Record month on Place North West

Paul Unger, editor

In an improving property market the Place North West website attracted 50,000 unique visitors in one month for the first time in March, a 32% increase on traffic in the same month of 2014.

The extra readership reflected the publication’s investment in content in the past year including reporter Jessica Middleton-Pugh, columnists Neil Tague and Jayne Dowle, as well as rising interest in the Jobs board; the introduction of the Place Resources advice and analysis section and the hardening news agenda.

The five best read stories during March, which included extensive coverage of MIPIM by Jessica Swettenham in Cannes, were:

1. Peel to submit £1bn Trafford Waters plan

2. GB Group to call in administrators

3. RIBA North West 2015 shortlist out

4. MIPIM 2015: Peel Logistics confirms next wave of projects

5. MMU to occupy Cornerhouse

Readership was not just up on the unique visitors measure, the most commonly quoted internet publishing indicator, but across all key figures including time spent on the website, proportion of new readers who had not previously visited Place North West and the number of page views per session.

The total number of sessions in March was 108,107, more than 30% up on 82,936 in March 2014. The average time on the site in one visit was up 36% on the same month last year. The number of pages read per visit was also up.

Technology is also changing the way people view the website. The number of visits from a mobile phone nearly doubled in the past year from 10,854 in March 2014 to 20,958 last month, accounting for 19% of all sessions.

However, the number of visits from a tablet accounted for 8% of all visits, the same proportion last year. Apple’s iPhone and iPad were the most popular devices among Place readers. The fading fortunes of the Blackberry mobile phone were reflected in its showing of just 147 sessions last month, equivalent to 0.49% of all visits from mobiles.

On desktop computers, Internet Explorer remains the dominant browser but is losing ground: 39% of all sessions in March 2015, down from a 46% share last March. Google Chrome is catching up, with 28% share compared to 23% last time. Safari is in third with 20%, rising from 17% in March 2014.

All figures from Google Analytics.

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