Courtesy Google Analytics
It’s been three months and 40 posts, since I first put Google Analytics on my blog (installed 15 July). Observing the trends shows me a lot.
What I found was not what I expected. Here’s a summary of seemingly unrelated things I discovered by watching Google Analytics (GA).
- No weekly pattern has arisen.
- The average blog popularity shown by GA increased steadily over 3 months from about 12 to 25 hits per day.
- Stories are uniquely popular. People like to read accounts of my family and me but do not usually comment.
- People like reading about (and commenting on) blog statistics.
- The number of comments on a post doesn’t necessarily indicate its popularity. One of my most popular posts didn’t get any comment.
- Leaving a comment on another’s blog post can make a significant difference to my blog’s popularity during the following 3 to 5 days. If it's a popular blog, the increase can be quite noticable.
- Inclusion of links on a new post to related posts (as shown at the top of this one) can revive the popularity of these posts over the following 3 to 5 days.
- The average time viewers spend reading my posts has substantially increased from just over 1 minute to 3 minutes. There has not been a significant increase in the text length of posts over the same time.
- Site hit rate drops steadily during a period when I don’t post. For instance, the graph shown above indicates clearly this decline from the date of the last post, 10 Oct 2008, from 30 visits to 16 over a period of 4 days.
- The average bounce rate for all posts has decreased slightly from 59% to 57%.
- Unusual post topics incur a surprisingly low bounce rate, reaching lower than 12%. Some of those are about the blogosphere.
- Topics that show a bounce rate of 0% (and there are a significant number) have no common theme. Some of those are about the blogosphere.