How I’m surviving my first year as adviser: Increasing Pageviews Part 2

Last time, I wrote about how the website I advise recently received 100,000 pageviews. You can read the first five ways to increase your pageviews here, but here’s five more:

6. Emails to Faculty and Staff

Adult readership is important and should not be overlooked. Every few weeks, when we have new content that I can tease, I send out a personal email to my colleagues. In these emails, I send links to specific stories that I think faculty will find interesting: mostly profiles on students or other teachers and our alumni blog (read my last post for more information). I don’t do this often because I don’t want to flood people’s emails; however, every time I do send these emails, our pageview count increases.

7. Comment Days in the Cafeteria

A few times a year, my staff sets up tables in the cafeteria/student commons with laptops that display our homepage. We encourage students to come over and check out the site, take a poll, or comment for a chance to win a prize. In the past, we’ve given away t-shirts, pencils, notepads (all with our logo on, of course) or gift cards to local restaurants. Again, our pageview totals are always high on these days. Plus, it’s a great way to advertise your site and get new readers!

8. News. News. News.

Last week was our most successful week to date (the site garnered more than 1,000 pageviews every day, including a Saturday). What did people come to our site for? News. Hard news. My editor wrote a story about 10 tenured teachers who were dismissed by the school board at a recent meeting. This story has received almost 1,000 pageviews since it was published on Feb. 11. In addition, in a recent poll called “What do you wish the NWN had more of,” “news” received the most votes. Readers want to know about what’s happening at their school. A new website that is updated daily can provide this.

9. Post Often

This should be a given. If you’re thinking about making the move online, your staff must be able to update almost every day. If you don’t, your readers will become bored–and they won’t come back. A reader of ours told me recently that her favorite part of our site was the fact that every time she visits it, “there’s always something new” to look at or read.

10. Good Writing.

There’s research that says people don’t read past the headline and lead of most online stories–which is always a concern with “going online.” But what we’ve found is that our readers still yearn for those long, journalistic, prosaic pieces–even if they are not in print.  According to our site analytics, the top-two most-read articles are a profile on a new dean and a profile on a star female basketball player. Both of these pieces are more than 1,000 words; in fact, the second piece is more than 2,000 words. Both of them are also well-written and make you want to read more. I guess what I’m saying is that if you’re online–or you want to be–you don’t have to give up those long feature articles that the students love to write and read.

Do you have any other ideas for increasing pageviews? I’d love to hear them.

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