What Goes into a Successful Recipe Site or App?
Black Friday continues to be a day that those in the US look forward to each year—most commonly for the shopping fun. In an extension of Black Friday, Cyber Monday is an equally busy shopping day that several reports now track in order to analyze sales data from various standpoints. The saga is on for 2013 too, with reports that look into online sales comparing their performance with physical in-store sales, what sites had trouble supporting users, and what the spend numbers were.
While all of this shopping buzz and analysis is happening, another niche that is steadily and silently picking up momentum is the online world of recipes—both recipe portals and applications. For the past two years or so, reports have started tracking user access to online recipe data—especially around Thanksgiving. In 2011, Allrecipes.com stated that its biggest traffic was recorded the day before Thanksgiving. This spike in load during the holiday season continues year after year.
The recession triggered a lot of traffic to the world of online recipes with many wanting to try new recipes at home rather than eating out. This trigger and initial traffic has helped the recipe makers to be more creative and offer features that typically cannot be found in a cookbook—such as “tell us what you have in your fridge or pantry and we’ll put together a simple and quick recipe for you” and “tell us how many people are coming to your Thanksgiving party and we’ll tell you how much turkey to buy.”
Such optimizations and customizations are making these recipe sites very popular among their users. That said, the content and feature set can only take these sites so far. As with any engineering effort, the right platform is very important—and probably even more important here—because the user base for recipe sites may not be very tech savvy. There are stories of how fixing the platform helped drive “recipe-looking” traffic from a meager 500 users to a whopping 112,000 in just one month.
Similarly, the right choice of keywords and search engine optimization is very important because recipe applications and portals are cropping up each day. Engineering—keeping in mind the desires to drive more traffic and to ensure the ability to handle the load during such spike traffic periods—is becoming increasingly important for these recipe portals that in most cases were bootstrapped as a start-up.
Their performance and traffic will become closely watched numbers in the years to come, specifically during the holiday season. For now, it is time to enjoy the sumptuous recipes and recommendations these sites and applications have to offer us through the 2013 holiday season!