If you’re serious about the SEO of your blog, then you need Analytics. There’s no way around it. Otherwise how are you going to keep track of your traffic? Maybe you can consult the psychic services of Keen.com, but that costs money whereas Google Analytics is free.
Knowing the exact quantity of your traffic enables you to negotiate better deals for advertising and puts you in a better position to project further growth. Without Analytics your SEO efforts are going to amount to little more than shots in the dark. Simply put, you need it if you ever want to make money from your site.
But it’s imperative that you remember to exclude yourself and other non-value redundant visitors from your Analytics traffic reports. This can easily be done through the Analytics settings. By handing over your set IP and the IP addresses of other internal visitations, you limit errors made in your self-valuing of your blog. You don’t want to be in talks with advertisers when you discover your initial traffic estimates were grossly overinflated.
It’s not just about the raw traffic numbers themselves. The average time spent on your site by visitors is incredibly important information. The time that you and other administrators spend on the site is typically significantly much longer than that of the typical visitor. By eliminating your own record within the traffic you get a much better idea of how long people linger on your site. The two-hour block you spend on your site averages out the two-minute visits into inflated lengths of time. To you, it appears awesome. To a trained SEO, it’s obvious the numbers don’t add up to your pagerank.
One nifty act of insurance against your own IP falsely driving up traffic would be to essentially block Google Analytics through your web browser. Firefox and other browsers provide many blocking add ons, many of which include ways to block Google Analytics from retrieving data from you. With that said you’ll no longer be able to contribute tracking traffic data to other sites, so use it only if you’re having problems preventing redundant traffic statistics after eliminating your own IP (if you own a laptop then you’ll constantly be having to add new IP addresses.)
Just always remember to eliminate as many recurring internal visits as possible. It only leads to inaccurate traffic data, which only leads to a waste of time when reaching out to advertisers.
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