Two Orion news reports -- one an investigative piece about a retirement deal for a former Chico State vice president, the other breaking news about a sexual assault at a frat house -- pushed website readership for the first few weeks of spring semester to record levels.
Since classes resumed the third week in January, 17,475 visitors accessed 64,755 pages on theorion.com. That's fewer visitors than the same weeks last year (22,001) but half again as many pages (46,288). Page views this week were the most recorded for a single week since The Orion started measuring traffic with Google analytics.
Leading the way were the two stories:
Chico State to pay former employee to work elsewhere - 5,068 page views since Jan. 23
Rape reported at Kappa Sigma fraternity - 7,409
And the followup to the rape story - 1,535
Significantly, visitors this year looked at an average of almost two more stories while they were on the site (2.91), knocking down the bounce rate (visitors who leave the site after a looking at a single page) to an excellent 35 percent. Last year it was 83 percent!
That says to me that covering news well increases interest in the rest of the website and will help theorion.com grow its audience.
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