Tuesday, December 31, 2013

the year-end blog analysis: 2013 ed.

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)
-Infertility (3,555)
-Chosen (2,712)
-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:
-the locusts
-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!


  1. I am totally surprised at how much you can learn from Google Analytics. It kinda makes me want to go look at mine... but then I'm afraid that will be too much thinking for this early in the morning! Ha! Hope you and Matt have a good NYE!

  2. I LOVE this post! I love to use Analytics, but I don't post about it. Too fun. Happy new year!

  3. whew!!! that is a GOOD year!!!! That is awesome! So cool to read all the facts too! Cheers to another great year in 2014!

  4. I think it's funny that I've referred people to you! Just because I feel like most of my readers have come from you, a much more loyal blogger :). Happy New Year, friend!

  5. I've had some INCREDIBLY hurtful comments (which is why my comments are on moderation.) The most hurtful one though was when Xander went through his health crisis in 2012 and someone told me to take him back to the agency. Like I could just return him like defective merchandise or something.


  6. I am so thankful to have found you this year and can't wait to hear and see the amazing things the Lord will do in your life in 2014!

  7. Those are some interesting statistics. I must have missed when you posted about Aly one DWTS but she seriously did look completely different in the boob department. I guess that's the magic of costuming && the proper undergarments.

    I hope that 2014 brings you and Matt many more good times than bad. Your positive attitude and ability to find the good in life is remarkable. I will continue to pray for a child to come your way...and stay with you forever. Happy New Year!

  8. What a fascinating post and a great way to end the year. Out of all of the 2013 recaps out there today, yours has been my favorite...thanks for thinking outside of the box.

    Also thankul to have found your blog this year and look forward to seeing what you have in store for us in 2014! :-)

    Wishing you nothing but the best in the new year!

  9. 2013 was a rough year friend. I am praying the best for you in 2014. I can't wait to see what exciting and hilarious things you and Matt are up too. Thanks for letting us be a part of your journey. Love you bunches!

    On a side note, when I pull my analytics….your blog is one of my top referring sources. Your readers totally rock!

  10. Here's to 2014 kicking the asses of the years 1982-2013 for you :)

  11. Probably the highlight of this post (and of 2013) is the fact that my blog gives you the 3rd most referrals… a really proud moment for me indeed.

    In all seriousness, although I know it was not always easy to share, I am thankful for you sharing another year of your story and letting us in on the laughs and the tears. Love you, friend!

  12. Hmm, I'm going to have to figure out the Analytics thing. I want to know all that info on my own blog but have no idea how.
    Praying for God's blessings on 2014 for you and may this be the best year ever! =)

  13. Way to go! Love all the statistics! Keep your head up, you're doing an amazing job. You have many who love you to the moon and back! I for one, and extrememly thankful to have found you :) I hardly know you and I love you already. Plus, I am just uber excited to see what 2014 has for you! Praying Praying Praying! Cheers!

  14. Hope 2014 rocks for you :) Even years have to be better than odd, right? (Yes...I'm one of those OCD people...) ;)

  15. First of all, I'm super bummed that the google search was so lame... weren't your search words hilarious last year??? What a let down!

    Believing that 2014 will bring good things to you and Matt... I'm sure hopeful for the BEST thing too!

  16. Boob job . . . ha!

    Praying that 2014 will be a year filled with answered prayers and lots of joy beyond measure. You are an inspiration. So thankful to know you and call you a friend. Thank you for being real in the good and bad times. . . you are touching more people than you realize!

  17. Love the stats! Happy New Year, friend. Praying that 2014 far surpasses 2013. Thanks for sharing your story and your perspective.

  18. Wishing you a beautiful 2014! Your blog still remains my favorite to read. If I only have a few minutes I will skip all others and catch up with you.

  19. My personal favorite was also "the locusts." That concept has stuck with me and I refer back to it in my head often. You're wise, girl.

  20. said so well by so many . . . here's to a wonderful 2014

  21. ".ae" is the United Arab Emirates and ".de" is Germany. And yes, when I see your blog it always ends in ".ca", even if I enter it manually (which I never do) as ".com." I'm such a nerd :)

    And I am praying that 2014 holds more joy than you can imagine at this moment. Thank you for continuing to share your story. I know it can't always have been easy.

  22. The Christmas Grammar Intervention post was genius and the post that sold me on following your blog. Here's hoping that next year babies will be plentiful and apostrophes will not be!


I love comments almost as much as I love Mexican food. Seriously.