Google Analytics provides a lot of knowledge, all rolled into one page (or, several). It also provides all sorts of terms that you may or may not have any knowledge of.
Blogger provides stats too, but they are severely limited. However, Blogger’s stats are easier to read for the average user.
Which one is better? That depends on your needs.
Blogger’s stats only provide so much. They only provide the top 10 results (for “now”, “day”, “week”, “month”, or “all time”). Blogger also doesn’t provide any information on your visits, just your page views. Blogger’s stats give you a general idea of where your visitors are coming from, and what posts they are seeing the most.
Blogger also provides you with a map and some basic stats on where your viewers live. As you can see in the image on the right, most of my viewers are in the US with some in Canada. A few others are in places around Europe and Asia, shaded with a lighter green.
You can also see what browsers your viewers primarily use, and what operating system is on their computer. However, you can’t tell what screen resolution they’re using.
It doesn’t specify how a certain post is being found, either. You have to piece it together. Some results are obvious – a Google search for “fried green tomatoes” and you have a post for fried green tomatoes – obviously that’s how it was discovered. Some aren’t so easy to figure out.
Blogger’s stats provide a limited list of keywords used to find your blog. You can get the top 10 keywords/phrases used to find your blog, but beyond that, you won’t know.
Blogger does have convenience points over Google Analytics. Blogger’s stats are automatic – built in without any effort on your part. This means you don’t have to worry about messing them up. And you won’t have to open a new tab/window to see them.
The stats shown on Blogger are easy to read, convenient, and also more current than Google Analytics. Blogger allows you to see what your readers are looking at today and even now.
If that’s all you need, Blogger’s definitely king.
Google Analytics, on the other hand, can provide pretty much everything that you will want to know, but you’ll be a day behind.
With Google Analytics, you can view your visits, unique visitors, page views, a graph of how much of your traffic comes from direct traffic vs referrals, and see all the keywords and phrases used to locate your blog.
You can go through a specific month, a span of months or days, etc. However, Google Analytics doesn’t let you see current stats. Your most recent stats will always be from the previous day.
Google Analytics also isn’t so simple and straightforward. It provides so many statistics that a beginning user may get a little overwhelmed. What is the difference between a visit and a pageview? Why do I need to know all this? Where to even begin?
The other potential problem is that you the code is not built in. This means it must be installed and maintained. Although leaving a piece of code in your template isn’t difficult, it can pose problems (then again, perhaps that’s just me). You have to make sure that the code stays in your template.
Which is Best?
In comparison, Google Analytics is obviously above and beyond Blogger’s built-in statistics. However, for a quick peek at how you’re doing, to see what your viewers are looking at now, or if you don’t care for all the in-depth analysis, Blogger’s stats do very nicely.
Perhaps you have a different analytics program altogether that you prefer? I’m always looking for useful software – tell me more in the comments.