~ January 2004 No.174 ~
This past year we saw continued growth in our site traffic. Table 1. compares the last two year’s web logs. Analysing these logs gives us some idea how well are ezine is doing. “Successful requests for pages” counts only html pages viewed and eliminates other files such as images or style sheets from being included in the count. > “Distinct hosts served” is a more accurate way of determining web site’s traffic since it shows how many actual individuals (or IP addresses) have visited our site. For example, if someone from www.my-isp.com visits our site once, the number of Distinct Hosts will increase by one. If the same computer\user visits 10 more times, our Distinct Hosts will not increase any more, because they are coming from the same IP address. We can now say with some certainty that Medicinal Food News has probably a circulation of 100,000. This is also supported by Alexa.com1, which gave us a ranking of 627,586 (Dec 29,2003) out of the 16.6 million active sites on the WWW. That’s great, but more important we want to know what articles people are reading and if they are reading more than one article. To get an idea if our viewers are looking at more pages we calculate the “stickiness” number. This is the ratio of request for pages over distinct host served. The higher the number the better. Comparing the results from year 2002 and 2003 does indeed show improvement along with a significant increase in the amount of data transferred.
|Website Log Summary 2002 vs 2003|
|Successful requests for pages||300,137||399,793|
|Distinct hosts served||84,778||97,700|
|Data transferred||2.98 gig||4.47 gig|
To find out the type of articles our visitors are interested in we looked at the keywords used to find us. Table 2 is a list of keywords used in descending order of popularity. One might guess that the popular press articles on obesity would have prompted the top three key words for 2003. Our most popular article for this past year was “low calorie alcoholic drinks”. Typing the keywords “low calorie alcoholic drinks” into a Google search returned our article as number one of 50,000 pages. I tried this with our top key words “calories fats foods” and did not find any Medicinal Food News articles in the first 100 sites listed.
|Internal search||External search (google,etc)|
|*a percentage of 18849 requests|
You can easily see how important ranking in a major search engine will affect stats. Unique words seem to do better in search engine ranking. Typing the words “saturated monounsaturated polyunsaturated fats” into Google returns us again as number one of 50,000 results. Certainly, the keywords and the top 15 articles (table 3) gives us some idea of what people are reading.
I am sure if we had articles on SARS or "mad cow disease" these reports would have been our top news items. But Medicinal Food News is about functional foods which tend not to be top health news stories. I hope to have a health news feed available in 2004 which will provide our viewers with other current health news. This will help keep views coming back as their first choice for information. If we don’t have the news you want, we will re-direct you to where to find it.
How to Understand Your Website Traffic