The most-read articles of 2009. Probably.

As I wrote yesterday, the different ways in which people can access the content we all produce, and the difficulty in making absolute measurements, makes it hard to rank one item against another. But I’ve had a go here at selecting the most popular articles of 2009 on this blog, and made some notes about what we can learn from the readership numbers.

Most traffic from search engines
What you need to put in your email signature
26th February 2009
– A fantastic example of “long-tail” traffic, this article received 262 referrals from search engines (nearly all Google) through 238 different search terms. Look at it this way: if this had been an AdWords campaign, and I’d only chosen the top ten search terms to advertise against, I’d have missed over 90% of the traffic. Google says that 20% of the search queries it receives are unique in the last 90 days so you need your pages to pull in the obscure queries even more than the obvious ones …and the best way to do that is by adding as much content as you can. The more words there are, the more likely you’ll be the only web site to match that one-off query.

Most-opened email
Email newsletters which engage the reader
15th October 2009
– This was opened considerably more times (1,042) than there were people on the circulation (and it wasn’t the only one), which suggests that either a lot of people forwarded this to colleagues, or (more likely) email opening statistics are dubious at best. Still, unless there was something else odd about it, we can at least deduce that the subject line Email newsletters which engage the reader was one which seriously engaged the reader (which is you).

Most clicked-through item
The Velocity B2B Marketing Tube Map, referred to in Mind the Gap
26th November 2009
– Some of my daily articles don’t have a click-through to measure, but many of them link to other articles of interest. This was the one which got most people clicking, although that will not just reflect the interest level. It will also be to do with the way it was promoted in the article, and the absence of too many “spoilers”, meaning you had to click through to find out what it was about. The number of people opening the email (which in turn is related to the article’s own headline) will have played a part too. That’s a lot of factors to take into account when evaluating the success of a call to action!

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