Yes, bloggers can know who visits their blog. However, there are certain aspects about the person who visits their blog that they cannot know.
A person who visits a blog has many attributes. The person has a location, time of visit, device used to access the blog, age, gender and so on.
Bloggers can know most of these attributes about people who visit their blog but some attributes they can’t tell.
For example, bloggers cannot know the skin color of the person who visits their blog. If a blogger meets a person who visited his website, he cannot recognize his face.
Therefore, we can say bloggers can know who visits their blog but then the degree to which they know the person varies.
How Bloggers know who Visited their Blog
Bloggers know people who visited their blogs using tracking tools. There are a number of tracking tools that bloggers use to track visitors.
These tools measure different parameters. Bloggers choose tools based on the parameters they want to track on their blog.
The most common way bloggers know who visited their blog is by using a tool called Google Analytics. With this tool, bloggers can tell a lot about people who visit their blog.
Google analytics tracks users when the blogger puts a short unique code in the header of his website. Since all browsers have to read the code in the head of a website before opening it, they read the unique code too.
When the browsers read the unique Google analytics code, they exchange information with it. There are technical ways through which computers communicate.
In simple terms, your browser is asked to give certain information before being granted access to the website.
It is that information that is recorded and given to the owner of the blog. This is why you see some websites asking you to accept cookies. Those cookies are requests to add a tracking code to your browser.
There are more technical behind the scenes communication that goes on between your browser and the website you want to access though I won’t go into detail about them in this article.
Why do Bloggers track People who Visit their Blogs
Bloggers track readers of their blog in order to achieve specific goals they have about their blogs. For example, a blogger may be targeting to be popular among males in Finland.
The only way this blogger can know if majority of readers of his blog are males in Finland is by tracking the country of his blog readers and their gender.
It is through that tracking that a blogger will know what to do more to attract his preferred audience.
A blogger may also want to know the type of blog posts that readers spend a lot of time on. Such statistics help the blogger know which type of blog posts to write.
There is a host of reasons that make bloggers track people who visit their blogs. In the end, the goal of a blogger is to help his audience and make money.
What Bloggers Know about their Blog Visitors
When bloggers use the Google Analytics tool to track their readers, there is basic information that is gathered from their users.
Here are some of the parameters that bloggers track:
By default, Google Analytics helps bloggers know your location. Your location is based on an address given to your device called an IP.
That IP is given to every device that accesses the internet. In the IP, there is a section that discloses the location of the device.
Each country is given a specific code. All devices accessing the internet from a given country will have a section of their IPs containing the specific country code.
Google can read that code and tell which country you come from.
As tracking technology has improved, the Google analytics tools can also tell the city you come from.
2. Device Used
The device you use to access a blog is recorded. The browser you use gives information to the tracking tool about your device.
Since a browser that runs on an iPhone cannot run on a Windows laptop, it is easy to know which device has accessed a website based on the browser used.
Browsers are designed to give information about the devices they are running on because different devices have different requests.
For example, how a website appears on a laptop is not the same way it appears on phone. It is the browser you are using that gives a request to a website to give it a mobile version or a desktop version.
3. Clicks on the Blog
If you click any link on the blog, the blogger can know that. Clicks are tracked to help a blogger know how many pages a visitor read.
Also, if a certain link is clicked by many visitors, it is a sign that people love whatever is recommended there.
Companies that pay bloggers to advertise their products may ask the blogger to share how many people clicked on their link. This is why links that a blog reader clicks are tracked.
4. Frequency of Visits
If visitor is coming to the blog for the first time ever, a blogger can know. If the visitor has visited a blog before, the owner can also know.
This is accomplished through a tracking code called a cookie. When you visit a website, the website may request to put a tracking link on your browser.
If you accept, the website will put the tracking link on your browser. The next time you visit the same website, the cookie that the website put on your browser is identified and you are marked as a returning user.
The advantage of having a cookie from a website is that you can resume the previous session you had on the website. If you have an account on that website, through the cookie on your browser, you can login without the need of typing your password afresh.
5. Time Spent on the Blog
A blogger can know how much time people who visited his blog spent on it. Whenever you visit a blog, a session is created. This session sets off a timer.
When you leave a website, the timer stops and the time you spent on the blog is recorded.
A blogger can tell how much time you spent on each blog post if you read more than one blog post.
Those are some of the default parameters that bloggers know about their blog readers.