March 09, 2011

Share Your Data!

NiemanLab is trying an experiment: in a blog post called Share your data! Tell us how your readers arrive at your site: search, social media, the front door?, they are asking readers to do just that. Joshua Benton states what libraries know, that there is a lot to be learned from sharing information (his actual quote: "there’s lots to be learned from seeing how one site’s audience compares to another’s.") and asked readers who run a news website to post answers to 4 questions:
  1. What percentage of your traffic comes from search engines?
  2. What percentage of your traffic comes from facebook.com?
  3. What percentage of your traffic comes from twitter.com?
  4. What percentage of your site’s visits begin on your front page?
The comments are chock full of interesting data.

I'd love to see similar data for libraries! I recently attended Paul Signorelli and Char Booth's ALA TechSource webcast on the Role of Web Analytics in the Library (post-class post and discussion) and am looking more carefully at my data.

I was initially very surprised to see that about 29% of my website's traffic comes from Google. But after knowing that and watching students navigate to my website during reference encounters, I see that instead of bookmarking the page, they just Google "park library jomc" or a variation. Mystery solved.

My challenge to you: read Benson's post, and then come back & post your library's analytic data. Respond to these questions, for the last 30 days:
  1. How do people get to your website & in what %? (This is called "Traffic Sources Overview" in Google Analytics.)
  2. Top 2-3 search terms to used in search to get to you.
  3. What are your top 2-3 pages?
(thanks to the Daily Tar Heel's Sara Gregory for tweeting her response to the this post)

2 comments:

CogSci Librarian said...

I'll start:
1. How do people get to your website & in what %?
- Direct: 38%
- Referring sites: 31% (top 2: lib.unc.edu & jomc.unc.edu)
- Search engines (29%)

2. Top 2-3 search terms to used in search to get to you.
- park library unc
- unc park library
- park library

3. What are your top 2-3 pages?
- home page (http://parklibrary.jomc.unc.edu/)
- /http://parklibrary.jomc.unc.edu/subject-guides/AfAmNews (this is for a class; so glad they're using the page!)
- http://parklibrary.jomc.unc.edu/course-guides

Paul Signorelli said...

Delighted to see that the sessions are leading to positive actions; thanks a million for this wonderful follow-up exercise.