Month-end meta: February 2007

I get curious about who visits my site, when they visit, and why they come, so I use a number of different tracking services.  My favorite is Google Analytics, since it’s the most detailed and reliable, and it filters out the noise of all the bots and crawlers that pass through.  GA puts a little javascript at the end of the page, so it only tracks visits where the page completely loaded, and thus it also ignores anyone who doesn’t allow my site to run javascript.  That’s fine with me…I use Firefox with NoScript myself for browsing, so I’m sure there’s at least someone out there who’s invisible to my counts.  I also use the Slimstat plugin for WordPress, which gives me a good source for the search strings people are using to get here. 

Anyhow, I really like playing around with GA.  February is the first month for which I have a lot of good data, so I thought I’d share it with you.

Who is visiting?

Almost half of my visitors come from Arkansas, which is a no-brainer since probably over half of my posts since November have been about Harding basketball.  Of those, about 42% are from the Searcy area, 25% are from around Little Rock, and 18% are from Russellville.  60% of the Searcy visits were identified as being from the HU network.  The same goes for Russellville and Arkansas Tech.  ATU and Delta State are the only other GSC West schools that have regular visitors here.

Tennesseans accounted for about 10% of my traffic, a number that steadily increased over the course of the month, thanks to someone listing me on chattablogs.com.  About 75% of these are from the Chattanooga area, with a handful from Memphis.  Interestingly, the Chattanoogans only visit about 1.4 pages per visit, so these visits are of the click-and-go variety.

About 9% of my visits have come from Georgia.  Roughly 2/3 of those are from Valdosta, so I know I have family to thank there (thanks Chris and Jenny).  The Valdosta folks also visit twice as many pages on each visit (3.9) than the average visitor (2.3).

Texas (5%), Florida (3%, 4.2 pages per visit), and California (3%) round out the states that visited me more than just a couple of times this month.

Referrals

I only have a couple of incoming links to my blog, so I guess let’s look at who’s sending me a little traffic.

32% of my visitors drop by as the result of a search, and 31% of my visitors come as direct hits.  From the remaining group (referrals from other sites), about 40% come from Mark Elrod’s Lame-O Weblog, so I’m fortunate that Dr. Elrod links here.  Interestingly, over half of his referrals show Little Rock as their location (I expected Searcy).  About 19% of referrals are from Chattablogs, but I’ve only been listed there for about two weeks.  I guess that goes to show the power of getting listed on community sites.  8% of the referrals are coming from Braves Journal (redirected from my old Braves WPA blog), and about 4% are from Sabernomics.  Maybe JC will drive me some more traffic after his book comes out.

What are they coming to see?

I suppose my older posts have had the most chances to get visits this month, so it was slightly surprising that my Switchfoot post was actually the most popular.  I would have expected “Rules of Engagement” (#3) or one of my other basketball posts to top the list.  There are a lot more factors that play into this than simply popularity, but these were the top five:

  1. #1 – Switchfoot
  2. Harding outlasts Newell and Co. 79-70
  3. Rules of Engagement
  4. Harding knocks off #15 Henderson State
  5. My own Wikiality

These were the top searches bringing people to my site:

  1. harding basketball blog
  2. weird al yankovic
  3. harding weblog
  4. denarryl rice 07
  5. nick kohs

Other interesting search strings:

  • “ryan johnson” “sex offender” -“o’ryan johnson” -blues
  • how to use kenpom stats to predict final scores

The one about Ryan Johnson is awesome.  I hear the former Henderson State guard and Memphis return specialist still has some eligibility left for baseball, if anyone’s desperate for a leadoff guy who plays center field.  He might play rugby, or even wrestle, if you provide him with a few perks.

How long do they stay?

Some of you are gone in a flash, while others like to stick around.  43% of you made it through more than one page during your average visit, while 11% of you managed to surf through five pages or more of my writing (congratulations).  Two people out there cruised through 20 or more pages in a single sitting this month.

As for time spent, only about 39% of my visitors stayed long enough to actually read anything (more than 10 seconds).  Presumably, you’re in that group, if you made it this far on this post.  29% stayed longer than a minute, and half as many stayed for at least three.  Five percent were here for at least ten minutes, and four of you probably either got lost or worked on something else while you were here, clocking in at over half an hour for a single visit.

Errata

66% of my readers use good old Internet Explorer, a much lower figure than internet users as a whole, especially in the U.S.  A quarter use Firefox, which is awesome.  Eight percent of you use Safari, and I had but a single Opera user all month.  Hopefully my site doesn’t discriminate against the latter two, since I use Firefox almost exclusively at home and IE when I’m browsing at work.

All but 5% of my readers have Cable/DSL access or browse from a corporate network, so I imagine speed isn’t much of an issue.  I also had four visits from Linux users, which I thought was interesting.  There are some rebels out there, I take it.

What does this all mean?

Probably nothing, but it’s incredibly interesting to me.  I’ll try to address site traffic in a meta post about once a month, but I’ll probably only touch on the trends from here on out.  I already bore you with basketball stats on a regular basis, so I suppose I’ll quit while I’m ahead.  On the other hand, that’s probably why some of you read this.

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5 thoughts on “Month-end meta: February 2007

  1. Things are going well for you; thanks for the tip on Google Analytics. I still depend primarily on Sitemeter for my stats but I can see where GA will be helpful in the future.

    As far as the hits from my page showing LR as the source, I’ve noticed that my url occasionally shows that I’m logging in from Maumelle rather than Searcy.

    And thanks for the tip on Conservapedia and the Ars Technica site. That’s generated some interesting comments.

  2. I love GA, though it’s probably overkill on my blog, since I don’t have much traffic and I don’t advertise. It’s still incredibly cool, though.

    I’m not sure why it would think you’re logging in from Maumelle, but that might explain a lot of that LR traffic (assuming it considers Maumelle as part of LR). I’m not sure if it does that around Chattanooga.

    I figured your readers would appreciate anything to do with Conservapedia. I know I could spend hours there.

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