Birth of A Web Site – I

On from Analytics Culture, Web Analytics

As a Web Analyst, one does not always have the chance to analyze and follow a Web site right from its first day online. I have had that chance in the last 3 months, following the evolution of my wife’s site (in French). You’re lucky too; my wife has given me permission to expose everything about her new baby, just so we can all have fun! Thanks Danielle!

NOTE: I use Google Analytics and Excel for all the analyses I’ll be talking about in the coming posts. is a content site about gastronomy in Quebec, but more precisely (and passionately!) about the people who make the great food products we enjoy here, the chefs who use them, the history of food, and of course recipes from the producers, chefs, and general public. It was launched on October 29th 2008. As of Monday February 9th, it had not been the object of any promotional activities with the media. That media blitz has started this week, and we will hopefully see the impact of that on the data in the coming weeks.

So, basically, Danielle has been relying on organic search to generate traffic, with the addition now and then of sites referring to hers. If we say organic search, guess what, we’re basically talking Google. In November, Google organic accounted for 65% of all visits, 89,5% in December, 87% in January, and 84% so far in February. That’s only one search engine (and its various properties)! In a word, we LOVE Google.

Here’s what the traffic (in visits) looks like since October 29th up to yesterday February 10th:

We saw the traffic steadily grow up to Christmas (the first drop is me messing up a filter!!), then goes up again up to New Year’s Day; after that it kind of stabilizes, and restart to grow from the end of January. Of course, we don’t know yet for sure if the pre-Holiday traffic was due to seasonality, but even then, visit numbers are still low compared to the expected growth potential.

For the record, and as of February 11th, Google records 4,430 different URLs, although it identified up to 8,000 before Christmas, and that the latest sitemap.xml file we submited a month ago had 6,779 URLs in it. Keep these numbers in mind, because we will see interesting stuff, notably the number of different entry pages we got, a clear indication of efficient indexation the site benefits from.

In the next post, I will examine how the site is currently building its keyword long tail, but still fighting for the head keywords where competition dwells.

6 responses to “Birth of A Web Site – I

  1. Hi Michael,

    Thanks for your kind words. Again, all credit goes to my wife who’s been working on her site for years. I only play with the data.

    Yes, I know the Tableau post; I wanted to do the same with my version of Tableau, but I just can’t make GA export all 10,000+ keyword report properly (and the CSV file is mess).

  2. Pingback: Visual Revenue | Search Engine de-Optimization ..and the bogus celebration of yet another Google organic search lottery winner
  3. Pingback: Search Engine de-Optimization ..and the bogus celebration of yet another Google organic search lottery winner | Web Analytics Blog | Web analytics

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