Many say that blogging isn’t all about the stats, and that’s true – it isn’t all about the stats, but any blogger who’s interested in what kind of content their readers are searching for and wants to attract more to their site, as the majority of us do, will know that stats are definitely worth something to them. I’ve gone through periods of my blog of being obsessed over numbers and stats, checking multiple times per day and pushing as hard as I can to raise them; but I’ve also gone through times where I couldn’t care less what people thought of what I was posting.
At the moment, I like to think I’ve got a happy medium – I check my stats regularly to find out what’s going on, where traffic is coming from and to make sure everything is working okay, but I’m also not focusing hugely on absolutely everything being perfect and “blogworthy” if that makes sense.
At the beginning of this month though, I decided to make a few end of year blog goals – they’re mostly number based to give me something to work towards such as followers on Pinterest (which I’m currently focusing on) and pageviews. Currently, I seem to be on track for most of those, but we’ll see when the year ends! I have been clicking around on Google Analytics though to find out more of what I can see on it and was looking at my most popular posts on 2015 – I thought it might be interesting to share these with you, the reasons behind why they’ve been the best posts, and what I might be able to do to optimise them in future.
My post where I featured my first ever memade bra and knickers set (the Watson by Cloth Habit) was by far my most popular post in 2015 – it gained nearly 6 times as many views as any other post! – and it’s quite obvious for me to see where this traffic came from: Pinterest. It was pinned by a couple of big Pinterest influencers to sewing related boards and the madness just went from there – if you look at pins from my blog, you’ll see this is the most dominant one by far! This is where my interest in focusing on Pinterest came from too as I saw the potential it could have for my blog. While before this post, I’d only had a handful of views per day from Pinterest, those soared so it became my highest traffic referrer by double the amount (and sometimes more) of any other referrer. I also published the post on a Reddit sewing group that I’m part of and saw quite a lot of traffic from there too.
What I learned: Pinterest influencers can drive huge amounts of traffic that continue rolling, and it helps to have a Pinterest optimised image, as above.
It was actually Ben that suggested I do this post as the Aldi GPS watch was on their special buys and he thought that people would be searching for information on it. And he was right! This post was immediately popular once I published it, and became more so later once Google had crawled it and stuck it right up there in the search results. People are still searching for this now, and I had another spike on it recently when Aldi released more of them. The majority of the traffic on this post comes via search.
What I learned: Don’t ignore SEO! Optimise your posts for search engine traffic and publish them in a timely manner when they’ll be popular.
I wrote this post back in December last year just before my work Christmas party – it was Casino themed and I was trying to find something that would be appropriate to wear for it, so decided to share my finds on the blog. I came across an opportunity to have the post added to a StumbleUpon Christmas themed list, and that’s where my traffic for this post came from crazily. I’d never really bothered with it before, but it worked, and people are still finding it through there and liking it now. It’s also had some good shares on Pinterest too.
What I learned: Don’t dismiss StumbleUpon! And again, make sure images are Pinterest optimised.
This was another attempt at hitting something that was popular at the time for search engine traffic by publishing it as the service became popular and using keywords as well as social media, and it seemed to work as it’s one of my top posts for the year.
What I learned: Timely/on trend posts are often popular for social media, but using keywords and coming up high in search engine results means that this traffic will keep rolling. A good mix of both is essential.
This is a funny one as it’s all the way from 2011 when I used to live in Newcastle, but yet has been a top post for me in 2015! Interestingly this seems to be a combination of Pinterest pick up and search engines again as the recipe itself wasn’t online, so my tweaked version was the only one out there at some points.
What I learned: Old posts can still have value, but this one needs some serious updating! I plan to Pinterest optimise the image and work on a slightly new format for the post to make it more interesting as the bounce rate is pretty high meaning people aren’t sticking around, probably because the text of the post looks boring!
This is another combination traffic post – I wrote it last winter, and it went down well on social first, then it was picked up on Pinterest and I’ve also found it’s doing well on StumbleUpon too. Finally, it’s getting some search engine traffic too as we headed into AW15.
What I learned: Don’t rely on one traffic source, diversify!
Teeny image – sorry! Yet another old post, from 2013 this time, and another that’s gaining traffic from search engine results. Not only does it answer a problem a lot of people might have (figuring out what to wear to a theme park in a country with changeable and possibly chilly weather), but it includes keywords.
What I learned: Don’t forget your SEO, kids! This also has a high bounce rate though so I plan to sort out some better imagery for it (Pinterest optimised) and also sort out the content a bit with some links to other Disney related posts.
I’ve known for a while that my sewing posts typically go down better than others, probably because they’re targeted more to a niche than personal style and fashion posts are. But I was quite surprised this was one of the higher ones as I didn’t think the dress went too well! Seemingly, people are finding this from Google, so I’d say that’s probably due to the popularity of the Great British Sewing Bee.
What I learned: Yet again, SEO and timely posts! This may also need Pinterest optimising next year.
This is a sewing post that I can understand has come up more highly as I love this dress! I also published this post to my sewing group on Reddit where it had a good amount of traffic from.
What I learned: Good content and Reddit work well together.
This is another sewing post and one which had some pick up on Pinterest and Reddit. I did attempt to optimise it for search engines with keywords, but it seems there isn’t that much search for something so specific as this.
What I learned: Sewing posts are my best content this year, and Pinterest and Reddit are great places for me to share them.
Would it surprise you that the next 5 most popular posts were also sewing ones, including my Maya AFI bra and my gingham circle skirt? Doesn’t surprise me based on this!
So overall, it seems that what I need to take away from this is that search engine traffic is really important, so I need to make sure my posts are as optimised as they can be – I’ll be working through them to make sure there are no errors in links (I know there are plenty further back I haven’t yet sorted since my move from Blogger to WordPress and across from .blogspot to my own domain) and making sure pictures are the correct size. I’ll also be optimising my images for Pinterest so that if someone likes an informational post, there’s an easy image to share with it. It’s also obvious that old content is always valuable, so I need to ensure that old posts are up to scratch (many are definitely not!) so they can still be useful.
How has blogging been for you in 2015? What have you learnt about your blog?