I am a numbers nerd. You know this. And it doesn’t get any nerdier — or cooler — than analytics.
(You can catch up on all of my recommendations in my Blog Homework series.)
When it comes to tracking traffic, I love two tools.
1. Google Analytics (the big kahuna and the one I use for page views, unique visitors, etc.)
2. Clicky (the plugin that I use for real-time traffic, referral links, search terms, etc.)
My hat is tipped to the one and only Theodora of Losing Weight in the City, who insisted that I try this tool many months ago. She’s right. It’s awesome.
(That spike came the day I announced that I’m eating for two.)
In particular, I love Clicky because it helps me track down the source of traffic spikes in real time. If a post is getting a lot of love in the middle of the afternoon, I can see which source is sending visitors my way.
I also find the search terms tool much easier to use than GA:
You can look at a given time period — say, the last day, the last week or the last month — and even (with premium plans) set up alerts and other automatic updates for specific criteria that you set.
This is a plugin, so to use it, you need to be self-hosted and on a platform that Clicky supports. And I still would rely on GA when doing formal reports to sponsors or ad networks.
Overall, I highly recommend adding Clicky to your toolkit!