If you run your own website, it is important to have a good insight into your website statistics. This tells you where to focus your energies to get the most bang for your effort. And seriously, there is no excuse not to do so, especially when you can do it for free. Check out www.google.com/analytics. It's free, signup is easy, and the reports are - well - pretty good for absolutely free. :-)
For instance, I was checking out where on the globe my readers are from. The biggest disadvantage of google analytics is that it reports only a snapshot of the last 5 days.
So, in the last 5 days (1-28-2007 to 1-22-2007), my visitors were from the following places on the globe -
Larger circles mean, more visitors.
Here are a couple of other insights I learnt from the data collected,
On an average working day,
- I received at an average of 70,000 visitors per day, 84.47% were new visitors, and close to 60% of total hits were from search engines. 54.93% were from google.
- > 500 visits per day were from the Microsoft.com domain (not referrals mind you). This means a huge # of MSFT employees are reading this either via google hits, or via subscription.
- The #1 country (in more ways than one), from which I get hits, is the United States - 18,400ish hits a day, followed by UK (3460), India (2310), Canada (2100), and Germany (1270).
- Only 1 out of 2993 visitors comes back to my site. In other words, most folks come around here via a google hit, and then go mind their business.
What does this tell me?
- RSS Subscriptions are a waste of time. With due respect to everyone who actually reads my blog posts dutifully, but 99.99% of folks simply subscribe, collect, and "mark as read" later. VERY VERY few folks subscribe to a very few handpicked blogs, and very few of them actually read it. Most of the true marketing occurs from "Google". In fact, RSS only makes it easier for others to steal content and add to my traffic bills. In future, I may choose to excerpt RSS, with an option to get full feed for those who are truly interested.
- Of search engine hits, a large massive chunk is still from google. Tells me that developers haven't really migrated yet to live.com etc. The #2 was a distant yahoo (not live.com) - atleast for my site. In short, I cannot ignore SEO.
- Area for possible improvement: Repeat visitors: A huge number of visitors to my site, simply view a page, and move away. In other words, I need to think of ways to click a few more links within my site before they move away.
... Added later ....
Okay, as I said above, "with due respect to everyone who actually reads my blog posts". The folks who do read my blog posts have frequently corrected, and added to stuff I have written. They are in fact the most valuable group of readers because they are probably the smartest, most driven, stay at the edge kind of folks anyway. My RSS comment was aimed solely towards the kind of individual who subscribes, aggregates, but never reads. Seriously, if you have > 100 rss feeds in your aggregator - time to clean up buddy.
So clearly my choice of words was incorrect, but atleast my thoughts weren't. RSS isn't a complete waste of time afterall.