Thursday, August 31, 2006

WHAT'S KNOWN ABOUT YOU? - PART II

What is known about you: That’s the question I left in my teaser last time. A lot, is my answer.

It is widely known that most sites, including commercial sites analyze visitor data for references. Marketing departments do analysis of what is drawing visitors to the site, what they are buying and what they are not. This data is used to manipulate content and offerings and plan promotions, pretty much as the shelf-movement data is used in FMCG companies to analyze buying behavior. Welcome to web traffic analytics.

Blogmeisters will do well to learn a leaf or two out of this practice. But you can give appropriate cues only if you know who your visitors are. On the left side panel, you would find a greeting message, which also tries to guess your city and country, and in quite likelihood, would have got it right. Blog as a medium is not so evolved at this point to natively allow dynamic content generation. But the day is not very far off, and even if you do not know the visitor profile, there lots of other information that’s available to you to target your content. What’s amazing, much of that is free of cost.

Every computer on the internet has an identification number (called IP) which is tied to a location. That's how you are tracked on the internet.

A small four line code inserted in your blog template can get you amazing insights on your visitors. This blog uses the services of statcounter.com to generate these reports which tracks these IPs. Look at the picture below and you would instantly know from where in the world are you getting most visitors to your blog.

(The images below are not very high quality. But do double click on them to see a better quality picture)

Well,here's your visitor footprint on a map. Double click the image to see better quality picture. Click on a balloon and you would know more, right upto the street level address of the vistor, what browser was used and other blah. Below is the zoom up of a Googlebot(Google Indexing Robot that feeds the Google search) crawl of this blog and see the details associated with it.


See the level of detail!Double click the image to see better quality picture.







Want more details on a specific visitor? Here it is!Double click the image to see better quality picture.

Basically, these services present you three types of information – information related to hardware and software setup of the visitor(which could be you), information pertaining to the medium(ISP) and location and what you did on this blog.








Country and State details.Double click the image to see better quality picture.














If you do not care much, there is a summary for you, which tells you the basics of the visitors.

In case numbers fascinate you. Double click the image to see better quality picture.













But if you are really curious what drives the traffic on your site, here is the best one. It not just tell you what keywords on sites like Google lead the visitor to your blog, but also as a blogmeister, you would know, post by post, how many visits is the blogroll on your friend’s blog referring to your site, how many visitors are coming from a search result that led to your blog, or if the technorati tags are being effective.



Who sent those people to my site?!.Double click the image to see better quality picture.









There are other services that track people in different ways. Geobutton gave me this Who’s on Now report for their site. ( That's me in the second row)

Geobutton tracks me down. See the second row.Double click the image to see better quality picture.














Having said that, these reports, particularly the location bit, fails sometimes, and in any case, as a good practice, these reports have to be seen in the aggregate.

In the good old days of hosting pages on Tripod and Geocities ( Well, they still exist but I guess I am of that loop now!), we had to edit HTML ( or use some very basic templates). Many of us happened to put up hitcounters. Well, the same hitcounters have come a long way and know much more about you and your web behaviour. Beware!

(What I have written above is common knowledge among geeky bloggers. However, I invite all non-geek bloggers to try this out. Of course, I am not endorsing the services of any of the names I have taken above but I can assure you would definitely enjoy the reports)
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1 comment:

Sara said...

vow! thats great information.I just replaced pen and paper with blogging, but it could be more intelligent.