Much ado about the iPad, my recent article on the latest iPad debate, attracted the attention of the good Federico Viticci of MacStories, and after he linked to it, my site got a huge spike in traffic. I’m not obsessing anymore about visitor statistics, but as you can see from the image above, on May 5 I received at least ten times the daily average of visitors. (I also gained a few followers on Twitter, and a bunch of email messages — I promise I’ll reply to them all, so be patient).
When these things happen, more than the numbers themselves, what interests me is the visitors’ behaviour, which can be rudimentarily assessed using the WordPress admin console. It’s intriguing to see, for instance, where new visitors look, which other pages of the site they visit, which links they click, and so on.
From the data I’ve gathered these days, the results are rather depressing and reveal a general disinterest for everything that’s not the article people came to visit. As you can see, from any article page you can pretty much access a healthy amount of content on my site. Yet, only 15% of visitors who read (or accessed) my aforementioned article went to visit my home page. 5% clicked on the About Me page, 1% clicked on the iTunes link for my ebook of short stories (which is quite visible on the sidebar) and — probably even more surprising — less than a dozen people clicked on the Projects page.
In other words, people don’t seem to stay or at least willing to explore more when they arrive on a blog they probably never saw before. I’m surprised, and not because I’m so vain to think I’m that charismatic as to retain 90% of new visitors, but by the general lack of curiosity. I can understand that not all the people who followed MacStories’ link to my site had to like it or agree with me. What I don’t understand is the behaviour of who liked what they saw. Why not return, why not decide to keep an eye on my site?
When I encounter some new-to-me blog (usually by chance or because I followed the link from a trusted site I already read on a regular basis), I tend to keep tabs on it for a while if I liked whatever article I was pointed to. I typically reserve the practice of reading an article and leaving the site immediately for big news portals who shower me with ads and extra content I don’t really care about. But blogs written by a single person? I usually want to know more about the author, especially if I like what he or she has to offer. I explore their site, I tend to return, etc. Evidently it’s not what most do.
I’m very interested in your opinion on this. You know where to find me.