To me, the best way to track the traffic to all my sites is by using Google Analytics. It’s pretty easy to use if you’ve created your own sites. All you have to do is sign up, drop in the code they give you somewhere on each of the pages on your site (or only those you want to track), and you’re good to go.
As an example, I’m going to take a look at one day’s worth of traffic, instead of an entire month. On June 6th, I wrote my second rant against New York state and those stupid internet taxes. I guess it was a passionate enough topic for once because it got over 140 readers; that’s my best day ever for a blog post.
Google Analytics tells me how many visitors I got on that day for all my posts, though I can select just one to see the information on it. It tells me how many page views total, as well as an average of how many pages people read on average, the bounce rate (how many people left my site after the initial visit without checking anything else out), the average time spent on the site, and the percentage of new visits.
It then gives you an overview of visitors, which, for one day, doesn’t really tell me much, and a map overlay, which is really intriguing because you can break it down into countries, then states, and even cities. The folks in Cali seemed to love me on that day. Then you can see the traffic overview and the top 5 pages that were visited on that day, or that time period.
Of course, it goes deeper, as that was only the main page, but I just wanted to give you a flavor of the types of stats you can get. If you’re running an Adwords campaign you can use Analytics to track it for you also. And the visitor numbers are way more accurate and realistic than those numbers your host will give you.
All in all, I believe this is something people should be using, even though I also use Site Meter. This has so much more for you, and it’s free; can’t beat that!