Beginner Blogger Q and A: Tracking Blog Stats

beginner blogger question and answerAs I set out to launch my business online as a beginner blogger, I wished I had someone to ask about things when questions arose.   It’s hard to not feel alone as a beginner blogger and if you’re like me, the more you tried to dig in and learn, the more confusing the technical tangles became.  It become very apparent to me that my blogging career was full of things I didn’t know that I didn’t know and I would spend days trying to figure the little things out.

So today I’m launching a series of posts, where I can answer your questions and help you avoid all the headaches and challenges you’re having as a beginner blogger in the confusing internet marketing world.  If there is something you’re struggling with regarding your blog, please forward your questions to me in the comments, email, facebook message, or by phone. 🙂

One frequent beginner blogger question I have been receiving, results from my clever marketer prove it challenge requests that we track our progress and take a snapshot in the beginning of the challenge so we know where we have started and we can see how far we’ve come by the end of the challenge.

Beginner Blogger Q & A: Monitoring Your Progress

This is very easy to do in just a couple of steps and will give you an accurate picture of where you are right now.  I want to preface this by saying that our stats are not the most important thing in our business, and please don’t get hung up on tracking them.  Your results are going to fluctuate over time and how frequently you post.

The bottom line, is that the goal of understanding your stats as a beginner blogger is to increase your blog traffic and increase your subscribers so you can increase your business.

A Beginner Blogger Bird’s Eye View of Google Analytics

This is probably the most comprehensive tool you can use for your blog tracking, although it can be overwhelming to a beginning blogger.  (It’s overwhelming to me too!)

You will need to set up a google analytics account and install a tracking code. It’s a pretty simple thing to do.

What Google analytics tracks:
  • Number of unique visits to your blog
  • Number of page views
  • Average number of pages viewed per visit to your blog
  • Your bounce rate: how many people click away after looking at only one page
  • How much time people spend on your site
  • What percentage of your visits are new visitors
How to sign up for Google Analytics:
  1. Install the Async Google Analytics Plugin from your wordpress dashboard
  2. Go to Google Analytics and sign in with your Google account.  (If you don’t have a google account already you will have to set up an account first, in order to use Google analytics.)
  3. Click the sign up button for Google Analytics and fill in your information in the fields it asks you to fill out and keep working through the various pages until your account is created.
  4. Skip the “paste this code into your site” step and click finish
  5. On your google alnalytics page, copy your UA-#######-#
  6. Go to wordpress dashboard, settings and click on google analytics.
  7. Paste in your UA # where it asks for your analytics account id then scroll down and update the settings.
Here’s what a beginner blogger should pay attention to in Google analytics:
Traffic Sources:
  • See where your blog traffic is coming from
  • See what keywords people are searching for before they found your blog
    • This can give you some great ideas for content
  • What content have you created that people like best?

Simple, in Your Dashboard, Beginner Blogger Plugin for Tracking Blog Stats:

Stats allows you to have stats on your blog right in your blog’s dashboard!

  • Who is referring traffic to you?
  • Which posts are getting the most views?
  • What search engine terms are being used to find your blog?
  • What links are people clicking on your blog?
  • Who is linking to you?

A Beginner Blogger Guide to Your Alexa Score:

Your alexa score is not the most important part of your blog.  We should be much more focused on having a great relationship with our readers than having a great alexa score, but tracking your alexa score will help you get to know your market better, track your competition, and see how your blog is growing.   All the sites are ranked by the amount of traffic they receive.  A site with a low alexa score gets more traffic than a site with a higher alexa score.

If you enter your blog’s url and click search on, then click “get details” you will receive a lot of valuable information about your blog.

Traffic information: How are your traffic stats improving over time?
  • Traffic Rank
  • Reach
  • Page Views
  • Bounce
  • Time on Site
Audience: Get to know your readers’ demographics!
  • Age
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Children
  • Browsing Location
  • Income
  • Ethnicity

You could lose yourself in trying to analyze all this statistical information, so I recommend, especially to a beginner blogger, that you check it occasionally, but focus on creating content and connecting and building relationships with your readers.

The information you gather from your blog, Google analytics, and alexa can help you to know what types of content your readers like best, get a snapshot of who your audience is, and how you are doing at keeping your readers interested and coming back.

When I was a beginner blogger and I first learned how to track my blog stats, I was obsessed and would check my stats at least daily.  I think it was a bit of a novelty at first and was exciting to see the numbers going up.  But I’d get frustrated and upset if the numbers went low.  I’ve learned that your stats are going to fluctuate based on how frequently you post, how much you’re engaging in social media, what content you’re producing, etc.  Last week, for instance, I had 323 visitors on Monday and on Sunday when I hadn’t posted anything and I was unplugged from my computer I had 137 visitors.   My alexa rank on Monday was 88, 692 and today, one week later, today, it is 80,276.  So even though my “visitors” had gone down my alexa rank still improved significantly.

So if you’re not a beginner blogger, please comment and let us all know what stats you find helpful in your blogging.  If you are a beginner blogger, please comment and let me know what other blogging questions you have!  And please share this post on social media to help other beginner bloggers get their burning questions answered too!


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  1. Hey Heather

    You and I are insync on this topic.

    Personally I love Google Analytics, so easy to setup but so powerful.


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Peter!

      Google analytics is very powerful as you say, but I think for some reason it’s intimidating to newbies. It was to me too, but when I narrowed my vision as far as what to watch, it became a super helpful tool. I’m hoping my post will demystify it for some people.

      Thanks for your comment,

  2. Hey Heather,

    I wish I’d had some more precise guidance on thee things when I first began blogging too. I did have some great training on hand, but there were gaps where it would really have helped to have someone there to ask certain questions.

    I also recommend Google Analytics, which gives you so much useful information about your visitors, where they’re coming from, keywords they’re using to find you, how long they’re staying, which pages they’re on etc… It’s incredible.

    I also have an Alexa toolbar installed, mainly to satisfy my goal oriented need to quantify my (hopefully) progress!

    Thanks for sharing, wish I’d read this post 8 months ago!


    • Heather Stephens says:

      I’ve got an alexa toolbar too, Jym. And love how it helps me to keep track of my progress. It’s a good reminder for me to keep on, keeping on, since over time the progress is pretty fun to watch. I try to remember that my alexa score is going to fluctuate like my traffic does, but if over time it’s going down, I know I’m on the right track and my traffic reach is increasing.

      I did have help with this from the beginning…my mistake was being obsessed by it and riding the emotional roller coaster (“no body loves me”) feelings when my stats were down. lol!

      Thanks for the great comment!

  3. Thanks for the suggestions Heather!!

    Take care,

    • Heather Stephens says:

      You’re very welcome, Monyelle! I hope the suggestions are helpful to you.

  4. Hey Heather, I agree, you can get lost in trying to analyze your stats, they’re best utilized by trying to use them to determine what your readers are looking for, how they actually came to your site and how you’re improving.

    For example, last week I posted every day to my blog (a first for me) and all my stats have improved, specifically my Alexa ranking went from 168,534 to 153,823, so it’s clearly helped.

    … and that certainly gives me motivation for this week 😉

    • Heather Stephens says:

      WooHoo! Glad to hear your alexa ranking is improving! I promise if you stick with the challenge, you’ll see significant results over time. Day-to-day and even week-to-week progress is fun, but it’s the month-to-month progress that really feels exciting!

      Keep up the great work, Liz!

  5. Hi Heather,

    A clear and concise breakdown here that any beginning blogger can learn from.

    It definitely helps to have a tracking campaign in place.

    For whatever reason I’ve resisted using Google Analytics. Perhaps your post is a hint that I should pay a little more attention to my metrics 🙂

    Thanks for sharing your insight.


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hmmm, I’m not sure Ryan.

      Have you thought about why you’re resisting google analytics?

      I know for myself, sometimes I think it’s going to be harder than it really is to implement something, and I’ll frequently look back and wonder why I put it off. If that’s your reason, I promise you, it won’t hurt a bit!

      Thanks for your comment!

  6. Hi Heather,

    analytics are a two-edged sword in my opinion. They are important but we shouldn’t get obsessed about them. It becomes completely confusing once you realize that numbers differ vastly from Google Analytic and Alexa, for example when it comes to bounce rate.

    That’s why I agree with you that it’s important to focus on a few relevant things and block out the rest. Especially the idea of looking at the keywords people used to find your blog in order to get new post ideas is amazing.

    Thanks for sharing your insights and your guidance.

    Take care


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Tell me about it, Oliver! As I said in my reply to Jym, over analyzing my analytics led me to the scarcity mindset that “no body loved me” when my stats were down.

      Learning how to process the information factually instead of emotionally was the key to being able to use it wisely and get results from it for me!

      Thanks for your great comment!

  7. Heather,
    I came over here to re read an older post of yours.
    Of course I just had to read your current post, and boy am I glad.
    I would consider myself a beginner blogger, although I have been blogging for years on other sites.
    I have google analytics installed as well as Alexa…etc.

    But what I don’t know, is how to navigate through all the Google Analytics information. It’s quite a lot.

    I will look into installing that plug in to my dash board though. that sounded very nice and handy.

    Thanks for the good article.
    I enjoyed it!


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Martin,

      Navigating and analyzing google analytics could be a blog nice topic all in itself, but I choose to use what helps me and ignore what I don’t understand. I figured this thinking out when I was helping my grandma with her digital camera. There were millions of bells and whistles, but she just wanted to be able to take pictures of her kids, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She needed to know what she needed to know in order to do that, but the rest of it was overwhelming and I told her to ignore it.

      I felt the same way about google analytics…and that’s how I’ve approached it for my business. What can it tell me about my readers, what they like, what they don’t, how they’re finding me, where my traffic is coming from, etc. The rest…I’ll leave that to the pros.

      I love the plugin. Hope you enjoy it too!

  8. Hey Heather,

    Congratulations on staring a beginner blogger series. This is definitely going to help new bloggers with their different blogging questions and issues.

    I use Google Analytics too, it’s a great tool to see how your blog is performing and the keywords that bring you traffic.

    I look forward to your next post, Heather 🙂

    All the best,

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Thanks Mavis,

      I was seeing a need that needed to be filled for the people on my list. It’s hard to sometimes not take for granted what I’ve already learned, but someone else may not know. Looking at things through beginner’s eyes with the blog challenge has been helpful in teaching me more about my readers.

      Google analytics is awesome and definitely something that can be helpful for any blogger at any experience level!

      Thanks for the comment, Mavis!


  9. Hi Heather,

    A well written post with simple breakdown post that any beginner blogger can learn from. Some awesome tips gal.

    Google Analytics is something i didn’t know about when i started my online business. I think Google Analytics is awesome tool to manage many things from a dashboard.

    The most important thing i check in my stats is from where i’m getting traffic or my top 10 traffic sources. It helps in to improve my blog traffic in many ways.

    Anyways, Thanks for sharing this great post. Retweeted.

    Have a great day Heather.

    • Heather Stephens says:


      I love your approach to google analytics. Knowing where our traffic sources are coming from is helpful. It shows me what I need to be doing more of! 🙂

      Thanks for the comment…I appreciate the RT!


  10. Hi Heather,
    This is awesome of you to do for us beginners… since I’m just a little over 2 weeks out with launching my own blog!

    You are an incrediable woman Heather and so giving of others!
    When I took my blogging course with my mentor she taught about google analytics and had me set this up, but it was not something I was very familiar with since I was so new to this blogging world. But when you had us take a snap shot of this and i have been reviewing it more, there is so much info in this free tool. It’s awesome!
    I decided I would only go to it once a week… but i will add that plugin to my dashboard… I hope it don’t mess with my blog… when I did add that alexa tool bar on my computer for some reason it attached its self to my blog and I couldn’t comment, add immages. Host Gator told me not to use it and i had to be on the phone with them for over 2 hours to get it all straightened out… so I will not add that on my computer again.

    Thanks for all you do,

    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Christina,

      It’s always a best practices rule to follow to back up your blog before you go messing with things like plugins, although usually, if you just disable it, everything will return to normal. Hopefully it works for you, as it does for me.

      And for a shortcut, you can set up google analytics to automatically send you their report weekly via email. 🙂


  11. Heather,
    Excellent post filled with lots of gems. Couple of plugins I found helpful, you probably have these already is Bei Fen, for backing up your blog and Google XML Sitemaps for indexing your blog, and they do have a contact form 7 plugin for wanting to put in a quick contact form on a static page, you can configure it in under its settings.


    • Heather Stephens says:

      Hi Joe,

      I have a different back up plugin, but you’re right that is an important thing to remember! I haven’t tried the contact form plugin but I’ll have to look into that. 🙂 Thank you very much for the tip!



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