Saturday, February 11, 2017

Spring Semester off to a record start

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 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 grow its audience.

Click on the chart to see a larger version.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January traffic by the numbers

The analytics for for January show about what you'd expect: Traffic was minimal while school was in session and then jumped when spring semester started. One nice surprise: Gabriel Sandoval's investigative story about the generous retirement package for a former Chico State VP attracted lots of readers. Even more people saw the story Feb. 1, but those numbers aren't included in these charts.

The top 10 stories for the month