I was surprised by a lot of things I found in Google Analytics. I looked at a period from February 1 up until now (March 14). Altogether, during this period, I had 43 sessions and 184 page views.
Looking first at where my users are from, unsurprisingly, the great majority are from Canada (with all coming from BC). But very surprisingly, I had 5 sessions from India (3 being new users, 2 being returning), 5 from the U.S. (spanning across California, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Texas), 3 from Russia (all from the same city but different users), 1 from Austria (but this had a bounce rate of 100% so was most likely a bot), and 1 from Portugal (most likely also a bot). In terms of language, most sessions were English but it was cool to see that I had a few in Russian, Chinese, German, and Korean, and Portuguese. In looking at my user flow, 4/5 sessions that came from the US visited my fake news essay. The Austria session also visited this post.
32 visitors of my 43 were new visitors and 11 were returning. Looking a bit deeper, it looks like users see an average of 4 pages per visit. This is fairly reassuring. To me, this indicates that people are actually somewhat interested in my content and are not simply leaving right away after clicking on my page. (My bounce rate overall was pretty low as well). This encourages me to make an effort to put more thought and dedication into my content and really make each post count. In terms of specific posts, other than the home page, many page views are looking at my process posts and about. Aside from these two things, the individual post that has the most page views is my essay on fake news (as I essentially alluded to above). I put a lot of work into that post so this is nice to see! There are also a couple of blog posts that have gained more page views than others. One I made about visiting Normandy and one that I made into more of a reflection on the current political climate are the specific ones that have more page views. It’s interesting to think why that would be. This will definitely incite me to put more effort into my blog posts, perhaps incorporating more reflection.
Most people are using Chrome to look at my blog, but some are using Safari. (One sad soul used Internet Explorer). The great majority are accessing my site from desktop, with only 5 being from mobile. I have looked at how my content appears from a mobile device and although everything looks normal, I do like the way it looks on desktop better than mobile. I just think the general layout of the site works better and appears more crisp when viewed from a desktop platform. Seeing as how most people do access my site through desktop, I think I will continue to develop my content with that in mind. However, that does not mean I will ignore that people are increasingly viewing content on mobile devices. I will definitely make sure that my blog posts function as they are supposed to on a mobile platform. It was interesting to note that out of the 5 sessions that viewed my blog on a mobile device, 2 had a bounce rate of 100%. So I am assuming 2 of those sessions were bots. (But the 3 that accessed through an iPhone seem to be legit!).
Looking at how people came to my site, 60% were direct. 10 sessions were through organic search. It’s unfortunate that Analytics doesn’t let me see what specific search terms landed people on my blog but it’s still cool to know that it happened. Finally, 7 sessions were referrals. Now this is the really interesting part. One referral came through this site. It’s some sort of weird Russian blog where this guy is accusing Google of being a lying thief. Then two referrals came from motherboard.vice.com, which is a legit site. Specifically, from this article. The article references the Russian guy that made that weird blog and says that he had been bombarding Google Analytics accounts with fake referrals. So now it makes a bit more sense. Essentially, the referrals were fake (or at least, that’s what I’m taking away from that). Looking at the behaviour flow, all visits from those referrals only visited the landing page then dropped off so it seems even more likely that they were just spammers. Such a weird thing…