Analytics, Keywords, Social Media and the Power of the Blog

October 30, 2008 by  

Website analytics or statistics are basically just a bunch of numbers and information. By studying the analytics and making changes and tweaks you can fine tune your web projects to meet your goals. Over the past few months I have been heavily experimenting with this information on my website and it has amazed me just how much power you truly have about the people visiting your site.

So Our Story Begins

A few weeks ago I went to a friend’s wedding and at the wedding there were other friends who I see maybe once or twice a year, we all laughed and joked and had a really goodtime. One of the friends who we will call “X” happens to be a designer as well and works for a marketing company so naturally after a few drinks we ended up talking about the biz, me about freelancing and “X” about the marketing company.

I was talking about how the change in the economy has affected me and “X” was basically saying the same thing and also mentioned the fact that it felt like it was time to leave the marketing company and find something different and closer to home. As the night went on and I mentioned some of the work I do “X” mentioned that “I can get you work like that because I speak to all sorts of people all the time” blah, blah, blah.

Now I don’t put any faith behind that kind of stuff because first off the wedding was an open bar and secondly most people in those positions who never thought of you in the first place are usually just talking out of their bottom lip, we have all done it. Towards the end of the night I gave “X” some of my business cards, said goodbye and never thought about it again.

Checking Google Analytics Daily

The next week as I was going through my web statistics looking for the name of a company’s server I had sent my portfolio link to I noticed that somebody from the marketing company that “X” worked for had visited my homepage for all of three seconds…lol, could this have been “X”? Lately I have mainly been using my analytics to see how long companies I have sent my portfolio to are looking at my work, the longer they stay the more interested they are which is an awesome tool to have.

Two weeks later I get this email from my website The Free Lance saying that somebody posted a comment. Before I read the comment I thought to myself that it was probably going to be spam as usual but to my surprise it was legit, not only was it legit it was badmouthing me telling me how much I sucked and what my work looked like. It was hate mail……Dun…dun..Dunnnnn!

This was not the first and probably won’t be the last time I get hate mail but as I read it I felt that it was from someone I knew, it was real personal and there was a real genuine hate to it like I really got under someone’s skin. So later on in the afternoon when I finally stopped crying and was able to face the nasty note again…lol I decided I wanted to see where this comment came from and if I could possibly find out who wrote it.

Logging Into the Web Statistics Yet Again

When I received the email notification about the comment it came with a time stamp and an IP address. The time stamp alone makes it very simple to narrow down the amount of info you have to wade through and it didn’t take me very long to pull up the culprit’s location which was quite local, I knew it sounded too personal to be a stranger. When I looked to see the name of the server I was shocked to find out that it was “X’s” marketing company yet again, if I can watch users like a hawk think what your government can do.

Could it be?

I now knew deep down that it was “X” who sent me that devastating message but I still needed more proof so I checked the site that referred “X” to my blog and it happened to be Google. So what I am a 100% sure of is that somebody using “X’s” marketing company’s network found my site Digital Deceptions had to of typed something into the search engine to find me. What could it have been?

Next I clicked on the keywords button and watched with anticipation as the page changed and sitting right in front of my monitor were the keywords typed into Google by the mysterious hater “graphic design jobs durham region”. It had to be “X” at work looking for something different and closer to home just like what was stated in our conversation at the wedding a couple of weeks earlier.

I’m positive that “X” is the malefactor but I still had to investigate a little further so I went to Facebook where I knew “X” had a page and wouldn’t you know it, both the mystery message and “X’s” Facebook page both excessively use the period key…………The smoking gun!

So What Am I Supposed To Do?

How can you be drinking, laughing and having a goodtime with somebody one moment and then do a complete flip? It must have taken a lot for “X” to have even been at the same function let alone speak to me that night because from what I got from that vile message was true hate. For whatever reason “X” dislikes me so much I may never know but at least I now know the truth.

I really wanted “X” to know that I wasn’t guessing and knew the true creator of the note so I sent a short email to “X” revealing just a couple of the intimate details that only myself and the author would know and so far no reply.

Funny enough last night after finishing the first draft of this post “X” had written on my Facebook wall (lots of periods of course…..) nonchalantly asking me to take down some drunken photos that I had in my gallery (which I did) and mentioned that “business was down” and that there were no openings at the marketing company but would keep me posted. Ironically this is the first time “X” has ever contacted me and it was just like nothing had ever happened. What a phony all I want is for “X” to admit what they did but I guess that is not going to happen so let the song and dance begin.

What the Stats Have Really Told Me

Besides the fact that the analytics pointed me to whom, where and when they never told me why but they did paint a picture and as malicious as the comments were I know they weren’t premeditated. “X” genuinely found my site looking for something else, a graphic design job in Durham Region and maybe “X” was just having a rough day at work, the 1920 X 1200 pixel monitor they use wasn’t working properly or whatever and just took the eighteen minutes and thirteen seconds they stayed on my site to vent and just got caught. That is the story that I like to believe.

I don’t know if it is karma or dumb luck that “X” chose to be so dastardly when they did or if it was my impressive search engine optimization skills that lead them to my website but what I do know is that years ago I would have revealed names and places on my blog but luckily for “X” I have matured. Although “X” is apparently looking for a new job (that much was true) I’m sure “X” wouldn’t want their marketing company to know that let alone about the verbal venom that gets spewed from their servers.

Either way from a SEO and marketing stand point it would be a huge missed opportunity on my part to let something like this go and not blog about it plus it is absolutely hilarious. So to take a quote from the message that “X” sent me “keep it consistent, practice what you preach” I will, and just like in an earlier post I made called Public Relations and Moral Lessons for Designers I will be a professional and not mention your true name or company online because I wouldn’t want to get you fired, but I will tell all of our friends because unlike me it is you that truly sucks, good luck finding a job and if you ever need a web site give me a call. :p


One Comment on "Analytics, Keywords, Social Media and the Power of the Blog"

  1. Luc Arnold from on Mon, 10th Nov 2008 6:29 pm 

    Hello Duncan,

    I just happened upon your site through CSSLeak today and i was reading this article thinking. I wonder how many other web designers go through what you are going through. It is an interesting use of web analytics. Fight the good fight Duncan,

    Luc Arnold

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