Wednesday, July 31, 2013

10,000 hits

Climbing numbers

There has been an explosion in hits on this website. It started when I took out a Google Adwords campaign in June, 2011. I’d been averaging between four and five hundred hits a month; that June I hit 744 and was thrilled.

They’ve gone up each month since and I’ve watched the graph from Blogger go higher and higher. A year later, I’d reached 1000 visitors in a month’s time. In December I doubled my daily cost at Adwords – and the numbers went nuts: 2679 in January, 2703 in March, 3273 in April, 3674 in May, 6005 in June.

Now I did nothing special in June to create that increase. Cynthia Sax guest blogged and accounted for an uptick in hits that week, but nothing to account for a near doubling in hits. But July got busy and I just left things on autopilot while I went on vacation and then hid myself at our cabin to write my next book (which has a good start...I’m hoping to get more time there next week to write another chunk).

So you can imagine my surprise when the numbers started climbing all on their own. This month I crossed the 10,000-hit mark. Shelley Munro’s blog post brought in a significant number of visitors (over 300!), but again, nothing to account for the spike.

Where are the visitors from?

Until this month, the top two countries of my visitors have been the United States (number one every month) and Canada (number two every month). The UK and Germany trade places in third and fourth (every month).

THIS month, however, the US is NOT #1 – Pakistan is. The US is #2. Myanmar is #3, followed by Azerbaijan, Mongolia, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Mexico and Columbia. You’ll note my usual top countries didn’t even make the list.

Now, I would love to know I have readers in those countries. Because Amazon separates out royalties by country, I know I have had sales in Germany, Italy and the UK this month. So I have an international audience. I just don’t think there are 10,000 of them.

I also use StatCounter because it gives me some information Blogger doesn’t. Because I use the free version, it only holds two days worth of data. StatCounter confirms Blogger’s ranking.

I suspect a rat. A robotic one.

Visitor length

The stat that StatCounter gives me that I find most important, however, is the one called “Visitor Length.” This tells me how long people stay on the site.

According to this counter, 79% of those who come to my site stay less than five seconds. Another 5% stay less than thirty seconds. In short, 84% of the hits were from bots. These are sites that ping the site to see if there’s a way in to hack or leave a spam message. Thankfully Blogger is good at blocking them from doing their damage.

What that means is that only 16% of those who come to the site do so because they intended to. Because they want information or to participate in the latest workshop.

At first, that number depressed me. Sixteen percent? That sounds terribly low.

But then I did the math and realized that 16% of 10,000 is still 1600 people. Sixteen hundred people! That’s HUGE! That’s four times the number of people from two years ago. And if the same percentages were to hold true then as they do now...this site is doing quite well!

Reasons for rejoicing

  • The number of real people who visit the site because they want to has quadrupled in the past two years.
  • The Google Adwords campaign has brought people to the site. Unfortunately, I have no way of knowing how many of those who are real are here because of that campaign and how many are bots.
  • Guest bloggers are also good for business. Shelley and Cynthia hold the top-ranked posts of all time.
  • My sales are up – my self-published book sales are double what they were last year. 
  • Blogger is a good site for keeping the bots at bay.

What’s next?

I might suspend the Adwords campaign for a couple of months just to see what happens to the stats. My suspicion is that they will go down. Will my sales sink as well? Only one way to find out.

Thank you!

I am truly grateful for all those who visit because they want to. You are a quite bunch. Only a few leave comments and to those few, a special thank you. The numbers mean I’m not alone in the world, but your conversation helps me feel less isolated.

If you’re new to the site, be sure to sign up for my newsletter (sign-up box is in the top right corner). Check out the tabs at the top – you’ll find more information about me, about the books, about writing, up there.

Let’s see how long it takes to get to 20,000!

Play safe,

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