Hello World – Thanks For Dropping By

Half the world visited our website last year.

It’s at this time every year I spend a nerdy couple of hours collating all the facts’n’figures about how the Villasfor2 website has performed over the past twelve months.

That’s because there’s not much point having a website without knowing whether people can actually find it on the internet and what’s prompting them to look for it.

And once they’ve found our site, how long do they stay ? What pages do they look at ? Are they newcomers to the site – or making a return visit ? And how did they find us ? Via the Villasfor2 pages on Google, Twitter or Facebook ? Did they maybe see us mentioned on another website ? And where in the world do our site visitors actually come from ?

To the nerdy little portion of my brain, the answers to these questions – readily provided by Google themselves – are a source of endless fascination, plus an annual confirmation – were it needed – just what a genuinely global village we all now inhabit.

Back in November 2007, when the Villasfor2 site first appeared, it attracted exactly 36 hits during that first month.

36.

And most of those were our family and friends in the UK, plus maybe one or two others who probably stumbled across us by accident.

It would’ve been easier to ring them all and tell them personally about our new Italian holiday rental business.

But we did get one booking query which seemed genuinely interested. We’d chatted on the phone for about fifteen minutes when he said, “Sounds ideal. Just what we’re looking for. But Abruzzo… I’m trying to get a mental picture of whereabouts that is…Tell me, how far away from Athens are you…”

I swear I’m not making this up…

In 2014 meanwhile, we notched up a shade under 10,000 site visits and a bit less than 30,000 page views.

Still a way to go before Facebook, Twitter and Lady Gaga start getting worried, but not bad for who we are and what we do.

Those statistics show that those 10,000-odd visitors to the Villasfor2 were from 110 different countries. Over half the countries in the world.

By far and away the biggest source of site visitors – 52% – was the UK, with the Top-10 also including Italy; the USA; Australia; Canada; Brazil; Germany; Netherlands; Belgium and India.

The UK, the US, Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium aren’t especially surprising. They’re where the overwhelming majority of our guests come from.

Italy ? Plenty of website visits – but not that many bookings to be honest.

Once Italians discover that Villasfor2 really is just for…er…two – and not three, four, or more…
And that sorry, but we don’t cater for bambini
And not forgetting either our blanket No Smoking policy…
(“What !! Not even down at the pool ? Or sitting outside having a drink ?”
“No, especially not down at the pool, or sitting outside having a drink”)
They tend to lose interest.

And India…

Q: How many guests have we ever had from India ?
A: None. Zero. Zip. Nil.

Q: How many actual holiday enquiries have we ever had from India ?
A: Same as the number of guests.

So how come the steady stream of site hits ?

Good Q. As you may know, India – especially the area around Bangalore – is a global centre for internet marketing, design and maintenance companies, most of whom aren’t shy about aggressively going after new business.

Hence the regular flow of spam from the subcontinent touting these services. Hence too probably, the regular visits to our site – the first step in seemingly endless cold-calling campaigns.

But Brazil ? That is a bit of a mystery. More hits from Brazil in 2014 than from either Germany; or the Netherlands; or Belgium.
Why ? Haven’t a clue.

Not only have we never hosted anyone from Brazil, or even received a single enquiry come to that, but without exception, every site visitor from Brazil in 2014 – and there were a lot – clicked-onto our Home Page; stayed for less than a nano-second; and clicked-off again.

Maybe they thought they were landing on some casino site; or gaming; (or even porn !) and zipped away the instant they saw that all we offered were holidays.

Or maybe Google’s recording equipment in Brazil is on the fritz.

Don’t know. But whatever the reason: Olá Brasil – and sorry we seem to have disappointed you…

Other statistical quirks can be equally impenetrable – but still make you smile.

Like, for example, the fact that in 2014 our site had more hits from Malta (pop: 446,000) than from China (pop: 1,357,380,000).

Or that while we had site visitors from 48 of the 50 states in the USA, two were conspicuous by their absence. And who were the less-than-dynamic duo ? I’m talking about YOU, North Dakota and Wyoming. Don’t you guys take holidays ? Must do better in 2015.

(But thanks to California – esp around San Francisco and LA – New York and Florida. We love you too !)

And why – after London – should most Villasfor2 interest in the UK be from East Anglia ?

Maybe the answer’s its proximity to Stansted Airport and flights to our local airport Pescara ?

Maybe it’s the appeal of a radical change of scenery. East Anglia: Flat. Abruzzo: Not flat.

But who cares ? Norwich, Cambridge, Ely and the rest – you’re all very welcome ! Form an orderly queue…

And what about the 110th-ranked country which dropped-by last year ?

Yemen.

Sometime during the year – and I could delve through the records and tell you exactly when, but you’ll forgive me if I don’t – someone in the Yemen capital Sana’a clicked us; looked at the Home Page for 1 second; decided they didn’t like what they saw; and went away again.

Proving once again that you can’t please everyone…


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