|September traffic for theorion.com - Google Analytics|
The September traffic numbers for theorion.com delivered good news and bad news.
About 5,000 fewer people found their way to the website during last month than during the same month a year ago, which translated into about 8,000 fewer web sessions. Those numbers made me think the lack of promotional activity on the part of the PR staff and the failure to use social media on the part of reporters and editors had real consequences. So I looked at the analytics. (Click to make the chart larger.)
Last spring, social was a big driver of Orion traffic. This fall, not so much. In fact, social media traffic accounted for seven-eights of the difference in the number of web sessions between the two months.
Fortunately, users who did show up were big consumers of Orion content.
Pageviews for September 2017 were 67,091. Views for September 2016 were about 15,000 fewer. That shows up in the pages per session -- an industry-typical 1.86 pps a year ago, a very good 3.38 pps this year -- and in the bounce rate: just 5 percent last month, which is unbelievably good. That means 95 percent of visitors to theorion.com stuck around to read at least one more story.
When I saw the bump at the end of this chart for September 2017 web traffic, I thought it might be attributable to the kerfuffle over Gray Boyer's satirical look at drinking, and that was a factor, but it only accounted for about 4 percent of the pageviews. The list of top stories shows readers were interested in a variety of topics.
Taken together with the pages-per-session statistics for the month, the number of visits to the home page and three of the section pages tell me The Orion is attracting an audience of people who visit the website to find out what's happening on campus and in the community. And that's a very good thing. Add a better social media effort and theorion.com can look forward to a record-setting semester.
Mobile app traffic was consistent with the other numbers for September, except no surge at the end of the month:
|Analytics for The Orion mobile app from GoodBarber|