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Explanations

tutor2u - the last 2000 days

Jim Riley

17th March 2011

Its exactly 2,000 days since we started tracking the detailed second-by-second interaction of every visitor to the www.tutor2u.net web domain. So I thought I download some data on visitor volume to see if I could spot any trends or features…

Just about every online business tracks website data using an application like Google Analytics (or premium alternatives). We installed Analytics back in late 2005 when we moved to a more powerful server platform, and it certainly produces some detailed insights into every aspect of the website operation. For example, we can track visitor from Google search to the precise search term he/she used, follow their pathway through the site and even see if an order is placed and what was bought. Its always interesting to see what visitors are searching for!

Back to that visitor data. Here is a chart showing the daily unique visitor number for the www.tutor2u.net domain (i.e. excluding our VLE and sub-sites):

There is some clear seasonality to the data. Troughs of visitor volume during the summer holiday months, Christmas period and (less so) Easter holidays. Significant peaks in traffic in the run up to December exams and the busiest period of all - April to early June.

If I were to plot a (365 day) moving average (i.e. eliminate seasonality during a year) then I suspect we’d see a steadily growing line, with the growth gradient accelerating in the last 9-12 months. Its no coincidence that our visitor stats have grown rapidly since Google implemented dynamic search into the main search page, which places a premium on Google search results which appear in the top page of their listings. We’re also now gaining the long-term benefit of building blog content and tagging that content effectively. We’ve now posted almost 10,000 blog entries which alone have generated around 63 million page views. Proof, if proof were needed, that content is still king for an online business.

Jim Riley

Jim co-founded tutor2u alongside his twin brother Geoff! Jim is a well-known Business writer and presenter as well as being one of the UK's leading educational technology entrepreneurs.

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