Data Mining to Justify and Solve Mysteries (and... Clip Art?)

Last week I gobbled up some more responsibility here at LifeWay, and became the curator of our (forthcoming) downloads portal,  As of today, this is what it looks like:

Magical, eh?

So, of course, I have much different plans for the page than its currently set up.  However, in making such a big change, it's only right for the page to have the rights of due diligence and make sure that the current users of the page will still have the same functions on the name page, if it is so warranted.

The current page is set up as links going to our free resources.  Is it effective?  Meh.

Because we use an awesome web stats service, Fireclick, and my job used to be gathering and reporting on the web analysis and metrics for the entire LifeWay network of sites, I'm able to get at the pertinent data pretty readily.

Turns out the number one links is to the Adult free resources (the Women's resources is a broken link, so I can't track that).  More surprising, however, I discovered that the number two link was the clipart page, and that the clipart page was surprisingly popular on our site in general!  Clipart?  Seriously?  So this, of course, leads to exploration about the clipart page.

One of the neat things about Fireclick is you can easily pull up all kinds of stats on a webpage.  My curiosity was this: if the page was responsible for only 1.6% of the clipart page... how were people getting there?

It turns out that 94% of the hits on the clipart page are actually the FIRST page people hit on the website.  In other words, they're coming to the page from OUTSIDE of other pages.  This is where data-mining and webstats gets to be fun; I was trying to find out what to do with one page and stumble upon a silly mystery of how on Earth are people getting to a page that we haven't updated in years.

Again, Fireclick comes to the rescue as I can put the webpage into a report that tells me what the referring domains (and/or actual URLs) are to bring people directly to the clipart page.

Here's where it gets crazy; 65% of the visits to the page are from people doing directly to the page... as in, typing it in or they have it book marked.  The next biggest bracket are Google searches from Canada, and then Google searches from the UK.

So, of course, I get even more curious and mine a bit further...

We've got people hitting up our clipart page from EVERYWHERE.  The US, Canada, the UK, the Philipines, Malaysia, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates... everywhere.  This is just bizzare to me.

The key to data mining, however, is making some sense of the data.  If you've got nothing applicable from the exercise, then it's just a waste of time.  So, some resolution points from my little stroll down the Fireclick stats lane:


  1. The page can be modified however we see fit.  There is too little traffic to the page to impact our business in a negative capacity.  Any improvements should/could result in an improvement in page views, usage of free downloads, and traffic/awareness of our purchasable downloads.

  2. The free download pages need to be reworked as well.  They aren't heavily trafficked either and need some attention.  There's good content out there, but no one knows we give so much away free!

  3. Clip Art for MayClipart could be a micromarket for us.  The question is: do we position clipart as a free loss-leader for traffic/something we can just give away to help church add some flair to their bulletins, or do we find a way to commission new, high-quality clip art and sell sets of it to recoup the expenditure?  Unfortunately, I'm not really in a position to make any kind of decision (or really a suggestion) on such a topic, but I find it an interesting dilemma none-the-less.

  4. Clipart.  Still popular.  I never, ever would have guessed.  This is a very humbling reminder about how expansive our customer base is, with some people desiring HD downloads and others checking our clipart page, anxiously awaiting a new line  drawing to drop into their bulletin.