Well, 2013. What is there to say, really? You were the best of times and the worst of times. I hate to think that all of the good parts will be forever overshadowed by the one bad thing, but I have a hunch that that's the way it'll go. In 40 years, when I try to think back and remember 2013, losing Ellison is probably the first thing that will jump into my head. But maybe if the internet still exists and I can track down my ol' blog, I'll poke around and remember that there was really a lot of good in 2013, too. That's the plan, anyway.
I don't need to recap what happened this year-- it's all there in the archives. But I love analyzing my blog itself. What happened on the blog this year? Now that's good times, right? I used to do much more frequent posts and updates about the wealth of info that Google Analytics provides, but I actually don't think I've done one since last New Year's Eve-- a tragedy!! But a tragedy I can work towards fixing today.
Between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013 (at 9:20 a.m.), this blog had...
-87,207 visits (a 76% increase from 2012!)
-132,366 pageviews (a 96% increase from 2012!)
-an average visit duration of 1 minute and 54 seconds (that's over 30 seconds longer than in 2012...exciting!! You can deal with me for ALMOST TWO MINUTES at a time now!!! Doesn't this make you feel like Matt is a saint for living with me?)
-912 visits that lasted for more than 30 minutes-- these visitors get the 'quality time' award. (And don't worry, those of you fretting that you might be skewing the very important numbers here because you sometimes just leave the window open with my blog pulled up...Google is smart and it only counts your time for as long as you're 'actively engaged' with the page- clicking stuff, scrolling...it won't count your time if you leave the computer on my page for 2 hours while you take a nap!)
In terms of "Referrals"-- sites that send traffic my way...
(I'm not including feed readers this year, though the various readers together combine to make up the vast majority of my 'referrals.' But they're boring, so we'll skip them.)
*I'm including the number of visits and number of 'new visits' because that's really interesting to me. 'New visits' means it's the first time Google has recorded that person (IP address, really) ever coming here. If you return again, even via the same referring site, your visit gets recorded, but you're not a 'new visitor' anymore.
#1- Kelly's Korner; 7,005 visits; 44.9% new visits (which means that over half of these people return to the 'show us your life' link-up where they found me in the first place and continue navigating here via that post of hers. So interesting!!)
#2- Blogger; 6,859 visits; 8.78% new visits (this makes sense, since this means that over 90% of these visits are from people's Blogger dashboards...and the only way you got me to appear there was to have visited me at least once before and 'followed' or otherwise subscribed to my feeds. The other 9% must be from the 'next blog' button on the top of every Blogger blog.)
#3- Meet the Joiners; 6,582 visits; 7.41% new visits (this means that there are a couple very regular blog readers who only come here via my link on Amanda's page!)
#4- Facebook; 2,357 visits; 36.91% new visits (Facebook is a relative newcomer to my 'top referrers' list. I attribute this mostly to a few of my posts being shared and re-shared on FB, which brought in some modest new traffic.)
#5- E, Myself, and I; 2,209 visits; 18.29% new visits
-In all, there are 383 'referring sites.' That seems like a lot, but it's a little misleading because of the way Analytics breaks down the sites now. For instance, if the referring website was being viewed as a .ca or .uk (as opposed to .com), it counts it separately. So (for example) it has my referrals from Aubrey's blog, which I and most (all?) Americans view as www.aubreyandnick.blogspot.COM (except we wouldn't capitalize the COM, but it's there for emphasis), broken down into like 10 different things. There are thousands of referrals from the address I just wrote, but then a couple hundred more from www.aubreyandnick.blogspot.CA (I guess those are Canadian referrals), more from www.aubreyandnick.blogspot.AE (no clue), more from www.aubreyandnick.blogspot.DE (no idea)...and more and more and more. You get the idea. Even though Aubrey only has one blog and REALLY all of my referrals are all coming from that one place, it's broken down into at least 10 different sub-referrals and I'd have to pick through and add them all up to find out how many people Aubrey REALLY sent my way. Make sense? It's dumb. And this is for EVERY referring webpage, not just Aubrey's! So...that's why I know there aren't really 383 DIFFERENT referring sites. End of rant.
5,928 people found their way here by Googling something. 44.52% of those were first time visits.
There are 829 different words/phrases that people searched on that brought them here. Sadly, of the top 10, 1-9 are boring and predictable combinations of my name, 'matt y erika,' 'something beautiful,' and other normal things like that. However, we should definitely pause and look at #10:
"aly raisman boob job" brought 58 people here!!! HA!!! Obviously I wasn't the only person wondering about that situation during Dancing with the Stars last spring!! Sadly, it appears the 98% of those people didn't stick around and become repeat visitors. I guess I failed them since I didn't have the answers to that important question. Oh well.
My 10 most popular posts/pages, by number of pageviews:
-my homepage (78,780)
-About Me (1,928)
-Infertility Link-up...and some Serious Man Fashion (1,581)
-Devastating News (1,431)
-Two and a Half Days (1,019)
-A Christmas Grammar Intervention (985)
-The Money Tree (809)
-Wow. Just...wow. (743)
My personal favorite posts of 2013:
-o my soul
-today I woke up crying
-a Christmas grammar intervention
Other noteworthy blog milestones of 2013:
-I started creating reader surveys regarding any number of ridiculous topics. Those are some of my favorite posts!
-We had some lengthy discussions regarding blog-related topics, such as threaded commenting and blog Facebook pages. Normally there was no clear consensus that came out of these posts, but they were a lot of fun!
-I started a blog Facebook page. I kicked it off with Twelve Days of Ridiculous and Unnecessary Gift Ideas and that was loads of fun.
-I got my first extremely hurtful anonymous comment. I seriously considered quitting blogging altogether for about a day. I've since decided not to, obviously, but I still feel panicky every single time I see an anonymous comment come in.
-I was completely overwhelmed by the love, support, and kindness of the blogging community during the period of time surrounding our adoption match, birth of our daughter, and failure of the adoption. BLOWN AWAY. I couldn't (and can't) fathom the love and generosity that yall poured out on Matt and me. It has challenged and encouraged me to be a more generous and caring person myself, and that is my one goal (or 'resolution') for 2014: to pay forward the kindness that was extended to me during my hour(s) of need.
With that, I'll close the books on another year of blogging. It was a really good one, to be honest. I'm incredibly thankful for the friendships I've formed, for the soul sisters I've found, and for the opportunity to bring even a little bit of humor and silliness (and/or tears, depending on my mood) into your days. Thanks for everything...see ya next year!