Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Traffic

The first session of the Princeton men's lacrosse camp is wrapping up today. Camps are a pretty involved endeavor for coaches, so TigerBlog will forgive Chris Bates for not getting him the list of incoming freshmen.

TigerBlog has meant to put up the story about the Class of 2014, which will join a team next spring that will have seven returning starters, as well as 18 of the 23 players who played in the NCAA tournament game against Notre Dame.

If you look at, you'll see that the stories are up about most of the new classes that will be coming to Princeton in the fall. They're mixed in with stories about end-of-year academic honors, Princeton athletes who are competing for national teams and such in the summer and other similar types of news.

When your No. 1 product is a college athletics website, the summer is never going to be your peak traffic months. The reason of course is obvious: no games.

As the summer goes along, web numbers drop off dramatically, as is to be expected.

As an aside, would anyone like to guess the day with the highest web traffic on in the past year? TB will give the answer in a few paragraphs.

In general, web traffic numbers were way up this year, largely due to the investment in multi-media, such as the videos on, the weekly podcasts and even TigerBlog. This, in addition to the existing content on the web page, drove numbers near 1.5 million per month during much of the year.

And now it's the summer. Officially, for that matter.

The challenge in the summer is to keep the content on the web page fresh with new stories on a daily basis. The worst thing you can do when you have people in the habit of checking out your page is not to give them a reason to do so, and the No. 1 way of doing that would be to allow a day to go by without having the lead story change.

There are many possibilities for the summer, including the kind of stories TB mentioned above, as well as the non-athletic pursuits of the athletes, any personnel changes and on and on.

One source of content is 2010-11 team schedules, many of which are now being officially confirmed and finalized. Of course, the football schedule is one of the ones that isn't quite done, as television may impact playing dates and times.

And, as is always the case, there's the question of what the right time is to start home football games. Is it 1? 3? 6? Later? Does it matter if all of the games start at different times? How is attendance impacted by start time?

Oh, and back to the question about the day with the most web traffic, any guesses?

The answer is: it depends.

Are you counting page views or unique visitors?

TigerBlog would have guessed it'd be during one of the two overlaps of seasons, and he would have been right both times.

The day with the most unique visitors (14,823) was March 6, a day that featured, among other events, the women's basketball team's Ivy-clinching win at Harvard and the men's lacrosse team's win over Johns Hopkins at the Face-Off Classic.

The day with the most page views (with 117,213) was Oct. 31. The football and soccer teams played Cornell that day, men's hockey had just started and Heps cross country was the day before.

As for this week, well, Monday saw 3,313 unique visitors and 12,487 page views.

Those don't compete with the usual in-season numbers, but they're still consistent. And those are our most loyal readers.

The challenge for the summer is to give them a reason to keep coming back.


Anonymous said...

When you first launched Tigerblog, I thought that it would be impossible for you to write new, high quality material every day. I mean, how many of us could come up with something INTERESTING to say about our professional environments every day? Not many, I submit.

But you've proven me wrong. You do indeed make it worth the daily trip to the website to read your blog. And apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way. Congratulations on this not insignificant achievement.

Moreover, in the course of your observations and discussions about life in the Princeton department of athletics, you paint a picture which seems rather idyllic, complete with lunch-time basketball and squash games, department barbecues at the boat house and interesting personalities such as Hank and Spoon. Jeez, it makes ME want to work at Princeton.

Jeff Grabowski said...

And with the quality of your content, you should have no problem with that!