Advertise With Panama Guide.com
Thursday, June 01 2006 @ 03:59 AM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
Note: Being Updated: I'm in the middle of an update and will be reproducing all of the charts with data through 31 July 2006. We broke records in several categories and I just have to get around to updating the charts.
Executive Summary: Panama Guide continues to grow steadily. We broke traffic records in almost every category again in July 2006, and on average we saw:
- Total Unique Visitors in May - 23,527 (* Record)
- Total Number of Visits: 89,461 (*)
- Unique Visitors Per Day: 759 (*)
- Visits Per Day: 2,885 (*)
- Web Pages Produced Per Day: 15,215
- Hits Per Day: 67,335
History: Panama Guide launched on 26 August 2004 as a not-for-profit community service project to meet a requirement for an English language website about Panama covering diverse topics of interest. Our readers needed information about many subjects and we did not want to limit ourselves to a small niche such as real estate or tourism. So we cast a wide net and covered all topics of interest. Panama Guide.com grew and saw increasing levels of community interest, acceptance, recognition, and traffic. Today we continue to see strong growth, better than ever, and expect the trend to continue as more people learn about Panama and become interested in moving, visiting, or doing business here. Current advertising campaigns by Panama's Tourism Institute (IPAT) and private organizations to draw attention and investment to Panama results in additional traffic to Panama Guide.
Traffic and Growth: Our growth has been strong, steady, and continuous. Every new article we produce goes into our ever-growing database of information about Panama. The amount of information available to our users is constantly growing and expanding. We don't delete older articles because for the most part the information they contain is still relatively correct. We do update articles when there has been a significant change. And although we're relatively new to the marketplace, we place well in Google, Yahoo!, and MSN. Our website design is optimized for search engine compatibility.
A Word About Statistics and Web Pages: There are many different ways to quantify traffic on a web site. Panama Guide is a commercial website, and it's important to be able to clearly, effectively, and accurately communicate to perspective sponsors the amount of traffic seen and the numbers of visitors to the web site. It's relatively easy to distort statistics, to selectively report one statistic over another, or to focus on one single category in order to make potential sponsors believe you're seeing more traffic than you really are. It's important to compare apples to apples, and oranges to oranges, and to display the data graphically over time. People should be able to just glance at the charts and see our growth. Most importantly, readers should have a high degree of confidence in the data, and know that the numbers being reported are factual and accurate.
I am very proud of the growth in traffic to Panama Guide so far, and will continue to work to improve the web site and make it even more attractive to our readers. I hope the web site continues to be an important resource for those who are interested in learning more about Panama. And, I hope this article will serve to communicate part of our philosophy to our readers and sponsors - our desire to make Panama Guide the single best English language portal on the Internet. With that having been said, on to the stats.
I will explain each category of statistics reported, how they are generated, and what they mean. If you understand how to read these charts, and if you understand this article, then you should be able to understand traffic and statistics reported from other websites as well.
The "Flying Carwash" Distortion: On Sunday, 28 August 2005, I published the Flying Carwash story. A guy was washing a car on the fifth level of a parking garage, and managed to drive the car through a wall and ended up crashing down onto the street below. That article has been read by 23,203 people so far. When it was originally published in the end of August 2005, a lot of people saw it and started e-mailing it around to their friends and relatives. I saw a large "spike" in traffic for about two weeks because of that one article, and it distorted the site statistics for awhile. It made it look like we did really good until September, then died in October. In reality, we've had excellent, steady, and sustained growth since our launch, with the one "spike" in attention last fall. You will be able to easily see the traffic spike in all of the charts and graphs, and I just wanted to let you know what was going on.
Raw Data: My primary data tracking program is AWStats (Advanced Web Statistics.) AWStats is powerful log analyzer which creates advanced web, ftp, mail and streaming server statistics reports based on the rich data contained in server logs. Data is graphically presented in easy to read web pages. I also use Webalizer, Analog, and other tools to take measure of web site traffic, but the raw data source for these Power Point graphs comes from AWStats. The next three graphics are the raw data returns for 2004 - 2006.
AWStats Data for Panama Guide 2004
AWStats Data for Panama Guide 2005
AWStats Data for Panama Guide 2006
Hits To The System: The Panama Guide website generates web pages on the fly as required. When a visitor clicks on a link for an article, the system goes and "fetches" all of the elements (text, pictures, graphics, etc.) required to build that web page. Each of these requests generates one "hit" to the system, and they can all be counted. People like to talk about the total number of hits they see on their systems because they can use big numbers. Since our launch on 26 August 2004 we've seen:
- 15.6 Million Total Hits: This is the total number of hits to the system since our launch.
- 2004 - 268,467 Hits: We saw just over a quarter of a million hits to the system from our launch until the end of the year. We got off to a slow start, averaging just 2,097 hits per day.
- 2005 - 6,575,252 Hits: In 2005 we saw more than 6.5 million hits for the entire year. The second half of the year was much better than the first half, and we really took off in July. But, this total still works out to an average of more than 18,000 hits per day. So, we got our track shoes on in 2005.
- 2006 - 12,413,896 Hits: We have seen more than 12.4 million hits so far this year, and we're running at an average of 58,556 hits per day for the first 212 days of the year. (Through - 31 July 2006)
Hits Per Month Jan 2005 - Apr 2006
Requests for Files: This is an additional category of data reported by the Webalizer program. The "requests for files" category is not a standard statistic, some programs report on it, and some do not. It tends to track very closely to the "hits" statistic which is much more of an industry standard. But, since I've got the numbers, I might as well put them out there. You will be able to see that they run parallel to the numbers for hits. Also, Webalizer only reports on the last 12 months of traffic, and in the last 12 months we've seen a total of 8,478,348 requests for files.
Requests for Files
Unique Visitors: This statistic is probably one of the most important numbers measured for any website. This number represents the individual users visiting the site. Unique visitors are measured according to their individual IP addresses, which are like online fingerprints, and unique visitors are counted only once no matter how many times they visit the site. As with all statistics it's not a perfectly accurate number because some Internet Service Providers (ISP) assign a different IP address to each user every time they sign on to the Internet. In any case, it's best to look at this statistic as a count of the IP addresses used by visitors, and that each "unique" IP address is only counted once. This is the only statistic that tries to give you an idea of how many different people are visiting a web site every month. This number is usually called "visitors."
Unique Visitors Per Month - Jan 2005 to Apr 2006
Visits: This statistic represents how many different times unique visitors have visited the website each month, indicating the rate and frequency of return visits. The IP addresses used by unique visitors are counted only once, and in this number the IP's are counted every time they visit the site. Simply dividing the number of visits against the number of unique visitors gives you a rate of frequency of return. On average, users visit the site about twice per month. This number is usually called "visits."
Visits Per Month - Jan 2005 to Apr 2006
Web Pages Produced: This statistic reports on the number of web pages the system produces each month. Every time a visitor requests an article, the system produces that article (on the fly) in the form of a web page. The system keeps count of how many web pages are produced and viewed. On average, users view about ten different pages of information per visit, or about twenty different pages of information per month. This statistic has been climbing recently, indicating each visiting user is spending more time accessing the archived articles stored in our database.
Right-Side Static Buttons: This statistic is particularly important to sponsors who advertise on Panama Guide using the right-side static buttons. Since the advertiser's icons are produced as a part of every web page, then this number tells you how many times your logo is displayed to visitors. Since our launch, the system has produced almost 2.9 million web pages (the actual number is 2,897,977.) If you started advertising with Panama Guide on 1 January 2005 and paid to have your company's logo displayed with a right-side static button, your logo would have seen 2,854,566 times. If you had started advertising with Panama Guide at the start of last month on 1 April 2006, your logo would have been displayed more than 500,000 times since the start of your campaign. The right-side static buttons are the best value for the money, and represent an excellent advertising value by any standard.
Pages Per Month - Jan 2005 to Apr 2006
Articles Per Month: We understand that our readers visit our website because of the quality of the content we offer. There are now more than 1,600 articles and 390 links in our database, all in English and all valuable to anyone who wants to know more about Panama. In April we published 214 articles, or more than seven articles per day on average.
Articles Per Month - Aug 2004 - Apr 2006
Visits (From Another Source): This chart is produced by another program. This program is actually tracking "unique visitors" but they call it "visits", apparently just to confuse me. In any case, this is just another graphic expression of the number of people coming to the web site.
The "Combined Chart": This charting tool combines all of the statistics into one snap-shot, and includes the amount of bandwidth used (in red), visitors and visits (yellow and orange), as well as pages, files, and hits. You can get a good feel for the traffic on the site with just a quick look at this one chart.
Who's Looking At Panama Guide?: These graphics give you an idea of where people live and who our readers are. Many people who read our website are in North America, the United States and Canada, and are interested in moving to Panama or learning more about the country. And, we are seeing more and more "local" traffic from readers that are already in Panama.
World Distribution Pie Chart
Where in the World?: In reality, we get readers from all around the world. This first graphic shows a "world view" and the second one is a close-up of the same time frame, zoomed in to North America. The red dot is the most recent visitor, the green dots are the last ten, and the white dots are the 90 before them.
Google's PageRankTM or PR: Google’s patented method for measuring page importance on a scale from 0 - 10, where 10 is the highest. The PageRank algorithm analyzes the quality and quantity of links that point to a page. In short, this is Google's measure of the link popularity of a page. I've only been able to find one Panama specific web site with a PR of 7, the CIA's page about Panama. All of the other important Panama sites carry a PR of 6 or below.
Google's Page Rank of Panama Guide
Ranking Checker: There's another tool that I use to keep track of where the most important search engines are positioning Panama Guide. This graphic reflects the relative change in positioning, comparing 31 March 2006 to 14 September 2005. For example, Panama Guide has moved up 249 positions in Google in six months. Also, please note these statistics are for the keyword "panama." I could show you stats for other keywords where the Panama Guide website is rated higher, but the "panama" keyword is the holy grail of website positioning for this market. This is easy to understand if you consider that everyone out there who is selling anything in Panama wants to be in the #1 position for this keyword, and they are all fighting to get to the top. A few years ago there was almost no competition in this market, and now there are seemingly thousands of websites popping up every week.
Ranking Checker Graphic
Alexa Ranking: Alexa currently ranks Panama Guide as the #81,648 website on the Internet (three month average.) Update - 24 September 2006: Panama Guide hit #27,627 today, the highest ranking for the website ever as far as I know. The three-month average reflects an improvement 34,329 positions, showing steady improvement over time. Alexa is tool that attempts to rank all of the web pages on the Internet, starting with Yahoo! at #1, Google at #2, MSN at #3, and so on. Their rankings are closely associated with the preferences of the users of the Alexa toolbar, and Alexa readily admits that the clarity of their data kind of "falls off" for websites ranked below 100,000. There tends to be a bit of a "lag" between amounts of traffic I see at the website and the improvement in Alexa ranking, so it's a kind of "delayed reaction" indicator. In any case, it's just one more indication of traffic to the website.
Alexa Traffic Rank
Content: Panama Guide is 95% content and some advertising. Some of the other "informational" websites about Panama are actually mostly advertising and just a little information. At Panama Guide we are working to produce an ever growing and evolving panorama of information about Panama. We provide articles and informative content about anything and everything that catches our attention. We strive to cover many diverse and wide-ranging informational topics. We select the most interesting subjects and make them available to our readers. And as our database grows so does our relative value to our readers and advertisers.
- Issues: We focus on the topics that are most important to the English speaking community, such as immigration, real estate, professional services, schools and education, and health care.
- News: We monitor current events in Panama and provide insight and analysis, keeping our readers informed and up to date on local happenings.
- Entertainment: We explore recreational opportunities such as restaurants, theater, music, tourist attractions, and opportunities for outdoor recreation such as golf, fishing, surfing, and scuba diving.
- Sports: We follow local sporting events and Panamanian national teams such as soccer, baseball, and basketball as well as individual sports such as boxing.
Technological Base: Panama Guide.com is built around a powerful combination of broad databasing and powerful search engine technology that allows users to quickly and easily access information archived in our database. Every word from every article is indexed, so if you do a search for 'golf' you'll find every article containing the word in the database.
Networking: We're developing a strong network of associates, partners, and collaborators, all working together to improve the overall level of quality service available to the English speaking expatriate market. Our strategic partnerships give us excellent levels of access, leverage, recognition, and respectability.
Contact Us: Please give us a call if you would like to advertise with Panama Guide. We offer a range of services, products, and options and can design a package appropriate for your requirements. We are the economical alternative, and can get you into the mainstream quickly.
- Telephone: 214-3197
- Cell: 6-614-0451
- Vonage: (845) 810-0208
- E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Note: Date of information for traffic statistics: 31 May 2006