Our team is thrilled that Apple has just selected our free wine app for its Essentials Collection in both the “Apps for Foodies” and “Pocket Sommelier” categories. We’re proud to be one of the few apps chosen from among thousands along with those from Mario Batali, Martha Stewart and Epicurious.

The app is now available on iPhone, iPod Touch, BlackBerry and Android and has received encouraging reviews from both media and users. It’s been through numerous revisions and feature upgrades since it was launched two years ago, with more than 136,000 downloads.

As a result, significantly more of the traffic to our site comes from the mobile apps these days rather than from the search engines and other sites. That traffic isn’t captured by Google and other traffic measurement sites as it goes through an API, so when coupled with our “regular” web traffic, the total number of visitors has skyrocketed.

More importantly though, according to Google and other measurement sites, our “bounce rate” is very low, which means that once people find our site, they stay on it and are engaged with the content. Conversely, when a bounce rate is high and visitors access only one page on average, it means that they hit the site, then leave immediately: it’s like walking into a store and realizing it doesn’t have what you want, so you move on.

While it’s great to have high traffic, as we do, it’s more important to have engagement with those who are part of your community. Our network of bloggers and wine reviewers are an important part of this, as they actively contribute their own views on various wines regularly.

Reputation is another key metric that is more important than traffic, especially the irrelevant traffic that can be purchased via Google AdWords etc. Reputation is measured by the number of sites linking into yours. On these measurement sites, we have an average of ten times more sites linking in than do others in our category.

All in all, we want to say thank-you to our community. We cherish our friends and raise our glass to them … it’s good to know who you are :)

Natalie