WordPress analytics: Getting the most out of your blog

An example of a screenshot from WordPress Stats.

An example of a screenshot from WordPress Stats.

If you’re like most converged communicators using a WordPress blog for class assignments, you’ve probably wondered: Is anyone actually reading my blog? The answer is probably yes. But there are ways to find out. That’s where WordPress Stats comes in. Through this feature, easily accessible through your dashboard or the WordPress upper taskbar, you can quickly find out a wealth of statistics that can help you see what’s drawing attention on your blog.

WordPress provides a useful link (http://en.support.wordpress.com/stats/) with some good introductory information for beginning bloggers. Using the WordPress Stats feature, you can instantly see the number of hits and individual visitors on a page for a given day. But Stats reveals more information than just that. The page also shows the number of visitors from different countries visiting the blog, which pages were the most popular, which outbound links were clicked, which incoming sources (like Web searches) led visitors to the blog, and what search engine terms drew people to the site. You can also quickly find out how different tags and categories received different amounts of attention. Obviously, these tools can help you make decisions about content in future posts.

In addition to the built-in Stats feature within WordPress, numerous third-party publishers also produce software for site analytics. Some of these tools are capable of massive, in-depth reports, and many are used in business settings. Bloggers who learn how to use these site metrics can get a head start on any analytics that could be waiting around the corner in a future job.

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