Monday, October 24, 2016

Web traffic in the doldrums

The Orion website had 8,706 page views
last week. The column show views per story
Traffic at has settled into a trough the past few weeks after some encouraging spikes last month. A look at the most popular stories from last week gives a clue about the cause.

Hard news, and especially breaking news, has always been the biggest driver of readers to The Orion website. These numbers appear to show less interest in news content, but I think a more accurate reading is that the paper is not reporting newsworthy stories.

The other apparent trend in these analytics is that the opinion section has become more popular. A look at the historical trends, though, shows opinion traffic is about the same as it's always been except for the big jump last month when the column about abolishing Greek life captured lots of views.

I thought a look at web traffic since last year would be interesting, too, so I captured this snapshot of page views since last December, the best data available through Google Analytics. It shows overall better daily traffic last spring, the predictable dip in the summertime (which shows students are the sites core readership) and a few spikes this fall. Overall, though, readership is down. This would be a good topic for this week's ed board and section meetings.

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