let’s cut to the chase: In this August report we’ll quickly analyze our traffic and income. On top of that we’ll check out how we performed on Youtube ‘til now and what we’ll do to be more successful.
August was much more steady than July (check out the report here). Around 40 to 100 people came to visit our website every day. In total we had about 30% fewer people on our website when compared to July.
It’s because none of our recipes got featured big on any food sharing website (via a tweet or their facebook page). Also we figure that the initial curiosity of many friends of ours is gone and now only people who are actually interested in the content visit our page.
The peak on the 22nd of August was down to people from foodgawker really liking our tomato mozzarella bread 🙂
Top Ten Traffic Sources
The food sharing websites are still our main traffic driver with foodgawker in the lead. An interesting point is this – check out the “Avg. Session Duration” aka the amount of time a person spends on our website. People from foodgawker are very flighty. They don’t even stay longer than 24 seconds on our website (on avg.).
Then on the other hand there are the people from healthyaperture.com, a foodsharing website for healthy recipes including nutritional info. Either those people have very slow internet connection or they seem to be loving our content. They stay 5:15 minutes (!!!) on average on our website.
The numbers are pretty low, but one thing seems clear: The traffic quality varies a lot! People from healthy aperture are our favorites now, haha.
We have to find out who is our most valuable traffic source and then focus on extending our presence on that source. In order to do that we cannot only look at the visitor count. Earlier today Howie added a new metric to google analytics called “Newsletter Confirmation.” It will show us from which traffic source we get the most Newsletter Sign Ups.
Why this metric? Visitors who sign up for our newsletter seem to be most interested in our page. You wouldn’t bother signing up for something you don’t care about. So we want to know where they come from. That’ll allow us to focus more on that particular channel.
At the moment we’re investing time in expanding our Pinterest presence, but it may not be worth it as the views look quite flighty too (only 0:26 minutes avg. session duration). However in terms of getting our name known, it could well be a big help. We really need to find out who is the most interested in reading our blog.
Compared to our 4.12€ from last month we made a plus of 16%. Youtube Advertisement contributed it’s first Euro, yippie!!
As already mentioned in the July report, we will definitely have to work on different income sources other than advertising.
Banner Ads make you very dependent on the provider (in our case google) and the amount of visitors that come to our website. A second “income pillar” is essential.
Alright, let’s move on to the most interesting part of this article:
Our first 75 days on Youtube. A short analysis.
As you might know we make a video for each of our recipes. This has two reasons: Firstly, there is no easier way explaining a recipe than on a video. Secondly, youtube is the second biggest search engine in the world. Popular videos can mean a lot of traffic! (And thirdly, Howie wants to become a youtube star so one day he might be on a trashy tv show).
When we started out we had one key question in mind: How do we get views on our recipe videos?
Obviously we want to inspire as many people as possible with our culinary discoveries and delights.
How do we get views?
Let’s quickly have a look at where our traffic came from since we started out on youtube (6th of July until the 21rd of September (last 77 days))
- Youtube Advertizing (74% of total views): We bought views via Google Adwords. You can get a 100€ welcome coupon for 25€. That’s a bargain. One view costs about one cent, so this gives you up to 10.000 views to test and kickstart your videos.
- Unknown – embedded player (9% of total views): People watched the videos from our blog. This is our biggest organic viewer source. Note: If you want to just grow your youtube channel, building an external website as extensive as we do might not be the best strategy. Taking high quality photos, writing up the content and publishing takes a lot of time that you could invest in producing more videos.
- Unknown – direct (3.9% of total views): This means that people directly open a certain video, probably by a forwarded URL. So we guess these views come mostly from our friends and us.
- Youtube Suggested Videos & Youtube Search (5.1% of total views): To get your videos suggested and/or appear more often in search we made sure to have a good headline and description, subtitles and tags. Youtube uses this written info to index videos correctly. Also we made sure to have attractive thumbnail images, so people will click on our videos.
- Youtube Playlists, Youtube Channel Page (4.2% of total views): Not only videos but also playlists appear in youtube search. So, it definitely makes sense to create playlists that included our videos. Also, we started a collaboration with Tastemade. Up till now they added two of our videos to their weekly playlist. Regarding the Channel Page: we optimized it in order to engage people to watch more of our videos.
- External Websites (1.2% of total views): We used other networks like Facebook, Twitter and google plus in order to promote our videos. This is something that we could definitely do better in the future.
- Youtube – other features (0.9% of total views): This was mainly us testing the videos.
- Youtube – Guide (0.8% of total views): We hope that this traffic source will play a much more important role in the future. These viewers are basically people who were watching our videos before and then received a suggestion from Youtube to check out another video from us.
- Youtube Video Annotations (0.8% of total views): We made sure to have our videos nicely connected, so that a viewer can continue watching another video of ours after finishing the current one.
With google adwords we were able to kickstart our videos. Also we made sure to have all the “hard factors” for our videos in place in order to leverage our organic views.
By hard factors we mean the following:
- A good thumbnail for the video
- A good headline
- A good description for each video
- Subtitles for each video (youtube uses it to find out what the video is about and can rank you better)
- Relevant tags
- Nice Channel art work (Background photo, intro)
- External websites to promote your videos
- Good video quality
- Good sound quality
- Useful content
- Well scripted video
- Weekly video release
We followed the Youtube Academy from start to end to do this.
Since we were just starting out we thought it made sense to focus on all those small but important details in order to somehow get our feet through the door. These efforts resulted in 3100 organic views distributed on our 16 videos in around 80 days.
To be honest, we are not impressed with the results so far. But we’re also not overly disappointed. It was pretty obvious that we wouldn’t land a viral hit with a “Jenny’s Secret Red Lentil Soup” or with a “Refreshing Mango Lassi.” Especially not when there are many other videos out there that explain a similar recipe.
On the other hand, looking at the work we put into a video (recording, editing, publishing), we were hoping to get more views out of it.
In order to get your initial organic views on your recipe videos, you have to put in a lot of hours.
In order to grow your food channel you need a lot of perseverance.
In order to get a very successful channel you need something special.
Creating more engaging content: How can we deliver such a good experience that a viewer will not only watch the video but also share it? We believe the key to this is not only informing, but also entertaining the viewer.
Collaborations: We will look for other great channels and suggest promoting each other. Of course this will be a little tricky for us because our viewership is still pretty small. But maybe we can give something back in other ways.
We could easily write another two pages about youtube experiences and strategies, but this should be enough info for a first post. Let us know what you think about it. Are you planning to start a channel or have you started one already? We’d love to hear stories from other content creators! 🙂
Howie and Dave