Tuesday, November 3, 2020

2020 Webmaster Notes for Annual Meeting

It is with great pleasure, that I present the UPRRC Webmaster annual report to our distinguished board and entire membership on this the 7th day of November, 2020.

This year presented some unique challenges the likes that we have never seen before, possibly in our lifetime.  Just as the race season was beginning to ramp up at the end of winter, the United States was just about to shut down due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.  To flatten the curve, the Governor of Michigan declared a state of emergency on March 10th, all K-12 schools were closed three days later and a statewide remain at home order was in place within two weeks.  This also meant that public gatherings were limited and everyone was maintaining 6' of social distancing, which put an abrupt halt to all (running) races.  

The UPRRC leadership team began updating the website almost daily beginning in Match as race directors began to cancel or postpone their race events.  By the end of the season, nearly 50 events were cancelled and 14 more held virtual only events.  

Examining the data from October 24, the U.P. has had just under 100 deaths attributed to the virus, which represented just over 3% of the total confirmed cases in Michigan.  Thankfully the fatality rate in the 15 UP counties was only 1.85%, which is less than half the state wide average.  While the true impact to the UP was slow to ramp up compared to Detroit and lower Michigan, by late fall, the UP was buckling down to limit the spread and races continued to be impacted.  

Thankfully we have tools like Zoom to help us with our club business and reach you today.  

Here are the specifics on our website from 2020 and the impacts that COVID-19 has had on our club.

Website Traffic

  • In the period January 1, 2020 to November 1, 2020, we had 4,265 page views (down from 5,286 in 2019  and 7,801 in 2018)
  • We had 1913 unique visitors (down by just 1 from 2019)
  • Summary is that we had virtually the same number of visitors but they visited our website 20% less often.  
  • Users spend about 2 minutes and 55 seconds on our website per session and visit an average of 1.58 pages with the calendar being the most popular with 1/3 of all page views.  
  • As compared to previous years when our peak website traffic occurred during the summer months, this year we hit peaks and records for users, page hits and new users all in March at the beginning of the pandemic.  
  • Our rate of new users was 86% which is 3% above our average for the last two years

Website Demographics
  • Our website is most popular with 25-34 age bracket but that number only drops by 6% as you get to those over 65 showing that our content appeals to people of all ages.  Previously it was older age groups that were accessing our site most often.
  • Our site was accessed equally by males and females

Accessing the Website 
  • Google Chrome was the most popular web browser to view our website, used by 50% of people (up 9% in popularity over 2019).  Safari was 26%, Edge/IE was 9%, Firefox was 3% and the remainder were other browsers.
  • The website was accessed from desktop computers 55% vs.45% from smart phones and tablets.  Of the smart device users, over 50% of those were from Apple devices.  
  • The geography of users with the highest sessions were 55% from Michigan, 10% from Illinois, 9% from Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota 2%.
  • Our site was accessed by people from 35 different states.

Online Club Registrations 
We are always taking suggestions on improving the website.  Please submit those to eric.charette@yahoo.com
Eric Charette
UPRRC Webmaster