Website usage based on pageviews

How much attention does our website get? The Society for Georgia Archaeology has established and maintains this website partly to keep our members informed about the business of the Society and partly as an outreach and educational information source for the interested public. With averages of well over 200 pageviews each day so far in 2010, our website is clearly a successful outreach tool, rewarding the volunteer hours expended to maintain it.

Pageviews are an easy way to assess how much attention our website gets. A pageview is what you see in a browser window. It may be a single story, or multiple stories. If you go to our home page, for example, it is a single pageview listing multiple stories (and more). If you click on any listed story, a category on the column to the right (e.g., “Glossary,” “Early Georgia,” or “Greater Atlanta Archaeological Society”), or even a tag (from the alphabetical tag cloud), you summon up a new pageview.

2010_Jun_avg_pageviews_per_day.png

Each column on this chart represents the average number of pageviews our website receives each day, by month. The chart shows a daily average because the months have different day counts. You can see that the number of pageviews fell over the summer months of June, July, and August, 2009. Fortunately, as the educational cycle kicked in during the Fall, our pageviews increased, and now have sustained, on average, over 200 pageviews per day, from January 2010 on. And, in April and May, 2010, the average is around 300 per day.

We’re glad to see the autumnal increase has been sustained through the winter months. The peak in April 2010 is likely due to people checking it our prior to Archaeology Month, in May. What is more difficult to assess is whether some of this uptick is due to the increased exposure our Society receives as the ArchaeoBus attends more events and more people learn about our website during ArchaeoBus appearances.

2010_Jun_pageviews_vs_visits.png

Let’s look in a little more depth at our visitors’ behavior. This chart juxtaposes two metrics. The green columns show the average number of pageviews per visit (the scale is to the right). The light brown line shows the percentage of new visits (scale is to the left, in percent).

Regarding the columns/pageviews, the lower the count (it’s on the right), the fewer pages were visited. Now look at the brown line. This shows the percentage of new visitors that month. This past fall and winter the new visitors have been around 80% and above, indicating, we’re guessing, lots of non-member visits, and fewer repeat visitors.

Note that immediately after the redesigned website debuted, visitors called up more pageviews on each visit than they have since October 2009. Recently, the percentage of new visitors has increased, while the pageview count has decreased. As we know from the first chart above, the average daily pageviews have also increased from October 2009 on. This seems to indicate that more people are visiting our website, but they view fewer pages, on average, than when the website debuted. We assume that many of our visitors in early 2009, when pages per visit counts were high, were Society members checking out this new resource they learned about via The Profile, word of mouth from SGA colleagues, or other member information channels.

These statistics indicate that our Society’s outreach and education efforts via this website are more than likely being used by many more people than our members, and that people are probably finding our domain by specific searches or by clicking on links. Over the last few months, our visitors tend to look at an average of about two webpages before exiting our domain, so maybe they have found what they sought, and either weren’t interested in anything else we might offer, or were busy and had to move on.

In short, as a tool for education and outreach, the SGA’s website, thesga.org, provides information not only to our members, but to people across the globe who have access to the internet. For example, for the three-month period 9 February to 9 May 2010: first-time visitors—about 80%; two-time visitors—7%; visitors for five or more times—8.3%. This latter is especially good news! Almost always, the website receives the fewest visitors on Saturdays, and gets the most visitors per day midweek, Tuesday through Thursday.

Our website, thesga.org, receives visitors from around the globe. So far this year, about 86% of our visitors logged in from the USA. About 2% each came from the UK and Canada (that totals 90%). Visitors (hopefully no spammers!) “arrived” from 129 countries, including India, Germany, Poland, Georgia (the country), Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Laos, Bahrain, Czech Republic, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Ireland, Romania, Montenegro, Jordan, Qatar, Croatia, Singapore, Oman, Guatemala, Tanzania, Senegal, Belarus, Thailand, Argentina, Malta, Côte d’Ivoire, Latvia, South Korea—and more!

Perhaps you can think of a different plausible explanation for the data presented here on usage patterns for thesga.org. Please log in and comment!