End Of May Traffic Report and Highlights Recap
Sunday, May 31 2009 @ 05:27 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
More Than 86,430 Unique Visitors: This is the really important number. Each person visiting the website is only counted once during the month in this category. I surf to the website dozens of times a day to update articles or work on stuff, but in this category I personally only count for "1" of those more than 86,430 unique visitors. I see this as the population of people who come to the website regularly. Obviously some return frequently and some come to the website exactly once and then never return. In May 2008 we saw a total of 73,336 so this month's level of traffic represents a 17.85% increase over last year's number. And, it should be noted that this category, Unique Visitors, is the hardest number to grow and increase. Seeing 86,430 Unique Visitors is a single month traffic record for the website.
(*Note - I'm saying "more than" in all of these numbers, because it's about 2:00 pm on Sunday afternoon, 31 May 2009. Anyone who visits the website between now and midnight will be added to the May 2009 traffic and stats and maybe I'll get around to update the numbers sometime next week, or maybe not. Anyway, close enough...)
Visits - 171,478: Unique visitors make visits. In this category every trip you make to the website is counted as "1". If you go there on Tuesday afternoon and read ten articles, then that visit is counted as one visit. If you come back later that afternoon then that's counted as another visit. Next week sometime, that's another. So, if you divide the number of unique visitors by the number of visits, you will see on average each visitor makes an average of 1.98 visits during the month (most people come back about twice during the month, and obviously some come more frequently and some less.) Last year in May 2008 we saw 147,218 visits so this month's level of traffic represents a 16.47% increase over last year's number. Seeing 171,478 Visits is a single month traffic record for the website.
More Than 2 Million Pages Delivered! I'm happy about reaching this milestone. The software behind Panama-Guide dynamically generates each web page upon request. Let's say you decide you want to see the article about the Panama Women's Cricket Team so you click on that link. The server receives the request and it goes to "fetch" all of the parts and pieces or elements needed to build that page for you. It gets the photos, text, banners, graphics, etc., and it instantly formats all of that into a single web page, which is then delivered to the reader. So, with regards to web traffic and these statistics, the article you're looking at counts as "1" in this 2 million number. That's right, folks, we cranked out more than 2 million web pages in a single month and delivered them to our readers. This is fantastic news for our advertisers because it means their banners and ads went out exactly that many times, because the banners are part of every web page the system produces. For the record, the actual number (as of right now) is 2,048,013 pages. Last year in May 2008 we delivered 1,194,945 web pages, so this month's level of traffic represents a 71.38% increase over last year's number. Delivering 2,048,013 web pages is a single month traffic record for the website.
More Than 9 Million Hits: I think of this category as the "sucker's number." People who own websites and want to pitch it to a potential customer to get them to advertise frequently focus on this number because it's generally the highest number in their rack of statistics. In May 2009 Panama-Guide averaged exactly 52.62 Hits per visit. The website management software creates one "hit" to the server with each request for an element of an article. I need that picture, that's one hit. I need that text, that's another hit. Each page request generates about 4.4 hits, so you can see how there are relationships and ratios created between each of the traffic categories. For the record, the actual number of hits to the website in May 2009 (as of right now) is 9,023,196. Last year in May 2008 we saw 7,312,969 hits, so this month's level of traffic represents a 23.38% increase over last year's number. Seeing 9,023,196 hits is a single month traffic record for the website.
More Than 173 Gigabytes of Bandwidth Consumed: When readers ask for an article, each element required to create the page has a measurable size in bytes. This "bandwidth" category is just another way to measure and compare traffic month-on-month. In May 2009 we used up 173.52 GB of bandwidth. Last year in May 2008 we used 148.35 GB of bandwidth, so this month's level represents a 16.96% increase over last year's number. Consuming 173.52 GB of bandwidth is a single month traffic record for the website.
Minor Election Day Traffic Spike: As you can see in the graphic above, we saw a minor spike of interest on 4 May 2009, the day after the national elections in Panama. On that day we saw 7,403 visits and delivered a total of 89,128 pages, the best single day for the entire month. That spike was only about 30% higher than any other average day for the month, and it only lasted one day, so the overall distortional effect of the election on website traffic statistics is minimal. And, you can also see we had good days as well on 11 May (6,883), 13 May (7,262), and 17 May (7,102). By way of comparison, on average we saw about 5,565 visits per day for the entire month.
Sitemeter's "Gold Chart" This is one of the graphics I regularly use when talking about traffic to the website. It comes from a commercial traffic monitoring service called "Sitemeter." (*Note - I drew the green arrow from June 2008 to May 2009 to show the growth over the past year, and it creates a greater angle than drawing it from May 2008 and it looks better. So, sue me.) And the other thing is that Sitemeter calls Unique Visitors "Visits" which is just a different use of terminology. They actually seen to have captured a higher number (97,209) than my internal software but I think this program includes all traffic to the website, including things like bots and spiders, hence the difference. Whatever, it's a quick and easy way to see the growth in traffic over time in a snapshot, and that's why I like it.
The "Webalizer" Chart: On the other hand, this graphic is produced by an internal monitoring program called "Webalizer." It's not as nice and I really don't like the software all that much, but I've presented this graphic before so here it is. You can see the strong month in October 2008, the dip in February 2009, followed by three solid consecutive months, March, April and May 2009.
Need To Compare Websites? Many of the business owners I talk to have to decide upon the most efficient way to spend their hard-earned advertising dollars. There are always guys coming along with new sites - these people are my competitors. I claim to be the #1 English language Panama website on the Internet, bar none. And, if anyone wants to compare the various websites side-by-side I would recommend using trafficestimate.com as a tool. This is a third-party system that tries to take a guess at how much all of the websites out there are seeing. They always tend to "guesstimate" me a little low compared to my internal numbers, but I have to assume they are making the same low-ball guess for everyone else so in the end it's a wash. Anyway, it's better than getting bullshitted...
And, There's Always Alexa: Another good way to compare websites side-by-side is with Alexa.com. They try to rank all of the websites in the world on a scale from 1 to ten million or so. Today Google is #1, Yahoo is #2, YouTube #3, and Facebook #4. So, on this scale, a lower number is better. Panama-Guide is currently ranked 174,811 on Alexa which is very good for a regionally focused, second language site (English in Panama.)
Anyway, May Was A Great Month: The bottom line is we had a record breaking month for traffic to the website - better than ever in every single category we track. We continue to grow, strong and steady over time, which exactly follows our strategic plan and model. It is critically important that we continue to attract dedicated followers and readers over time, and we continue to cement our position as the #1 English Language Panama Website on the Internet. Thank you for coming back, time and time again.
Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.