Do you know who you are? We do! Should you ever have an identity crisis please do come back to this post for some reasurance regarding your identity. Now, before you get all excited and ask where you can join our new cult group I should probably qualify that: we do not know who you personally might be, but we know a little something about you collectively. And that is because we Wine Ramblers, like many others who run websites, do occasionally analyse visitor statistics.
If today you came here to find inspiration about German (or other) wine I must disappoint you, but if you are curious about who else came to us for ramblings in 2012 please do read on.
2012 was a good year, at least if you like to boost your ego with increasing numbers: compared to 2011 the number of unqiue visitors went up by 20.35%. This has been a general trend since we started the Wine Rambler, although there are specific reasons for 2012 as well. The average visitor looks at 1.6 pages during their stay - which shows that we are mostly seen as a blog and less as a database source - and that takes them 01:11 min, at least according to Google Analytics, the software we use.
It is interesting to see where these visitors come from geographically. When we started most of our readers came from Germany, which is not surprising with our main subject area, with the UK a close second. Very soon though the UK readership overtook the Germans, I think partly through the fact that we have developed a good UK network over the past few years, partly through Twitter. For a while the US readership was #3 but over time they overtook the Germans and this year we have had more American readers than Germans and British combined. We will come to the reason for that soon.
Interestingly, we can also break down the visitors by city. London is in the lead with 6.8%, followed by another English speaking metropolis - New York City 2.8%. Munich being number 3 cannot be a surprise as that is the city where our German network is strongest, but I was surprised to see that the small city of Zeist beat Berlin in the ranking. Would the Wine Rambler fans in Zeist please stand up?
How do you find us? Most visitors come to us through search engines, around 71%. 13% click on links on other pages and 16% seem to have us bookmarked or do type in the URL directly.
The percentage of referring sites and direct traffic has gone down over the past couple of years, despite an actual increase in the numbers - it is just that the number of those of you who come to us through search engines has increased even more. Looking at the most popular search terms and also at the most visited pages can tell us why this is. First the Top 20 of search terms used to find the Wine Rambler in 2012:
- wine rambler
- kung fu girl wine
- liebfraumilch rheinhessen
- black tower rivaner
- weingut salwey
- willi schaefer
- wine with pheasant
- j.b. becker
- bodegas aalto
- black tower wine
- liebfraumilch qualitätswein
- rivaner wine
- knipser kabinett trocken 2011
- the wine rambler
- chablis vs chardonnay
- chablis wine taste
Looking at this list can tell us a few things. First of all a surprisingly large number of visitors do know that we exist but either cannot remember the URL or are too lazy to type it in and instead rely on Google to find us. Then there are a some generic topics that are generally popular: Chablis for instance and wine and food matching; also, a few wineries that attract international attention, for instance Salwey.
Pretty much every other search term however relates to an area of German wine we would much rather people would not know about, the cheap, mass-produced German wine brands and types that have done so much to damage Germany's international reputation: Liebfraumilch, Black Tower, Rivaner (another name for the Müller-Thurgau grape) and Piesporter. Like it or not but the majority of people who search for German wine on the internet, at least as far as our sample of a few tens of thousands shows, are interested in wines that wine snobs and geeks would consider no go areas. This is also reflected in the most popular individual pages (excluding the front and wine overview pages) on the Wine Rambler:
Again, wine and food related pages feature, as does the post I wrote a while ago on wine and calories. As expected from the search terms we also find Chablis and some general interest in the Wine Rambler. It is very interesting to look at the other posts though. Even though we publish about three wine reviews to every one article it is the more general articles that are the most popular; this will not be a surprise as the number of people interested in one particular German wine will of course be much smaller than those who are looking for recipes and wine matches for pheasant or a review of a product from a large supermarket chain.
However, a few individual wines stand out and they hold the key to answering the two questions I have raised: why is our American readership increasing and why do more visitors come to our site through search engines? If you look at the top wine review posts and even some of the most popular blog posts you will notice that "Liebfraumilch" features prominently. The same goes for the "Black Tower" brand and also a Riesling with the dramatic name "Kung Fu Girl". These are all very popular brands, partly in the UK but especially in the USA.
Basically, by writing about these popular wines we seem to have attracted a new type of reader to the Wine Rambler, the mostly US but also UK based, infamous "average" wine drinker. They are looking for information on Liebfraumilch, Black Tower or Kung Fu Girl Riesling, read the particular page on our site and then disappear again, many of them never to return as they have found what they were looking for (or perhaps rather not, my reviews of these wines don't tend to be very encouraging).
You are of course not likely to read this, but a warm welcome to you, average wine consumer. I hope we will in the future be able to tempt you to look beyond Liebfraumlich!
And to close with an amusing fact: our 2011 review of an outstanding grower Champagne is the page that visitors stayed on longest: 29:46 minutes on average. Let's hope that is a sign of them feeling to urge to buy and open a bottle of fizz while reading the review and not a sign that our sparkling writing is likely to put our readers to sleep!