Brittany and Pays de la Loire home page Here’s our end of year report and a quick summary of how the site has performed in 2011.

Overall traffic was 58% higher than in 2010. On the face of it this is a good result, but we could have done much better than this. I sent fewer newsletters out in 2011, and it’s the newsletters that pretty much bring in most of the solid, regular visitors to the site – the ones that take action, read more than one page, engage with our advertisers, etc.

The bulk of the increase in visitor numbers came from search engine traffic growth, which was 112% higher than in 2010. This is great because it means the search engines like us, we are well optimised and have lots of content, so attract lots of ‘long tail’ search traffic. I’ll explain ‘long tail’ search in a future post as this might be something to benefit your own websites.

We’re already preparing the site for 2012 – we moved the site to our brand new server in the last few months, which will make the site perform better and make upgrades easier for us, and we are currently trying out CloudFlare, a website firewall and content delivery network which should protect the site from unscrupulous traffic and also speed page load times considerably. I’ll report on our CloudFlare trial once we have enough relevant data, but if you want to discuss using it on your own site please don’t hesitate to read up about it for yourself or ask me to take a look for you.

Popular Posts in 2011

Just checking our analytics for 2011 I can see that these are some of the most read posts…

More French people live in London than in Nantes – did you know this?

Dinard to Rennes Bus Timetable – ah, the power of the ‘long tail’ search. Clearly there are quite a few English speakers looking for online bus timetables in France – an opportunity?

New airport for the Pays de la Loire – will the airport be good or bad for you?

Colorado Beetles in my potatoes – our blogger was looking for solutions to her blight.

La Gacilly, Yves rocher, and the Mayor – no wonder La Gacilly is a well kept village.

What a mixture! Think you can do better? Join our blogging team…

Our Blogging Team

Special thanks go to our guest bloggers – Jean Halford-Thompson, Jenny Bertoli, Nicola Harrington, Philippa Lyall, Rachel Gallard, Sarah-Jane Beaumont and Simon Pocock. I’m looking forward to more from our regular blogging team as well as a few new bloggers in 2012… so if you have an interest in the Brittany or Pays de la Loire regions of France and want to share your news, exploits and problems with the rest of the World (and get a little exposure for yourself or your business at the same time), get in touch and I’ll set your free blogging account up.

Was 2011 the year of the Social Media explosion… or will it be 2012?

How many of you are using social media to engage with your potential customers? Love it or hate it, it’s unlikely to go away. So how do you use it?

My own view is that a Social Media strategy should form at least part of your weekly marketing workload. It’s all about building networks of Fans, Followers and Connections (depending on whether you use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or all three) and then gently engaging with those people – not to sell to them, but rather to gradually build relationships with them that develop into mutual trust over time. This might result in you not only doing business with the person you connect with, but they might also refer you on to somebody else they know – and they won’t do that until they trust you and have confidence in you.

Social Media Marketing can be a really slow burn, but it’s generally free, it can be fun, it can connect you with interesting and useful people, and if you are prepared to put the effort in it can really pay dividends.

Happy New Year to all of our readers, contributors, clients and friends – and here’s to an even more successful 2012!


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