being unwanted commercial comments and ham being good comments. These statistics can be viewed for 6 months, 1 year, or all time. It's worth noting that, with the unfortunate prevalence of spam, it's best to make sure you visit your blog's Settings Discussion page and tick "Before a comment appears __ An administrator must always approve the comment".


WordPress Posts Stats Page

WordPress Posts Stats Detail Page

The All Posts page has a Stats link for each post. Clicking on a link takes you to a view of detailed statistics for that post. The counts are shown in a calendar format in the following three sections: Months and Years, Average per Day, and Recent Weeks. I wish the total view count for each post were displayed on the All Posts page next to the Stats link. That's the information I'm currently most interested in.

The All Pages page has the same type of Stats links as the All Posts page, with details laid out the same way.

Of Special Note


With website tracking, it is important to keep in mind that your visits to your own web pages are likely to be tracked, depending on the blogging site you use, unless you are able to and consistently turn off tracking of your activity. Many of the numbers related to your language, country, ISP, and so forth will most likely be slightly inflated due to your own actions.

Ranking

  1. WordPress
  2. Blogger
  3. Tumblr

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Blog Audience Comparison
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