Note: Not a WoW related post. You may mark as read. If you’re interested in learning how to stalk your readers, you may continue.
One of the few pleasures a blogger can take is to simply stare at their stats as they go up (or down). Think of it as damage meters for bloggers. In the past, I’ve used Google Analytics to examine and watch for trends on my blog. There’s a lot of useful information you can gather if you know how to make sense of it. I know there has to be some bloggers out there who have all these details statistical tools at their disposal yet have no idea how to utilize it and make sense of it.
Don’t worry! I’m here to teach!
Woopra is a program that allows you to track all sorts of crazy stuff about your readers. I caught wind of it several weeks ago and I didn’t believe it was true. Naturally my curiosity got the best of me and I grabbed it and installed it.
The installation process consists of two parts:
- Installing a script or plugin on your blog
- Downloading the software
After that, you need to set up an account with Woopra and twiddle your thumbs until they approve of your blog. There doesn’t appear to be any criteria. The limitations are purely technical. They’re slowly expanding their servers to handle the load, however.
Anyways, lets get more indepth into what this sucker can do. Click the images to expand their size.
This is the dashboard. It’s the first thing you see when you login from the client. It gives you a great overview of things that you want to know right away. The line graph on top shows you unique hits (in green) and page views (in yellow). If you’re interested in the hard numbers, the top left window shows you what your hits look like in the past few weeks. The window on the right displays the pages that have been viewed today. The windows on the bottom show your referrers, searches that people have used to find your blog and geographical locations of your visitors.
This is the live portion of your blog. You can track in real time who is visiting your blog and what pages they are going to. It also shows the specs and platform of what your visitors are using when they view your blog. Here’s an example of me visiting my blog. It shows country and city of origin, OS language, local time, browser, and screen resolution. This information becomes important later on. I’ll explain why in a moment.
This is the analytics portion of Woopra. This shows traffic levels on a day to day basis. It’s a brief overview of your hits. It tells you the amount of time spent per page, how many new visitors you’ve picked up, unique hits, and total page views. It even tags your visitors with the names they leave when they comment. There’s even a systems section which tracks what your users are using to view your blog in bulk.
For example, if you know that over 85% of your visitors view your blog on a resolution 1024 x 768, you can factor this into your blog’s design – namely that your blog’s width should
not exceed 1024 pixels to ensure maximum readability.
It also pays to ensure that your blog is useable on different browser platforms. 45% of readers to World of Matticus read on Firefox 2 and 43% read on Internet Explorer. The rest use a combination of Opera, Mozilla, or Safari.
This section is where you can start making some generalizations and realizations about your blog. The tab here shows information like your most popular pages, landing pages, exit pages, and outgoing links.
What can I learn here? I can tell the most popular pages I have are ones involving stats. They’re great for drawing search engine traffic to your WoW blog. No one really wants to go through the effort of cross referencing WoW DB and their character to figure out what gear they should shoot for. Instead, they turn to google hoping that some other poor sucker (a la me) has done the work for them.
Landing pages refer to the first page that your visitors land on when they load your blog. It’s not always the main page. It could be a link to one of your posts from a different blogger. Knowing this, you can spend a bit more time on what people seem to land on the most and develop and make it more attractive. I could add a little note to my Holy Priest gear page and ask new visitors to subscribe or "if they like this, why not check out my Kara requirements post?" kind of thing.
Exit pages are the exact opposite. They refer to the page your visitors are on before they navigate away. You might want to stick a note at the bottom of the post that says something like "thanks for visiting, please come again!" or some such.
Outgoing links are fairly self explanatory. It measures what your visitors seem to click on the most when they want to escape from your blog.
Here’s a graphical interpretation of referrals. There’s different sorts. It can track referrals by direct links, search engines, feed readers, emails, social bookmarks, and social networks. A funny note is that I appear to have gotten more hits from Master Ratshag and Egotistical Priest individually then WoW Insider today. It’s a neat way of realizing where your traffic is coming from so you can reciprocate in kind.
I like the social networks part because I think this is the first tool that tracks inbound links from my Twitter and my Facebook.
Lastly, you can see what your readers are typing in search engines to find your blog. From this list, I can see that most of my traffic comes from people looking up Priest gear or raiding requirements for Zul’Aman and Karazhan. Sure enough, a quick search for Holy Priest gear ranks my list as the top result.
If used properly and strategically, Woopra can be a tremendous asset. It can tell you key information such as:
- Best time to publish a post
- Visitor information that can be useful for your next redesign
- Search engine trends
- What your visitors deem popular
- Which sites to suck up to 😉