I subscribe to two different stat tracking services, but I pay for neither. That means that depending on the service I am either limited to the most recent week of data, or the last 100 visits. Still, that is enough to have some fun. I love looking at my stats, but not because I want to know how many people visit. I like to see if I can discover why they visited. One of the features is a 'World Map' indicating the location of the visitor's ISP. Here is the map for my last few visitors:
I like to think of who could have visited that I might know. You don't see this, but if I mouse over each point it tells me the name of the ISP and location. It looks like maybe Michelle was there, maybe Eric or Jeff too. Victoria could be Chris, and I think the Oregon hit might be Sue or Andy. Of course the North Carolina hit from army.mil was either Kara or Shannon... but probably Kara.
I also like the visitor length pie chart. It tells me if anyone has stayed to read anything, or if they immediately leave.
You can see that roughly half the people left after reading the title, but nearly a third stayed for over an hour. This chart is based on a calendar week, and it just reset, so we are only seeing today's numbers but I am happy to say that this ratio seems to hold true over the course of an entire week.
Like I said though, my favorite part of keeping statistics is trying to discover why a person visited. My first step is to review the 'Came From', or 'Referrals' section. It tells me the exact URL that a person was on BEFORE browsing to my site. This usually tells me when they arrived by clicking the 'Next Blog' button in the top of any Blogspot blog, or through a search engine, or links from other sites. For example, this blog is listed on a site that lists blogs by women, and it is also linked to on my Yahoo and MSN accounts. A couple of my friends even have a link to my blog on their blogs. (By the way, thanks Sarah and Jenn for the links!) This page also lets me know when Gwen or Devin have visited because they both use webpages to keep track of stuff for them, like the urls of their friends' blogs.
My favorite feature though has got to be the 'Keyword Analysis'. This is where I get to see what people were looking up in a search engine that eventually led to me. Sometimes people look me up by name, sometimes they are looking for transgender, and I've had my fair share of same-sex marriages hits. The fun ones though are when someone is looking up something completely unrelated and just sort of stumble on my site. Realistically, I think they are likely one of the visits that is less than 5 seconds long, but I like to imagine that every once in a while someone who unintentionally stopped at my site might stay and read some of my articles and come out with a positive feeling. Who knows, maybe someone reading one of my entries might change their mind about what a transsexual really is, and won't feel so bad if someone they know comes out as one.
As it turns out, I have made one partridge joke in my entire life, and it is in this post.
So, it is Wednesday now, a few days after I posted the top part of this post. Remember how I said I like to try to discover how and why a person got to my site? Below is a breakdown of all the search terms a person has used to get here in the last few days. They all made sense except for that last one...