At the start of the new year I always go back and sift through my website visitor statistics in Google Analytics to see what has been most read, how people found their way here and such.
I then update my "most popular" page with the current post leaderboard. ;)
This year there were some changes in the list compared to last year.
My old post on Japanese pickled vegetables sailed up from nowhere to position number 3, while the recent 2010 post roast asparagus wrapped in parma ham made a rocket jump to position 4! No wonder, asparagus and parma ham is such a great combo...
Another surprising newcomer is my instructions on how to make browned cabbage, the Swedish way. Actually, two variations: a classic and the way we do it in my family. I wrote that last Christmas (2009) and leading up to Christmas 2010 it got enough traffic to go straight in at place number 6! The great Google position it has must be the explanation. Surprising though, there are so many pages about browned cabbage out there.
The recipe and step by step instructions for grilled pastrami salmon jumped from number 11 to number 7.
And I am happy to see that the delicious mustard fruit chutney recipe I created after having tried the Salt Yard version climbed three positions to number 8.
Sadly one of my own favourites, brown rice chicken casserole, has completely dropped of the top list... It deserves so much better! Please try it and leave a comment if you liked it. :)
Other stats and thoughts
The biggest traffic source is organic search (with keywords matching pretty exactly the top list of popular posts) while the biggest contributing site is Wikipedia (where I am the recipe linked for Flying Jacob (Flygande Jakob), this classic Swedish 70s dish).
Interestingly, Facebook is now the second biggest referring site.
I get almost 55% of my traffic from search engines, which I am not very happy about. Traffic sources (search, direct and referring sites) should be more balanced, and any blogger probably likes to tell themselves that they have loyal readers coming back... My reality though is that readers randomly stumble in, check out one recipe and then leave (most likely not to come back as I haven't seen much of RSS subscriptions go up the past year).
Early last year I made an attempt of being a bit more structured about my blogging. I published monthly a post on "in season ingredients", I tried to be more structured about reviewing restaurant visits (and also experimented with use of Flickr albums and embedded photo sets).
Not sure if that is the explanation, but compared to 2009 number of visitors were up a whopping 40%, and page views up 29.9%! Latter half of the year I was much more lax in updating, but the increase in traffic seems to have remained.
This year I will try to focus almost exclusively on slow cooking recipes: stews, roasts, bakes, stocks and soups. Rather write a really useful post once in a while than lots of shorter less valuable posts just because I feel I should update the blog...
The low carb slant also seems to be working well, and since that's an area I feel quite strongly about, expect more recipes and posts along those lines. Fits well with my love of slow cooking too.
Let's see if an increased focus in topic will get more or less traffic over 2011!