Saturday, June 04, 2011

Who's reading Inside Market Research?

Last month, we passed the sixth "candy or iron" anniversary of Inside Market Research without much fanfare. While the blog was launched in May 2005, it wasn't until April 2006 that the Google Analytics monitoring widget was installed. I'm a big fan of Google Analytics and other web traffic tools (like StatCounter). These tools allow a publisher to learn more -- often times much more -- about who is visiting the website and how they're using it.

For the 5-year history of the Analytics-enabled blog, it looks like we've had over 37,600 visits, with about 1.25 pages being opened per visit. Visitors spend about 49 seconds on the site, on average. As I've always known, my article that compares churn rates is by far the most popular of my pages, accounting for almost 30% of all the page views. The next-most visited page is an article about sample sizes, garnering about 9% of page views.

However, if you drill down more carefully into the data, I think you can make some other interesting discoveries. For this task, I decided to take only the most recent 24 months of traffic data, so that the findings suggest more current trends and distributions.

For example, can we estimate the market share of various Internet Service Providers based on the U.S.-based traffic to my blog? The traffic statistics would suggest so:
  • Comcast - 27%
  • RoadRunner (Time Warner) - 15%
  • Verizon - 10%
  • SBC Global /BellSouth / PacBell (AT&T) - 10%
  • Cox - 5%
  • Charter - 4%
  • Optimum Online (Cablevision) - 4%
  • Comcast Business Class - 3%
  • Qwest - 3%
  • Verizon Wireless - 1%
  • Cogentco - 1%
  • XO - 1%
  • All others & unknown - 16%
That strikes me as probably fairly accurate, and it seems to line up rather closely with other independent measures. The Comcast share is likely inflated somewhat, since I publish from a local Comcast area, and I am also a Comcast employee.

Using the same methodology, we might learn that in Australia, BigPond Broadband and TPG Internet are neck-and-neck for top spot in ISP market share. Or that India's leading ISP is Airtel Broadband, followed by Tata Indicom (VSNL). In the UK, it's British Telecom with about a 30% lead on Virgin Media, which itself has about a 30% lead on BE Internet.

But you can get even nosier about your visitors. For instance, I looked at all of the web domains that had at least 5 unique visits to my blog over the past two years. The domain that seemed to be most interested in my content was the office of Bnei Moran Productions in Israel, spending an average of nearly 10 minutes per visit on my site. Within the United States, the honor of "most interested in my blog" goes to Health Care Service Corporation, clocking in at 7:41 per visit.

Since my blog is about market research, it's interesting to note that some market research and similar consulting firms spend a bit of time reading my commentary. In order of depth of interest (as measured by time per site visit):
I would like to thank these five companies for taking a bit more time to read my thoughts and findings on Inside Market Research!

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