Travel Website Statistics: December 2013

In the travel website statistics world, December was an eventful month: the mighty Google gods decided to finally update the page ranks of the many sites populating the interwebs. For some this was a long overdue blessing, for others an unavoidable catastrophe. As for our small Lunaguava project, it saw its page rank rise from an embarrassing n/a to an impressive 1. OK, so maybe impressive isn’t the right word – underwhelming is perhaps more appropriate.

Since only a blind elder wearing a cloak and a dagger has access to the inner-workings of Google, it’s anyone’s guess when or if the page ranks will be updated again. Until then, we’ll be stuck swimming against the undertow.

Nonetheless, the major news of December concerning Lunaguava was our complete website redesign. After spending countless hours banging my head against the laptop and fidgeting with codes and inane drawings of guavas, I’ve turned our previously sluggish incarnation into a sparkling travel juggernaut. Hmm… it seems I have fallen under a hyperbolic spell. I’ll blame the medication on this one.

Before I go on with the numbers, here’s my travel blogger motto, courtesy of Dylan Moran: “Your potential is like your bank balance, you always have a lot less than you think”.

To blog or not to blog

Website statistics DECEMBER 2013

Social Media

Subscribers: 24       +1
Facepoop: 233         +22
Twitter: 370             +100
Google+: 53              +20
StumbleUpon: 12   +10
Pinterest: 31             +17
Klout: 58                    +2

Going for a rundown here:

Subscribers – Still letting this one slide. I’ll deal with it at some point – aiming for 2025.

Facepoop – Oh, how the mighty have fallen. We’re very happy with the slight jump in followers, but are by now resigned to Facepoop’s increasing obsolescence. There’s still quite a bit of traffic coming our way through Lord Zuckerberg’s creation, but we’ve joined the swarms of bloggers being screwed over by Facepoop’s despairing search of easy money. Out of 233 lovely people, only about 60 (on a good day) are able to see our posts. We’ll still keep on publicizing our shenanigans there, but its influence is rapidly dwindling.

Twitter – Although I haven’t been as active in Twitter chats as in the past, we’re seeing steady growth on this particular platform. Not only that, but we’re also noticing more people reaching our site via Twitter, since more wonderful folk are sharing our stories.

Google+ – As a travel blogger, I am a donkey to Google’s carrot on a stick, and have relinquished my soul for a couple of traffic hits. As a result, I’ve created a couple of Google+ accounts, so you might go ahead and add FW North to your circles and follow Lunaguava on Google+!

In spite of rolling my eyes every time I see a shiny unicorn or the thousandth GIF of a cat being a furry ball of mayhem, G+ is turning into my favorite media platform. There’s still much to learn, but it’s hard to deny its potential. I am currently directing most of my social media efforts towards G+, and am curious to see how it will all pan out in the medium term.

StumbleUpon – Some growth here this month, but with caveats. SU brings more random strangers to the site, but they usually don’t stay long – and by this I mean they take a peek and skedaddle to more interesting corners of the interwebs. Hence, it has a detrimental effect on our bounce rate. I remain a bit skeptical of SU’s benign influence on our small site, but will continue to work on it.

Pinterest – The lady Elle has been busy pining and repining beautiful photos from around the world, with pleasant consequences all around. After a slow start, things seem to be cruising along. We expect to enter hyperdrive around the premiere of Harry Potter XXV.

Klout – This site uses social media analytics to assess how influential one is in the mad kingdom of the interwebs. Lunaguava has a score of 58 out of 100 – yay, right? I’m still uncertain of its worth, but since there’s not much effort going into managing Klout, I’m happy to leave it alone.

Website Statistics

(Google Analytics) (01/12 – 31-12)

Monthly Visits: 1,632

Monthly Unique Visitors: 1,041

Page Views: 3,557

Avg. Visit Duration: 4:24

Pages/Visit: 2.18

% New Visits: 58.58%

Bounce Rate: ~67.16%

Google Page Rank: 1

Domain Authority: 24/100

Page Authority: 32/100

Our beloved month of December began strong and ended stronger. Alas, the middle bits between our popular home by Lake Atitlán and even more popular travel quotes posts were a bit lagging. Truth be told, it’s nobody’s fault but my own, since my posts are as scatterbrained as my many moods. 

Another slightly discouraging fact is our loss of a few Domain and Page authority points. Not sure if this was due to Google’s update or our website redesign, but it sort of sucks.

The last batch of statistics belongs to two sites which keep track of traffic rank. Alexa seems to be somewhat stable, but we saw a big dip in SEMRush. I haven’t got a clue how SEMRush works though, so that may explain it.


Overall Ranking: 244,267

US Ranking: 78,696

Sites Linking In: 70


4,935,992 (US)

And so it goes… It’s been interesting to see how the many factors going into managing a website play out as the months go by, but we’re still more curious about the beauty around us than anything else. As ever, hope these posts are able to shed some light into what goes on behind the scenes of a newbie travel blog – those quiet hours when we’re not roaming the shores of Lake Atitlán, visiting quaint little villages like San Antonio Palopó, as seen below.

Lake Atitlán from San Antonio Palopó

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16 Responses

  1. I really enjoy it when other travel bloggers do these kind of posts as it helps me learn a lot. I’ve seriously been playing around with the idea of doing a monthly recap of my statistics and think I’ll start one next month. Kind of scary to put it all out there in the open haha

    • FW North says:

      Hola Ashley! That’s us: all out in the open. We had seen other successful travel folk do statistics updates, so we thought it would be interesting to see a non-successful one: growing slowly, learning slowly, other stuff also slowly 🙂 If you ever do one, we’ll be sure to check it out. Good luck!

  2. Just like Ashley, love these recaps. And planning to do them too on my blog. You made me laugh, and show me how to approach our less successful, but steady growth. Your Alexa is pretty good.

    • FW North says:

      Hola Frank! Alexa is rubbish, and can be gamed pretty easily. Lots of page views and low bounce rate seems to be the travel blogger’s nirvana 🙂 Thanks for dropping by and good luck!

  3. The Guy says:

    I always find these posts fascinating to read and congratulations on your success so far. I’ve been travel blogging for more than a year and agree that it is a slow burn. Things seem fairly static for months then you get a little boost in some areas. I’ve just moved to P/R 3 which is very pleasing for me and traffic has taken a little jump up since.

    I agree with you on facebook. Everyone says to be on there yet you are at the mercy of seriously money grabbing Facebook’s corporate ideals. It is certainly not the platform it once was. You see what facebook want you to see in the stream, not what your friends or groups are posting.

    • FW North says:

      Hola! Success? Where? Seems you’re on the same hyperbolic medication as I am 🙂 You’re absolutely correct on Facepoop – will keep at it, but I think it will become more and more secondary compared to other social media. PR3? Oh, what wouldn’t I give for a PR3… Google must think the sun shines out of your… er… efforts. [Editor’s note: the author must abstain from re-watching Monty Python’s Life of Brian for at least one year]. Thanks a lot for dropping by and good luck!

  4. Samantha says:

    Don’t worry too much about Google PR – they’re always changing it and it’s unexpected when they DO a rank. Just keep working hard and that’s all that matters. OH and have fun 🙂 Which looks like you guys are! Great work

    • FW North says:

      Hola Samantha! Worry, moi? As long as we don’t go back to n/a or -15 I’m fine 🙂 Thanks a lot for your support and good luck!

  5. It is awesomely transparent to post these stats here. Congrats on your PR1 status! I am still a lowly PR0, though I did get a bump in google traffic mid/late December.

    The new Facebook algorithm is awful. I have occasionally reached 100% or even gone beyond, but only with super viral posts (e.g. ‘look at this pic of a crazy electrocution death trap showerhead in my hostel’ and not with links to real content. Bummer.

    • FW North says:

      Haha! I’d definitely click on that post! We’re usually reaching more people whenever we put a silly photo of ourselves, but actual posts tend to disappear into the Facepoop cesspool of doom. Congrats on your bump in google traffic! Good luck and safe travels!

  6. Agness says:

    Well done! Keep up the good work :)!!

  7. NZ Muse says:

    Facebook is the effin WORST.

    My stats stagnated a bit while we were travelling but are picking up again and hopefully will actually grow in 2014! I’d love to crack 10,000 PVs a month.

    • FW North says:

      Haha! Facepoop will probably go the way of MySpace at some point, at least if they keep doing what they’re doing. I wouldn’t dream of having 10,000 PVs a month – also, I think it might kill our bandwidth. Basically, I don’t think we can afford to be popular 🙂 Wishing you much success though – hope you surpass your goals in 2014! Good luck and safe travels!

  8. Well you can add one more subscriber…I just signed up…
    hmm stats – rankings – numbers – all so blah when all you really want to do is travel and write. But to share successfully you need all of the above; I go through stages of having my head around it all – then think oh blow it I’ll just tell my stories. Slow and steady I am aiming for – otherwise it could do your head in! Great post, thank you…

    • FW North says:

      Thank you so much, Monique! Yeah, I share the same doubts and apprehensions concerning the technical madness surrounding something so simple as just writing about travel. Alas, unless Lady Luck comes to the rescue, you need stats and numbers to be heard out there – it’s a very, very crowded world. Good luck!

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