New advertisers include Petzl, Sportiva, Beal, Gore-tex, the BMC, Glenmore Lodge, Climb magazine, Mudgrubs, Kendal Mountain Festivals, Apex Distribution, Speakers From The Edge, Climb Ariège, Ian Parnell, Paramo, Camp America, Posing Productions, Snow + Rock, Outdoor Sports and Leisure, Lochaber College, Mountain Plan, Ultimate Outdoors, the Westway and Craggy Island.
Returning advertisers, however, are the real test of how effective advertising is and they include; Scarpa, Grivel, Wild Country, DMM, Berghaus, Gear For Girls, Prana, Metolius, Heason Events, Beacon Climbing Centre, Global Vision International, Outside, Alpkit, Holdz, Joe Brown's, Hot Rock, The Foundry, Ascent Training, Rock and Run, Mile End, Climb France, Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team, BoulderBus, Rob Johnson expeditionguide, Manchester Climbing Centre, the International School of Mountaineering, and Rockfax; all signed up again. On top of that between doing the editorial (news, articles etc) I am meeting with several other major companies soon (yes I am busy, very busy).
The majority of these advertisers take out a package of different advertising delivery methods including Banner adverts, our Newsletter (goes out to 33,000 each week), Premier Posts, Commercial Profiles and Product News; to get full cross-site advertising that reach all of UKClimbing.com's readers, not just the forums. Whereas print advertising is passive, most of our advertisers have embraced the interactive nature of the internet (sometimes a bit rough and tumble - but we are all climbers and can take the rough with the smooth I hope) and not only showcase their products but educate us, in detail, about their products and services, and importantly interact directly with climbers, see Chris Rowland's (the Brand Manager of DMM) Premier Post, What's happening at DMM? (link) and of course their innovative competition, My First Outdoor Lead. More of that please!
When visiting advertisers, and I try to visit as many as possible, it is more about explaining how internet advertising works, rather than selling. Although the internet isn't new anymore, to many it is still a bit of a mystery. Once I've offered an explanation and answered many questions, many decide to give it a try. I help all the way and I am only happy if it increases the companies sales and awareness of a product or service. I know that if the advertiser benefits, then UKClimbing.com will benefit and in that order. We don't have some grab your money and run advertising department operating from a bank of telephones; we are fully committed to the climbing and outdoor community.
Advertisers can monitor the response they get from their adverts (see if UKC advertising is actually worth the money); they know how many eyeballs fall on their messages and how many people click on their banners via their very own administration pages. Used correctly internet advertising is quantifiable rather than the smoke and mirrors of print advertising, and this approach is working for them at UKClimbing.com.
Our Premier Posts are also taking over from print classified adverts as a way to get commercial messages out to the climbing community effectively and at a good price. They are used by many individuals, guides, climbing walls, accommodation businesses, for recruitment, by event organisers, climbing shops, television companies, first aid trainers, educational institutes and on and on; even good to advertise a spare room to rent or sell a car! We do have a charity rate also, for truly charitable causes - please contact us first.
We'd like to thank all our advertisers; without them we wouldn't exist; we couldn't post on the forums, read the articles and news, and view the photographs. A huge thanks to all of our readers for supporting the companies that support UKClimbing.com but most of all a huge thank you to YOU for visiting UKClimbing.com, contributing and making it what it is and what it will become.
It is quite a balancing act keeping some kind of separation between content and advertising. UKClimbing.com has a responsibility to both readers and advertisers, and we hope we are getting it right. If you want to see an outdoor website where commercial messages drown out editorial and content check this one out here. Too much and too intrusive commercialism is not good for readers or advertisers alike and both are essential for a healthy climbing website.
We signed up for Google analytics recently (we do have our own in house readership figures) and it is looking good. Here are some figures for October 2007 - we have nothing to hide!
- UKClimbing.com averages 10,000 unique visitors each day.
- 115,671 people visited UKClimbing.com in October, of which approximately 75,000 are regular monthly visitors.
- Most visitors access the site direct (they have it bookmarked).
- There are 37,963 registered climbers at UKClimbing.com
- The vast majority of readers live in the UK followed by the USA, France, Germany then Australia.
- When at UKClimbing.com, readers look at over 5 million pages every month, spending on average 10 minutes on the site and look at on average 12 pages each visit. That's average, some spend far too looooong here!!!
- The most popular sections of the site are the forums, followed by the photo galleries, then the news page, then the articles and databases.
- The News page was viewed 94,860 times in October 2007 up from 48,574 eyeballs in October 2006.
- The most popular article has been viewed 45,166 times (article views can be seen at the base of each page, but make sure you refresh your browser to get the true figure).
In 2008 we are committed to continuing our user-submitted content (everyone must have a voice) but also we are putting more emphasis on content from professional climbing journalists and experts, especially on the subjects of equipment and climbing skills where an expert opinion is especially valued.