2012 was a banner year for WoW Hunters Hall. After the seasonal dip in interest and traffic that comes with the end of an expansion, traffic leapt upward with Mists of Pandaria to finish off the year at levels double or triple the first half of the year.
In 2012 WoW Hunters Hall had 841,569 visits and 1,950,798 pageviews, with a total of 449,707 unique visitors (note that unique visitors isn’t a good metric over 1-year time periods, due to cookie timers — it counts a lot of people twice, or more often). This is record-setting traffic levels in all categories in large part to the renewed interest in WoW that came with the Mists of Pandaria launch.
In a satisfying reversal from WHH’s first year, search engines are now the leading source of traffic, in referral visits are now the smallest (though still nearly a quarter of visits). This is a healthy traffic spread for a mature site of this nature and I would expect search traffic to stay the dominant traffic source, and for that percentage to increase over time. I would also expect the referral visit contribution to decrease (largely because referral was a much larger percentage early in 2012, due to lower search contribution).
The top referring sites (sites with a link to WHH that people clicked on to get here) breaks down as follows (percentages given as percentage of referral traffic, not overall traffic):
- Warcraft Hunters Union – 61.16%
- WoW Insider – 2.85%
- Twitter – 2.46%
- YouTube – 2.34%
- Rapid Fire – 2.13%
- Elitist Jerks – 1.46%
- OutDPS – 1.37%
- Method - 0.99%
- MMO-Champion – 0.97%
The WHU remains the dominant referral traffic source, but there are a lot of other meaningful contributors. The YouTube traffic comes from when a video is features on WHH and receives a ton of views from here. YouTube will then put as “As Seen on WoW Hunters Hall” button on the YouTube page, which can eventually lead people to this site.
It’s also intriguing to see nearly 1% of referral traffic coming from the official site for the top guild Method.
Transmogging lead the year in keywords leading visitors from search engines to the WHH. However, changes Google has made to their search engines mean that 43% of all keywords for the year were hidden from us (this is a pretty douchy move where Google claims its hiding anonymous keyword data from webmasters for privacy reasons, but still shares that data with paid advertisers). In the future this percentage is likely to be closer to 75% with Chrome adopting this for all searches in the next version.
Here are the top searches driving users to the WHH in 2012:
- Not Provided
- hunter transmog
- hunter 4.3 gear
- wow hunter
- mists of pandaria release date
- hunter tier 14
- hunter transmog sets
- wow hunter transmog
- hunter transmog ideas
- 4.3 hunter trinkets
- hunter solo sunwell
- season 12 pvp gear
- best hunter spec
- hunter pvp
- hunter transmogrification
- tier 14 hunter
Hottest Hunter Articles of 2012
Of the 1,950,798 pageviews WoW Hunters Hall received in 2012, 15.75% were the home page. After that the top viewed pages were as follows. Note that articles that went up late in the year will have a bias against them, as they didn’t have enough time to gather as many eyeballs as the others, however with the year-long perspective this is going to be a pretty good view of what the most popular hunter posts were last year.
- Hunter Transmogrification Resources
- Hunter PvP Guides
- Dragon Soul Boss Strategies
- Hunter Soloing from Classic to Cataclysm
- MoP Hunter Gear Guide
- MoP Hunter Pet Guide
- MoP Hunter Gems and Enchants
- Valor and Justice Gear for Hunters in MoP
- MoP Hunter Glyphs
- Hunter Soloing Wrath of the Lich King
WHH Market Share
It’s incredibly difficult to estimate market share for a web site, especially smaller ones (and almost every WoW website is considered small by the tools that attempt to measure market share). I do suspect that the WHH traffic may well be large enough to qualify as the second largest hunter site on the web.
As a couple points of comparison, the WHH gets more visits than the Scattered Shots column on WoW Insider. The top WHH article, the transmog guide, got about the same number of pageviews as the top Scattered Shots article. Warcraft Hunters Union gets around 10 times the traffic, and the top WHU article gets around 10 times the pageviews as the transmog guide, though the WHH closed that gab considerably in the end of the year (it was more like 30x at the start of the year).
Helping Other Hunter Blogs?
Overall WoW Hunters Hall has had a stellar year, with Tabana staying on top of all the hunter blogs (and I’ve been delighted to see more hunter blogs pop up in the past year — which was one of the goals of creating the WHH) and it’s been especially nice to have Kalliope join the team to bring us updates from Petopia.
The one metric that we don’t have that I would really like to see is to know how much traffic the WHH is driving to other sites. This is of course another primary goal of this site: to help hunters discover the vast amounts of hunter content across the web, rather than just reading one or two blogs.
The only real site I have these metrics for is the WHU, and the traffic flow goes mostly in the other way on that front. So if anyone has a hunter blog, I would love it if you could let us know what percentage of your visits come from the WHH! A number as percentage of visits should be sufficiently annonymized that you aren’t giving away traffic numbers, but can also help us to understand how much of a positive impact we’re having on the hunter blogosphere.
So if you’re getting good traffic from the WHH, give some love back by letting us know. This is info that helps motivate us to continue!