Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Story-posting fail likely cause of traffic slump

From quillengage

Visits to theorion.com were down last week, but why is not a mystery.

A quick look at the dates on website posts shows no opinion pieces were posted for five days starting Sept. 3, no news stories were posted for three days starting Sept. 9 and Arts & Entertainment had two two-day periods in the past week during which no stories were uploaded.

That's a perfect recipe for declining traffic.

Here are more charts on last week's analytics:

This chart shows Orion app traffic for the past 30 days. Good news: App downloads have now topped the 1,500 mark.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

OZY has a great idea

I followed a link the other day to a story on Ozy.com, a online magazine that combines aggregated stories and staff reports, and noticed something I thought was very cool: a "Why You Should Care" box at the top.

It serves a dual purpose:
• It works like a dek, to provide information to time-conscious readers about what the story is going to provide, and
• It supplies context for the story you might find in a third or fourth paragraph of a typical print story. I love that it puts that context in personal terms, the "you" version of "so what?"

I also love that it is designed to be read on a phone, where a majority of people now say they get their online news.

Something to think about.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Police misconduct story pushes web traffic

With web content and, consequently, web traffic barely breathing over the summer, it's always a challenge to re-engage theorion.com audience in August when students return to Chico. This fall, the first-week numbers barely crept above June and July weekly figures.

All it takes is one big story, though, to revive traffic. 

Lucas Moran's interview with two women who posted a video of their encounter with Chico police that went viral attracted more than 4,500 visits to the website in the middle of this week, accounting for 15 percent of all the traffic to the site in August. That was more than the number of visitors to The Orion home page, so people clicking through from Facebook and Twitter accounted for lots of the visits.

The other top stories, by traffic, for August were:
2. The Millennial Effect (Arts & Entertainment) 1,029 views
3. Train Kills Chico Pedestrian (News) 1,000 views
4. Pokeman Go: Tracking the tracker (Arts& Entertainment) 742
5. The Dungeon drug bust (News) 480

Viewing the website on mobile devices was also important in August. Here's what the analysis from Quill Engage, which analyzes Google analytics, said about it:

Traffic By Device

This month, mobile, desktop, and tablet sessions increased. The most traffic came from mobile users, a change of pace from the month before when desktop users accounted for the majority of traffic. With a 270% increase in your site's mobile sessions, mobile traffic reached 8,777 sessions and represented 53% of your site's traffic. Your site had 7,107 sessions (up from 2,793) from desktop users, making up 43% of overall sessions. This was a drop from the previous month when 51% of overall traffic came from desktop. Up from 340, 804 sessions came from tablet users this month. This accounted for just 5% of overall traffic, a drop from 6% last month.
The statistics from GoodBarber, the company that hosts The Orion mobile app, shows the back-to-school effect pretty dramatically:

Here's the Quill Engage summary for the month: