I check my blog stats practically every day, more out of idle curiosity than for any marketing insight. The traffic to my site is pretty steady, not in the grand sense of the word, but in terms of an established small core audience, and it fluctuates wildly only on days when I post a mildly profound essay related to our expatriate experience (e.g., lessons learned) or finish an above-average Travelog article (such as this one, for instance) – and Natasha advertizes that inside Fodor’s community.
I’m fairly vigilant with keeping my blog at least PG-13, so I don’t get any weird or porn-seeking keyword searches leading to me (except this one, and there were only a few occasions of that). The vast majority of searches that result in clicks through to burlaki.com actually have the word “burlaki” in it or look for information on destinations and attractions featured in Travelog.
Nor do I have visitors from far and strange lands en masse. About two-thirds of all visits come from the US, and another quarter from the UK. The rest is spread across several dozens of countries. The most exotic place which I notice is Oman, with two visits averaging 8 pages and about 3 minutes on the site.
Of moderate interest is the information on referrers to my site, but the numbers are fairly settled on that as well, with various Fodor’s threads combining to be the top referrer source, and blogs by my brother, Janiece and Eric being the fairly regular gateways.
All in all, unexciting stats and a very little source of amusement.
What does baffle me is that I use two statistics-gathering engines, Google Analytics and WordPress.com stats, and their output, while following similar patterns, is never ever close to each other enough for me to be comfortable that the numbers are correct. For instance, my most recent record-setting day, October 1st (due to the aforementioned “lessons learned”), shows 345 main blog pageviews on Google (differentiated from hits to the picture gallery, Travelog or Becky’s Blog), but only 311 views in WordPress stats. I accept this as the same ballpark, but it is still a big discrepancy. I am considering getting a third opinion, from something like Sitemeter, but I expect that it will provide yet another ballpark number without making the picture any clearer.
Any website statistics engine that you particularly trust?