|Traffic for the first month of the semester on theorion.com|
Google Analytics had good news and bad news -- but mostly good news -- for traffic on theorion.com for the first month of school.
Bad news first: Just 16,607 people found their way to The Orion's website from the end of August to this weekend. That's about 6,800 fewer than the same month last year (a 29 percent decline), evidence that the absence of a hot column or breaking news story -- last fall, a police misconduct story attracted 1,600 page views and a column about abolishing Greek life 6,725 views -- was the reason for the dip.
Good news item #1: The number of pages viewed was actually way up from a year ago, 72,122 versus 53,170, a 35 percent increase. That's still way below pageview averages near 100,000 the website recorded last spring, but it does indicate a strong user base. The top four pages for visits during the month were the home page and category pages, which is further evidence the campus community goes to the website for news even without a big story in play.
Good news item #2: The numbers also show visitors viewed an average of 3.43 pages each visit, which is sky high for news websites and double the rate for the same month a year ago. That's reflected in the bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave a website after visiting a single page) of 5.81 percent. That number is also crazy good. Last fall's bounce rate was 78 percent, much more typical of most news sites. Readers are sticking around because they know there's more good content on the site.
Good news item #3: The Orion mobile app downloads have topped 2,000, a little over 11 percent of campus enrollment. That may not sound like much, but at the end of September last year the number was 1,500. Clearly, the PR team's efforts last year paid off.
No single story dominated the pageview results for the first month of the semester. Here are the top 10 stories, based on traffic:
Aza and Tinashe under the same spotlight - 998 pageviews
Chico State hosts eclipse viewing party - 956
Chico Cream grand opening - 896
The silent government dismantling Chico - 763
Sociologist by day, musician by night - 681
Tekken-7 reigns as king of fighters - 674
Man claims attempted phone theft - 561
Police blotter Sept. 11 - 560
Go vegan - 549
Fraternity a no show in federal court - 541