Last year’s site stats

I have over a full year of Google Analytics data for this site now, and I have spent an hour today pulling through the data.

The key thing I get out of it is the disparity between what I think this site is for, and what the data shows other people use it for.

Anecdotally, people at work who read this often stop me in corridors and talk to me about it. A lot of people love it – use the quizzes, follow the links, look at the photos.  Some other councillors like the recipes.  Some councillors however just can’t see the point.  They think it’s weird and don’t understand why people bother to read it.

Now I have a lot of data to pore over to see what’s going on.   I got an average of 80 hits a day, with a huge peak on 5th March.

66% of them got here after using a search engine, predominantly (in fact 89%) Google. The average reader spent less than a minute here, suggesting they typed something in to google, came here, and either found what they were looking for or didn’t, and went off again.

Top ten search queries that found me were:

  1. pear crumble (recipe link here)
  2. facebook
  3. alex foster
  4. hip delay
  5. dead like me music (answer here)
  6. gay rubber (eh??!)
  7. kpmg anthem
  8. tenbury wells floods
  9. niles blog
  10. we all know frogs go

22% of readers came here because they’d followed a link on someone else’s site. These readers spent more time here – more like over a minute each.

The top ten referrers were…

  1. libdemblogs.co.uk
  2. librivox.org
  3. iaindale.blogspot.com
  4. libdemvoice.org
  5. liberalengland.blogspot.com
  6. niles.org.uk
  7. bloglines.com
  8. leigh’s blog
  9. navitron (solar panel suppliers – I posted on their forum)
  10. catstripe.co.uk

Finally, 11% came here because they wanted to.  Called “Direct Traffic” in Analytics, these are the people who are here because they typed the URL into their browsers directly.  You must be my real readers, so thank you very much!

Of course, it’s slightly more complicated than that.  The people who came here through links in Bloglines are the people who’ve decided they want to follow the info here.  The people who put “alex foster” and “niles’s blog” into Google also wanted to come here, but couldn’t remember what the website was.  And the people who went to http://www.niles.org.uk – really need to update their bookmarks!

The referrers are interesting.  Some are understandable: libdemblogs is designed to send more traffic to people like me.  Iain Dale is interesting – I’m listed as one of many in his links, but in the last year, as far as I can see, he hasn’t actually written about me at all.  The year before, he was bigging me up enormously, and my traffic reflected that, but it’s interesting he can send substantial traffic my way without even talking about me!

“Facebook” in the google search terms is similarly weird.  At one point in the year I blogged that I had joined facebook.  For several months after that, I was top of the list if you googled facebook.  I was ahead of the actual facebook website.  Bizarre.

At the end of the day, however,  you just have to hand it to the 957 people last year who wanted to make pear crumble.  I really recommend the recipe!

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