A very important part to making money online is keeping track of all the stats. You want to know where your traffic is coming from, when are the peak times during the day, what search terms are driving visitors your way, and so forth. It’s also imperative to keep track of growth opportunities in order to capitalize on all that potential.
There are a lot of (free) stat-tracking options for you to choose from, and one of these — GoStats — decided to order up a ReviewMe review to get their name out there. But what is it about GoStats that would make you want to switch, if you already subscribe to one of their stat-tracking competitors?
GoStats Is Not New To The Game
Let’s get one thing out of the way. Although I haven’t heard of the GoStats web traffic counter service until they ordered up this review, they’re not new to the industry. In fact, a big bold statement on the main page of their site proclaims that “GoStats has been providing a reliable web traffic counter service since 1999.” Some may say that they’ve lasted this long because of their utter simplicity. You can see this from the near graphic-less design of the website. It’s all the stats you need and not much else.
Choosing a Counter
When you add a new website to your GoStats account, you are presented with five different counter styles, each of which is available in a variety of colors. Some people enjoy having the numbers publicly displayed in their sidebars, whereas other people, myself included, prefer to have a more subtle button that people can click on if they are interested in your traffic stats. There is an option to have all of this data held private, but that costs money and I’ll delve a little deeper into that in just a second.
Of the five that you see above, I prefer the last one. It simple, it’s small, and it can easily be ignored by your visitors. By the same accord, there’s nothing about this button that makes it look special. When you sign up for one of those blog directory services, for example, you’ll notice that most of them have a similar looking button that you can install on your blog. Whether this is a pro or con is largely a matter of personal preference.
Installation of GoStats is relatively straight-forward. In fact, there’s a WordPress plug-in to streamline the process even further. If you’re running a different blogging platform, they’ve got you covered as well with information for Blogger, Xanga, and LiveJournal, among others.
What Stats Do I Get?
I found that the data offered by GoStats fits somewhere between Site Meter and Google Analytics. There appears to be much more information than Site Meter, but it’s not as complex to view as Analytics. These stats can all be viewed on an hourly, daily, and monthly basis.
Note: The stats to my blog are all zeros because this screen cap was taken right after I installed the code. I assure you that I get more than zero visitors. 🙂
Here is a non-exhaustive list of what you get: hits, visitors, sessions, referrer pages, search words, visitor paths, operating system, browser, screen resolution, and countries. These can be displayed as text or as a graph.
When you opt for the professional web stats counter, instead of the free one, you can access to a few more goodies. Check out the demo for more detailed information, but highlights include data surrounding visitor cities, min/max stats, custom period stats display, and the ability to hide the counter from the public. The professional counter costs $8 a month, $45 semi-annually, or $90 annually. Those are all in US dollars.
So Many Stats, So Little Time
I appreciate the minimalist approach that the GoStats crew took with their stat-tracking solution. The website is reasonably easy to navigate with minimal graphics, but the font was definitely too small, even for my 24-year-old eyes. Of course, you can adjust the font size in your browser, but that can muck up the look.
Is GoStats enough to lure me away from Analytics? I’m not sure, but it’s great that they’re able to break down the data into hourly chunks, updated every 60 minutes. There’s good support through the forum and contact form, and you can even make money through the GoStats affiliate program. And we can all stand to make some money online.