If you have a website yourself, your stats pages are like rock to a crack whore. Well maybe not that bad, but I’m pretty sure you’ll be checking them out a lot. In my case I’m using several separate stat services, which each give me different and interesting view on what’s going on.
I use the extreme tracking site so I can get a nice overview of the last visitors, activity of the last days, weeks and months. Google Analytics is awesome for its many graphs, and click-through interface which allows you to dig deep in your collected hits and figure out whatever you feel like figuring out. Most popular pages, search queries, referrers, you name it. To be frank, Extreme tracking has these as well, but with the Google tool you can select the time period you want to see, compare it to another etc. It’s crazy. It’s like having access to your HTTP logfiles and running AWStats on it, but better, since you don’t have to get into that technical nitty-gritty of actually running those Perl scripts and all.
If you don’t want to give more stats-power to Google, because you know that’s why they give this tool out of free, you can try out Piwik. It’s open source, so you can host it yourself and has enough features to get a statistics overdose from.
Another interesting stats service is the one from WordPress.com, which works
by installing the stats plugin out of the box with Jetpack on your WP blog. You are running WordPress right? You should, cause it rocks! Anyway, they don’t really add any new info, but the dashboard to visualize the info is very simple and easy to work with. It gives you a quick overview of what’s going on without having to do a lot of interpreting.
That being said I noticed something interesting in my hits last year. I got about 200 extra hits a month by doing that awesome Jeskola Buzz 60×60 compilation. The result was that some people who also sent in some music for the compilation posted about it on their own blogs, while linking to my own post. Apparently this boosted my Google PageRank in such a way that I started getting a ton of extra hits almost instantly. It’s still going at that rate now, so it’s safe to say a changed PageRank is causing the additional traffic, and not some extra exceptional traffic caused by the actual 60×60 thing. This is also reflected in the referrer hits, as none of the pages is getting an exceptional amount of hits since then.
The same effect occurred again this January after a Twitter conversation about Windows system tools resulted in a blog post by @SirWumpus linking back to one of my own posts on the topic. Interesting isn’t it?
So this is a good SEO tip isn’t it? Do something cool so that people link to your site, and you will get extra hits. Sweet!
Edit 2017-02-12: removed the broken WP stats plugin link and updated the content a bit.
Picture by azrainman, cc-licensed