Analytics: February 2021

Mar 10, 2021
AnalyticsReport Card Items

The shortest month of the year brought quite a few snowstorms here in the Northeast, but that cold hasn't slowed down website traffic, which showed remarkable improvements in almost every respect over the month of January. This month we will talk about running web ads and how they can increase your site traffic.

But before we do that, let's look at February's traffic report. 

TRAFFIC

In comparison to the month of January, February brought improvements to all of the most important categories. Users increased by +13.7% last month, as did new users, sessions, and pageviews by +11.1%, +15.3%, and +15.5%, respectively. Even average session duration and bounce rate improved, the former by +8% and the latter by -2.3% (remember that a lower bounce rate is always better).

Google Analytics for February 2020 for Wonderful Machine dot com

Now were you to compare these numbers to those of yesteryear 2020, back when COVID-19 was supposedly just in China — a news blurb for those of us in the United States — the picture is not so rosy. Users, new users, pageviews, and sessions all went down, by -5.4%, -3.5%, -10.6%, and -1%.  Even the bounce rate's gotten worse since then: it went up +6%.  

SITE EVENTS

Specialty searches, which describe when users search for photographers according to specific specialties, showed an impressive +29% increase on the site during the month of February over that of January. Views of photographers profiles also showed an increase, a more modest +12.3%. 

Google Analytics February 2020 external link

Click-throughs, when a user follows the link from a photographer's profile to their individual site, also increased, from 3,307 during January to 4,229 during February. That is a +27.2% increase. Photographer searches (including but not limited to those by specialty) increased by +30.1% in February.

SITE BLOGS

Wonderful Machine has two different blogs. The number of visitors to our client blog — the blog featuring spotlight articles on recent projects by member photographers — saw -4.2% less traffic since January. Yet this is actually a +8.6% increase in traffic since February of 2020. On the other hand, on the member blog — the blog devoted to issues of interest to member photographers (not necessarily clients) — a +1% increase in traffic since February 2020 and a startling increase of +39.8% since January 2021. 

The most popular member blog posts were

The most popular client blog posts were

With that finished, let's talk about using web ads to increase site traffic.

WEB ADS

Analytics Report Card Will Good Channels

Above, you can see the last few months of Wonderful Machine's web ads on Google. We kept a low budget to test out the waters. There are many different ways to advertise online, and a great way to find your target audience can be done through Google Adwords. The key variables are location and niche keywords. Age, gender, nationality, etc. all play a role, but the foundation is location and niche.

Certain countries like India and China are infamous for click farms. It’s important when advertising to a large country to dive further into specific areas. If I was to advertise China, I would want to offer something catered to a specific region or city. So, after ruling out the larger click farm regions, we felt didn’t have a large amount of business in photography, we found ourselves in a more targeted audience.

Remember: you would rather have one targeted click than 1000 random clicks.

This is very important to understand with web ads. The number isn’t as important as the interest of those seeing your advertisement, and that’s easier to understand if you think about ads like a customer. For example, you wouldn’t offer a special discount for a gaming computer to someone who loves the outdoors — you’d market a pair of hiking boots to them. Google helps us with this.

Analytics Report Card Will Good Google Ads Page

Looking at the top right popup we can see in our Google Ads page that the search engine will actually recommend keywords that people have been looking for depending on what you’re selling. It takes a few months for them to find this data but it can be extremely helpful.

Analytics Report Card Will Good Optimization Scores

By filling out these optimization scores, you slowly build up a targeted audience where you can impactfully market your services even amidst periods of lower site traffic, a more cost-effective way to do business.  

Need help with your SEO? Email our consultants to learn about the myriad ways he can help improve your website's functionality.