Stats: The Analytics of Reading to the Bottom of the Page


In “How people read online: Why you won’t finish this article” on Slate Magazine, author Farhad Manjoo explores the statistics on whether or not you will read to the bottom of his article.

I’m going to keep this brief, because you’re not going to stick around for long. I’ve already lost a bunch of you. For every 161 people who landed on this page, about 61 of you—38 percent—are already gone. You “bounced” in Web traffic jargon, meaning you spent no time “engaging” with this page at all.

So now there are 100 of you left. Nice round number. But not for long! We’re at the point in the page where you have to scroll to see more. Of the 100 of you who didn’t bounce, five are never going to scroll. Bye!

OK, fine, good riddance. So we’re 95 now. A friendly, intimate crowd, just the people who want to be here. Thanks for reading, folks! I was beginning to worry about your attention span, even your intellig … wait a second, where are you guys going? You’re tweeting a link to this article already? You haven’t even read it yet!

He talked to many expert web analytics researchers and analysts about the statistics associated with reading an article on the web. The numbers are fascinating, and may change how you write your next post.
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Web Statistics and Analytics Glossary

Web Analytics WordleThe following is a general glossary of terms associated with web statistics and web analytics.

Affiliates/Affiliate Marketing: Advertising and promotional marketing where the webmaster offers advertisements or endorsements for a commission based upon traffic and traffic conversions (click-throughs).

Bounce Rate: The percentage of visitors visiting a single page on the site. This is a comparative measurement of how many visitors enter and exit a web page without visiting other pages on the site. The Bounce Rate is often viewed as a percentage such as the total number of visitors that arrived and left from only that page compared to the total number of visitors to that web page (not the entire site visitors count). Confused with the exit rate, the Bounce Rate is often reported as a measurement of the time a visitor spends on the page, known as the Page Duration or Time on Page.

Clicks: Clicks are actions by the user of clicking a link or object on the web page to interact with it. Clicks are also the term used by some statistics programs such as Stats to indicate a click on a link to an external web page.

Click Analytics: A form of segmentation and analytics, it is the study of a site’s performance based upon the number of clicks, what is clicked, and the path a visitor takes through various clicks or pageviews.
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Analytics: Tracking the Competition

Web Analytics WordleThere are many ways to track the competition, from reading newspapers and magazines to checking them out on Alexa or other web stats and analytics sites.

Here are some articles referencing how to track the competition in a variety of ways including traditional media, social media, analytics, and legal spying.

Comparing your website to others means tracking their activity compared to yours. This might involve using an online tool that compares your site to theirs, or by checking each site individually and comparing notes. Some of the following will compare one site to another testing for a variety of data such as PageRank, keywords, traffic, and incoming links. Others will focus on a single aspect such as keywords or unique visitors. Use a variety of them to get an overall perspective on how your site compares to others.

Note: Google removed their PageRank data from the public a couple years ago. Online tools based upon Google’s PageRank data may no longer work or be supported. Please let me know if any of these are no longer active.

Comparison Testing Tools

Link Checking: Backlinks and Outgoing Links

Keyword Research and Analysis

Specific SEO Testing Tools

The following are SEO and analytics testing tools that cover specific types of testing. For example, BuiltWith tests the site and reports back with information on how the site was build, the publishing platform, supporting technologies, and other information about how the site was built.

Reference Articles

The following are articles and sites specializing in analytics, SEO, and optimization.

The Social Media Firehose

A while ago I ran across the Yahoo Pipes Social Media Fire Hose, a script written with Yahoo Pipes by Joseph Kingsley. If you want to track yourself, your blog, your brand, or any keyword or phrase across the web, especially by social media sites, this is the tool for you.

The Yahoo Pipes Social Media Fire Hose searches across Twitter, Flickr, Friendfeed, Digg, various search engines, and even includes blog comments. It creates a custom feed you can then add to your feed reader.

Originally created for public relations, advertising, and marketing tracking across the online social networks and media, this is a great way to find out what others are saying about you and your blog, your brand, or anything. I’ve been using it to track information on WordPress such as WordPress Tips, WordPress Plugins, and WordPress Themes, as well as my name, blog name, and URL and feedback from various blogs I work for and with.

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