Happy New Year! A Look Back at 2009 for Playbsides.com

A recurring tradition for me is to recap the site statistics for playbsides.com with some commentary on the content that was seeing the most traffic for the site. I said it last year– but probably I’m the only person who really is interested in this information, but again, I’m going to do it for posterity sake.

February 21st, 2010 will be the fourth year of playbsides.com! The traffic to the site increased pretty dramatically over the last couple of years. Some of the new traffic is a result of my use of twitter and facebook to share new article posts. Some of it is that I happened to blog about some things that people were really interested in and I got some new inbound links. I also undertook a substantial site redesign and introduced the new “Play B-Sides” logo you see at the top of the page which was designed by the very cool guys at cottonfactory.com. Check out their “I Buy Vinyl” tee! I also got rid of the ineffective Google AdWords campaign that was doing very little and replaced it with a MOG campaign. The nice thing about MOG is that it is music-blog centric and there are some blogger bennies like free access to their MOG music streaming.

In 2009 I had 42,113 unique page views! This is over twice 2008’s 18,964 unique page views– a pretty good feat, I think, and showing that the crowd of viewers is steadily growing. When those 18,964 unique page views happened, folks spent an average of 2:27 minutes there, which is pretty good. Around 71% of those visits end up leaving the site, which is generally supported by the high number of search hits to the site– most people are only reading one article when they get here. This really isn’t surprising or revelatory.

The rundown of most popular articles are:

At #1 for the third year running is the home URL of http://www.playbsides.com which was visited 3,283 times. 1,077 of those visits came from someone entering the URL in a browser which is surprising. 917 of those visits came from google.com. The rest of the major hits came from facebook and other places where I use the URL of the site in an e-mail signature.

At #2 is my article comparing the Fender Baritone guitars— this is the third year running for this article #2. Obviously people find the article useful even though none of the guitars compared are still in production. An astonishing 3,018 hits to this article! 2,007 hits came from google with the rest of the hits coming from a number of guitar sites.

At #3 for the third year running is my article on the Fender Hard Tail Stratocaster. 2,324 hits on that article, with 1,758 views coming from google.

At #4 is yet another guitar article– this time it’s about my 2008 acquisition of one of a Guitar Center-exclusive Gibson Les Pauls. I’m assuming that there are a lot of people looking at getting these entry-level American Gibsons and are trying to find more information. In fact, I think that my article might be the only place where this information is collected. Gibson doesn’t have any information about this particular Les Paul. 2,173 views with 1,200 of those coming in via the google express. Interestingly, someone in October on the Portland Craigslist was linking to the article which drove 60 views on 10/11.

At #4 is a 2009 article about David Sylvian’s new album Manafon at 1,828 hits– 1,145 of which came from google. Whew! I was getting worried that I wasn’t creating any new content of interest! Still– what kind of article can topple my guitar ones? Maybe I need to just write guitar reviews– Fender, Gibson, Taylor, et al– feel free to contact me about where to send guitars for me to review.

At #5 is a 2009 article about one of Ryan Adam’s digital download releases under his PaxAm label. 1,439 page views on that one. Ryan mysteriously stopped releasing these previously-unreleased gems. There was a lot of chatter about it and interest. He even pressed a 7″ single with a promise of some more physical and digital releases. I hope that Mandy can talk him into doing more releases!

What will 2010 bring? Well, I’m hoping for more opportunities for interviews and concert reviews. I’ve got a couple of things starting to solidify already and I’m pretty jazzed about it, so I hope it pans out. Stay tuned, gentle reader!