A year ago today I put the Google Analytics tracking code into Fuggled, having something of a lay interest in statistics. At school I was ok at maths, but never geeky about it, same with computing science really, I was generally top of my class but found history, and human beings in general, more interesting. I have to admit that I doubt I would ever have learned about Google Analytics but for my job in a web design company, but it does throw up a lot of interesting numbers and information that, if you are inclined to make money from a website, would give you ideas and pointers.
According to the dashboard of my Analytics account, Fuggled has received about 21,000 visits and 33,000 page views in the last 12 months - a few days are missing because I changed the template and forgot to put the code into the new HTML, d'oh. Of those visits, 37% come from referring sites (thank you all!), 34% come directly to the site (more thanks!), while the other 29% come through search engines or other sources. Those visits have come from at least 97 countries, the top five being the USA, UK, Norway, Czech Republic and Ireland respectively. Some of the countries with a single visit include Andorra, Zimbabwe and Nepal. Those numbers are all good and well, but they really only tell me that people from all parts of the world have read Fuggled in the last 12 months. The numbers that really interest me are the ones that give me some idea about the people that visit Fuggled, see I told you people are more interesting than numbers or machines.
Of the 21,000 visits, which represents nearly 9000 unique visitors to the site, about 58% are return visitors, who spend on average 2 and a half minutes of their time reading my wafflings, rants and other various thoughts. That tells me that most of my returning readers have an attention span longer that a tweet - which is hugely encouraging as most of my posts would require about 25 tweets, which I doubt I would have the patience to write. As an unrelated aside, while I like Twitter in general, I much prefer blogging and reading people's blogs, oh and if you are like me and sick to death of anything relating to Justin Bieber, just change the country you follow for trending to Germany.
Possibly the most interesting collection of stats that Google Analytics puts together has to do with the browsers and operating systems that people use to come and visit Fuggled. According to Netmarketshare, the most commonly used browsers are Internet Explorer (54.27%), Firefox (21.71%), Chrome (12.52%) and Safari (7.28%). My Google Analytics tells me though that the most common browsers from which Fuggled is viewed are Firefox (34.34%), Chrome (23.11%), Internet Explorer (20.23%) and Safari (18.52%). This suggests to me that most of my readers are reasonably tech savvy (I am yet to meet anyone in the tech world who admits to using IE in any form unless they absolutely have to) and independently minded, preferring open source tools. Apparently only 23% of my readers though use the Macintosh or Linux operating systems, but again that is is much higher percentage than you would expect if Fuggled readers were in line with market expectations, where Mac and Linux combined equate for only 6.5%.
As I said earlier 37% of Fuggled readers come to the site through referrals from other sources, when I take out the generic stuff like Google, Blogger and Twitter, the top sites referring their readers to Fuggled are Relentless Thirst, Are You Tasting the Pith, Pivni Filosof, Tandleman's Beer Blog and Beer Sagas - thank you guys for driving people my way, and if anyone reading this hasn't visiting their sites, pop on over when you are done with this.
Of course not everyone that comes to Fuggled does so through the good (I hope) graces of other bloggers recommending or linking to my site. People do in fact find Fuggled through search engines, Google being the overwhelmingly most frequent, followed by Yahoo and Bing. The keywords though that they find Fuggled with are quite interesting, of course "fuggled" and "velky al" are the most common, but then "fuggled limelight" and "hopped mead" feature prominently. Quite why "onion and garlic jam" is still the 5th most common search term to bring people to the site, some 3 years after I wrote that post is a mystery to me.
I am not entirely sure what any of this proves, but I find these numbers interesting, but as ever with me, it is the people behind the numbers that I find infinitely more fascinating. Those numbers suggest to me that Fuggled readers are, by and large, free thinking, experimental, independent and tech savvy, the kind of people I like to spend time with in the pub, as long as they put their smart phones down and actually talk to people rather than tweet about the beers they are drinking.