Monday, March 14, 2016

Steady (But Disappointing) Web Traffic Last Week

Traffic on seems to have settled in to a predictable 60,000 page views a month, and last week's traffic mirrored that rate. That's disappointing. I would have expected a serious traffic bump on Wednesday when the CSU Board of Trustees announced the appointment of a new president for Chico State.

The website did get about 1,000 more visitors than the previous day, so the audience is showing up when news breaks. With a terrific effort on the part of the news teams to Tweet the announcement, post something quickly on Facebook and get a story up quickly and then follow with two more stories the same morning, I expected much more traffic for the announcement.

A few guesses about why:
• Both the CSU system office and Chico State's public information office had full press releases available almost the moment the decision was announced, and Chico State's was emailed to the campus.
• The Chico E-R had a good, complete story up soon after the announcement (though only minutes ahead of The Orion's story).
• The Orion didn't run its best piece of exclusive content: A recorded interview with the president-elect.
• Students, The Orion's primary audience, isn't that interested in who will be running the university.

The appointment wasn't even the most-viewed story of the week. Here are the top 5:
1. Lake Oroville rises to the occasion - 2,202 page views
2. Students caught in crossfire of CFA strike - 458
3. Board of Trustees announces new Chico State president - 411
4. Opinion: Big boobs, big problems - 303
5. Arts: Fuller House shouldn't get an fuller - 289

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