Call me vain. Seriously, go ahead. Like most people, I look in a mirror when I walk past it. I guess I am vain when it comes to blogging too. I really enjoy blogging – writing whatever comes to mind for “people” to read. But I like to know that there actually are people reading it. If not, what’s the point? My blog runs on DasBlog, a pretty cool, free blogging engine. It provides me some cool analytics, out of that box, that tell me how many hits my blog gets and more information. And yes, I check it often. I love to know how many hits I get.
One of my favorite things to do is see the information that I get from search engines. If someone came to my blog via Google or Live Search, I can see what search criteria they used. So in the image on the left, I can see that people found my blog for a variety of reasons. Among other things I can see that some people were searching for me or my blog, someone was looking for information about some National Parks I visited (Bryce and Zion), someone was looking for information about LINQ, and someone was looking for information on my friend Travis. Also I see that my blog post I Hate Trusted Installer is still popular!
Well I thought that was cool until I discovered Google Analytics! Google Analytics is also free and is completely insane. It gives me tons of information about who reads my blog and now I am addicted to it. The only problem I have with Google Analytics is that it only gets updated once a day! With my DasBlog activity information it is updated continually. Oh well.
So here is what I see with Google Analytics…
This map view is awesome. It may be tough to tell in this screen shot but it shows a map of the world. If I get a hit from someone in any country, it turns green. The darker colors of green have the most hits. So obviously I get hits from the US, but I also get traffic from India, the UK, Canada, not to mention Romania, Thailand, Spain, Argentina, Lithuania, Belgium, Taiwan and many more! How cool is that?
I can even “drill down” and see where my traffic is coming from in a specific area, like this map of Pennsylvania. These maps are really cool but there is much more. I can see how long people stay on my blog, what posts are popular, what browsers they use and a whole bunch of other information including the same kind of search engine “key word” information described above. But so far, you identity is safe. I can’t seem to figure out exactly who is reading my blog. I can’t even seem to correlate data between reports, but I there must be a way to do so. So as for now, I may be able to see what town one of my readers came from, but I can’t figure out which pages the reader read.
By the way, Google Analytics is totally easy to include on your pages. In my case, I just added the script that Google gave me into my dasBlog template: homeTemplate.blogtemplate. That’s all.