The Year in Review: 2007 Stats

Last year around this time I published the year end stats for 2006. While we’re not quite to the end of the year, I think we’re close enough to 2008 for the stats review and a comparison to last year numbers.

Once again all the data comes from awstats. It should be noted that awstats data is probably a little inflated as a certain amount of robotic traffic will be included in the numbers below. Still it seemed the best and really the only way to make any comparisons to last year, since all I had in place last year was awstats.

Most Popular Blog Posts

  1. 2 Column CSS Layout – 9039
  2. Interview With Guest Blogger Yuri Filimonov – 6977
  3. Simple Navigation Bar With CSS And (x)HTML – 6031
  4. How to Design your Posts to Guarantee they get Read – 5934
  5. How Important Is Proper Grammar And Word Usage To Effective Communication? – 4775
  6. 3 Column CSS Layout – 4479
  7. Simple Menus With (x)HTML Lists And CSS – 3818
  8. Problems With WordPress Posts Going Supplemental In Google’s Index – 3432
  9. Answers To 10 SEO Questions – 3328
  10. Is AdSense A Scam? – 2769
  11. SEO Basics Tutorial – 2680
  12. Practicing Good Customer Service Is The Best Way To Market It – 2617
  13. This Week In SEO – 11/9/07 – 2573
  14. Centering With CSS: Web Pages And Block Level Elements – 2546
  15. Choosing Fonts In Web Design – 2438

Once again I won’t make claims that these are the best posts here, but they are the ones that received the most views. Most of the posts on the list were written last year and typically have more links than many newer posts. The additional links are leading to more search traffic. Five of the above posts also have permanent links in the blog sidebar under the ‘Popular Posts’ heading, which would naturally lead to more views on those posts.

Two of the posts above are more recent. In fact #4, How to Design your Posts to Guarantee they get Read, was only written in mid-November. Both did very well with social media, in particular StumbleUpon.

The best news for me is that the last post above received nearly as many page views as the top post did a year ago.

Unique Visitors/Visits

  1. Jan 2007 – 6448/14751
  2. Feb 2007 – 6041/13687
  3. Mar 2007 – 6817/16389
  4. Apr 2007 – 7453/17096
  5. May 2007 – 8544/18889
  6. Jun 2007 – 8242/19043
  7. Jul 2007 – 7877/18676
  8. Aug 2007 – 7878/20215
  9. Sep 2007 – 9688/23644
  10. Oct 2007 – 11994/27760
  11. Nov 2007 – 12732/28566
  12. Dec 2007 – 9226/23556*

*Numbers for December are extrapolated to the end of the month

Totals for the year are 102,940 unique visitors and 242,272 visits, which in both cases is about 430% growth over 2006. Not quite the dramatic growth I’d hoped for last year, but pretty good nonetheless. For the most part month over month traffic has improved with a few hiccups this summer.

December has been lower than expected after the previous couple of months, but I suspect some of that is due to the holidays. Most, though is due to less social media traffic than I had been picking up this fall.

Referrer Domains

  1. Webmaster-Talk – 1932
  2. WebProNews – 1445*
  3. Marketing Pilgrim – 894
  4. Improve The Web – 835
  5. SEO Book – 519
  6. ProBlogger – 495
  7. SEOmoz – 354
  8. Small Business Forum – 347
  9. SEO By The Sea – 322
  10. Blogger – 270
  11. CopyBlogger – 209
  12. Seth Godin – 219
  13. Bloglines – 219
  14. Netvibes – 182
  15. Search Engine Land – 178

*WebProNews numbers include several sites across the iEntry network. iEntry picks up this blog and republishes posts on a variety of sites. WebProNews accounts for most of the traffic, but other sites include iEnty itself as well as SearchNews, SmallBusinessNews, and EntrepreneurNewz. If you’re curious what I look like you can click on the WebProNews link above and see a picture.

I put a lot more effort during 2007 into building referral traffic and it shows in the numbers. Most of the sites above were not on the list last year. Webmaster-Talk forum still tops the list with slightly larger numbers in 2007. Most of the traffic above comes through comments and/or trackbacks left on blogs and in a few cases a link or two from each of the blogs. I think I’m on the blogroll of two of the blogs above as well.

This list speaks volumes to the power of participation in online communities. The numbers above are cumulative across each domain. Most are in the form of less than a dozen visits each from many, many individual posts. The numbers do add up if you stick with it.

Search Engine Traffic

  1. Google – 41072
  2. Windows Live – 9397
  3. Yahoo! – 2587
  4. Google Images – 1197
  5. Ask – 560
  6. MSN Search – 377
  7. Technorati – 363
  8. AOL – 276
  9. Google Cache – 76
  10. Dogpile – 52
  11. AltaVista – 47
  12. Netscape – 36
  13. AllTheWeb – 20
  14. Earth Link – 18
  15. Sphere – 18

Google still makes up most of the search traffic coming into the site, but the growth in Yahoo traffic far outpaced the growth in Google traffic. The numbers from Windows Live are very much in error. Nearly all the 9397 visits from Live Search are part of Microsoft’s spam tests. The real numbers are much closer to the numbers showing for MSN Search. Ask didn’t make the list at all last year, which meant they didn’t send at least 2 visits this way. 560 visits is large improvement.

Search traffic makes up a lower percentage of the overall traffic here than it did in 2006, but the number of visits from search engines has improved similarly to traffic in general. Both are positive trends.

Search Phrases

  1. computers internet blog – 707
  2. i need money now – 214
  3. need money now – 213
  4. proper grammar usage – 181
  5. proper grammar – 176
  6. seo basics – 133
  7. google_hints – 127
  8. 3 column css – 124
  9. css shapes – 124
  10. css _height – 110
  11. css navigation bar – 106
  12. going to bed hungry – 102
  13. seo tutorial – 101
  14. social media icons – 99
  15. good bounce rate – 98

25,002 unique phrases were used to find some page of the site, yet the top phrase above only accounts for 1.3% of the total search traffic. That should lead you to think of the long tail of search and understand why keyword research is important.

I did not optimize for most of those 25,002 phrases. No one realistically could. What I did in many cases was understand the keyword themes around which a post should be optimized and then write naturally in order to pick up phrases around the main theme. If you compare the list of phrases to the posts that were viewed the most often it’s easy to see a correlation.

Keywords

  1. css – 9469
  2. column – 3562
  3. layout – 2581
  4. grammar – 2310
  5. navigation – 2301
  6. bar – 2214
  7. proper – 2194
  8. div – 2066
  9. web – 2051
  10. html – 1887
  11. customer – 1661
  12. seo – 1503
  13. blog – 1412
  14. google – 1334
  15. simple – 1295

As with last year, I removed a few stop words like ‘a,’ ‘to,’ ‘the,’ from the list of words above. Once again it should be fairly easy to see the correlation with the most viewed posts. The 2007 list is very similar to the 2006 list with only two different entries.

Social Media

  1. StumbleUpon – 14,683
  2. Reddit – 747
  3. Sphinn – 302
  4. MyBlogLog – 154
  5. del.icio.us – 133
  6. Digg – 128

2007 was the first year I looked at social media as a way to market myself. For me that means participating in social media communities, networking, and building strong profiles. I’m not active at Digg or Reddit, but I am with the rest of the sites listed above.

StumbleUpon has clearly sent the most traffic this way. The numbers from Reddit and Digg are each based on a single post. The Reddit numbers in particular indicate how much traffic can flow into a site with one successful submission. The majority of those 747 visits occurred over a 48 hour period and I saw a significant increase in subscribers to the blog shortly after.

Last year I promised numbers on subscribers. However I’d still like to hold off on sharing those stats. Perhaps next year will be the year.

Thanks again to everyone who makes up any part of the statistics above. I hope you’ll be included in the 2008 numbers along with a whole lot of new people who’ve yet to find there way here.

Download a free sample from my book, Design Fundamentals.

4 comments

  1. Those are some pretty impressive numbers! Especially compared to 2006.

    December traffic has dipped off a bit on my end, too. I’m assuming it’s the holidays; more time with the family, less in front of the computer…

  2. I think impressive is a relative word. The numbers are good compared to last year, but at the same time they’re not where I’d like them to be. Of course I always compare things to others doing better to help drive me. Overall I was happy with the traffic numbers.

    I expected December to fall off some given we have what amounts to a week of holidays. Last year, though December was my best month. Maybe it’s last year that’s really the anomaly.

    October and November were very good social media traffic months. Most of the social media numbers above are from those two months. That’s where the increase in traffic came from and that’s also the reason for the December slump.

    I have some goals in mind for the coming year, but I’m holding off for a resolution post I’ll write next week.

    Would I be right if I assumed StumbleUpon drives a lot of traffic your way? How about Webmaster-Talk or other forums?

  3. Ironically … I seem to get around four times as much traffic from forums I haven’t been to compared to ones I frequent. Figure that one out… Somali Life has sent a small but fairly steady stream for several months. I can’t even find from where, but the access patterns look pretty natural. Lately I got 40 or so users from a Nikon camera forum – I use Canon, and the two have a rivalry like Windows and Mac. Anyway, most forums seem to use post.php?id=71 style URLs, so I can’t see what people are saying about me…

    And your’e right – Stumble sends a good deal of traffic my way. Digg and a few others, too, but on a much smaller level. I think a lot of them are more technical in nature, where Stumblers are more like channel surfers of the web, and good photos work pretty well in that context.

  4. Forums can be a great source of traffic if you approach them right. It’s amazing how many people try to spam them instead of participating honestly. I get most of my forum traffic from forums where I’m a member, but I do get some traffic where other people have added a link back here.

    I had a feeling stumblers would like your site. I know I’ve stumbled a few of your images and will again.

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