Despite warmer than usual temperatures, October’s analytics report showed that photography clients were busy searching our website for photographers. In general all of the sites indicators were in the pink, as they say.
Each month Wonderful Machine publishes an analytics report, which compiles some of the most important set of data pertaining the functioning of our website, as it is measured by Google Analytics.
During October 9,154 users came to WonderfulMachine.com, which is a +6.2% increase over the 8,619 users we enjoyed in September. We also had more new users, pageviews, and sessions, of 8,754 (a +7.9% increase), 33,387 (a +3% increase), and 13,166 (an +8.1% increase, respectively. In relation to October 2020 these numbers are not so rosy, with -18.4% fewer users, -17.8% fewer new users, -24.5% fewer pageviews, and -13.2% fewer sessions.
But when it came to quality indicators the numbers were more modest and more mixed between last month and last year. We received 1.44 sessions per user in October, compared to 1.41 in September (a +1.8% gain) and 1.35 in October 2020 (a gain of +6.3%). Pageviews per session, however, fell between October and September: 2.54 in October as opposed to 2.66 in September (a -4.7% drop) and 2.92 in October 2020 (-13%).
Average session duration decreased between September and October, from 3:43 to 3:31 (-5.6%), and increased between this October and last, 3:31 from 2:27 (+43.4%!). Likewise, the bounce rate went up between September and October, from 55.8 to 57.8% (a +3.5% increase), but went down between this and last October, 57.8 from 61.9% (-6.8%). Remember that a lower bounce rate is better.
It would be nice if the business world didn’t go through annual cycles, punctuated by tiresome holidays and seasonal changes! If only everyone worked 40/5 throughout the entire year!
The fact that annual cycles occur — even in plague years like 2020 — in general means that, unless your business is in domestic staples, you need to see years in whole before you can appreciate changes whether for good or ill. From that perspective, we are somewhat concerned about our traffic numbers in relation to the previous year. Yet our new site is only six months old, and it is too early to make judgments about its effectiveness in relation to previous years.
When April 2022 rolls around, then we will need to do more thinking.
One of the unique features of WonderfulMachine.com is the elaborate search functions integrated into our website. Although there are hiccups now and again — as on any site — the search function has been a success and seems destined to advance the fortunes of the company and our photographers over the long run.
During the month of October 5,112 photographer searches were conducted, which is a +1.3% increase over the 5,048 in September. Since this feature is only six months old, we cannot compare it to last year. Photographers were sought by specialty 1,945 times in October, a +29.6% increase over September (1,501).
Photographers were sought by location — the most popular search function — 2,571 times in October, which is -17.4% less popular than the 3,114 such searches of September.
Date searches actually dropped from 1,848 times in September by -26.5% to only 1,322 times in October. Name searches also dropped, but by only -5.5% from 1,802 in September to 1,703 times in October.
Finally, searches for videographers showed a more than modest increase of 28%, albeit from 250 in September to 320 in October.
Another new site feature is the listing structure of our photographer records, such that no photographer has an individual page as on the older iteration of our website. We have only recently become able to record the interactions that users have with the individual photographer links.
Now, for example, we know that our site’s users followed links to photographer websites 5,427 times during the month of October. Links to individual photographers’ Instagram accounts were followed 1,318 times. LinkedIn accounts were … linked … 447 times. Website bios were read 623 times. Emails were sent to individual photographers 218 times, and photographers’ agents were emailed 18 times.
Lastly Wikipedia and IMDB links were followed 15 and 2 times.
While the United States is far and away the biggest consumer of WonderfulMachine’s directory of photographer and related services, the second and third countries being Columbia and India.
The five cities from which WM users hailed were, in order of frequency, New York, Los Angeles, Bogotá, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
We observe five primary channels through which users arrive at WonderfulMachine.com: by search engines, directly, from referrals, by social media, and through email campaigns.
In October 34% of our users were directed by search engines, the likes of Google, Bing, Duckduckgo, and others. This is in fact a -42.9 decline over the 48.9% share that came from search engines last year.
A healthy 24.1% of users come directly to our website. This means whenever the URL is typed into the address bar, or else a bookmark is followed. Referrals and social media directed 6.5 and 7.4% of our traffic. Our email campaigns directed a miserly 6.1% of our traffic.
Wonderful Machine has two different blogs. The first, called Intel, is designed to provide information germane to the business of being a commercial or editorial photographer. The second, called Published, promotes recent usually published projects by our member photographers.
As a whole, over the month of October the blogs received 10,814 pageviews, which is a -.4% decrease from the 10,861 pageviews of the previous period.
On the Intel blog, the most popular posts were:
On the Published blog, the most popular posts were: