Writers are an obsessive lot. Stats and numbers are particularly compulsive. We obsess about our daily word counts, the number of stories we have in print, the number we have ‘doing the rounds’, the daily fluctuation of our Amazon rankings, and more. In my case, a recent addition to my list of numbers to pore over, in these days when having a website is a mandatory requirement for a writer, is website stats. I use Google’s own analytics tool, which provides a wealth of data for me to stare at daily.About the last week, for instance, I can tell you the following:
My website has had 161 visitors. Between them, they have looked at 708 individual web pages on my site. Tuesday was the most viewed day, possibly due to the journal entry I made. The average number of page views per visit varies over the week, from 3.84 yesterday, to 5.1 on the Tuesday. Over the week, 107 people entered via the main website, with another forty landing on a journal page and then having a look around.
Of the total 161 visitors, 109 visited the website for the first time, while 52 have visited before. 10% of new visitors take a copy of The Flesh Remembers away with them in download form.
More visitors find me using MSN searches than Google or Yahoo (which surprised me for some reason). I have more American visitors than anything else. Of the 161, the top ten visiting countries are as follows:
United States – 84
United Kingdom – 42
Canada – 9
Italy – 4
Mexico – 3
Australia – 3
India – 2
Switzerland – 2
France – 2
Philippines ‘ 1
If I choose to, I can break these down further. For example, the nine Canada visits come from three parts of the country.
Quebec – 4
Alberta – 4
British Columbia – 1
Most search engine searches that find my site use a combination of my name, and one of the stories or books I’ve written.
Can I do anything with this data? Not really, except to be pleased that people are visiting the site at all. That’s not going to stop me poring over it daily though, in much the same way as certain people try to divine meaning from the patterns tea leaves make in the bottom of a cup (back in the days when people actually used tea leaves, of course – the advent of the humble tea bag has put many a scrivener out of work).