I noticed something interesting when I checked our web site traffic numbers for April. See the three big spikes? Those those coincide with our blog posts on the Hornettes, Cougarettes and the Santrizos family of the Convention Grill.
(The blue line shows web traffic (number of visits) for April 15-29. To compare, the orange line shows traffic for the same period the previous month, March 15-29.)
We received the most comments about those three posts as well the most visitors. Usually, I post reader comments on Monday but you can easily go back and read them this week, as compared to other weeks when I get comments from posts that are several weeks or months past. Instead, I thought I'd give you a behind the scenes look at our web site.
A few museum visitors and board members have asked me how much information I know about our web visitors. To assure anyone with fears of "Big Brother" type tracking, I don't know anything about individuals. Google Analytics doesn't report any personal information; your name, email, location, and demographics remain private.
However, I do see information about our visitors as a whole, in terms of how they interact with our site. The numbers show how many are first-time visitors, what pages are visited the most, and how visitors access our site (through a search, by typing in our address or from a link on another web site).
This helps me see what kinds of posts attract the most traffic, and whether publicity efforts actually reach the public. Facebook is the top referring web site, by the way. Because of that, I figure updates to our Facebook site are worth my time.
I do see the number of visitors from each country, but not towns or even states. This data might be more important for multi-national companies, but not for us. As one would expect for an organization focused on a single Minnesota town, we attract visitors almost exclusively from the United States. I would love to know if they're all Edina folks but Google Analytics doesn't provide that detail.
A few other countries bring a handful of visitors per month (with the most from the English-speaking countries of Canada and Australia), but I imagine our foreign visitors as the ones who send us strangely worded spam emails. Or perhaps we have some Edina expats reading of home?
In any case, I don't spend a lot of time interpreting the numbers. I'm just glad we have visitors and that the numbers are growing. Otherwise, I'm just talking to myself here and what would be the point of that?
To give you an idea of the web site's growth, see the difference between April 2012 (blue line) vs. April 2011 (orange line). It looks pretty dramatic, doesn't it?
In reality, we're still pretty small. Even with a record number of visits last month, our web site had just 2,200 visits in April. I'm OK with that. We still reach a far bigger audience than we could with our limited hours at the Edina History Museum and our web site helps us achieve our mission of educating the public about the great history of Edina.
Thank you for being one of our 2,200-plus visitors this month!
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Jennifer Adam is the Executive Director of the Edina Historical Society. She welcomes your contributions. Comment on a post or send an email (see below). Traditional mail, of course, can also be sent to:
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