Monthly Review: August 2014

Aug2014The month of August has been a solid month of firsts here at XBOP. This is the first report that I am going to start introducing on a monthly basis.

August Key Statistics
Statistic # % increase
Visitors 224 17%
Views 503 100%
Views/Visitor 2.25 71%
Average Views/Day 16 100%

Using hard number statistics, August had a record number of visitors and views; this translates into a record percentage increase of views per visitor (100% increase on July). Coming off a solid July month, the % increase for both visitors and views were not records in their own right (17% increase in visitors and 100% increase in views). August also has set a new record of average views per day of 16, which is a reflection of the 503 views received for the entire month.

February 2014 retains the record for growth and % increase, in part because the preceding month of January presented a low hurdle to better. May holds the record for the % increase on previous month for average views/day, for the same reason that the preceding months of March and April were averaging 3 per day. The last and oldest record yet to be broken is the actual views per visitor, which was set at a respectable 2.67 page views per visitor back in June 2013, reflecting the fact that when the website was brand new, it attracted viewers who took the time to check out the initial 21 pages of content available.

Analysing the last monthly period (39 days back to 21 July), a clear trend is slowly emerging based on my publishing cycle – when I publish/post an article, the number of visitors and views increases. Mondays and Thursday average an audience of 13.3 and 34.2 respectively. In contrast, all other non-publishing days have an average audience below 10. Saturday has the lowest daily audience, suggesting also that people are busier on the weekend and are not surfing the internet as much.

Whilst July was a slightly busier month with 13 posts compared to the 10 posts made in August, the regular and consistent cycle for publishing may already be proving to be more beneficial by the increased visitors and views. For the purposes of this data analysis, the month of June had 10 posts, so the increased activity for the month of July accordingly translated into the 66% increase in monthly visitors, which in itself was a record achievement.

As part of this first review, if we cast our eyes slightly further back, May 2014 was the break-out month, when the site audience doubled. At the time, whilst May only claimed two monthly records, it was the first major uplift for the website, after an initial period of relative dormancy, which reflected the relative calm that was evident from the low to little content released prior to May.

August as a whole has set a high benchmark for September – as evident in the May-June-July cycle, September will help build a medium term trend and view on the audience and readership of XBOP.

It should also be mentioned that a number of factors may be influencing these statistics, each representing a tweak to settings and the way I have l learnt to get more out of WordPress:

  1. April-May 2014: use of More/Read More tag started
  2. August 2014: tagged all posts

Introducing the more tag into posts meant that the home page has been reduced in length. Instead of having each of the most recent articles fully published, readers instead have been provided a snippet introductory paragraph so that they can click to read more if the article appeals to them. This has meant a more accurate statistic for views of content, helping me to better understand what content has appealed to my audience. Prior to this change, the homepage view statistic would have accounted for this content viewing, whereas subsequently a more accurate collection of viewing statistics has emerged.

After a more in-depth reading of WordPress categories versus tags, I have tagged all posts in addition to the existing categories. Whilst this change is barely a week old as at time of publishing, the search engine section of incoming statistics may already be bearing fruit in this area.

For August all new content has been posts only, whereas previous months had included releasing new pages. September thus far may feature a three-post per week publishing frequency – this is purely experimental and may only be temporary, depending on time available for blogging.

Since the start of the year, I introduced a mini-series, or collection of articles. To date, the following mini-series have been documented:

  1. CNY Holiday (February – March): 7-part series [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 ]
  2. Easter (April – May): 3-part series [ 1 | 2 | 3 ]
  3. My 10 Favourite Worship Songs (June – July): 3-part series [ 1 | 2 | 3 ]
  4. New Car (July – September): 3-part series [ 1 | 2 | 3 ]
  5. Tony Abbott… Not My PM (July – September): 5-part series [ 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 ]

Personally, I have found the use of a mini-series construct really beneficial to providing my writing a medium-term focus. It also has me committed to blogging regularly and thinking beyond just the immediate article. Other topics do not form a specific mini-series, but rather follow the overarching themes that drive XBOP as a whole: Apple. Christian/church.

Thanks for making August the successful month it has been!