Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Statistically Speaking...

Unfortunately my Google Analytics account hasn’t been working for me/ I didn’t install the code properly so I will take an alternative view and analyse visitor’s use of my blog through my Stat Counter account. As Stat Counter and Google Analytics collect the same type of data, I hope the results I have will be equally as useful.

I’ve found it quite fascinating to look over the information that has been collected through this account, with the results being far more promising than I had expected. I am really surprised to learn that since setting up my blog in February it has received 193 unique visitors, with 97 of these being first time visits and 96 returning visitors, with 428 page loads in total so far.
Although I know that the majority of these visits will be from classmates, there have been visits from internet users from as far away as Beverly Hills, California, with someone from Quinter in Kansas recorded as spending 15 hours 49 minutes and 38 seconds viewing my blog (doesn’t quite seem right?!). What I found most interesting though was the fact that someone from Somerville, Massachusetts arrived at my post, ‘ Social Media Envoy as New Online Celebrity Endorsement’ through googling the terms ‘ celebrity endorsement and malaria’. They did, however, only spend between 5 and 30 seconds on my page. Still, quite good to know!

Although the majority (56.8%) of visitors spent less than 5 seconds viewing my blog, 10 people (8%) spent around 5 minutes browsing, with 27 visitors (21.6%) spending longer than an hour. The website does point out that there are problems with accurately trying to assess how long people are looking at your blog, with these figures only being an estimate, using the last time during a visit that the viewer loads your webpage as the exit time. I would guess that the people who were recorded as staying at my site for over an hour had more likely left it open in a separate browser! The stat counter site also points out that it’s very important to install the same code on each page of a website to gain a better insight into how longer viewers are browsing the entire site for.

Looking at the exit link statistics lets me find out how many people have followed each link I have included throughout my blog. The majority of my links have been used at least once, with various people leaving the site to go to one of the PR blogs through my ‘Interesting Digital PR/Communications’ page. In analysing how people have reached my blog I see that the majority, 68 visitors, reached my blog through the link on the StirPR Blog spot. One visitor came to my blog by using their iPhone in London. It really is quite amazing how much you can find out about your visitors! But this is probably more interesting for me than anyone else... The graph below breaks down the total amount of visitors to my blog in February, March and April.

What I will say about tools like Google Analytics and Stat Counter is that I can definitely see how they could be highly useful to organisations utilising social media channels, particularly within PR campaigns. Statistics such as this could not only indicate to what degree people find your website or blog interesting and engaging (by analysing visitor length times and exit links) but they would also help in the evaluation stages of a campaign, giving practitioners very useful and accurate statistics on the global reach of a campaign, as well as specific locations of those who were exposed to their messages.

1 comment:

  1. I initially had the same problems with google analytics, found it really frustrating! I agree that for a personal blog the information received is probably only personally interesting however for an organisation the information can be extremely useful as you have outlined above. I will definately be using google analytics in future ventures!