Google Analytics 2006

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.

Search Terms

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:

  1. slow cooker recipes
  2. lornajane
  3. crochet
  4. microwave cheese sauce
  5. 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.

Moving Forward

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.

10 thoughts on “Google Analytics 2006

  1. So maybe posting about my traffic levels wasn't a great idea as I seem to have brought the wrath of the internet down upon me - this site was full of comment spam when I got up this morning!

    As an immediate reaction (as the dud comments seem to be still coming) is to add the captcha which you will see after you preview your comment. I hope that's going to be OK for everyone.

  2. Getting more links is definately a good way to boost your search engine ranking. I recommend submitting any sites with your link to Google and Yahoo, or they might not count! Putting them in your delicious will help them get spidered too.

  3. Geoff: Does linking still help with search engines? I hear that it isn't as well-rated these days and to be honest nearly everything I've read recently about SEO has been of the "content is king" flavour so its something I've never worried about. The places I feel I ought to have links are places where I "hang out" online, I often click through to people's profiles to learn a bit more about them and I certainly get recordable traffic levels from sites where my URL is available in association with my persona.

    How does everyone like the captcha? I've just failed to remember I was supposed to turn on images to be able to comment ... oops :)

  4. You might want to see what people are saying about building up "quality links". Hard to say what works best, so it's a good idea to use a mixture of SEO techniques.

    I certainly can't see having links to your site can't be a bad thing anyway. On that note it's worth mentioning that some SEO techniques can have negative results, as they may be deemed as spamming.

  5. I'm still not sure I want to go around dumping links on a scale that is going to be readable by a search engine. The kind of links that work for me are the ones where people will want to follow it for a reason - either to find out more about me or to read something I have brought to their attention. A good example is that mentioned my office dress miniseries over at phpwomen.org and quite a few people dropped by and added their thoughts.

    This links in nicely with some comments which follow another post, urls that suck as Mike (who prompted me to write about this in the first place) has dropped in and given some good insights on this subject

  6. Personally, I think there is little value in submitting your site to search engines these days - it's just as well to get listed organically. While there are things I do to help search engines along (semantic markup, ensuring URLs are friendly and that pages have a single URL), there are so many factors involved these days, that I don't see too much point in trying too hard - unless SEO is your business, or in your business' interest.

    Lorna, thanks for this post - a good reminder that I actually need to post something for bots to pick up on! Fresh content will keep your search rankings fresh.

    By the way, I use Brian Warren's anti-spam plugin for textpattern because CAPTCHA's are inherently inaccessible. Even a confirm checkbox or an extra field in your comment form asking an answer to a simple question would be a more accessible solution.

  7. Hey dotjay, I was wondering when you would drop in and share your wisdom :) Having had the captcha for a few weeks I'm really not enjoying the experience so I will certainly be checking out your plugin suggestion.

  8. The captcha is now gone and the new plugin installed so let's see how we go! Hopefully this will eliminate the problems a few people have had when posting and also allow a spam-free life.

  9. Its that time of year again, out with the old and in with the new. And 2008 was in fact a very exciting year, mostly professionally, and almost entirely unexpectedly.

    I kicked off my year by getting my ZCE, which seemed like an excellent start. For m

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