I use the following tools and websites to monitor my blogs. I have them not only to troubleshoot issues, to find additional keywords and even sometimes to help drive the direction of my blog when it comes to what I write. For some of these I just use them as a litmus test (and an ego boost when they are improving) to see how my blog is performing compared to others. So enjoy my list of 7 must have free tools to monitor your blog!
Stats, Stats, and More Stats
If you want to see what is happening with your blog when it comes to traffic and what people are doing when they actually visit your site? This is probably the best FREE tool out there for monitoring and reviewing your traffic. I could write a few articles on this tool alone!
The Real Time traffic monitor is very addictive – I suggest staying away from it or you will be like me waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat going MORE TRAFFIC!
2. Google Webmaster Tools
Although technically not a “Stat” page per se, you should sign up for this site and get your site verified. Plus if you are using YOAST SEO plugin it will have created a sitemap.xml and this is the site where you tell the Google Bot to find it at.
Another important aspect as to why to keep coming back to Google’s Webmaster Tools? You can getter look at your keywords people are searching for to hit your site here. It seems Google’s Analytics is hiding some of this data.
OK, technically you don’t have to sign up for the service – but if you want to use the keyword tools or any of the other without endlessly entering in the obscure captchas? It just makes life easier. Plus, you never know – you might end up with an advertising budget some day :-)
Same concept as Google – you need to join this site as well and get your blog verified. Why? Well since Bing and Yahoo searches are combined like the Borg now? If you want to get found on them this is the first step in that direction. I don’t know but it seems like Bing is very stingy with its indexing – so have great content of face not getting your post/site indexed.
I’ve heard conflicting reports that this Blog Directory isn’t as great as it has been in the past. BUT – regardless I have still registered on there (because hey.. its a free back link to your site!) This is one of those “litmus test” sites I mentioned. Its a rough guide to see if your site is performing well or not when compared to other blogs.
This is one of those “freemium” sites. You can sign up for their free service and get your site listed there though. For me the importance was to see how many ‘do follow’ back links are linking back to my blog. Plus it is one of those “ego boosts” I was talking about. I went from a Global Ranking of 9 Million to 293,000 (45,000 in the U.S.) since I started back in December 2011!
Alexa is a great way to spy on your competition and see where they are posting to. I’ve done this alot to get backlinks back to here.
Quantcast is another “fremium”. If you want to see some “truer” stats for your site you can sign up for their free service as well. Why? Well it will supposedly give you stats that are more accurate than Google Analytics. Plus it has this cool feature where you can see the demographics of the people visiting your site and will let you know if your site is attracting the right people to your blog!
Wait.. you said “Truer”? Well, the problem is that everyone measures your site’s traffic data differently. For example Google analytics states I have over 9,000 visitors while Quantcast and Clicky (read below) states that I have between 7500 – 8000 visitors this month.
So which one is right? Um.. they sort of all are. The thing is don’t take anyone of them as being 100% accurate. To better understand what I am talking about you really need to check out Kissmetrics Blog Post about it. Neil Patel goes into better detail about the stats I just mentioned and a few others I haven’t!
I know this means it is actually 8 tools. But I’ve just started really using this tool and understanding it’s relevance to monitoring my site.
This is yet another “freemium” site to monitor your traffic. The good news is that even though this is yet another “freemium” application – you get a lot of bang for your free. :) They also have a Chrome (and Firefox) plugin so you can see what is happening with your site without ever having to leave your current tab.
What tools do you use to monitor your blog? Leave a comment below and list what you use!