2010 on GFF
Well, we turned yet another New Year's evening, and can now write 2011. So how was 2010 for GFF?
First of all a Happy New Year to all GFF's visitors!
This article is not at all about fly fishing or fly tying, but about our site. We do those occasionally, and though they might not be the most read on the site, they are fun to do and contain some entertaining facts.
So how was 2010 on the Global FlyFisher?
We have been doing more than OK when it comes to visitors and traffic as well as expanding the site with new functions, but not quite so OK when it regards publishing and getting new stuff finished and out there. We will hopefully increase the publishing frequency in the coming year. You can contribute if you have anything on your heart.
1.5 million visits
Our server logs tell us that we served about 12 million pages to about 1.5 million visitors. Some of these were most likely the same because the number of individual visitors is estimated to be around 850,000. Still a decent number, and we feel fine catering to more than three quarters of a million people out in cyberspace.
Each visitor came by 1.8 times and looked at 7.6 pages, which averages to a fairly loyal group of people returning to see more and clicking around on the site once they are here.
Our top ten content is not surprising, but still a little strange.
The front page ranks one, which is no surprise.
Second is the new video section, which was a surprise at first, but now has become what we expect. The videos are extremely popular.
Third is the Pattern section. Also as expected. The patterns were bumped from the second spot by the videos.
The fourth spot is strange: the single video Devil's Gold! Why this particular video draws so many hits is unknown. It's a nice video for sure, but why so many hits?
The Tie Better section is a fifth. This is also as expected. Patterns an tying have a strong position on the site.
This is the single most popular article ever published on the site: First Setup. The intro to setting up a fly reel and rod constantly draws a lot of visitors, and has done so for years.
Now here's a real stranger! An image of a tigerfish! Great image, but never the less, why does it appear in our top ten?
Back to the beginner's stuff: knots. They have also been very popular ever since they were published, and along with being on the top ten, they are probably the most copied content on the site, but that's a whole other story.
Streamers section. One of the oldest but still one of the most popular sections on the site in spite of being severely neglected the last many years.
Rod building section. No surprise either in spite of being a section, which lags somewhat behind when it comes to new material.
Have you tried searching from the front page recently? Inspired by Google's new instant search function, we decided to try something along the same lines, and once you start typing in a term in the search box to the left, the system immediately starts looking for content matches and shows you the articles on the page, ready to be clicked on. From there you can go to the relevant pages, or you can fire up our “real” search system, which has a complete index of every bit and byte on the site.
In the following places we find sections like the image gallery and the wallpapers and articles such as Shark's Caddis Larva, building your own Flexible Fly Tying Bench, The Perfect Wooly Bugger, Kern's Perfect Leo Shrimp, Strike Indicator Scientology and an assortment of other articles from all sections of the site plus several pages from the video section.
Visitors spend about a minute on each page—1 minute an 1 second on the average to be precise—which in spite of sounding pretty short is a decent time. The beginner's pages catch people for way longer and First Setup as well as our knots can keep people spellbound for 3-4 minutes on the average while the front page only seems to be interesting for about 50 seconds to most people, which is an amazingly long time by web standards.
These times are average times and hide the fact that many visitors spend way longer on each page, while some skip along after a few seconds.
Some more numbers: We have about 85% Windows visitors and 10% using a Mac. The rest is all kinds of systems including both Nintendo Wii's and Sony PlayStations!
People use Internet Explorer (54%), Firefox (26%), Safari (8%), Chrome (4.5%) and Opera (2%) plus a lot of other strange browsers. The number of mobile users are very limited in spite of our fully mobile compatible version of the site.
Back to the content
Apart from the Wooly Buggers and Kern's Shrimp, patterns such as Buzzers, The Fluff, Copper John, Shark's Wasp and our Czech Nymphs as well as the weird Burning Man seem quite popular and range in the top 50 of all pages.
More general articles of interest are the Furled Leaders piece, out Tube Fly theme, the Build a Fly Rod series and the article on Dubbing Techniques.
Our forums are not overwhelmingly popular in a 39th spot in spite of the fact that they contain a lot of great posts. I can particularly recommend Pete Gray's fantastic saltwater patterns, which he generously shares in the forum as well as in articles.
We have long had the GFF heartbeat running, and there you can follow out publishing frequency. While 2010 wasn't our most active year, we did publish 66 articles averaging a healthy 5.5 articles a month or more than one a week. But the numbers lie a bit, because we were clearly most active in the beginning of the year with more than 30 articles in the first quarter and none in neither May nor August.
As already said, we hope to pick up pace and get more articles through the grind in the coming year. We would love to match our record year 2006 with almost 10 articles a month peaking with articles almost every second day in several months.
Our video section has quickly become the single most visited part of the site in spite of limited marketing and exposure. It just seems that you folks want video! So be it. We intend to keep up publishing the best fly fishing and fly tying videos from the web, and may even contribute some ourselves. But producing video is a time consuming task, and there are no promises.
If you yourself produce videos, you can consider submitting them to our channel, and likewise if you stumble over some great footage out there. You are welcome to point our attention to any publicly accessible videos for inclusion in this growing section.
You can look at the list over the most viewed and the highest rated videos to see what our visitors like—or you can read my article on what I don't want, which in essence indirectly tells you what I do want... which again should be pretty clear from our review section.
And that leads me to the last words: should you have any products: videos, books, gear or the like that you would like to see us mention or cover, feel free to contact us. We do have a stack of stuff already that we need to write about, but we are always on the lookout for more.