This morning I was doing my random look at statistics across some domains, and I came across an interesting set of stats. So being a Friday and in the mood for a ramble, I decided to share.
I am always talking about taking things in context to my clients. 10 / 200 / 40k visitors a day might be good, depending if they are the “right type of visitor” and the search volume. Not many people look for [cars for sale in Ballyhaise, Cavan] compared with [cars for sale in Dublin], and having a little perspective when looking at things will save you potential problems down the line. Here is a look at something similar, but different, a look at taking statistics in context.
This example is from an Irish site, and at first glance the weekly view doesn’t look so interesting. We have a dip around Christmas, but over all the numbers seem consistent. There seems to be a weekly peak around Monday & Tuesday, but over all the traffic per day seems to be steady.
Now looking at the weekly view, we see the dip from Christmas week. But we also see that in this 10 week period there is an overall increase in traffic, which looks more pronounced compared with the weekly view.
And now aggregating per month, December 2010 had 7,111 visits, January 2011 had 8,980 and February 2011 is projected to be around 9,300 visits. This in fact shows a 30% increase from December to February. But looking at the daily numbers we probably wouldn’t have seen that it was such an increase, would you ?
Zooming in & Zooming Out
When comparing numbers, it’s important to get an overall view of things, and also to look deeper in certain outliers. In our statistics we see that we had a dip around Christmas week, but looking at the monthly view this is perhaps hidden. Looking at the monthly view shows that indeed traffic is increasing, compared with looking at the daily figures.
When we look at December with the previous months, we see that it was below the projected trend (Christmas really effects this website). And using the monthly figures for December 2010 will give an over inflated view of the website traffic increase in January 2011.
So there you have it, take statistics with a pinch of salt, and try to find out the bigger picture. Knowing this will help you make more accurate assumptions as to the state of your website.