RESEARCH PROJECT: Social Media and the Dying Homepage



Over the past month, I conducted research for a PD project on to see how much social media traffic effects people or “readers” landing on the homepage of The Little Hawk.

My theory, which developed after reading a few other articles, is that like traffic on the NY Times homepage that has dropped from 180 million clicks in 2011 to less than 80 million clicks in 2013, high school sites are also experiencing a decline in homepage traffic due to social media.  The research is showing that readers come from social media to a single post and then leave the site without ever going to the homepage.

My findings supported this theory with a few variations.

Seventy-seven percent of traffic landed on other pages than the homepage with 65% of readers or traffic coming from mobile or tablet devices.  55% of the traffic came from social media with 28% direct and 17% from Google/referrals.

An interesting observation made was that Twitter readers read on average over two minutes, while Facebook readers averaged only a bit over 30 seconds.  57% of the social media traffic also came from Facebook with 43% from Twitter.

My overall conclusion, that I wanted to show students was how it is more important to design really great page posts and use social media to push stories.  Also, that Facebook is not dead and an important avenue to get readers to their stories.  I did not tell them not to care about the design of their homepage.  Having a well designed homepage is still important, but it is more important with the rise of social media to focus on making individual posts great and using social media to push stories.



1.3 to 1.31.2016

Landing:  6,817 – Total Page Views: 16,350 – Duration:  1:59

Mobile/Tablet:  65% – Desktop:  35%

Landing Pages:

Homepage:  1,537 (22.5%)

City Ranked 2nd:  639

Wrestling – 337

IMAX – Photo blog:  281

Total of other: 5280 (77%)



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