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Big story drives big traffic to site

December 20, 2007 - Art Smith
When our new Web site rolled in on Monday, we knew that it would help us do a better job of explaining the daily news as well as the big story.

The big story arrived a little faster than we thought it would when we posted the story WVU poised to hire Holliday on the site Tuesday evening. Within hours visitors flooded to newsandsentinel.com. Traffic to our site exploded.

Nearly 34,000 people visited the site Wednesday, more than three times the amount that visited the day before. More than 25,000 people read that one story.

Traffic spikes are hard to predict and can play havoc with Web sites. The programming behind the site worked great in this case and kept the site working smoothly all day.

Because of new features of the site, readers got a better online report of the story than would have been possible a few days before. A breaking news banner was displayed on every page of the site to help readers find the story. Once on the page, readers found easy to follow breakout information as well as links to other sites. All these features were additions not available until the new site was implemented Monday.

Thanks to other improvements to the site we also know where all these readers came from. Most came from West Virginia, with traffic recorded from 99 communities in the state. Others came from other eastern states, including 3,500 people from Florida. The map above shows the concentration of visitors.

 
 

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States with the heaviest concentration of visitors are darker.

 
 
 
 

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