17th February 2009
I am thoroughly intrigued by the ‘hit counter’ that I recently added to Livorno Now. In fact, I’m getting quite addicted to it. I opted for what they call ‘stealth mode’, making it all sound very sneaky and secretive, but this just means the counter is invisible to all except me. I did this so that people visiting the site in January this year wouldn’t think I’d only had a handful of all time visits and immediately think it was a worthless site!
Since the New Year, Livorno Now has attracted more than 4000 visitors, viewing over 16000 pages, and while I know that other much more successful websites attract thousands of visitors every day, I still feel pretty satisfied that someone other than me is reading about Livorno on my site, everyday.
Not only do Quick Hit Counters (as the company is called) give me visitor statistics, they also let me access a whole load of fascinating information about the last 20 visitors to the site: I can tell, roughly, where they are, what search words they used and which pages they looked at. It’s incredible, although I really would also like a picture of every visitor and their email address so that I could write and thank them personally for their interest. In the name of privacy, and fortunately for you, I don’t think this will ever happen.
I am getting visitors from all over the globe, even though some of them are sometimes misdirected. I must admit, I felt a bit sorry for the poor soul in Mexico who looked up ‘ethnic jewellery’ and got the address for a shop here in Livorno, on the other side of the world. How frustrating! But who knows, perhaps that person will have looked around the site and been persuaded once and for all to come to Tuscany on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday, and maybe they will even come to Livorno to look up that shop they would never ever have known about if it wasn’t for the Internet.
The most popular pages on Livorno Now are those about what to see in the area, and about local travel and transport, which means that my very first aim when I started out has been achieved. Through the site I wanted to provide information about Livorno, in English, to people coming to the area, on a cruise, on business, or even to live, and I am happy to say that I think I am doing that. However, I have also noticed many visitors looking for recipes, for Torta di Ceci and Cacciucco, so it's time perhaps to dedicate some more time to Livorno's food specialities. I will keep adding to the site, of course, keeping one interested eye on Quick Hit Counters for some inspiring insight into my visitors.