Given that the month of May saw unemployment in the United States rise to somewhere between 14–20% (depending on who you ask), our expectations were low.
But in point of fact, the news is not all negative, and — there are signs of hope.
We were pleased to learn that Wonderful Machine received both +4% more users than it did in April 2019 and +1.5% than it did in May 2019. This latter number is significant, if you ask me, because it means that we garnered more users during May than we did a year ago when the economy was strong and COVID was just some arcane military acronym (first person who figures it out gets a free WM T-shirt!).
However, such moments of grace were partially obscured by the fact that pageviews (37,745) decreased by both -8.5% and -8% between April 2020 and May 2019. Sessions (15,124) decreased since April by -.5% but increased +3.5% over May 2019. Average session duration (2:04 minutes) decreased significantly since April (-28%) and less significantly since May 2019 (-12%). The average bounce rate for May (69%)—the percentage of users who immediately left the site upon opening a site page—increased by +10% both in relation to April and May 2019, which as you may recall is actually a bad thing. So we were sad to see that.
Users clicked-through 2,810 times during the month of May. This category describes when users follow the links from member photographers’ profiles to their respective websites. That number is down by -18% since April of 2020 and -40% since April 2019. Users searched photographers according to specialties 5,547 times during May, which constitutes drops of -30% and -42% over April and May 2019 respectively. Profile views (8,056) dropped by -5% since April and -21% since May 2019. Photographer searches (2,646) decreased by -40.5% since April and -44% since May 2019. Ouch.
The percentage of users that arrived at WonderfulMachine.com from search engines (48.5%) decreased by -20% since May 2019, and the percentage of users arriving directly to the site (27.3%) actually increased by +31.2 percent. Referrals (5.9%) dropped by -50.9% over last year, but traffice from social media (9.9%) and from our email campaigns (8.4%), like our Creative in Place initiative, have increased by +271 and +246% over last year. Say what you will, email works.
Like in previous months, the majority of our users (56.6%) were located in the United States during the month of May, followed by India and Canada (10.1 and 5%, respectively). The five major metropolitan areas from which our users hailed were New York City, New York; Los Angeles, California; London, United Kingdom; Chicago, Illinois; and San Francisco, California.
Wonderful Machine maintains a vibrant presence on at least six different forms of social media 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 (60.4%). This may sound strange to you, since Instagram is the social media platform most used by industry professionals. But keep in mind that there are many, many more users on Facebook in comparison to those on Instagram. This is the reason why we encourage all photographers to create a Facebook page for their businesses.
On Facebook we have nearly seven thousand followers (6,917). Our daily posts garnered similar attention to previous months (unfortunately Facebook’s analytics are quite limited in relation to those of Google Analytics, for example). The most popular post promoted Caroline Martin‘s work for Merchant’s Square in Williamsburg, Virgina. Eight hundred fifty-five people were reached by this post—this may actually be a record—and there were 38 engagements. The second most popular post advertised our Zoom Open House with member photographer John Fulton, ViaSat art director Justin Patrick, and producer Karin Fittante, with 480 people reached and 32 engagements.
Our Instagram handle had 13,919 followers during the month of May, which was a most increase over April (1.9%). Evan Rummel‘s image from May 25th of a woman in profile had 1,826 impressions, being our most popular image of May; Griffin Harrington‘s shot of a man walking before a cityscape from May 20th was the second most popular with 1,139 impressions.
WonderfulMachine.com has two different blogs. The number of visitors to our Published blog — the blog featuring spotlight articles on recent projects by member photographers — increased by +17.2% since April and by +139% between this year and last. As well, our Intel blog — the blog devoted to issues of interest to member photographers (not necessarily clients) — saw increases of +27.4% since April and +6.3% since May 2019.
The most popular member blog posts were
The most popular client blog posts were
Check back next month for more hard-hitting analyses of the economy translated into web analytics data!