Two things that seem to have nothing to do with each other, right? In fact, one can argue that one is a complete contradiction of the other.
Bhagavad Gita is a book on yoga where renouncing the fruits of our actions is a part of the teaching. Web Analytics is analyzing behavior of people on our website to understand how effective our efforts have been so we can take action. If we were to practice renunciation, why even care what people think and how they react to the stuff we put out there in the (cyber) world?
First, a tutorial on basic web analytics. As you may guess by now, my life before becoming a Jivamukti Yoga teacher involved online marketing, user experience, and web analytics. You can check my LinkedIn profile here.
We look at data from the broad perspective and narrow it down to key details that are relevant to our site objectives. The main purpose of me having a website is to increase the awareness of Jivamukti Yoga in the Philippines. So I start by looking at demographic data.
The country where I have the most visits is the Philippines, which means I am right on target with my goal. Interesting to see that the next four countries that comprise the most visits are those where Jivamukti Centers exist. I could make an educated guess that these visitors are a captured audience because they are themselves Jivamukti Yoga teachers and practitioners.
The pie chart shows how people land on my website. The sources referral, direct, and search counts do not vary significantly. Referral means third party links such as Facebook posts, Twitter links, or anything else that may come from other social media or websites. Direct means people have typed in the website directly or bookmarked it in their browsers. Search means they came to the site via Google, Yahoo or other search engines. I could drill down to the level of detail for each source but since search engine traffic is the source where I may have the least control of, I am just going to go ahead and look at that.
This table shows which search terms or keywords people use to get to the site. The top result showing "not provided" means that they came through the site either by typing my website address directly, clicking on a previous bookmark, or through third party site referrals. The next two keywords "yoga + manila reviews" and "yoga classes in manila" seem to indicate that these are people still looking around for yoga classes, checking out reviews and schedules and weighing their options. They have not narrowed down the particular style of yoga they are interested in, and it is this segment of the audience that is fulfilling my goal of increasing awareness for Jivamukti. The next keyword "manila jiva" implies that these are people who have already heard of me through others or received my business card. It is safe to conclude this mainly because this is a brand or alias or identity that I chose based on what I perceive as easy recall. The next keyword, my full name, shows that these are people who already know me. It is probable that we already met. They might have already taken my classes. Then we drill down and see that "manilajiva" appears again, this time with no space between the two words. It shows that the branding is more effective than I originally thought. Had I stopped analyzing data very early on, I may come to a different conclusion.
Now I want to seggregate the type of visitors into what is relevant to my objective: those who are not familiar with Jivamukti Yoga at all, and those who are existing students of Jivamukti. The sections of the site that is relevant to the first group is the About page and the Jivamukti Classes in Manila page.
Because the About page is a static one, let me skip to the Jivamukti Yoga in Manila section and see how visitors click on the sub-sections. Note that this does not represent the total of the site. It shows only data from when they already reach the section. The highest clicks are on studios and schedules, next one being the free classes, and then the general descriptions page. If I want to know if the way I name the titles accurately describe what visitors expect, I can check the bounce rate (when visitors click the page and immediately leave) or time spent for each page.
The total average time on site being more than 30 minutes shows that I am reaching out to visitors who actually want to read the site. It means my keyword selections, page titles, and blog titles accurately represent the content, such that when visitors reach the site, they decide to stay and read on.
In the screenshot shown above, three individual blog posts seem to be the most read. For Analytics to be more accurate, I need to draw connections from the efforts that were made. The vegan options in Legazpi Market blog post was shared many times via Facebook by the vendors themselves whom I have featured, which means they are getting their audience to visit my page. The article on Bhagavan Das/ yoga scandals was the earliest lengthy blog post I wrote. I remember my enthusiasm in sharing it with different yoga groups on Facebook, so it is no wonder that it did get more views than others. I made as much effort on the next one about the expectations of Jivamukti Teachers to be vegan, so again, no surprise that these are the top read blog posts.
I can spend a long time looking at detail after detail, but let me go back to the original question. If I am a practicing yogi, why should it matter if people want to read my website or not? The Bhagavad Gita teaches non-attachment, but it also acknowledges one's role in the world. To be a warrior means that we use our gifts and talents and skills. We are not going to turn our backs from our obligations. Rather, we continue to take action with the best strategy we have. What we renounce is the results of those strategized actions, not the actions themselves. Relating it to modern-day concerns, my objective of sharing Jivamukti and veganism is best served if I plan well, by using the skills I already have, by using resources that are available to me. Online marketing and web analytics were my expertise. I can continue to use them to advance my cause by looking at data intelligently. Whether I meet my objective or not, my practice is in being equally non-attached as I continue to plan and strategize the next steps. My practice is in offering these efforts not to the gains of my ego but towards the practices of Jivamukti Yoga and veganism.
Note: If you are a yoga school manager or vegan business owner in need of online marketing and web analytics assistance, drop me a line at email@example.com. If you are in other industries and are interested in an online marketing and web analytics consultancy arrangement, please advise me of the nature of your business. I am taking on selective projects but I do not offer my consultancy service to industries that are exploitative of both humans and nonhuman animals.
Consultancy is done via email on a one-time or project basis.
One-time email consultancy up to 5 main questions: PHP 2000 (US$ 50)
Project-based consultancy: Project quote will be provided after you send in your website objectives and website details to firstname.lastname@example.org.