Say what you will about the dogs days of summer, the month of August brought modest increases in visitors, sessions, and session durations, as well as valuable gains in our social media presence.
Wonderful Machine users increased by 5.9% during the month of August, from 9,441 in July to 9,997. Both new and returning users jumped up 5% between July and August. We have recently started a new AdWords campaign, so this could be the cause of the slight increase in users. The site also observed an increase of the number of pageviews, sessions, and pageviews per session: 5.9, 5.2, and 0.6%. Between this year and last, all of the preceding categories saw drops around 20%. Given the dramatic changed the economy’s suffered this year, this is not surprising.
However, between July and August 2020 average session duration rose by 4.6% from 2:12 to 2:18 minutes! An increase of 11.9% in session duration also was seen between this August and August 2019. By contrast, the bounce rate rose over the past month by 1.3, which you may recall is something we’d prefer declined. Yet in relation to August 2019, the bounce rate actually saw a significant decline of 1.9%.
Users clicked-through 3,121 times during the month of August. This category describes when users follow the links from member photographers’ profiles to their respective websites. That number is up by +3% since July of 2020 but down -36.8% since August 2019. Users searched photographers according to specialties 6,289 times during July, which constitutes an increase of +2.4% over July 2020 and a decrease of -36.5% over August 2019 respectively. Profile views (8,156) rose by +5.2% since July and fell by -22.3% since August 2019. Photographer searches (3,083) increased by +2.8% since July but decreased by -33.8% since August 2019.
So in relation to last year, back before COVID and the corresponding effects to the economy, the numbers are disappointing, but in relation to July and the beginning of this new economic outlook these numbers are good news indeed.
One important type of data Google Analytics provides concerns the source of the traffic that arrives at a website. The five primary sources of traffic are “organic search,” which means the traffic arriving from a search engine like Google, Bing, Duckduckgo, or Baidu; “direct,” which means traffic in which the URL is typed directly into the browser’s address bar (or is bookmarked or part of the history); “social,” which as guessed comes from social media platforms; “email,” via email links or campaigns, like those lovely Creative In Place emailers we’ve been sending to thousands of photography clients internationally; and “referral,” which is the closest the internet comes to the old “word of mouth” — links on another site to ours.
This month 55.9% of our site’s traffic came from “organic search.” “Direct,” “Social,” “Email,” and “Referral” accounted for 20.8, 9.8, 7, and 6.5% of the traffic, respectively.
As in previous months, the majority of our users (57.9%) were located in the United States during the month of August, followed by India and the United Kingdom (15.3 and 3.7%, respectively). The five major metropolitan areas from which our users hailed were New York City, New York; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; London, United Kingdom; and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
While the country locations don’t seem to change much, the cities sometimes do. That’s the context that needs to be applied to understand these data sets. Did we contact more people in London this month? Is there something in London that we should be targeting? These are the types of questions we ask ourselves so that we can make use of any opportunity that may arise.
Wonderful Machine maintains six different forms of social media accounts including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube. Facebook has consistently directed the lion’s share of traffic (of social media sources) to our site (56%). On Facebook we just reached 7,700 followers!
Our Instagram feed had a nice increase in followers this month from 14,127 to 14,326 followers. Bryan Regan’s August 16th image of a woman drying her hair in a unorthodox fashion was the most popular image for the month, garnering 190 likes. Jorge Oviedo’s August 1st image was the second most popular image with 143 likes.
Just as importantly we have had great comments this month with a really active user base. Having followers is important, but having active followers is even more vital.
WonderfulMachine.com has two different blogs. The number of visitors to our client blog — the blog featuring spotlight articles on recent projects by member photographers — increase +14.3% since last month. As well, our member blog — the blog devoted to issues of interest to member photographers (not necessarily clients) — saw an increase of 6.2% since July.
The most popular member blog posts were
The most popular client blog posts were
Check back next month to see what changes we’ve seen in our monthly analytics report.