As a blogger and a nerd, I’m always checking to see what drives traffic to our site because we’ve only been beer blogging for a short while. Recently we got a lot of direct referrals from Chico’s Pico which surprised us. They pointed to our salsa review way back in July 2011, and lately we’ve had a sudden burst of traffic from them. Thanks Chico!
So that made us look into our WordPress stats a little deeper. Some of the keywords that link to our site were unexpected. Now if you’re an expert in SEO then you are probably shouting at your screen right about now, “You’re doing it all wrong! Don’t give away the keys to the castle.” Heh, we do this for fun, we’re not in it for the ad revenue. We were surprised at the stats, and thought maybe some of our readers would be too. If you’re interested in this techie sort of stuff, grab a brew, maybe some chips and salsa and settle in to read more… be warned, this one is more about web stuff than about beer stuff.
I’ll start off by admitting that I’m not an SEO guy. (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. I’m not trying to be condescending. Just wanted to define the term in case you’re a reader who isn’t as nerdy about this stuff as I am.) According to most of the SPAM that gets caught in the Akismet filter, we suck at SEO and there are tons of fine folks with .ru domain names who can help us improve our search results. Thanks, but no thanks. Akismet tagged you as a spammer for a reason.
BeerSoaked.com gets daily page views from real people too, not just spambots. We are really appreciative of that, it makes us feel warm and fuzzy inside. But frankly, so does a wee dram of single malt Scotch. We generate content here, mainly for the amusement of one another, and apparently you fine folks enjoy reading what we write too. (Insert hearty handshake here). There’s no secret on how to get more traffic to your site contained in this article, just some stats that we found interesting. So let’s get to it.
Our Twitter followers account for most of our incoming traffic. Odds are that you are reading this as a result of a link from Twitter, either our link, or someone else’s. Organic searches, (Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) rank up there next. And direct referrals rank 3rd in generating traffic for us.
No big secret here, we’re on Twitter. We typically tweet links to our content almost every time there’s a new article and that drives folks to our site. But in order to maintain our followers, we also offer other reasons to follow us. So we tweet about other beer-related things, not just links to our own blog.
(Note: If all you do use Twitter for is to post links to your blog, you’ve probably been unfollowed already. We prefer to use Twitter socially, not as a linkbot.)
For example, “beer hunting” in Orange County is fun for us. We enjoy the challenge of finding a limited release beer. So, if we find a rarity at one of our favorite OC bottle shops, we usually try to tweet the location so folks who follow us know where to go to get things like Pliny the Elder, Sucaba, Blind Pig, Sculpin, Stone Collaborations, Ten Fidy, or any other limited release brews that we might find. Our hope is that this type of tweet sends folks to the stores we like and keeps them in business. (More on that in a bit.)
We also occasionally tweet beer photos, beer tasting events, and re-tweet interesting stuff from folks we follow as well. Mostly our twitter account is beer-related. But every now and then we’ll tweet about food, music, entertainment, etc. After all, not all of our Beer Soaked thoughts are about beer.
Here’s a list of surprising search keywords that end up pointing to our site…
The content we offer is largely focused on craft beer, sometimes written while under the influence, and the tone of the stuff we write is occasionally snarky in nature. I’d be hard pressed to recall an article on any of the above topics, let alone with those keywords. While we all have families, and like to have fun, we’re by no means icons, and no one would ever call us for baby sitting.
The last two on the list of oddball keywords have got to be Google playing a joke on us. Nice one Google! None of us have tattoos, (even though all of us are dumbasses.) But this is only blog post that admits to those things. Nevertheless, search engines have pointed folks here numerous times when they searched for those terms. Not sure whether to be amused or disturbed by that.
The more typical search keywords that point here are beer related and largely expected based on the content we write. It’s not surprising that “Russian River, Firestone, Pliny the Elder, Stone Brewing, Beer in Orange County, OC Breweries, Craft Beer Stores, etc. etc.” all pointed to us. After all, our focus is on craft beer in Southern California.
After Twitter and Search Engines, the next source of incoming traffic for us is direct referrals. Many visitors come here from other blogs. We enjoy reading and commenting on beer blogs like: 2BeerGuys, Aleheads, It’s Just the Booze Dancing, North Cal Beer Blog, Not Your Dads Beer and countless others. So participating in the beer blogging community has been rewarding, not only for generating traffic, but also making friends along the way. There’s a fantastic community of beer bloggers out there. We often link to them and they link back to us. It’s win-win for everybody.
And now to bring it back to the start of this post… for the past two months we’ve been getting more and more direct traffic to the Chico’s Pico article written back in July of 2011. So I wanted to post a little update to the info contained on that page.
Farmer’s Harvest Market
Since the writing of that article Farmer’s Harvest in Huntington Beach has unfortunately closed it’s doors. When I wrote that salsa review, I mentioned that they had recently stopped carrying my favorite salsa, (Chico’s Pico) and so I took my grocery shopping elsewhere. I still bought my craft beer at Farmers Harvest, but since I chose to go to a different store for salsa, I bought my other food there as well. I felt a huge amount of personal guilt when Farmer’s Harvest closed their doors back in November 2011. So much, in fact, that I decided to steer clear of such comments in the future, and make sure to point folks to the places I like rather than turn them away. Now I’m not so bold to think that I single-handedly brought down that store, but I certainly didn’t help. I loved that store. The folks were friendly, the beer selection was fantastic, and the beer tasting events were tons of fun.
Chico’s Pico is not only still around, it is still our favorite salsa. We have no idea how much web traffic they get, but evidently it’s picking up, so good for them. We want to thank them for linking us. Cheers!
When we get together for a Beer Soaked gathering you can bet that we’re dipping our chips in Chico’s Pico, and not just because they send clicks our way. It’s the same reason we drink a lot of local brews. Proximity and quality. They are close to us, which makes them readily available, and gosh darn it, they make really tasty stuff.
For all the folks still reading this far, wow, pat yourself on the back. You read over 1300 words. You deserve a beer, maybe even two. Cheers!
Beer Soaked Erik