I get the vast majority of my traffic from referring sites, and direct traffic. According to Google Analytics, over the last 30 days I’ve gotten 63.9% from referring sites, 20.8% from direct traffic, and 15.3% from search engines.
15% is a pretty low number. I’ve managed to look at where the traffic for other sites which have lots of photography comes from (via ProjectWonderful). Not surprisingly, they get most of their traffic from Google Image searches.
I looked at my traffic to see how much I got from Google image search. Answer: zero. I got not a single visit from Google image search. Other guys with similar sites were getting about 1500 a week.
I realized the problem. All my images are hosted on Flickr. I don’t get the benefit from search traffic for any of the images I put on my site even though my photos are backed up.
I went to the Google Webmaster tools, turn on enhanced image searching and began the process of putting copies of my daily photos on my site and using them instead of Flickr. To the user, there will be no difference. I’ll still be linking to Flickr, but the displayed image will be on my server.
It will consume more bandwidth, but I’m well below my bandwidth limit.
I wish I had realized this sooner. This would be a great WordPress plug-in for someone to write. Cut and paste a Flickr link, and have the plug-in automatically put a copy of the image on the sever and use that.