My website has been, I don’t know, hosted, is it? by WordPress for the last month. Instead of Google Analytics to tell me who comes and what they come for, I now have WordPress stats. In some ways they aren’t so good. I can no longer see where in the world my visitors come from. My wife enjoyed that. “Ooh, look, you’ve got two people in Patagonia!”
But in all sorts of other ways my new stats are a huge improvement. They tell me so much more. Including stuff I want to hear. Visitor numbers are rising all the time. That a niche publication which bangs on and on remorselessly and humourlessly about death should attract just shy of 9,000 visitors a month looks good to me. Now that the Guide is out, that ought to climb away nicely.
My new stats also tell me what people look for. Coffins top the list by a long way. What do you make of that? They are followed by best funeral directors, then What To Do With Ashes, then Create The Ceremony, then hearses, then Funeralcare bloopers. Green funerals, intriguingly, come way down. Perhaps people who want a green funeral are more inclined to go straight to the excellent Natural Death Centre website?
I can also see who clicks through to other websites from mine. Coffins again take the lead. Top of the list there is Greenfield Creations, the coffin makers who supply to the public at remarkably fair prices. Next, to my delight, comes Bellacouche, the shroud maker. I do hope Yuli’s sold one or two on the strength. Phoenix Diamonds, the people who make ashes into diamonds, get a lot of interest. So does William Warren, the man who designed a coffin that can be used as bookshelves until you need it (pictured above). Send him your measurements and he’ll send you the spec. Free. Lovely man.
(Actually, it now occurs to me, I have amassed market information that would be of enormous value to lots of people in the Dismal Trade, whom I now expect to beat a path to my door waggling their wads. Go away! )
I also get a useful list of search terms people have used. I can test them and see what page of Google the GFG comes up on. And here I can report that, if you’re skint like what I am and doing it all on a frayed shoestring, you can, by dint of sheer hard blogging, get yourself right up there. It’s the most gratifying thing my stats have told me. Floreat meritocracy and stubborn self-belief!