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What Metric or Statistic do You most Watch on your Blog?

Posted By Darren Rowse 6th of July 2010 Reader Questions 0 Comments

I tweeted this question a few days back and the variation in responses was quite interesting:

What metric or statistic do you most watch on your blog?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this:

  • for some it’ll be mainly about traffic – for some it is visitor numbers, for others it will be page views.
  • other bloggers are more interested in subscriber numbers – against there is variation here, RSS and/or Email subscribers.
  • some bloggers are more regularly checking the bottom line – earnings. This might be affiliate earnings, advertising earnings or even the sales of their own products.
  • another group of bloggers are more interested in reader engagement – so comment numbers, ReTweet counts or Facebook ‘likes’ might grab their attention
  • some bloggers are more focused upon the social media space and are monitoring Twitter or Facebook follower/friend numbers or how often they are replied to or interacted with.
  • other bloggers get more into the more detailed stats – looking at things like bounce rate, time on site, page views per visit, referrals (where traffic is arriving from) or looking at what the most popular posts are doing in terms of traffic.
  • further still, other bloggers are more into SEO and are always analyzing how many links are coming into their blog, how their blog ranks for certain keywords etc.

Of course there are more things to watch – but for you, what’s the #1 metric that you tend to be drawn to throughout your day or week? And why?

For me it varies a little depending upon what I’m focusing upon.

For example – during a product launch I’m obviously looking more at sales of eBooks, conversion numbers and at testing sales pages.

On a normal day I’m probably checking traffic numbers and watching for spikes in traffic so that I can take quick action to leverage them. I tend to check income streams a little less often (once a day) during a ‘normal’ day.

Further Reading: 17 Statistics to Monitor on Your Blog

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. As a fairly new blogger, I was initially very interested in GFC followers and RSS subscribers. Now I’m looking at more granular data, like who my referring sites are, and how many clicks each of my posts are getting from RSS. I was very surprised (and disheartened!) to see some of my stronger posts not getting read as much as I’d assumed.

    Is there a tool that will aggregate your FB like and/or RT data into a metric?

  2. Definitely traffic. And where it is coming from :) also the search terms people are using in google to find my blog. Very useful tool.

    But most recently, during my very first product launch, I was watching the sales numbers. And since it was my first launch, I was delighted not so much in the sales numbers themselves, but seeing the conversion rate (to me it means people are trusting me), and I’m ever grateful for that!

    Especially since I hear all the time that “making money online is a pipe dream!!” How wrong could that be…..really. :)

  3. Well I have a squeeze page. So the number 1 statistic that I watch for is the number of sign ups to my list.

    Second would be traffic and traffic sources.


  4. I dont have a tonne of subscribers or traffic swings on normal days Hence I check the analytics to watch out for hiccups that happen which change my perspective. Like some specific post hitting Twitter or SU etc. Or some specific post catching traffic since someone recommended him. I than connect to these people and try to learn more about them.

  5. For me, I check my sites CTR and eCPM once a week but for my client’s startup sites, I normally check bounce rate, uniques, pageviews and average time on site. These metrics give me an idea about which specific areas to work on.

  6. I am obsessed with getting my ideas out to the largest group possible, so I tend to look at visitors and page views.

    I would also like to be able to reduce my bounce rate, but this has kept me frustrated/challenged for several years now.

  7. Sources of new traffic, overall traffic and revenue.

  8. Hi! Knowing that it’s a plus to have a great many visits, when it comes down to it, the length of time a visitor spends on my site means a whole lot more. Reading what I have to say and not just a flying visit means the most to me now.

    Take Care,

  9. Some of metrics that I keep track of my blog via Google Analytics are its bounce rate, total visitors count, daily page views, keywords stats, traffic by location and browsers use by blog readers

  10. Hi Darren,
    at the moment I look mainly at the number of visitors and shares/retweets on social media. It’s amazing to learn what numbers you can monitor !
    Take care

  11. I check number of subscribers (both RSS and email, though the later doesn’t change at all).
    Interesting part is which posts got the most traffic, and what are the traffic sources.
    Also I have fun checking the search queries people used to get to the blog, and also which searches they did from internal search.

  12. The first thing I look at is the number of (unique) visits to see if there are any unusual spikes in traffic and then I go straight to the referrers page to see if anyone new is linking to the site.

  13. For me, definitely RSS subscribers :)

  14. I keep an eye on traffic, as I am trying to build at this time. On the other hand, I think I get a little too obsessed with it and it keeps me too worried.

  15. Hey Darren,

    Hard question hehe. I’m only at the beginning, so I’m really into looking at my stats a lot, I focus on everything from time on site to RSS Feed, but not on earnings. I should build up some traffic first until I’ll get to earnings. I think that after some months I’ll be checking my earnings, but I can get bored or lazy sometimes easily, so checking something up won’t be on my mind so much after some months.

    Best regards,

  16. Michael Stelzner says: 07/06/2010 at 9:25 am

    Over at SocialMediaExaminer.com I look at a number of different daily stats in this order:

    Daily page views: I know what our averages are and what a good day is. We aim for 8000 to 10000 page views per day.

    Article retweets: This is a good barometer of the quality of our content. We aim for 500 to 1000 retweets per article.

    Subscriber growth: If we are doing our job on the first two we will get about 200 new email subscribers per day.

    Facebook growth: This last one is also important for us. We aim for 30 percent fan page growth ore month.

    Thanks for asking such a great question.


  17. I guess it is all based on where the money comes from for that site.

    For me, I really just check the growth in page views.

  18. Hi,

    For me it is: Bounce rate, time spend, click through.

    It speaks for content quality. ;)

  19. The subscriber count is definitely what steals most of my attention. Overall traffic, time on site, and other metrics just don’t seem as useful if your site gets stumbled or has some other random spurt of visitors. It knocks everything out of whack.

    Subscriber count, on the other hand, is fairly consistent, so I can look back, month after month and ask “Do I have more subscribers than I did last month?” If yes, then I’m doing something right, but if no, then I can adjust and make changes. :-)

  20. excellent conclusion
    for me, the most important is relevant comment count :-)

  21. I have said this to other people before, but I still believe that calls to action (CTA) are the most important metric. A CTA can be conversions when selling a product or it might be just a request for a specific comment or information from readers.

    If readers or visitors don’t respond to a CTA then there isn’t much engagement happening. If there isn’t a lot of engagement happening then a blog becomes irrelevant.

  22. I always look out for the number of visitors in my site.

  23. Traffic and Bounce Rate of articles I have written, If articles are very sticky I’ll consider writing another one along the same theme.

  24. RSS subscribers for me.

  25. my main attribute to making money online today is apparently affiliate marketing.Therefore as an affiliate marketer, I am concern towards the amount of traffic that will be accountable for my referring sales.
    However, as I move forth creating my first blog and realizing it is more than just looking at traffic stats, i have come to realize the importance of bounce rates, my comment’s stats, my referring link data and so forth.
    It’s hard for me to decide just yet which weighs more importance than the other but I do try my best to keep an eye on everything. Tweaking here and there as I go along.

    At the mean time, I think what matters to me is driving my blog towards a much more competitive edge. =)


  26. Darren, i am more interested in the detailed stats as in bounce rate, search engine traffic to blog posts, keyword phrase’s used to land on my blog or blog post. I worried about search engine traffic more then anything else. Because i have more then one person posting on my blog, i want each and every post ranked well to give them a reason to come back and post again. There are other factors that i am not mentioning but this just a little bit of information from a fellow blog owner.

  27. AdSense revenues :-)

  28. I am watching for RSS feeds.

  29. I mainly look at traffic. I used to look at RSS readers but since Feedburner is far from being relevant it’s not, in my opinion, a proper way to get stats about your blog.

    Of course, I also look at the income: Sometimes you have a low traffic but a high income, so traffic is not everything.

  30. Pageviews and length of time on the sites.
    I have several blogs and the first time I watch on all of them is pageviews and length of time on the sites.

    I believe the longer a reader stays, the more they are engaged and better chances they will come back, link or Stumble up, tweet up or buzz up.

  31. Volume of unique visitors is a big stat for me. Number of new subscribers to my lists is also a regular stat I like to keep an eye on. Of course, since I use my blog to promote other products/services, revenues is the biggies. Couldn’t keep the business going without it :)

  32. I look at subscribers and daily hits coz someone said if i read a 1000 on either count, i can start putting adsense on it and earn a respectable amount.

  33. I was in on the beta stage of Analytics, and I’ve used it ever since.
    To me, it’s the keywords and the traffic sources that are the most interesting, and also the most useful tools, and the consequences that come from monitoring them and tweaking my setup accordingly.

  34. I pay close attention to the bounce rate and page views on my site. It gives me an overall picture of how interested I believe readers are in my site as a whole. If I see those stats dip I try to make adjustments because they seem to effect everything else.

  35. I used to focus largely on comments but then realized that even as pageviews, visitors and subscribers grew – comment interaction remained about the same.

    Then I focused on pageviews, because income was related to pageviews.

    Now, my focus is largely on subscriber numbers and facebook fans as they seem to drive everything else.

  36. Hi Darren,
    Great Question,
    I like to see what led people to my site (just like I like to know how meeting planners find me for a speaking engagement) so I check what search engine words they used to reach me. This helps me make sure I am using the right set up in my postings.

    Then I look to see if I can see evidence if they found what they wanted. I am always hoping they found what they needed on personal development. To make sure what I offer is what people need.


  37. As a relative newcomer I am particularly interested in my RSS subscribers at this stage. I use to stress over comments but I seem to be getting a steady rise in the number of comments on a post per post basis.

  38. This is a tricky question for me, only because lately I watch numbers, bounce rate, and similar. I prefer to watch SEO, traffic and where visitors are coming from – basically analyzing search submissions and who ends up at my blog through a search but I haven’t been analyzing as much as I used to.

  39. Interesting various ways of metrics or indicators there!

    I love to watch the statistics of visit to the posts as I can look which article performs best and then the average traffic for average blog performance. And it’s cool to enjoy the numbers and graphs as experimenting and exploring sometimes make us smile.

    However I enjoy reading the variations in the ways how different bloggers determine their blog performance.

    And you’re right. No right or wrong for this.

  40. My blog is fairly young, so I’ll just watch the Alexa ranking for a while. It’s not an accurate number, but it is good enough as a broad indicator of traffic flow and I generally just glance at it with the Firefox SearchStatus plugin, which is quick and easy. When my ranking gets better than 500,000 that will tell me I’m starting to get a reasonable number of visitors and I’ll put some analytics code in there and start looking a little closer, tweaking etc. Until then I’ll just keep adding good content and let it do it’s work.

  41. I like to watch unique visitors and page hits over time. Comparing month to month. So far it’s been higher every time.

    As long as that continues I’m happy. It’s nice looking at the graph for the entire 10 months my blog has existed.

    It’s climbing. Slowly… But climbing.

  42. I consider unique visitors first,and over a period i focus on the page views of the visitors for bounce rate purposes. I am also on the look out for social media publicity. I watch social bookmarks with keen interest on which once are being bookmarked or retweeted the most. I use all that data to know which posts brings in the most traffic. Once that is established it makes it easier to know what to focus on, and what my readers love most when they come to my site.

  43. Bascially I look at the blog enteries that are generating the most visits on my sites to gauge product interest and find out what people are searching for or want to know.

    I also like to see people move from my blog to my actual web store, so I keep a close eye on the click through rates of this.

  44. Unique visitor, old visitor, and the number of subscriber, I think I just addicted to traffic and subscriber :|

  45. I have really been paying attention to the amount of unique visitors. I am concerned right now about the amount of people I am reaching. I figure if I can reach the most amount of people then the rest will follow.

  46. For me… I am less about the page views and more about the subscribers, Facebook “likes” and blend of twitter followers. Because I am more focused on gaining readers that aren’t “bloggers” themselves. Most are moms on the go, who are checking facebook and email. I’m really pushing people to get on the email subscribe list. :)

  47. Right now visits and newsletter subscriptions are the most important things…. er, second most important things. The most important is number of quality pages of new content added, a metric that sees very slow growth right now…..

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