Hire The Boss (to do your dirty blog analytics job)

That's the story, morning glory.

It was almost a year ago when I challenged Agro-Know’ers to do something that was considered unthinkable and unspeakable: to Hire The Boss to do their dirty jobs. Despite my mythical blog post on this, people still look at me in a strange way and laugh when I knock on their doors to get hired. Although about 10 people have already hired me for about half a day to do something for them that completely tires or bores them, it still seems that there are team members that are not really convinced that I can deliver some serious work if they hire me.  Give or take a couple of failures, like the time that I was hired by the Data Ingestion Team to do some Java coding for them, because my CV says that at some point in my life, during my early Uni years, I successfully took a Java course. And since I never wrote a single line of Java code in my life, we spent the rest of the day on brainstorming and philosophical discussions…

"Who does he think that he is? The boss?"

“Who does he think that he is? The boss?”

Nevertheless, today is my chance to show to everyone what I can really do, in the most visible way. I was just hired by Vassilis to work for him in the Marketing & Networks Team and dive into the analytics of our blog in order to extract some meaningful results. So, after studying platforms and modules with exotic names such as Analitify and SumAll, and trying the Beta version of the Cohort Analysis of Google Analytics, here is what I have learned:

a) Our blog is quite popular. Over 6,500 unique visitors have taken a look at it during 2014 and 2015 (until today). Over half of them are new visitors, whereas the rest are returning ones. These people have spent about 2 minutes each, looking at about 2 pages per visit. Still, many of them (over 60%) have left the blog after looking at the home page without any interaction. Which means that since early 2014, about 3,000 people have actually spent a couple of minutes reading something that has been posted in our blog.

b) Half of our visitors (over 50%) come from Greece. And half of those come from Vrilissia. Which means that many people in our team (or some in our neighbouring businesses like the three barber shops across the street)  get informed about what Agro-Know is doing using the blog. Which is one of the primary goals of setting it up in the first place: to facilitate knowledge sharing among the team and have some online space to communicate internally what we do. And plenty of our blog visitors are probably people that are interested to work for Agro-Know, judging from the fact that one of the most popular posts is the one describing the culture and values of our company (which is also directly linked to from our web site).

That's the story, morning glory.

That’s the story, morning glory.

c) Half of our visitors come from other countries, which is good considering that our strategy statement states that we are serving a global audience. In terms of specific regions, about 9% of visitors come from the USA and about 13% from European countries (and especially the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and France). Overall, you could say that a bit over 20% of our blog visitors come from our prioritised regions, which are the EU countries and the USA. But we also have a 3% of our visitors that come from India.Which means that if we want to use our blog as a way to attract people that will be potentially interested in our products and services, we will probably need to focus our efforts a bit more to topics of relevance to the specific regions.

d) The majority of our visitors (Beta Cohort Analysis says) are women. That is, more than 60% of the people visiting our site. You can try to derive some sensible business conclusions out of this. Or you can make up some silly and provocative observations like “this is where the time of our female employees is going” or “if most of our posts are on interviewing the boys in our team, what do you expect”. I will not comment on this.

e) People discover our blog directly because they are looking for it. Either typing in the correct address, or by searching in Google about the “agroknow blog”. Direct (23%) and search (33.5%) traffic is mostly driving our visitors to our blog. One third of them is coming from Facebook (mostly) and Twitter. And about 13.5% of them comes from links to our blog that you can find in other sites – like the World Bank site on GFSP and FAO’s AIMS community. Ah, I almost forgot it: there were 16 people that searched for “respect” and found our blog relevant; 12 that searched for “war room” and ended up to Palavitsinis’ famous post; and 4 that were looking for the blog of another company called agroGnow – but we were lucky enough to catch their attention.

So what do you find out if you take a look at the most popular posts? That we are all about our values and the people that work (or used to work) for us.

So what do you find out if you take a look at the most popular posts? That we are all about our values and the people that work (or used to work) for us.

Overall, digging into the analytics can reveal some interesting things about the visitors of our blog (you guys!) and what seems to be interesting in our posts. It can also indicate some areas for further elaboration and thinking: should we focus more on making our blog our informal internal knowledge sharing tool (as it nicely works for us now) or should we invest in highlighting, promoting and marketing better our solutions and expertise to potential customers and users? These are open and difficult questions for Vassilis and his team to answer.

(OK, I wrote this. Can I go for a long coffee break now, boss??)

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