Web Analytics – More Observations

This is the forth article in this series on Web Analytics. This post came about because I read a suggestions to compare current usage with a similar time frame in the past, so I compared information from October 2006 to October 2007. When these two reports were generated, I filtered out known spiders/crawlers and all clients coming from ISU addresses. I wanted to look at how the general public use our site.

Metric % Change
Visits to the Site Up 37.5%
Unique Visitors Up 31%
Visitors Who Visited Once Up 30%
Visitors Who Visited More Than Once Up 35%
Page Views Down 18%
Visits to Home Page Down 9.5%
Home Page as Entry Page Down 9.5%
Views of the Home Page Up 10.5%
Number of Searches Up 27.5%
No Referrers Up 21%

The first thing that jumps out is that the number of visits is up 37.5% and the number of page views is down 18%. The average number of page views per visit went down from 3.5 to 2.1. Defiantly supports the one and done theory. What this report doesn’t show is how many visits only saw one page, and how many saw multiple pages. I may need to see if our version of WebTrends will give me that information.

Other Observations:

  • I can’t explain why the number of views of the home page went up by 10% when the number of visits went down.
  • 9 of the top 50 entry pages in October 2006, today give a “File not found” page. This was some Excel training materials that we took down because they were for an ancient version of Excel (version 5 or 6 I think). Opps.
  • In 2006, 22% of the visits Entered through one of the top 50 entry pages, in 2007, that dropped to about 16%. The “Long Tail” is getting bigger.
  • In 2006, 6 of the top 50 files downloaded from the site were feeds, that number stayed the same in 2007. However, if you score them like a Cross-County meet, 2007 wins 75 to 121. All 6 feeds were in the top 25 in 2007, while only 4 were in 2006.
  • The feeds in the top 50 also changed a lot. Our main news feed went from number 41 in 2006 to numbers 2 (ATOM feed) and 18 (rss feed) in 2007. The ATOM feed didn’t exist in 2006.
  • The top 5 countries stayed the same (US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, UK), but beyond that, they were all over.
  • The percent of searches from Google was 87% in 2007, up from 86% in 2006.

The way people are using our site is drastically changing. Much of what I’m observing is consistent with what I’ve been reading about people’s browsing habits. It’s an exciting time to be doing Web Development!

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