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Posted September 7, 2009

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What Is StatCounter

what is my google page rankStatCounter is cool software that monitors visitors to your Website

Statcounter is a powerful javascript based Web analytical tool that is incredibly useful in monitoring visits to your Web site. There is a lot to love about Statcounter. First of all its free version does everything its paid versions do. The only difference in the free and paid versions is the amount of pageloads per month and the log size. The free version allows for 250,000 pageloads (visits plus visitor activity to your site) per month and has a maximum log size of 500 which is large enough for most blogs and Web sites.

Scoroncocolo TechPages StatCounter

StatCounter's Recent Visitors Google Map Tool.

Should your site become so popular that it attracts more than 250,000 visitors per month, you can up-grade to 1,500,000 pageloads/month with a log-size of 1,500 for $9 per month. Pageloads are simply visitors to your site and the hit counts they create as they click through the pages on your site. Log-size refers to the statistics compiled by Statcounter and made available to you about your visitors. For instance, with the free version Statcounter's Popular Pages tool will show you the most heavily visited pages for your last 500 pageloads. Or the Recent Visitor Google Map tool will plot your last 500 pageloads on a Google Map like the one in the above image.

There's more to love about Statcounter. For instance, unlike some Web tracking software, Statcounter is very simple to use. Statcounter doesn't spam you with unsolicited email. They don't put anything at all on your site that your visitors can see, although you can opt to have visible counters on your pages should you choose to. Statcounter allows you to have several "projects" on a single account. This means that if you have several different Web sites you can track them all on the same Statcounter page.

Signing up and getting started using Statcounter is extremely simple. All you need to do is go to and create an account. Follow the simple instructions and then copy and paste the code that Statcounter generates for your site on to the bottom of all of the pages on your site.

What Can StatCounter Tell Me

The free version of Statcounter can tell you a lot about your last 500 pageloads. Remember, pageload equals visitors plus their activity on your site. Among other things it can tell you which pages on your site they visited and how long they spent on each of those pages. It can tell you where they came from - a search engine or another Web page, for instance. If they arrived via a search engine Statcounter can tell you which keywords they used to find the page they landed on. It can tell you which Web browser your visitor was using when he/she visited your site. It can tell you what screen resolution they were using (e.g. 1024 X 768). And then there's the Google Map that I mentioned before that can tell you approximately where each visitor is physically located. Statcounter not only tells you which pages your visitors looked at on your Web site but it can tell you which page they were on when they left your site.

Here's how Statcounter works once you have installed the Statcounter code on all of your pages. When you go to and enter your user name and password, you are presented with your Projects Page. This page shows you how many hits you've had today, yesterday, this month and the total number of page loads since the project was set up. But now comes the real fun. If you click the icon next to your project name that looks like a bar graph, you will be taken to a new page. This is called the Summery Page.

Scoroncocolo TechPages StatCounter

The StatCounter Summary Page

The default configuration of the Summery Page is designed to show you a bar graph of the number of visits for the past seven days. The green bar shows the number of total page loads for a particular day. The blue bar indicates the number of unique visitors. The orange bar shows the number of returning visitors or visitors who have previously been on your site. So, you would like to see the green bar rising much higher than the blue bar since this means that people are clicking around on your pages and not just hitting one page and then surfing away.

The illustration above shows a portion of the Statcounter Summary Page. When you log on to the page looks like the above screen shot. It shows you your hits for the past seven days. But if you look closely at the above illustration, you'll notice that there is a menu at the top of the page that you can click on that will show you hits for the past seven weeks or months rather than the past seven days. On the left-hand side of the Summery Page (not shown in the above illustration) Statcounter presents you with all of the powerful statistical analysis tools that you can use to study the way your visitors are using your site.

And by the way, if you use WordPress, Aodham Cullen has authored a StatCounter Plugin just for you. The link in the sentence above this one will take you to a page where you can grab it. You can trust it to work because Aodham Cullen is the 28 year old Irish computer genius who single-handedly authored Statcounter when he was 16 years old!

StatCounter vrs. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is all about presenting AdWords and AdSense information in a new way to give you more control over your advertising campaigns. Google AdWords lets you advertise your Websites on other sites while Google AdSense allows you to display ads on your pages. Google Analytics lets you sort visits to your site from paid search engine listings, direct visits from people entering your URL directly into their browser, or from unpaid search engine listings. Statcounter doesn't sort out paid entries from unpaid categories automatically. An e-commerce site would be better off using Google Analytics while a blog site would find Statcounter more user-friendly and useful.

There's no reason you can't have both Google Analytics and Statcounter both embedded on all of the pages of your site. Your pages will take a fraction of a second longer to load, but that will be hardly noticeable. I used to use them both. Nowadays, I use only Statcounter because as I said earlier, Google Analytics is tool designed to monitor Point of Sale, PPC (Pay Per Click) AdWords and AdSence and I'm not using my site to try to sell anything. I don't have any ads on my site so Statcounter is all I need, at this point.

Another difference between Google Analytics and Statcounter is that Statcounter is "real time" and Analytics only updates once a day. Google Analytics cannot show a visual counter on a web page like Statcounter can. (Personally, I find visible hit counters to be sort of tacky, but..."Oops, did I say that out loud?"). Google Analytics only tracks visitors to your site that have JavaScript enabled, while Statcounter tracks all visitors whether they have JavaScript enabled or not. That said, both tools will miss a visitor from time to time. I won't go into why that is here but their initials are China and Iran, among others.

How to Configure StatCounter

Scoroncocolo TechPages StatCounter

Click the tool icon to get to Configuration page

Clicking on the wrench icon on your Statcounter Home Page will take you to the Installation and Configuration Page. This is the page you'll need to go to so that you can configure the code that you will latter add to the bottom of all of your Web pages in order for Statcounter to start tracking visitors to them. After you have done that and your project is underway, you'll want to go back to this page and click Edit Settings. Here you'll want to find the IP Blocking box and add the IP address of all of your computers so that Statcounter doesn't count you and/or your company employees as visitors when you log-on to your own site. Then go back to the Installation and Configuration Page and click Create blocking Cookie and click the button so that the bottom line on the page reads: "Your visits are NOT being logged".

For those who need a refresher, here's how to find the IP address of your computer. Click Start and go to Run and in the dialog box type CMD. You should now see the dark DOS window. There will be a cursor blinking meaning DOS is ready for input so type IPCONFIG and press the Enter key on your keyboard. You'll be presented with a list of numbers. One of those will be your IP address. It will look something like and the periods between the numbers are part of IP address.

You can use the Installation and Configuration Page on Statcounter to customize your project in a number of ways. There you can opt to have a visible hit counter installed on your pages or not. You can change the way Statcounter presents information on your Statcounter home page and number ot other things.

StatCounter and Search Engine Optimization or SEO

I've been using Statcounter for over two years now. In fact I analyze certain statistics on Statcounter almost every day. I use the information on Statcounter to SEO the pages on my site. SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. I've written about SEO on a couple of my other TechPages. The information I glean everyday from Statcounter is indispensable in helping me to optimize my pages for gaining more search engine traffic. One of the stats I check everyday is Recent Keyword Activity. This tool tells me what keyword phrase my visitors typed into Google, Yahoo Search, Bing ect. that lead them to land on one of my pages. Within that tool I can click that phrase and Statcounter will take me to Google's, Bing's or Yahoo's SERP (Search Engine Results Page) and show me where I ranked for that particular word grouping.

Although Statcounter is powerful software and can give you a great deal of information about individual visitors to your Web site, there is nothing in the software that compromises the privacy of your visitors. Here is an Important Privacy Note from Statcounter's Web site: "Personally identifiable information such as visitor's name, telephone number, postal address and email address are technically impossible for StatCounter to collect and no attempt is made to do so."

Thanks For Visiting the Tech Pages

use seo to get more hitsQuestions? Comments? Did I get something wrong? Email me at and I WILL get back to you.

Please add this page, or better yet my entire site, to your Favorites and keep checking back. This page is a work in progress. long tail seoI intend to edit it and add to it from time to time. I've learned a lot about PageRank and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) while researching for this post. I intend to learn even more about Pagerank and SEO in the near future. And soon I'll be sharing some more insights on these subjects with you. In the meantime, if you have any ideas about how I could enhance the content of this page, please email me about it.

If you see anything in this post that needs to be corrected, email me about that, as well. I'll make the changes and make sure you get credit for spotting my mistakes. If you have any questions or comments about anything in this post or any other posts on the Tech Pages, email me at and I will get back to you.

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