Why yes, this is a shameless self-promotional piece. You are, of course, free not to read it! Read on though, for some thoughts and ideas on website analytics mining…
The World Wide Web is truly world wide.
In 2011, this little corner of the Internet had just over one million visitors. While that number boggles my mind, what I found the most interesting was the map (shown above) of visitors. Darker shades of green = more visitors.
Folks from 194 different countries / territories across the planet stopped by in 2011. Best I can tell, we only missed 100% coverage by 12 countries:
- North Korea
- Sierra Leone
- Western Sahara
- Central African Republic
- Papua New Guinea
The first two misses are no surprise. The next eight are all in (mostly central) Africa, and the final two represent either end of Asia. If anyone knows someone in those countries, with interent access, ask them to stop by sometime!
What’s the Point?
Does there always have to be a point?
OK, so maybe the point is a geography lesson or two. For example, did you know that Eritrea (zero visitors in 2011) is a former Ethopian province that became independent in 1993? How about that Azerbaijan (167 visitors in 2011) is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia?
Now you have the answers to two potential questions on Jeopardy!
See, learning is fun!
OK, so maybe geography lessons aren’t the point. What did I learn that might actually be of value by studying the locations of my site visitors?
I learned we had more visitors from Tucson (7,729) than from Queen Creek, AZ (6,082). Granted, the population of Tucson is significantly higher than that of Queen Creek, but “The QC” is local, Tucson is 120 miles away. We’re far more likely to help someone buy or sell a home in Queen Creek than in Tucson (thanks mostly to Jeff Turner). So maybe it’s time to step up the effort and attract more Queen Creek residents.
I learned that over 25,000 of our 44,000 site visitors from Canada are in Alberta and British Columbia. Not surprising since most Canadians interested in Phoenix real estate reside in western Canada. But I also see that the province that sends the third most visitors from Canada is Ontario, a decidedly eastern province. And we had more visitors (3,171) from the far eastern provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia than we did from twenty U.S states. Maybe it’s time to not focus entirely on western Canada… Heck, we get 121 people every day who live in Canada visiting the site. Maybe it’s time to provide a little more info to all our northern neighbors.
The point is, dig into your analytics. There is an insane amount of info in there (assuming you use Google Analytics. If you don’t, you should). I don’t care if you have a real estate site, an e-commerce site or a whatever-you-have site. There’s gold in those analytics. Mining gold can be tricky work — ever seen the show Gold Rush? It’s an oddly compelling show about a bunch of often clueless guys trying to mine gold in Alaska (2,1612 visits) and the Yukon (42 visits). Mining analytics gold can be tricky work too, but it can help you see things to improve and be rewarding as well.