2019 on TekAdvisor

Last year was pretty intense on TekAdvisor, and even though the payout for some of that work will take a bit longer to be felt, there are a few numbers worth sharing.

What I've Done Last Year

Many changes I've made last year were of a cleanup nature:

  • I noticed that my database contained a lot of links pointing to really unattractive offers, which lingered a long time after a device stopped being worth considering. As a result, I'm now less tolerant of these low-quality offers, and that's the main reason why the average cost of tech is much lower this year on the site than it was last year.

  • I stopped video production since that avenue was steadily becoming less and less effective. It had started as a way to reach out to my audience, try to cut through some visibility barriers on social media. After months of regular publication, however, I concluded my video content didn't hit the mark for a variety of reasons. So I redirected my efforts to consolidate what works before giving video another try in the future.

  • I dropped out of the mobile phone market relatively late in the year as it represented a lot of work for nearly no payoff. My data-centred approach did not allow me to cover new smartphones fast enough for that market and didn't match the way people shop for such devices.

Otherwise, I've been growing my software database. I also made software pages more useful for an audience interested in systems not usually featured on the site.

I've also improved the site in many ways, some more visible than others.

  • Suggestions made by the site's algorithm are more helpful in a few places
  • I have a new ranking system based on a device type and price-range
  • I made numerous improvements to my daily workflow (keeping up with changes in price and availability is a lot of work, so any gain I make there helps keep the site's content fresh)
  • A new blog system helps me create content (like this post) more easily outside of database entries
  • Speaking of the blog, my Game System Guide, Black Friday Guide and the new Boxing Day Guide received noticeable updates. Half article and half app, they take cues from the database to adapt to current market conditions.

I've also been keeping up with new arrivals on the market, focussing, as always, on what's available on popular retailers' shelves. 242 new devices were added, including:

  • 86 Laptops
  • 74 Stationary Computers
  • 13 tablets

As far as brands covered, the most common were:

  • Asus (19%)
  • Dell (18%)
  • HP (15%)
  • Apple (6%)
  • Memory Express (5%)
  • MSI (4%).

Visitor Activity

So, how did my audience respond to those changes, and what were they looking for? I do not get a lot of social engagement for this site, but analytics helps paint a picture.

  • Pageviews: ⇧ 29% (Canadian views: ⇩ 4% Other views: ⇧ 50%)
  • User Interest:
    • Hardware: 33% (⇩ 7%)
    • Software: 71% (⇧ 56%)

The only time of the year where hardware interest exceeded software interest was Boxing Day.

  • Hardware Interest vs. site representation
    • Laptops (74% vs. 30%)
    • Stationary Computers (15% vs 18%)
    • Tablets (7% vs. 7%)
  • Brand Interest vs. site representation
    • Asus (35% vs. 16%)
    • HP (33% vs. 10%)
    • Dell (10% vs. 13%)
    • MSI (6% vs. 3%)
    • Apple (4% vs. 6%)
  • Software Interest
    • Davinci Resolve (6.3%)
    • Fortnite (5.8%)
    • Minecraft (2.9%)
    • FIFA '19 (2.5%)
    • Football Manager '19 (2.3%)
    • FL Studio (2.1%)
    • Premiere Pro (2.1%)
    • Farming Simulator '19 (2.1%)
    • Clip Studio Paint (2%)
    • ARK: Survival Evolved (2%)
  • The busiest day of the year, by far: Dec. 26 (Boxing Day)

What's next?

I have a lot of code to rewrite in the months ahead and wok/life balance issues to work on, so I expect more cleanup to happen and more workflow improvements. Hopefully, the site will also get a new coat of paint and get even more useful for those not looking for pre-built solutions.

Thanks to everyone who dropped by last year, and I hope to serve you even better in 2020!

Guillaume

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