Thursday, November 16, 2017

Kayla Fitzgerald will lead The Orion next semester

Kayla Fitzgerald, a senior Journalism & PR major from Livermore, has been named The Orion editor-in-chief for Spring 2018.

Kayla is this semester's managing editor and has been on the staff for four semesters. She has also worked as a news reporter, a sports reporter and breaking news editor.

Congratulations, Kayla!

Friday, November 3, 2017

Traffic tops 84,000 pageviews in October

Traffic numbers from QuillEngage are based on Google analytics
Even without a blockbuster news story, traffic for made substantial gains in October, indicating more and more people are using The Orion's website and mobile app to get their campus news.

Here are the numbers from Google Analytics:
Pageviews: 84,177
Sessions: 26,284
Pages per session: 3.2
Unique visitors: 21,559
Bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who left the website after reading only one story): 5.75%

All are up quite a bit from September and are higher than October 2016.

Here's what The Orion app traffic looked like for this October. Downloads now exceed 2,000.

Click to see a larger version.

A couple of surprises were buried in the Google Analytics data for

Chicoween coverage only attracted a few hundred readers for most stories. That could be because readers were following live reports on Twitter. The exception was an opinion piece asking out-of-towners to stay away from Chico on Halloween. That was the most read story of the month with 6,889 pageviews, about 8 percent of all traffic.

The other surprise was in referrals. A link from the San Francisco Chronicle's online sites to the story about a Chico State frat vandalizing a national forest campground sent more than 1,000 readers to

The top stories for traffic in October were:
1. Out-of-towners are not welcome - 6,990 pageviews
2. Four steps to being drunk in class - 3,540
3. Fraternity being investigated for trashing website - 2,548
4. Wildfires force evacuations in Butte County - 1,864
5. First-year Chico State student died - 1,323
6. Immediate evacuations due to Honey Run fire - 1,285
7. Female DJ Rossi desires to inspire - 984
8. Drunk sex: Let's get it up, literally - 850
9. Chico State students take initiative to help wildfire victims - 849
10. Homicide is reported near the Chico State neighborhood - 807
11. Pi Kappa Alpha pleads guilty to vandalism charges - 652

It's interesting that overall traffic was up and stronger than last October despite a weak social media effort. That, and the bounce rate and average number of stories each visitor reads, confirms my hypothesis that readers are gradually replacing their weekly print use of The Orion with more frequent visits to

My suspicion is also confirmed by the overall traffic numbers from Google Analytics since website traffic started being tracked in December 2015. Here's that that looks like:

Click to see a larger version.