Blog analysis: the first six months

My website has been up and running for just over six months now, so it seemed like an appropriately arbitrary time to write about some statistics gleaned from Google Analytics. I don't really expect anyone other than me to be interested, but I'm slightly obsessed by it.

General Statistics

Firstly, in six months, my site has had ~1500 visits, ~4400 page views and over 62 hours has been spent on my site (I've probably spent more). Apparently (according the benchmarking page) it's about three times what the average, small science site has received. In fact, the only metric for which my site under performs the benchmark is the bounce rate: about 60% of people who visit my site leave it immediately, which is quite sad. On a more positive note, the average time people spent on the site was two and half minutes, which seems reasonable in this busy day and age.

Popular Pages

Below are my top 5 most viewed pages, ignoring the front page. The number in parentheses is the number of page views in six months

  1. Pygame physics simulation (402)
  2. Interactive SVG map (353)
  3. Inkscape arrows (254)
  4. Creating a Pygame window (196)
  5. About me (157)

It's good to see that people are interested in my pygame physics simulation tutorial, but I'm quite surprised that the interactive SVG map page has been so popular. When I wrote the Inkscape arrows blog entry, I thought people would find it useful, since adding arrows to lines in Inkscape is unnecessarily obscure. In fact, perhaps unsurprisingly, my most popular pages are all basically tutorials; people are most likely to come across my blog when searching for the solution to certain problems. Finally, I'm really quite surprised how many people have viewed the about me page.

The next five most viewed pages on my blog are all pages of the Pygame physics simulation.

Search Phrases

Search engines account for 56% of traffic to my site. Looking what people typed into a search engine to find my website supports the idea that people find it when looking to solve particular problems.

  1. inkscape arrows (87)
  2. peter collingridge (85)
  3. inkscape arrow (43)
  4. pygame tutorial (28)
  5. arrows inkscape (27)

Three of the top five searches are for Inkscape arrows or some combination of that, which seems to be something a lot of people have trouble with. It's slightly scary how many people search for Peter Collingridge, but I know that not all of them are looking for me.

Search Words

The problem with complete phrases is that the more ways of phrasing an expression, the less frequent individual phrases will be. For example, there aren't that many ways to rearrange the words Inkscape and arrow/arrows, but people search for many combinations of physics, pygame, python, particle, simulation, tutorial. To get around this problem, I separated (by writing a Python script naturally) the words, and counted them individually. I also combined plurals and any misspelling I noticed.

The top eight individual keywords are:

  1. inkscape (212)
  2. arrow/s (208)
  3. pygame (157)
  4. physics (118)
  5. simulation (112)
  6. peter (102)
  7. python (95)
  8. collingridge (95)

It seems that people really want to know how to draw arrows in Inkscape.

Geeky visitors

Looking browser capabilities of visitors to my site I'm impressed that more people used Linux (18%) than a Mac (16%), though it's a shame that Windows is still so dominant (not that I can talk, since I've mainly been using Windows). I'm also impressed that over 40% of people visited my blog using Firefox, and 21% used Chrome; IE came in third with 16%. I like to think that this reflects the fact that the people who visit my site are highly discerning (and geeks).

Outcomes

Whilst I mainly carried out this analysis for my own vanity, it has highlighted the areas of my blog I should concentrate on. Seeing how many people view the page of Inkscape arrows (and then immediately leave), I have rewrote it to make the relevant information much clearer. It can be found at a quick glance. I have also written an article that explains the different ways to add interactivity to SVGs in a clearer, more systematic way. Similarly, it has encouraged me to tidy up and expand the Pygame physics tutorial.

Finally, on seeing how popular the Inkscape arrow and Pygame pages have been, I thought I could write an even more popular article explaining how to create arrows in Pygame.

I probably should have (and might later) drawn some pretty graphs to accompany this article, but it has taken me too long to write already. 

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