Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve been busy, busy, busy. I promise this isn’t one of those “this is why I haven’t posted” posts. I hate those.
Back on August 15 I promised an article showing the traffic and download numbers resulting from submitting Bullfrog to various shareware download sites.
This sounded much easier than it turned out to be. I originally wanted to submit Bullfrog to each site one at a time. Measure the effectiveness of each submission and put together a nice chart of the results. The one thing I didn’t consider is that once you submit your application to one site, all the rest see the listing and automatically add the listing to their sites as well.
While this “service” hurt my measurement plans, it was a fascinating exercise to watch as Bullfrog organically found its way on to various shareware download sites. Due to this magical spread of download sources, it is impossible to give exact numbers as to which “submissions” where the most effective, but I was certainly able to glean overall trends.
Granted my sample size is only over the last two months, I think it is enough to get the gist of what is happening.
This first graph shows the overall web traffic to the domain outerlevel.com. This includes this blog, my company website, and all downloads.
- Orange = Unique Visitors
- Yellow = Number of Visitors
- Blue = Pages
- Teal = Hits
- Green = Bandwidth
This graph shows the overall traffic trend with the huge jump in numbers in August when Bullfrog was first submitted to MacGameFiles.com and then found its way to being Apple’s Kids & Learning featured download. Then in September, I released Bullfrog 1.2 which pushed Bullfrog back to the top of all the download listings.
Ok, so the graph is pretty (ooh, ah); but what about the hard numbers? All my site traffic statistics are generated using the AWStats Apache log analyzer. So they are only as accurate as this utility’s numbers.
||Start of Development
||1.0 Release, OMG Contest
||OMG Winners Announced at MacWorld
||1.1 Universal Binary Released
||Apple, MacGameFiles, VersionTracker, MacUpdate, etc.
This table clearly shows that “build it and they will come” did not work for me. From February 2006 – July 2006 traffic was primarily organic search, from one of my blogs, with a few still coming from the OMG contest site.
I was not able to prepare a table of Bullfrog downloads by site referrer, but I do have visits by referrer. Since the overwhelmingly high percent of referred visitors are direct Bullfrog downloads, we can assume that this shows the best download referrers, though the numbers and exact rankings are probably slightly off.
These numbers are only estimates and only reflect my results for my freeware game. Your results may vary greatly depending on your product, your target audience, the time of year, etc. But the trend is clear, if you want the greatest exposure for your Mac software possible, get it listed on Apple.com.
Bandwidth by Country
One thing of interest is that two of the top referrers are Japanese and one is French. I have not localized Bullfrog to any other language, but I would certainly consider it based on the above numbers and the following chart and table.
Some of the numbers I have not included but were also quite positive are the traffic to my blog and to my other product and services pages. I have seen a significant jump in numbers to my LicenseKeeper product page and to my Consulting Services page.
I seem to have also been added to some Mac Consulting and Cocoa Development recruiters’ lists and have received several inquiries since the surge in traffic began. The increased exposure directly related to this 8 week development project of a simple little freeware game has had some nice unexpected side benefits.
I hope you found this information interesting and helpful. It was certainly interesting for me and I hope that the increased traffic continues. Please keep in mind that these numbers are specific to my experience and that they are not exact. Your results may vary greatly.