sabato 20 febbraio 2016

Data of your blog!

Hi readers!
Ok the title is a bit specious but now I got your attention! As you already know there is only few things I prefere than paint little dirty bloody monsters, one of them is Statistic. Many of you have a blog or something similar, and you have a great quantity of data, that you can find interesting to analyze.

imagine found on the web randomly, if you are the owner, tell me I'll remove/add a link if you prefere

Generally people like me (us) is not interested in gain trashy traffic (explaination below) or simply traffic with my (our) blogs,  I'm (we are) interested in sharing my (our) work with community etc., but knowing that my (our) work is appreciated an read by a lot of people make me (us) frankly proud, so I like to read the numbers of the blog.
Furthermore there are some indicators that explains if our blog is loved or not.
It is logical that if you are not interested in those things, you cannot see the numbers of course.

maybe I wrongly translate the terms, so if they are not clear, tell me!
Google is not formal and precise (or it does not give you some data): if you are looking for a formal analysis, it is the wrong interlocutor: I suppose because not everybody like maths and statistics, so the big G try to not confuse people.

Well, after this small introduction, lets start the big debate: Google Analytics or Blogger Statistics?
As you know on blogger platform you have the nice Statistics. Now let's kill a God: they are wrong.
Ok, this is too much extreme, but  the Blogger Statistics counts also the Crawler(s) when they "see" your blog, finally they are too much generous. So I advice you to use Google Analytics. I'm quite frank, when I see the Analytics number it was a small shock, but not a big problem.

Blogger Stat, all the cronology

Analytics Stat, all the cronology (sessions, the page visualization are a bit better below, 5080).

First of all you shoul write the Analytics code on your site, and you can find it after enroll yourself on its page. The official  Google page is very clear for this purpose. Remember that the datas are going to be collected only after your enrollement, the past data are not read.

Now, after some days, you have collected some datas, lets study them. For this purpose, I use 6 month data. There are few interesting features to do, like comparison month on month and so on, but this is not a guide on using Analytics, it is a bunch of ideas on reading datas

Now you want to know how many people read your thing for example, lets see some ideas:

Sessions, are the number of access by single users on your website, User are the single users, Visualisations are the number of visualisation on your pages. As you can imagine

Number of Users =< Number of Sessions =< Number of Visualisation.

Lets have an example: A visit my site two times, reading the first time 3 pages, the second times 4 pages.
Users = 1
Sessions = 1+1= 2
Visualisations = 3+4= 7

This tells you the amount of traffic, but it does not means that your readers are interested in what you write, because maybe you catch them with a brilliant title, but they do not like the content, so they open the page and go away immediately. This is commonly know as thrashy traffic, because it does not tell you nothing and underline that the readers does not like your content (stupid example, if you are selling something, probably they are not going to buy maybe).

So lets look the second/third rows of the above number:
Page/sessions: The number of pages for each session, bigger number, more interested readers.
Average duration of the session, if it is bigger, generally the users read more contents
The famous Bouncing rate, if it is high, it means that your readers are catched by your title, but they do not like the content
% new sessions, it is the number of new session.

Now, a pair of clarification:
You see this number, but sometimes they are not the law, because for example a person that open a page of your site, and forget it open for an hour,  it is going do make your statistics good, but in reality that user read nothing.
When you talk of average, talk not of variance and root means square error make the average without sense: this is a technical feature, but the RMSE is an indicator of the goodness of the means.
Let's have an example.
Case 1
A has 2 apples.
B has 2 apples.
Average: 2 RMSE: 0. Perfect, the average is equal to reality.

Case 2
A has 0 apples.
B has 4 apples.
Average: 2 RMSE: 2,83.This average means nothing.

So Google does not give you this indicator, you can create it downloading data and using also MSExcel (bad) or R (true love), but it is not simple. So lets forget this, because if we want to be precise, nothing has a formal sense here ahahahah.

Ok now we have a general look at our datas, lets be more specific, looking for example of the indicators seen above (logically you can see all of them in this way). We are going to see the trend, but for a very solid looking at trend, Google gives not important features of estimation (they are also a bit complex) so if you are interested R is the way but it is not simple to use imho. So lets look the datas in a "more or less" point of view.
Bouncing rate trend

We can easily see that the trend seem going down: it means that maybe people is more interesting in my content than at the beginning of the blog, but also now my blog is young, so maybe I have more contents than before, and readers surf the blog more looking the most liked pages link, and so on.

Compare with sessions for example

The number of sessions seems more or less growing, but with this daily point of view it is difficult to tell.

We can see that the sessions are quite constant, so in conclusion, sessions are more or less the same number, but readers are more interested in my work and for "my goals" it is a good thing!

As you can imagine, there is plenty of numbers in Google Analytics, let's see something interesting.

Sessions flow
This interesting instruments make you to know how generally users surf your blog, and underline pages that are linked each other maybe without you have linked, and also underline the dead end page.

For example my main Users are from USA and Uk (thanks guys) , but also Spain Italy and Germany are great contributors (Thanks a lot!), and a great quatity of visit are on the main page and stay here. For my purpose it is not a a problem, but if you want to "carve" the users flow to some pages, you shoul change something.

Interests and demographical data are an estimation of estimation and, if you are not interested in your market segmentation, it is curious to read but not too much helpful.


So finally the conclusion:
- if you are intersted in increase the volume of traffic, lets look sessions, users, pages;
-if you are interested in increase the quality of your traffic, lets look bouncing rate, average visit time, page/sessions;
-remember, this could be not the reality but an approximation, because Google gives not the the goodness of the data (in many way);
-if you want advanced analysis, do not ask to Google;
-Analytics is more reliable than Blogger.

This post only scratches the big theme of the analysis of your traffic, so it is not complete: if you have questions of other thing, ask and I'll gladly answer!

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