I felt that it was an appropriate time for a brief report on users of AntarcticGlaciers in the last year. This deep dive into Google Analytics helps me and my colleagues to see where the traffic comes from, and how best to target the traffic to ensure the peak usability.
It is useful to review these analytics periodically, to provide reports for collaborators and funders and guide website strategy. I also hope that the insights here will be useful to others considering online science communication.
Summary of content
AntarcticGlaciers.org now has 122 published blog posts, of which 118 were written by Bethan Davies, and 321 webpages, of which 240 were written by Bethan Davies, with the remainder written by guest posters or science writers. It also has 72 published ‘Answers to your Questions’; ‘Ask a Scientist’ questions continue to be regularly received.
Comments continue regularly, with 1129 approved comments (with 98 responses by Bethan Davies). Spam are continuing frequently necessitating all comments to be moderated. Rude and impolite comments do not pass the filter either.
On Similarweb, the website has a global rank of #745,583, and within the Science and Education / Earth Sciences sphere, has a global rank of #282. This compares favourably with websites like icecores.org, discoveringantarctica.org.uk, bas.ac.uk, and arctic.noaa.gov.
Supporting external researchers
AntarcticGlaciers.org supports science communication for external researchers worldwide. In the last year the website has provided letters of support to two external research grant bids, and if successful, researchers will be supported to host their online science communication on AntarcticGlaciers.org.
The website has also provided a platform for a number of guest posters, with 9 articles provided by early career researchers in the last year. These researchers received guidance, training and editorial support to help them communicate their research effectively and to maintain the high standards for which AntarcticGlaciers is known.
Page views and Users
Since website inception since 2012, AntarcticGlaciers has received 4.9 million page views, with 2.6 million new users. Pageviews is the total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted. Users have initiated at least one session during the date range.
This report below (June 2022-June 2023; below) shows that AntarcticGlaciers now typically reaches up to 60,000 page views per month (right hand axis in the figure below), peaking in the Autumn and reaching minima in the summer and December period, when many schools and universities have breaks.
The website had 337,059 users and 589,982 page views over the last year, and the majority of these were new visitors (88.53%). The majority (54.49%) were using US English and 24.42% were using British English browsers.
This is reflected in the location of the majority of the users (June 2022-June 2023).
Traffic is largely from organic search at 79.6%, meaning that many people find the website through searching through Google or other engines. Alternatively 17.1% are Direct, meaning that they type the address into the browser. A much smaller number are referral, meaning they clicked on a link in another website or email. This gives insight into how people find the website, and how important search engine optimisation is to building traffic.
Similarweb.com says that the most common keywords that lead searches to AntarcticGlaciers.org rather than to other sites include Thwaites Glacier, glacier(s), glacial, glacier mass balance, antarctica rivers, periglacial landforms, meade glacier, cosmogenic exposure, accuracy precision, antarctic(a) glaciers, grounding line, southern annular mode, glacial landforms, moraines, etc.
Only a small proportion of traffic is brought to the website by referrals, but these inbound links are important for showing how the website is regarded. Referrals to AntarcticGlaciers that brought traffic to the website from June 2022-June 2023 include (examples only):
- Durham University
- Sheffield University
- Exeter University
- Portsmouth University
- Marlborough College
- Manchester University
- Monash University
- University of Vienna
- Universite de la Reunion
- University of Brighton
- Mary Immaculate College
- UC San Diego
- Limestone District School Board
- University of Innsbruck
- NCC Central University
- Royal Holloway
- Liverpool Hope University
- Cumbria University
- Maynooth University
A number of schools also link to the website, but I will not list them here to protect privacy.
- The Conversation
Most visited pages
The most visited pages in the last year (June 2022-June 2023) include the homepage (/), those focused on ice cores, wildlife, sea ice, volume of ice and glacier mass balance. This highlights the niches in which AntarcticGlaciers can make the most impact due to increased community interest and desire.
New articles on AntarcticGlaciers, June 2022-June 2023
Generally 1-2 articles have been published per month. All authored by Bethan Davies unless otherwise indicated.
- Changing Alaska
- Structural glaciology of Juneau Icefield
- Glacier disconnections, Juneau Icefield
- Plateau Icefields: glacial geomorphology
- Rock Glaciers (Alex Clark)
- rock glacier flow (Camryn Klutmeier)
- Glacial varved sediments (Laura Boyall)
- Awards and Prizes
- safety on glaciers and icefields (Sofia Guest)
- Film making on Juneau Icefield (Caroline Wexler)
- Moving on again: Newcastle University
- Co. Antrim fieldwork (Alex Clark)
- SCAR medal for outreach and education
- Periglacial Landforms (Alex Clark)
- Global ocean circulation (Laura Boyall)
- Menstruation in the field (Bethan Davies and Becky McCerery)
- Science in extreme environments: Juneau Icefield (Anna Fatta)
- Deplete and Retreat: Andes Water Towers
- Deplete and Retreat News
- Deplete and Retreat team members
- Deplete and Retreat publications and outputs
- Deplete and retreat: the future of the Andes water towers
- PhD in glaciology advertised
- 20 articles were added to a new section on dating glacial landforms (Cryospheric Geomorphology)
- Calculating glacier volume change from Space (Ethan Lee)
- Activity report (this article).
Of note, Menstruation in the Field has received over 5000 page views since publication.