Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. The more things change, the more they stay the same, says the proverb, originally coined by French novelist Alphonse Karr. Its terribly cliché nowadays, but, as I peruse our 2007 Web analytics for Plant Services, it floats through my head. It seems that the more we change ourselves, the more predictable your Web behavior becomes. Take a look at the sites top five most visited URLs for 2007. You may not be surprised, but you will find five links that are extremely useful.
- The Home Page
It probably doesnt shock anyone that the most visited page on our Web site is our home page. It serves as our table of contents and your index to a wealth of knowledge. While the main portion of the page is dedicated to a cycling list of the features, news, products and white papers, its the top and left navigation that provides the most value. Its the gateway to the information you are seeking.
- Search Results Page
Your peers like to search. Its affectionately called, The Google Effect. We are now trained to use search if we dont immediately see what we are looking for, and the reason we think that is because Googles search algorithms have served us well. PlantServices.coms internal search has recently been reengineered, and gives you the ability to sort by date and relevance, as well as drill down by news, white papers, articles and products.
- CMMS Software Review
If youre looking to purchase a CMMS or learn more about them, this is the place to go. Fueled by the experience of CMMS Expert David Berger and guided by working IT professionals, the Review compares a variety of packages against a comprehensive list of capabilities. You can use the tool to do research, or even plug in your requirements and generate a score that tells you which vendor is the best fit.
- Digital Edition
Every monthly issue of Plant Services magazine is online as a full digital edition. It presents everything you have in your hands in the paper version, plus links to associative material on the Web site. For example, if youre reading this months In the Trenches, you are one click away on our digital edition from every In the Trenches we have published in the past three years. Each print article that makes a reference to another article, or to an external reference site, has a live link in the digital edition. Furthermore, you dont have to go to www.PlantServices.com to get the digital edition each month subscribe and well send it to you.
- Best Practices Energy Wiki
The Energy wiki wasnt introduced until July, but still registered as one of the top five most popular destinations on our Web site. It aggregates best practices for energy management, with primary sections covering energy efficiency, energy concerns and industrial energy sources. But, the direction of a wiki is entirely in your hands -- wiki technology allows you, as the user, to change, edit and move content on the page. As a knowledge-sharing portal for our community, its as good as the participation, and it allows you to share and learn from your colleagues.
The common thread among these five popular items is that theyre excellent Web starting points. From each of them, you can tumble down a family tree of links that narrow and expand, as you choose, to give you exactly the information you are seeking. Its not surprising that our average visitor is on the site for more than six minutes, and many of our returning users spend more than 15 minutes a session.
Where are they going? Here are some more top destinations from 2007:
Top Article: The three major energy villains keeping your plant from realizing savings.
Top News: Maintenance Tip Assessing against known practices.
Top White Paper: Avoid Devastating Arc Flash Accidents.
Top Product: Stress Indicators bolt features tension stress indicator.
To read more about what your peers are viewing, go to www.PlantServices.com/thismonth to get the top 10 most popular items in each of the above categories for 2007.
As the Web enters its second generation, or 2.0, with blogs, wikis, reader commentary, etc., it seems that home page navigation and search still lead the way. (Apparently users havent changed as much as the Web has.) Please continue to peruse our content in any manner you prefer, and feel free to comment on how you think were doing, either to me at the address below, or as a response on our blog at http://www.plantservices.com/plantperformance/?p=17.
Senior Editor, Digital Media