The impact of COVID on village search: new customers up 27%, page views up 51%

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COVID hit Australia (and the world) in March/April last year, and again this June/July, but not as comprehensively (at the moment). We thought we would look at village customer interest as revealed on our portal villages.com.au – which has an average of 120,000 visits a month.

The top graph shows page views for March/April in 2019 (brown line) and 2020 (blue line).

COVID last year saw the number of visitors drop 15% in 2020 and the number of page views drop by 25%.

However, by March/April this year – 2021 – the number of visitors jumped 27.26% and the page views increased by a massive 51.33%, easily eclipsing the 2020 drop of 25%.

In other words, COVID had a significant early impact but the actual interest in retirement villages increased over pre-COVID times significantly.

We now look at whether this current outbreak has had an impact and find that COVID has hit new customer traffic but has only brought it back to the same levels as 2020 for June/July. See below.

Importantly average time on the site in July 2021 has increased to 2:53, up from 2:45 in March/April 2021 and 2:36 in June 2020. This is significant. When we delete ‘bounces’ (one page visitors) we exceed five minutes average time on site, which is really significant.

In summary, COVID does impact short term customer interest in villages in real numbers but the quality of the interest is significantly higher, plus it rebounds quickly and at a higher level than pre-COVID.

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