Monday, August 4, 2008

Referrals make significant contributions

Tēnā koutou katoa - Greetings to you all
I’m still watching my Google Analytics - looking for patterns that might tell me something useful. It looks like I've a long haul ahead of me. One chart that caught my interest, however, was Traffic Sources showing referring sites contributing to about 54% of visits.

I followed up a few leads, hoping to see a reason for the referrals and of course there was some. Two clear-cut peaks indicated referrals from one particular site,

It was easy to see how these had come about when I checked the dates. I’d made a comment on one post on the 21st and on another later post on the 26th. The first I attribute to 8 visits the following day (22nd) with a tail of 1 visit the day after. The second attracted a cluster of 5 during the 3 days following my comment with a solitary visit occurring 6 days later.

What I find interesting is the almost immediate response from visitors prompted by the comments, followed by virtually no visits at all.

This pattern is not unlike the pattern I’ve found with comments to a post – a blip (size depending on the post of course) followed by virtually no more comments once the blip is over.

I’m still analysing.

( 9 ) ( 8 ) ( 7 ) ( 6 ) ( 5 ) ( 4 ) << - related posts - >> ( 2 ) ( 1 )

Ka kite anō - Catch ya later


Ken Stewart said...

Let me know if you find anything ;-)

I have found that working with communities where readership has common interest with your content is the best long term value. This allows you to slowly elevate consistent readership.

Otherwise, you will see spikes in traffic with no "conversion" - or return visits.

I am still quite new at this as well, and am working to isolate what leads to consistent growth and stickiness.

So far my only solid suggestion is consistent and quality content that rings true with your targetted readership.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Ken

It is significant that you mentioned "with no conversation", for that's exactly what's happened here. Ostensibly 15 visitors over a short space of time, none of whom entered into discussion. I wondered about this from the statistical point of view. And I've noticed similar patterns in the stats at other times but none as clear-cut as this grouping.

I can follow your thinking about "consistent readership" too - another theme that I've been thinking about. I guess it would be possible to almost define that from the visitors who comment.

In a comment I left on Darren Draper's post I outlined what I defined as the edublogosphere. My hunch is that this almost exclusive group of educators seems to maintain itself with (very) few visiting commenters who are not also edubloggers.

In the commentsphere (that definable bubble of the blogosphere influenced by a blogger) there would be a number of known edubloggers who leave comments. It is possible to identify those while it is not so for the other visitors. What I'm witnessing here, I guess, are these other visitations, some of whom may well be edubloggers, but not necessarily, but who are not part of my commentsphere.

Thanks for extending my thinking Ken and also for the useful tips and ideas. I'm working on those ;-).

This could be a fascinating study.

Ka kite

Ken Stewart said...

Ken, while your point of "no conversation" is well taken and a repeated theme you will find, my comment was actually regarding "conversion". In other words, what it takes to transfer someone from a 1-time or casual viewer into subscriber. This is the first step in gaining traffic. Most conversations on this topic I follow indicate content is key, and likewise this content topic will tend to define the niche to which you travel within - generally speaking of course (to your second point on Edu-bloggers...

I do enjoy the content, and continue to stop back by for some good reads about every 2-3 days - just fyi as my reading habit ;-)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Ken!

Thanks for your support on this theme. It hasn't escaped my thoughts. My July post on Participation In Social Media cites a post by Skellie who says similar things as you do - I don't doubt your advice on these.

Skellie talks of studying the post writing technique and getting the topic right for the niche, which may be quite narrow. To some extent, edubloggers have quite a broad interest. I guess because educators seem to be interested in so many aspects of teaching and learning there is a lot that appeals to them which what makes the commentsphere so large for many edubloggers. By all accounts, the bubble of edubloggers is enlarging as we breathe.

But this does not detract from what you are saying - I'm still studying it :-) .

Ka kite