How do you track visitors?

I keep on reading here about the amount of people viewing a particular site, and other stats like that, and I would like to know what software is used to track that, so that I can install it as well(BTW I use wordpress on my site)

Google Analytics, safe and simple. Works like a charm. Has a WordPress Plugin, too. Knows your visitors better than they themself do.

I use both Wordpress' built in stats package and Google Analytics. They're roughly equivalent in the things that they both track, but Google tracks many more things. If I want a quick overall picture, Wordpress is the better choice. If I want to dig into the data, Google Analytics gives more options.

Hey um, I looked at wordpress integration with Google Analytics and apparently you need to pay some sorta monthly subscription fee. Is there anyway to integrate the two without paying?

Oh, that I don't know. I run WordPress on my own webspace, so there's no barrier for that. :/

I've my own webspace too, but on the google analytics page for wordpress it says I have to pay for integration so I'm not sure.

One thing I have noticed is that people are generally more likely to have Google Analytics blocked than Wordpress. That's why it's best not to rely on just one of them (although, of course, there will be those people who block both).

However, tracking visitors only gets you so far. Tracking readers requires a bit more work. A lot of people using Wordpress or equivalents will update as they would a blog, putting each release in a separate post. Useful as this is, it can warp statistics: new visitors might click on the latest update before deciding it's not their thing, while regular readers will bookmark or tab their way through the story, often visiting a single entry multiple times. Google Analytics can tell you how many "unique" visits a page has received, but that's not always accurate either.

It takes more effort than just posting each chapter as a whole, but I split each release into eight pages. The first and last pages will always receive more hits than the rest, because of those aforementioned new visitors and regulars, but by looking at the figures for the six pages in-between, I can get a rough idea of how many people have read the chapter (minus those using blocking apps, obviously). Although this might seem a little OCD, it gives me a good idea of things like retention rates and reader behaviour, which would be much harder to gauge if I was just blog-posting chapters.

Ok sounds cool. Can you point me to any good tutorials on how to do that?

I wouldn't know about any tutorials; I figured it out by myself! And I'm not sure what there is to say besides "you split each update into parts". You'd probably want to use Wordpress pages instead of posts to avoid cluttering up the RSS feed, and it helps to use child-pages to keep everything organised. And since you're using pages instead of posts, you'd have to include your own navigation links.

Then, once you've got it set up, you'd get data like this:

Chapter 5 Page 1: 693 views

Chapter 5 Page 2: 541 views

Chapter 5 Page 3: 526 views

Chapter 5 Page 4: 528 views

Chapter 5 Page 5: 533 views

Chapter 5 Page 6: 622 views

And from that you can extrapolate that around 526 people read the chapter. Get that data for each chapter, stick it in a basic spreadsheet, and you can start picking out patterns in readership, such as areas of binge reading and where readers dropped off.

There are multiple versions of Google Analytics. One is free. The rest you have to pay for. The free one is linked below. All you have to do is sign up. You'll have to register the site you plan to track with Google. You'll also have to put a file on your site with an ID they give you. After that, you'll have to put a bit of Javascript on every page on your site either by 1) putting the code in the template footer, or 2) using a Wordpress plugin and putting your site's unique ID into the plugin.

You can't use Google Analytics if you use the free version of Wordpress, right? Because the free version doesn't allow for plugins or messing with site code. (I very much hope I'm wrong on that one, but I've tried a couple times and haven't been able to figure it out.)

I have a free Wordpress blog, not a Wordpress site. But the Wordpress sites I've seen have used Jetpack, and it's basically allowed for the same level of stats knowledge.

Really idek if you need more stats info than what Wordpress provides. But it would be nice to have an idea of bounce rate, if nothing else.

I use a variety of tools to get a ballpark figure. For my website, I use my back end provider's analytics and Jetpack.