I have written about Google Analytics before, once or twice but I haven’t managed to put across the sheer volume of information. Today I had a look back at 2006 (the first year for this site) and looked at how it went. I thought I could share the main points with you and show you round a corner of analytics in the process.
On The Front
On the front page there are four views. Here they are in turn with a little bit about each:
This view usually shows a one-week breakdown so you can clearly see how many of both page views and visits there were in each day. Viewing the data for a whole year is completely different and for the first time I started to see how much the traffic levels have changed over the year. The first post on this site is dated 18th Jan although you wouldn’t guess that from the graph.
New vs Returning is another picture that looks completely different now. It usually shows about three quarters new visitors but for a few months back at the start there were a few people producing all my traffic so I’m pleased at how its evening out. I have no idea what proportion of new to returning visitors is “good” for a website but it looks OK to me.
I love the geo overlay picture, special mention to Lig who is the reason for the small blob in the pacific with no visible landmass below it! The map as a whole shows who my visitors are, English speakers and Europeans for the most part. My goal for 2007 is to get some blobs on that map for South America!
Referring sources. Also very weird because this looks quite different to usual. FairyJo what are you doing there?? My referrer list usually shows either phpwomen.org or dotjay but one is new and one only has posts on it sporadically. I’m completely confused how I get so much traffic from del.icio.us and I have no idea if that’s a good thing or how I might build on that.
My top search terms are a source of constant amusement to me, although the increase in traffic has moved me away from the world of bizarre search terms that only bring one visitor. I refuse to cite those there in case I boost my rankings for bizarre search terms :)
For 2006 my top search terms were:
- slow cooker recipes
- microwave cheese sauce
- cheese sauce
Considering I started this site as a place to keep track of technical things that I needed to write down but would then immediately lose in the next house or server move (we’ve had more than our fair share of both), my visitors are clearly more interested in food.
So, the choice now for increased traffic is whether to learn and then write about some more slow cooker recipes, or whether to be a bit more focussed on the technical areas I cover and get the links to this site into my signature on the various sites I join in with.
Or then again, maybe I’ll stick with my original plan and write what occurs to me as it happens! Hope that was interesting to everyone, suggestions for new direction and demands for more information about the Google Analytics tool are most welcome.