As we approach the first anniversary of the launch of stubbornfool.com I got to thinking of how to take the site to the next level. In doing so, I looked back at the last year and what drove people to the site in the first place. I figured the best places to start were Google Analytics and Blogger Stats. Both provide similar resources for tracking visitors.
I launched Stubborn Fool in February of 2010 with a few ideas but no real plan. I had dreams of this site erupting on the blogosphere. I imagined my brilliant posts going viral. At best perhaps, they have gone bacterial. I have a select few "old" friends that visit the site. I have a number of "blog" friends that are regular visitors. I wanted to know about the semi-regular and random guests. What brought my new readers, my occasional readers and random viewers to Stubborn Fool? I thought of presenting my favourite posts but did not have the patience to read everything I wrote. Some of my personal favourites are posts with random thoughts strung together.
The first thing that I looked at was which sites drew the most people to Stubborn Fool. It turns out it was Google. From there I was hoping to find some odd or funny search terms. But this was not exactly the case. I should probably improve my SEO. I did get the few people looking for sex or sex related items, and they ended up here mostly because of my post called My Friend Andy Had Sex.
I then spent several days studying the search terms that brought my most welcomed guests to my site. I dumped all the results into Excel and started plugging in my formulas. Part of my job involves analytics and Excel so this was right up my alley.
I have had two posts that have brought a huge number of visitors, relatively speaking. I will get to those in a moment as they weren't the largest search term entries according to Blogger Stats. The most commonly searched item that drove people to my site? 'Best Looking Man' or some variation of this. I have to think that many people were disappointed with their end results. Unless of course they were fans of Kids in the Hall or have a sense of humour. Watch that video and tell me that isn't the best strutting you have ever seen.
The next most commonly searched item was 'What should I eat for supper'. I had a lot of hits but the only comments were from Cardiogirl. Thanks to her comments, I had a several additional hits from people searching for Humphrey Bogart, Pork chops and Applesauce, W.C. Fields and James Cagney.
The next big item was my run down of the top upbeat breakup songs. I found over twenty and had to split the post in two. Springsteen, Paul Simon, Gloria Gaynor and Frank Black.
Next on the list, garnering 8% of the Google search terms was The Top 60 Ghetto Names or Top 60 Jewish Ghetto Names. I still chuckle when I watch the video.
One of my favourite writers of all time is Raymond E Feist, a fantasy author with over 25 published titles, of which I have read every single one. Feist was next on the list with 7% of the total search items. Feist shared this feat with his last book titled At the Gates of Darkness. Feist had a knack for political intrigue while staying true to the fantasy genre. His world of Midkemia was probably the most detailed and descriptive since Tolkien. Alas, Feist has not been as strong in his later works, but at this point, I am so addicted, I will have to read his final three novels as he wraps up the series. The next one, A Kingdom Besieged, is due for release in March 2011.
How many people searched for my email address in the last year? Enough to make it to the top 10. A whole bunch of people were looking for my contact information. Kind of creepy.
I was surprised to find the movie Inception so low on the list at number eight just because my post about the film is my second most viewed. It is hardly a typical film review but I had fun writing it.
Zombies are big. They are better than most other monsters. The only monsters that are better are those vampires in the early Anne Rice chronicles. I wrote a bit about the amazing new TV series, The Walking Dead. But what had more hits was my review of the online game Road of the Dead. It's a pretty cool driving game where you get to run over Zombies. Yes, just like a Monday morning drive to work.
Another one of my favourite authors sits at number nine on the list of most searched items. Jean Auel, the less then prolific writer of Clan of the Cave Bear is set to release her first novel in nine years. Auel's writing is captivating in its descriptive nature. The reason for the delay between releases is largely due to the amount of research she puts into her novels. Land of Painted Caves is due for a March 2011 worldwide release.
Rounding out the top ten of most searched items that drew readers to my site is Red Dawn. The 1984 film was a success in the box office and its long delayed remake will finally be released in 2011.
The post with the most hits doesn't even make it into the top 20 of Google searches. The Expendables was a wild movie, mostly for the action stars that made an appearance.
Most of the remaining search terms were related to videos I posted, the Batman fan film and music or film reviews. Quite a few were interested in my home projects and my bathroom stories.
Google Analytics and Blogger stats continue to be great resources for understanding your readers. With their help in the coming days, I plan on taking a look at where my readers live, from whence they come and how else they ended up on my site. All visitors and comments are welcome.