In the realm of podcasting there is one thing you will discover and might even become addicted to. No it is not the fame nor the fortune you will make from podcasting. Yet is it a particular service you will need and want. People will inquire about this item that is so addicting that it has closed shows down. Is it a drug? Is it the latest and greatest social network? No. Is it a set of numbers that tell you how you are doing in the scheme of things. Stats. What are your stats? Should you be worried about your stats? Why are stats important, and why you should at the same time not worry about them.
What are stats
Statistics or stats are the collection, organization, and study of data that is analyzed and interpreted to help give insight as to what your listeners and readers are interested in. Stats will help tell you if your show is doing good or bad, growing or shrinking. Stats are normally a third-party service that means you install a piece of code on your webpage and then the service will collect assorted data associated with what the user does on your site. Yet there are normally some type of stat service on your web hosting.
What’s services should you use?
By far the most popular is Google Analytics
Open Web Analytics – open source web analytic service that you run on your own site there is a WordPress plug-in that will allow you to be able to view in your dashboard but this service can be recourse intensive. So if you are wanting to run it you might look at running it if you are on a private server.
Clicky – Web Analytics that the price depends on the number of page view you get.
Count.ly – Web analytics for a mobile platform
Buzz Numbers – Social Media Monitoring
Data Torrent – Real time stream processing platform Enterprise solution
ViralHeat – Social Media stats service
Site 5 uses Awestats
Podcasting centered Stat services
Podtrac – Uses a redirect to gather numbers and information good but is difficult to change your feed if you need to.
Blubrry – Will integrate with your WordPress through the PowerPress plug-in or you can use a redirect Very good service. They have certified stats that you are able to give to an advertiser.
Libsyn – Many claim it is the best most comprehensive stats available.
Should you be worried about your stats?
Stats are great for telling you lots of great information about your site and your show, but they can be a point of useless obsession. When you first start and you release your first show you will want to check your site daily and at times hourly. You may want to see if a particular tweet is having any effect on your traffic or you start looking at your bounce rate. Yet these are only indicators to what people are looking for on your site. It that type of information s good to know but you will not see that type of information by looking at your site everyday. This has an old saying of Cant see the forest for the trees. Checking in on your stats from time to time is good because you will be able to see the different trends a lot better than if you check hourly.
Terms you should know
Hit – A hit is actually not important at all. At first people used to mention the hits their site would get and it was this huge number and that is because a hit is anytime a file on your webpage is called. So for example you home page has 25 pictures a CSS file, and a JS file. That would end up being 28 hits just for going to the home page. that is one hit for each image, plus the hit for the CSS file, a hit for the JS file, and the hit for the HTML document that is your homepage.
Page Views – This is what you will look at stat wise. how many page views or how many pages have been looked at? The difference is this is the whole page beginning counted instead of each individual element.
Bounce rates – Many people, including myself, can get a little nervous about bounce rates. A bounce is when a person goes to one page and then leaves. This could be caused by an assortment of reasons. Either your site is not easy to navigate, or it could be that the person who came to your site found what they are looking for and then left. So, it really depends on the context you are looking at your site to be able to tell whether it is a good thing or not.
Visits – This is how many times your site was looked at
Unique Visits – This is how many different people looked at your site.
Why are stats important?
Stats are very important. They tell you interesting tidbits of information about your sites that your listeners aren’t telling you. Many times you can glean some very rich nuggets of data out of your stats. They give you heads up of different trends that are happening on your site. You can find out how people are finding your site through what key words and what pages they are being attracted to. For instance This site is getting the majority of its page views for the Podcatchers/Manger list I created. Since this is the case I have started working a little harder on my reviews of these different apps so that I will provide a little more value to those who come by and maybe they will stay and listen to the show. Without the use of Google analytics for this I would not of figured that out and would be doing my visitors a disservice by not helping them out with their searches. If you have on site searching that helps you find new information you can provide in addition to what you already have..
Yet I shouldn’t worry about them?
No, I wouldn’t you can many times obsess about your stats and not see the whole picture. many a podcast has shuttered because they were not getting the numbers they wanted. Of course that shows that those particular shows were in podcasting for the wrong reason. So, maybe stats are good for weeding out, but then there are some great shows that closed because of numbers also. You numbers will grow. Your audience for your podcast will expand as you release shows and you engage your audience. Your marketing is more important, for growing your podcast audience while looking at your stats will help judge if it is working, staring at your stats will not.
Now How do you tell how many listeners you have?
Lets use Podcast Dojo numbers. I have had 658 Total Downloads. Most people would think sweet! I have 658 listeners. The Answer to that is no, not quite that number is for the past 3 months so you do not want to give that number to an advertiser. You will be messing up your chances Yeah the Total downloads sounds impressive, Well not this one at this time but it is growing but if you look at October I have 355 Total Downloads and 253 Unique downloads You can then look at all the downloads and find the average number of listeners off of the unique listeners and you can then have a starting point. Yea math I know not a big fan either but it has to be done from time to time. But how many subscribers so you have? that is a tough marker to put down unless there was a standard put into place that any RSS feed, Podcatcher or Podcast Manager would sent back a ping of some sort, but that wouldn’t go over well because people do not like to give out identifying information. In reality it is a guessing game as to how many podcast subscribers you have.
Tip of the Week
Be honest. When it comes to your stats be honest. Yeah your numbers might be low but they will grow. They will get bigger and if you engage your audience they will listen even more and tell other people about your show and so you will grow even more. But don’t lie about your stats.Not only are you cheating yourself you are putting a black mark on other podcasters who are looking for advertisers and sponsors.
Skype closing desktop API. This is putting a lot of podcasters in to a tizzy their way of recording podcasts is being pulled. Now this will mean one of two things either 1) People will start doing Mix Minus on their mixers or someone will come up with a program that will work around the problem of there not being a means to record Skype. maybe more people will go to Hangout on Air but that will not fix the problem of those who do not use a microphone. There has to be a solution of that will allow people to call phones not just other computers.
If you would like to have a WordPress site set up for podcasting you can go to Site5 and sign up and is doing so you will help the podcast out and I will give you a shot out and link to your site