A check of analytics from theorion.com's web-hosting service this morning shows the The Orion's website has attracted more than a million page views this month. It's the first time the site has reached seven figures for web traffic. And October isn't over.
The numbers as of this morning: Unique visitors: 38,119 Visits: 89,913 (2.3 per visitor) Page views: 1,003,433 (an astounding 11.16 pages per visit).
The awful news last Monday that a woman had been struck and killed on tracks near the Chico State campus and the subsequent revelation that she had been a student at the university sent a record number of readers to theorion.com for information about the tragedy.
It's impossible to know how many of the 20,983 views of the story, or the 6,259 visits to the follow-up report, can be attributed to social-media posts by others and a local TV report about a gruesome photo that accompanied the original story (and was quickly taken down, accompanied by an apology). It is clear that the community turned to theorion.com to get the facts about what happened. (It's worth noting that the number of hits the original photo received wasn't enough to make the list of "most viewed" elements on the website.)
Visits to theorion.com from last Monday through Sunday totaled 30,353, according to analytics recorded by the newspaper's web hosting service, BlueHost. That's far and away the busiest traffic week ever.
The other top-ranked stories last week were:
Sorority bands together to help fallen sister - 2,483 views
Navigating bro speak (cartoon) - 2,423
Gang shooting wrongly reflects Hmong community - 2,327
Stigma with high numbers of sexual partners (O-Face column) - 1,666
That Pocket Points story, and a companion column by Veronica De La Cruz, helped draw 18,482 total visits to theorion.com last week, putting traffic on a pace to exceed 40,000 unique visitors in October. That would bury September's best-month-ever number by about 10,000 visitors.
Here's a list of the top traffic-generating stories so far this month:
1. Pocket Points hits Chico State - 20,379 views 2. AS to build $130,000 statue - 1,919 views 3. The tolls and triumphs of long-distance relationships - 1,634 4. Driver in creek crash faces charges - 1,039 5. In the closet a fate worse than death - 988 (in two days!) 6. Yes means yes full of holes - 925 7. Pocket Points feeds brains and bellies - 837 8. Students shouldn't suffer for Blackboard's faulty technology - 835 9. Humans of Chico State: life decisions - 744 10. Faculty stage rally for new contract - 716
About 10,000 more people visited the site than last-month's best-ever 20,477 unique visitors, according to statistics compiled by BlueHost, the paper's web-hosting service. September's 814,405 page views topped the previous record, set in April, by 126,733.
The site continues to be incredibly "sticky": People who visit theorion.com view an average of 10.68 pages once they arrive at the site. The best professional news sites average a little more than three pages per visit. Example: Of the 6,623 visitors who navigated to the site specifically to watch the Rate My Professors video, 5,719 stuck around to read other pages before they left theorion.com, according to BlueHost.
The top stories for traffic in September were: Professors read rate-my-professors video: 8,644 views Suspect stabs bouncer at Riley's: 4,271 Chico dehumanizes homeless population: 1,520 Students drink, float one week after labor day: 1,455 Student missing, presumed dead: 1,436 Fallen tree destroys Gus Manolis bridge: 1,394 Man guilty of DUI sentenced: 1,299