Yesterday saw a new high in my daily hits. I thought I’d share an annotated stats graph, to illustrate how things have grown.
Around mid-December, I was seeing hit rates of around 200-300 per day. Then, just before Christmas, the hits “spiked” to a peak of 794. I was in the office with Richard Brown at the time, and we talked about why this might be – not coming to any clear conclusions. We did both agree that a sudden surge from the 300 mark to nearer 800 was probably an anomaly.
From the chart, you’ll see that over the Christmas period itself, the hit rate settled back down towards the 250 mark. I wasn’t posting, and I suspect that most people were, quite sensibly, spending time with their families and not reading my blog.
After Christmas, I started to read Ted’s book, and to apply some of the ideas – things like intelligent linking; choosing the titles of my posts more carefully; thinking about keywords; and generally trying to analyse the content that readers were interested in and produce more of that. I’ve also been trying to work on “pillar” posts… read the book for more on that! When I posted the light tent series, I got a pleasing (and so far sustained) increase in traffic. Since then, the hits have stayed high, by my standards – even over weekends, which were historically low points.
Yesterday I couldn’t believe my eyes when the hits had zoomed past my previous high of 894 by just after lunch. It ended up at the magic 1459 figure – just short of 1500, but still more than double the number from the previous day – and with no new posts! There’s a deep drop so far today, but it is going up by the hour, so it may well level off to where it was last week.
Why the sudden interest in little ol’ me?
The number one culprit is the now-infamous Renewing car tax online post. On the “spike” days, that single post can easily attract several hundred hits alone. Taking that one out of yesterday’s stats, the total would have been 646.
Why the periodic surges of interest in that post? I have a theory. Car tax falls due on the last day of the month. I reckon that the DVLA probably sends out letters to remind people to renew somewhere around the middle of the month. I won’t be able to check this for sure for another 2 months, when mine will be up for renewal again. However, both of the significant spikes have been mid-to-late in the month.
Interestingly, the way that most people seem to find their way to the post is by entering the URL for the DVLA’s tax renewal page into a search engine, which brings them to me. The weirdest thing (to me) is, why do they search for the URL, rather than typing it into the browser address bar? And when they have searched for it, why do they click through to my site, rather than going to the DVLA? Depending on the search engine, I’m only 5th or 8th or something on the list or results, whereas the actual site is 1st.
Now what I need to do is to associate some kind of advertising with that post – there must be a way to make some money here 😉
The nicest part is that the overall trend is upwards, despite the spikes. Over a 90 day period, that stats graph would show a significant upward trend from the 100/200/300 hits per day November and December 2005, to the average ~700 last week.Various posts, particularly those on Photography, the TomTom, and Second Life, are continuing to see traffic on a daily basis. I’d like to say that my more specifically work-related entries are popular too, but I guess it is a while since I posted anything earth-shattering, and I’m trying to post in other places now, too.
I’m still learning how to do this blogging thing, but hopefully I’m making progress. Thank you for taking an interest in my writing.