I published my first blog post exactly one year ago today.
Because this is my 21st post, it means I’ve published one post every two and a half weeks, on average. Not too bad, but I’m aiming to post once every 2 weeks in the year ahead. I also have some multimedia plans, so stay tuned for updates.
What does the data say?
So now the juicy bits. I use Google Analytics to track site stats so lets have a look at the numbers. First, a caveat: I’ve set up some rules inside Google Analytics to exclude known ‘spiders’ and ‘bots.’ Essentially, these are computer programs that crawl the web for various reasons, so because they’re not people, I don’t want them to be included in my stats. In saying that, a small proportion of these numbers are probably skewed by bots in some way (it’s very difficult to exclude them entirely).
Bounce rate is the proportion of users who navigate away from the website after viewing one page. Mine is quite high, probably because most people are interested in reading a single post I’ve just tweeted. The average session duration is probably underreported too, because bot traffic registers as spending 0 seconds on a page. Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised with the number of users and pageviews. Not too shabby!
Lets take a look at how these users are trending over time:
After a quick skim it appears the peaks coincide with when I tweet about my new blog posts, or when I’ve been in the media, which you would expect.
The vast majority of visitors to my site have never been here before:
And generally, my readership is based in New Zealand:
My guess is most of the visitors from the US and Italy have landed on my site after searching topics related to brown marmorated stink bug, as the bug seems to be causing a lot of damage in those countries. Most of the UK visitors probably stumbled onto my site after reading a piece in The Guardian about the species of native NZ wasp I named after a Harry Potter character.
And finally, lets look at the 10 most popular pages:
The single ‘/’ refers to my homepage, tomsaunders.co.nz, so it makes sense to be the most popular. However, I’m quite surprised at the popularity of my guide for using zotero with google drive. What also stands out is the average time people spend on that post, suggesting it is quite useful (or extremely difficult to follow!). I would imagine its the most popular page because I dedicated a few tweets to promoting it, and used hashtags popular among academics and students.
Overall, a very encouraging result. I’m hoping to get involved in more conversations with people in the comments of my posts, as very few people have commented so far. Heres my chance! What do you think of these results, and do you have any tips of your own for getting the word out about your blogs? Let me know in the comments.