IL WUT’s Global Reach

il-wut-visitor-mapBy Rich Christianson

IllinoisUrbanWood.org blew past 15,000 page views for this calendar year in October. As of today, the website has 15,603 total views — more than double the number recorded for all of 2015 and seven-fold the clicks totaled in 2014 when the website was launched.

I detailed the largest factors behind this dramatic uptick in an October 11 webcast produced by the Wood Education Resource Center. They include:

> Giving search engines more opportunities to “recommend” the site by posting 60 articles and videos through October, 60% more than posted all of last year. In October I noted that IllinoisUrbanWood.org ranked number one in Google search for the terms Urban Lumber, Urban Wood Utilization and Urban Wood Sawmills. IL WUT ranked number three for Urban Wood and ranked eight, nine and 10 for Urban Wood Products.

> The increased content posts have fed the monthly Illinois Urban Wood Update, a monthly newsletter that debuted in July 2015. It is the monthly newspaper that brings the latest headlines to subscribers.

> That subscription database has climbed dramatically from 351 at the end of 2015 to 803 by the end of September 30, 2016, a robust 129% increase.

It’s been truly gratifying to see the interest in IL WUT’s online activities swell. I also find it interesting that while U.S. and Canadian page views represent 92.7% and 2.4% of this year’s total respectively, visitors have entered the website from 83 other countries. Beyond the Top 10 countries summarized in the accompanying graphic are many nations that one would not suspect would have much interest in the urban wood movement, places like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Cambodia and the Cayman Islands to name a few. I imagine visitors from some of these far off lands arrived by accident but I’d like to think that many were led our way by the will to learn more about urban wood and urban forestry.

Even if it’s a stretch, I can still hope that all left a little more gratified and educated than when they landed.

Note: For those interested, here’s a link to my Illinois Wood Utilization Team update PowerPoint for the WERC Webcast.