Being the liveblogger for my friend Dave‘s “Fuck Stats, Make Art” session that I attended at Northern Voice, I know full well that none of my content revolves (or should revolve) around statistics. However, for many reasons stats tracking is important to me, here are a few:
With that being said, here is every stats program I have ever installed on Miss604.com, and what I use what I use.
SiteMeter – FREE – I like the instant updates, you can see who is currently on your site and with one click of a button their IP is revealed, along with their visitor path and other information that filters right down to which operating system or browser the reader is using. Drawbacks are that the numbers are not always on target, in fact they’re about 50% lower than results from other tools, and SiteMeter’s uptime is not always consistent. They’ve had about 3 outages in six months, which can actually affect my monthly totals when I’m using them for professional purposes.
StatCounter – FREE – I use this most of the ‘keyword analysis’, I can have a little fun finding out what search terms people entered into Google to reach my site. Like SiteMeter it’s instant however its numbers also vary greatly compared to any other tool.
Google Analytics – FREE – A very meaty report that I rarely even look at. The stats are not tracked instantly however they are posted once a day and you can setup monthly reports, set up goals, track numerous pages and align it with your AdSense should you be setup there as well.
WordPress.com Stats – The graph is a nice little addition to the WordPress Dashboard when logging in but I don’t really take its numbers seriously. Also it posts figures once a day and the cutoff for the “day” is in GMT so that’s late afternoon for us in on the Pacific Coast.
Again, using stats in a professional capacity is my only concern, this is far from a popularity contest and I never like sharing my “magic number” with anyone, nor will I ever state when numbers have raised or dropped. My blog is my content and this is my choice; to promote local business, use my skills to promote events, and to spread the link love. If folks require information about me or my site, I’m happy to share, I would just like to make sure what I’m providing is the most accurate.