The problem with RSS (aside from only being used by nerds) is that it is almost untrackable.
Sure there's Feedburner and Google Analytics can tell you how many people came to your blog specifically through clickthroughs. But when you've got the whole post right there in your reader, why would you ever want to clickthrough to the actual website?
Feedburner tells me there are 925 people subscribed to my blog. Hooray!
Do they ever read a post? No idea.
Well, about 400 a month do clickthrough to the website ... but who cares about that. I'm not an advertiser, all I want are readers!
On Tuesday I nerdsniped myself and spent the whole day trying to figure out how to do this - long story short, I didn't find a single way. But I tried several things:
Add it to the feed with the right parameters and voila. You suddenly know how many people read your RSS feed! Hooray \o/
Well ... no. Apparently Google Analytics ignore such requests. The referrer is probably wrong since it isn't your domain, just some sort of reader url or something.
Maybe the parameters I added to the __utm.gif request weren't dynamic enough. The cookie stuff was certainly missing ...
I even went so far as to make a special iframe-only look for my blog:
That's right, add a ?track_page=1 to a URL and you get a bunch of sharing widgets and google analytics. Let's make the iframe useful why not ...
Didn't work. Readers allow iframes on a per-case basis and apparently I'm not cool enough for them.
I'm very open to ideas for things to try here ... all I want is to look at google analytics and have people reading the RSS counted amonst the normal reader population.
Sure, Feedburner does have some sort of hack to look at "reach", but it bugs me that I have no idea what that actually means. And that it's not included where I normally look for stats.
Continue reading about Tracking RSS readers with Google Analytics
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