Poor Man’s Web Stats

To run an effective web site, you need to track statistics of user behavior on your web site. This requires some tools which I do not have and do not know about. In addition, you may not have the ability to administer the web server where your site is hosted. I have stumbled upon an easy way to track the number of people viewing my web sites, while making money at the same time. This requires the use of the Google AdSense program.

Here is what I have done. For each of my web sites, I have put Google ads on the pages. Each of these ads has a separate Google channel associated with it. Google AdSense reports then show you how many people visit each of the channels each day. You can also run other reports, grouping the numbers in different ways. I am already doing this to make money off the ads. So I kill two birds with one stone here. Just be careful when interpreting page impressions. If you have more than one ad per page, the Google AdSense impression count is per ad, not per page.

I have heard some rumors that Google offers more powerful tools to monitor web site activity. As of today I have not investigated these. They might not work on the sites where I host most of my blogs. I have limited administrative rights on those servers.

This is probably no great discovery. However I was pleased when I first saw these statistics. The first thing that caught my eye was the money I was making with Google AdSense. However these statistics help me figure out where to invest my time to get the most return on investment. It also let’s me try different things out and analyze the result on web traffic.

I imagine I need to graduate up to some more powerful tools if I want to take my business to the next level. And if that means I can make more money with smarter analysis, sign me up.