AWStats – Free log file analyzer

I plan on checking out AWStats, which is a free log file analyzer. Open source software is so cool! This post is a reminder to me more than anything else… LibraryWebChic mentioned it on her blog.

In the same blog, she also mentioned skype… and I saw that Steven Cohen mentioned it… wow – I just heard about it – how funny!

Website Statistics – Top Search Keyword and Phrases

For the last part of this series, I’ll focus on Search Engine Words and
Phrases. Yes, many different search engines direct customers to our
website – and our web stats software keeps track of which search engines
hit us, and more importantly, what words and phrases are used to find
our pages.

Here’s what happened in October (looking at phrases):

Obviously, different forms of “Kansas City Public Library” appear (as
kansas city public library, kansas city library, kc public library, kc
library, etc.).

Also, we get a lot of content-driven types of phrases, like:

3 map of missouri
7 maps of missouri
8 kansas city map
9 missouri maps
13 pumpkin painting
14 Harry potter info
15 public library
16 sheffield steel
17 map of missouri counties
21 russell stover
22 kchasjobs
23 scary face painting
26 harry truman
27 kchasjobs.com
28 library
33 kansas city photos
34 Kansas City, MO
35 kansas city maps
36 Downtown Arena Design Team
37 Walter Disney
38 Jim Bridger
40 www.kchasjobs.com
41 how to make a purse
42 Sheffield steel industry
43 Kansas City Missouri
44 kansas city
46 railroad maps
47 kansas city mo
48 Flu Shots Kansas City
50 oregon trail map

This is great stuff! People want maps, craft information, local history
info, jobs, info on downtown, flue shots, and info on our city. And to
find that info, they are being directed to our library website.

So – here’s the part involving work – we probably need to provide
pointers to some of this, at least the things that appear more
frequently. For example, Jim Bridger appears often in this list (for
June 1 through October 31, he’s number 17). We have a local history
collection of photos and documents about him and his family, most of
which is online. But we could also write an article that describes him,
his family, and the information we have about him – in the local history
collection, but also in our books, videos, and articles that can be
found in our library. And in other web links, too.

This would do a number of things:
1. It would help establish our customized content on Mr. Bridger or
other top search phrases as “an authority” that would continue driving
more customers to our site
2. It would help provide information that customers are wanting from us
in a more condensed way (by providing a “this is what we have” type of
page)

And that’s gotta be good for our website and our library, right?

Website Statistics – Top Search Keyword and Phrases

For the last part of this series, I’ll focus on Search Engine Words and Phrases. Yes, many different search engines direct customers to our website – and our web stats software keeps track of which search engines hit us, and more importantly, what words and phrases are used to find our pages.

Here’s what happened in October (looking at phrases):

  • Obviously, different forms of “Kansas City Public Library” appear (as kansas city public library, kansas city library, kc public library, kc library, etc.).
  • Also, we get a lot of content-driven types of phrases, like:
  • 3 map of missouri
  • 7 maps of missouri
  • 8 kansas city map
  • 9 missouri maps
  • 13 pumpkin painting
  • 14 Harry potter info
  • 15 public library
  • 16 sheffield steel
  • 17 map of missouri counties
  • 21 russell stover
  • 22 kchasjobs
  • 23 scary face painting
  • 26 harry truman
  • 27 kchasjobs.com
  • 28 library
  • 33 kansas city photos
  • 34 Kansas City, MO
  • 35 kansas city maps
  • 36 Downtown Arena Design Team
  • 37 Walter Disney
  • 38 Jim Bridger
  • 40 www.kchasjobs.com
  • 41 how to make a purse
  • 42 Sheffield steel industry
  • 43 Kansas City Missouri
  • 44 kansas city
  • 46 railroad maps
  • 47 kansas city mo
  • 48 Flu Shots Kansas City
  • 50 oregon trail map

This is great stuff! People want maps, craft information, local history info, jobs, info on downtown, flue shots, and info on our city. And to find that info, they are being directed to our library website.

So – here’s the part involving work – we probably need to provide pointers to some of this, at least the things that appear more frequently. For example, Jim Bridger appears often in this list (for June 1 through October 31, he’s number 17). We have a local history collection of photos and documents about him and his family, most of which is online. But we could also write an article that describes him, his family, and the information we have about him – in the local history collection, but also in our books, videos, and articles that can be found in our library. And in other web links, too.

This would do a number of things:

  1. It would help establish our customized content on Mr. Bridger or other top search phrases as “an authority” that would continue driving more customers to our site
  2. It would help provide information that customers are wanting from us in a more condensed way (by providing a “this is what we have” type of page)

And that’s gotta be good for our website and our library, right?

Website Statistics – Top Referring Sites and URLs

 

Argh! This is my second try – I had a wonderful article typed up in my blog backend, hit Post… but instead of posting, it died. And disappeared. Completely. Drat.

OK… trying again.

There are many reasons why you might want to use the Top Referring URL and Top Referring Site statistics – they can point out some interesting trends in your website customers. But first, let’s define both of them:

Referring Site: the site name of the place the visitor was before coming to my website.

Referring URL: very similar to site – the specific URL of the place the visitor was before coming to my website.

In both cases, you can also get “No Referrer” – that’s when the user has either typed in the URL in a browser rather than clicking on a link and “surfing” to get to your site, or he/she has your site bookmarked as their homepage in their browser.

With those definitions in hand, let’s take a look at my website’s Top Referring Sites and URLs from June 1 until today:

Referring Sites:

1   No Referrer   529,835 
2   www.kclibrary.org   250,501 
3   www.kcpl.lib.mo.us   35,231 
4   kclibrary.org   17,484 
5   www.google.com   13,736 
6   images.google.com   5,854 
7   www.kcforum.net   5,651 
8   www.kcpl.org   5,197 
9   search.yahoo.com   5,027 
10   catalog.kclibrary.org   3,580 
11   search.msn.com   3,114 
12   p218.ezboard.com   2,692 
13   aolsearch.aol.com   2,592 
14   kcpl.lib.mo.us   1,993 
15   kcpl.org   1,723 
16   www.kcskyscrapers.com   1,663 
17   images.kclibrary.org   1,487 
18   www.kansascity.com   1,229 
19   staff   922 
20   www2.lib.udel.edu   828 
21   64.233.167.104   782 
22   web.ask.com   696 
23   www.excitementmachine.org   669 
24   members.tripod.com   653 
25   www.worldcatlibraries.org   609

Referring URLs:

1   No Referrer   529,698 
2   http://www.kclibrary.org/   182,328 
3   http://www.kcpl.lib.mo.us/   24,693 
4   http://www.google.com/search   13,315 
5   http://kclibrary.org/   11,684 
6   http://www.kclibrary.org/guides/searchengines/   8,775 
7   http://www.kclibrary.org   7,593 
8   http://images.google.com/imgres   5,796 
9   http://www.kcforum.net/forum/viewthread.php   5,628 
10   http://search.yahoo.com/search   4,632 
11   http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/list.cfm   4,400 
12   http://www.kcpl.org/   3,866 
13   http://www.kclibrary.org/calendar.cfm   3,402 
14   http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/subjects.cfm   2,952 
15   http://www.kclibrary.org/guides/teens/   2,721 
16   http://www.kclibrary.org/index.cfm   2,451 
17   http://aolsearch.aol.com/aol/search   2,437 
18   http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/   2,384 
19   http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/media.cfm   2,226 
20   http://kclibrary.org/temp_staffsearch.cfm   2,063 
21   http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/search.cfm   2,018 
22   http://search.msn.com/results.aspx   1,791 
23   http://p218.ezboard.com/fjambandsfrm2.showmessage   1,777 
24   http://www.kclibrary.org/localhistory/collections.cfm   1,712 
25   http://www.kcskyscrapers.com/kcforum/viewtopic.php   1,641

Interesting – there’s a number of things you can glean from these stats:

  1. A LOT of customers know our URL, and either type it in to their browser, or have it bookmarked in their personal bookmarks. That’s very cool! It also shows that our short URL (kclibrary.org) is easy to remember, and has some “brand recognition.” We need to keep that up!
  2. I suppose it also means that a lot of people are hitting our site from inside the library on one of our public PCs – where our website is set as the default homepage.
  3. Search engines are our friends! Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and Ask Jeeves have all visited us pretty heavily – those search engines brought in around 30,000 visitors. So obviously, customers are finding us using search engines (more on that in a future post).
  4. Our “other URLs” are still helpful. We used to be kcpl.lib.mo.us, then we changed to kcpl.org for a short while, and now we are www.kclibrary.org (but also use the shorter “kclibrary.org”). Each of those other URLs has sent more traffic our way – approximately 60,000 visitors. So it’s a good idea to keep those URLs up-to-date on our name server (and continue paying for the kcpl.org domain name). Even though we’d consider those URLs to be incorrect and not really matching our brand recognition, they still bring in a sizeable chunk of web visitors.

So it’s important for us to remember to keep adding unique, original content to our pages – customers are finding it in a variety of ways!

That’s all for now.

 

Website Statistics – Top Exit Pages

Yesterday, I discussed our top Entry pages – what it is exactly, what you find there, and what those stats mean. Today, I’m going to focus on the other part of that area, Exit Pages.

Top Exit Pages are just the opposite of Entry Pages – Exit Pages are the last page a customer sees before they leave your website. When leaving, they do one of a number of things: click on an external link; enter a new URL or click on a bookmark to leave your site; exit their browser
completely.

So what are our top exit pages? In October, so far they are:

– Calendar
– gotourl page (translation – they clicked on a link in our site)
– site/catalog search feature
– jobs page
– locations/hours
– local history site
– main page
– staff search
– search engines page
– guides main site
– mystery book rss feed
– library news
– crafts rss feed
– meeting room rental page
– literature rss feed
– contact page
– local history guide page
– business rss feed
– history rss feed

And, from June 2004 until now, our top exit pages are:

– gotourl page (translation – they clicked on a link in our site)
– calendar
– site/catalog search
– local history
– jobs
– locations/hours
– main page
– staff search page
– search engines guide page
– guides main page
– library news
– contact the library
– mystery book rss feed
– Children’s guide page
– databases guide page
– entertainment guide
– literature rss feed
– history rss feed
– Search engines rss feed

So, what’s this mean? How can I use these? Good question – anyone know??? Here’s my best guess:

Exit pages tell you something about what your customers are doing – where they want to go from your site. In my library’s case, our website customers are doing a number of things:

our calendar page to find out about an event – it’s possible they go to that page, get directed to an event not from our library (we post non-library, metro area events in our Subject Guide pages and calendar), and click the link to go to that organization’s description of the event.

They are clicking a link from a page to an external site (usually a subscription database).

They are searching our local history database, and then going “somewhere else” – not sure where.

They are reading about specific jobs (and hopefully applying to them).

They are checking hours and locations to our branches, and getting contact info (phone numbers, emails, etc).

They are searching our site and catalog – if they chose catalog, that’d explain why they exit our website – our catalog site is separate from our website (different servers), so going to it would be considered exiting by the web stats software.

They are also going to our Guides pages and RSS feeds, reading a news item, clicking on book links to the catalog, and then going somewhere else – hopefully to a related event, related website listed in the Guide, or to a book in our catalog!

So… That’s all cool and interesting, but how does it help me deal with my website? It’s a good thing to know something about where and why your library website customers are leaving your site. If they have gone to your catalog, that’s a good thing. You want to continue providing access to books outside of the catalog and linking them into the catalog.

Same with external web links – if customers are exiting from our Guides pages and RSS feeds, then those pages are doing what they are supposed to do – direct customers to good info on a specific topic. The hope is that they’ll continue to use those Guides pages to stay informed about their favorite topics.

And, our customers are finding our “tidbit info” helpful – phone numbers, job ads, directions to the library, etc. They’re (hopefully) finding what they need.