Here are a couple of screenshots from Google Analytics:
What pages were users visiting? Here are the top 10:
Here are links to pages listed in the above screenshot:
Some of the top pages can be explained away as flukes. I doubt people are searching for “quick reference guides” and trying to learn how to create these formats for documentation. They’re probably looking for a quick reference guide for their device and are just typing in “quick reference guide” generally into Google.
Posts about technical writing careers and certificate programs are perennial favorites. A lot of users (hello English majors!) are looking for tech writing information online and searching for career advice.
But the BIG NEWS is that the top 3 posts are all related to Swagger. In fact, that Swagger tutorial is driving a steady stream of visitors to my site. That article brought 104,000 page views in 2016, which is more views than my homepage (the “/”) gets.
If you search for “Swagger tutorial,” my page is in the top 3 results. I find this odd, because it’s not even a very good tutorial.
This tells me several things:
Finally, let’s look at a fundamental trend about all of my top posts. Are they clever examples of storytelling? Are they personal narratives? Are they comedic monologues? Videos? Existential laments? Political rants? Probing interviews? Nope. They are all documentation.
Yes, the top posts on my site are all information-rich posts offering tutorials, instruction, or other guidance. This is what people search for on the web. It’s exactly the kind of content we produce on a daily basis as technical writers. We’re fueling the web with information people want.
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I'm a technical writer based in the California San Francisco Bay area. Topics I write about on this blog include technical writing, authoring and publishing tools, API documentation, tech comm trends, visual communication, technical writing career advice, information architecture and findability, developer documentation, and more. If you're a professional or aspiring technical writer, be sure to subscribe to email updates using the form above. You can learn more about me here. You can also contact me with questions.