During the month of July, our fortunes improved, analytics-wise. All of the major traffic numbers went up. Also, it wasn’t so unspeakably hot.
In July 8,639 users visited the site, which was a +6.9% increase over the month of June. New users, page views, and sessions also all increased, by +5.6, +1.2, and +2.8%. Modest improvements, but improvements nonetheless.
Session per user, pageviews per session, and average session duration all decreased, by -3.9, -1.5, and -3.5%. Strangely, each of those numbers actually increased over the previous year, of +5.5, +4.1, and +69%. Yes, average session durations increased 69% over July of 2020.
The bounce rate for the site saw a slight decrease of -.8% over the past month and of -15.9% over July 2020. Remember, lower is better, so both of those are improvements.
During July the number of find photographer searches decreased sharply, from 7,808 in June to only 7,090 in July, a decrease of -9.2%. This is following two months of increases in our searches.
Searches by specialty decreased -5.6%, from 1,524 in June to 1,438 in July. Searches by location — the most common type of photographer search — also dropped, from 3,153 in June to 2,893 in July. This is a decrease of -8.3%.
Searches according to date increased significantly, as did those by name. Users conducted +91.3% more searches by date and +166.2% by name. That means there were 972 date searches and 354 name searches during July.
The number of searches for videographers also decreased, from 578 in June to 415 in July, which is a drop of -28.2%. Ouch.
As one might imagine, the lion’s share of Wonderful Machine’s users hail from the United States, and this is not surprising since Wonderful Machine is located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA and the majority of the photographers that we represent reside here as well. Accordingly, 60.9% of the traffic coming to Wonderful Machine was from the US.
But Wonderful Machine aspires to be international, and we are proud to represent so many photographers from across the border. The second two nations appearing most frequently in our traffic numbers are India and Brazil, with 5.1% and 3.2%.
The top five cities in which users were located are New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, and London.
Acquisition is the term that Google Analytics to describe the channels through which traffic arrives at a website. In other words, did the users come directly to the site (by typing the URL into the browser’s address bar), did they follow the results of a search engine, were they directed when visiting a social media platform, or whatnot.
During July a nearly equal share of traffic came to Wonderful Machine through “organic search” (search engines) and directly. The biggest change in the channels comes from “paid search,” which means our Google Ads campaign. During July 2021 10.2% of our users found us through the Google Ads campaign. For more on this, please see this month’s Web Ads report card article.
Note in the graph above the bounce rate of the different traffic channels. The lowest bounce rate (and lower is better) belongs to “referral” traffic, by which we mean the traffic that comes from industry sites like PetaPixel and APhotoEditor as well as from the links that our member photographers have on their sites to ours. Thanks, folks!
The highest bounce rate belongs to the traffic directed by social media platforms. And with this …
As I was saying, the highest bounce rate of the various traffic channels belongs to that of social media. If you consult the graph below, you’ll see that the bounce rate during July 2021 was 80.55%, which is high, especially in comparison to that of organic search and direct traffic, which are both in the 50s. Notice as well the abysmal “Find Photographers conversion rate” of 7.1% — this conversion rate marks how frequently the users from these channels performed a photographer search.
Yet, maintaining a web presence is vital to operating a successful business today (as publicist Shannon Stewart recently attested). In other words, it’s the devil that you cannot ignore (unlike those lesser imps and demons whose effect on your life is nil!).
Judged by how much traffic it drives to our website, Facebook is the winner far and away. This may sound strange given that Instagram is the “industry standard,” but some reflection on the format of Instagram reflects this insofar as the latter’s not built to include links. For more on our vibrant social media presence, see Jaymie Hommel’s July 2021 Social Media report card article.
Wonderful Machine maintains two blogs that are devoted both to matters pertinent to the business of being a photographer — the Intel blog — and to recent projects by member photographers — the Published blog.
Both the Intel and Published blogs saw modest increases in readership during July, of +9 and 7% increases, respectively. In total, blog articles were read 11,548 times during July, an 8.5% improvement over June’s 10,646.
The most popular Intel articles were:
The most popular Published articles were:
Have questions about how we promote our photographers? Check out our Membership page. Want to know how you can get the most out of your Wonderful Machine membership? Check out our Jumpstart page or just reach out!