In this article, you will find real-world data on how food blogs generate traffic. To provide this information, I have analyzed the income sources of eight food blogs that have published traffic reports online.
Based on this sample, on average, food blogs generate approximately 48% of their traffic from Google, 28% from Pinterest, 15% from direct or unknown traffic sources, 2% from Facebook and 7% from a combination of many others sources that each contributes less than 1% of the overall traffic.
Average Food Blog Traffic Source Distribution
Traffic Source Distribution of 8 Food Blogs
The below table shows, at the example of eight different food blogs, which proportion various traffic sources contribute to the overall food blog traffic:
|Pinch of Yum||2016/11||3,128,994||49%||18%||16%||2%||15%|
|A Sassy Spoon||2019/Avg.||172,868||68%||17%||9%||<1%||6%|
|Fork in the Road||2020/06||26,839||62%||15%||13%||3%||7%|
|Went Here 8 This||2019/11||n/a||64%||18%||12%||2%||4%|
Note: Went Here 8 This only published their pageviews, not their sessions. They had 103,331 pageviews in November 2019.
Analysis of the Food Blog Traffic Split
Food blog traffic is dominated by Google and Pinterest. Focussing on these channels may bring you the biggest results. But let’s dive into the details:
1. Google (48%)
Unsurprisingly, Google takes the lead when it comes to traffic generation. However, compare to most other niches, Google’s lead is actually small. On average, less than half of food blog traffic is generated from Google.
That is one of the advantages of the food niche: You don’t have to rely on one single source of traffic.
2. Pinterest (28%)
Pinterest is massive in the food niche. With an average of 28% of food blog traffic being generated from Pinterest, it represents a serious supplement to Google traffic.
For two of the analyzed blogs, Pinterest is even the number one traffic source, surpassing Google as a traffic driver.
Pinterest’s success in bringing traffic to food blogs is owed to the fact that it acts as a visual search engine and visuals do extremely well in the food niche.
3. Direct/None (15%)
This category is frequently misunderstood as representing sessions where a visitor directly types the URL into the browser.
While it is true that the “direct” category includes such sessions, it also acts as a catch basin for all traffic for which google doesn’t know where it is coming from.
That is why the “direct” category’s helpfulness for analysis purposes is limited.
Nevertheless, an average of 15% of direct traffic is quite significant. It is possible that a portion of this traffic is generated by “branding” channels such as Instagram. Instagram makes is difficult to directly link to your blog, but users get familiar with your brand and may therefore become “direct traffic”.
4. Facebook (2%)
Facebook’s contribution to food blog traffic is small. As I explain in my Ultimate Food Niche Guide, Facebook nowadays makes it difficult to reach your very own followers without paying for additional reach. As a result, many food bloggers have deprioritized Facebook, and those who are still active do not generate much traffic from it.
5. Other (7%)
The “other” category represents the long tail of traffic sources. With an average of 7%, it is quite large. That is because the food niche is quite social and lends itself to many different traffic sources such as recipe sharing sites, referrals, Buzzfeed, Quora, or Instagram. However, none of these sources generates a significant portion of traffic just by itself.
What? Where is Instagram?
You may be surprised that instagram is not in the list of substantial traffic drivers for food blogs. After all, many food bloggers have gigantic followings on Instagram.
The issue with Instagram is that they try their best to keep users on Instagram. Sending one of your followers away from Instagram and onto your website is difficult.
However, as mentioned, Instagram may help to boost direct visits to your blog. Many food bloggers also use the social network to establish connections with brands and generate revenue by publishing sponsored posts directly on Instagram.
Your Food Blog Traffic Strategy
We have shown in our food blog profitability research that the food niche offers vast profit potential.
But as is the case for any topic with vast profit potential, the food niche is competitive. Which means that nine out of 10 times, getting the traffic you need doesn’t happen by chance. You need a solid traffic generation strategy.
An effective traffic generation strategy doesn’t begin after you have created your content. Instead, it begins already when you are planning out your content.
You need to know which content is good at generating traffic from which sources and then create each particular piece of content with exactly that traffic source in mind.
If you integrate your content creation with a solid traffic generation strategy, then there is no stopping you.
In my free Ultimate Food Niche Guide, I show you which types of food blog content do well on different traffic channels and provide dozens of examples from successful food blogs. Read the guide now and gain comprehensive food niche intelligence that puts you ahead of your competition.