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How sticky are UK newspaper sites? 62.8 per cent of users look at just one page, says Alexa

August 5th, 2009Posted by in Newspapers, Online Journalism, Traffic

This is a cross-post from Malcolm Coles’ personal website, and first appeared here. You can read other posts by Coles on the Journalism.co.uk Editors’ Blog at this link.

Visitors to UK newspaper sites look at an average of 2.5 pages a day, according to data from Alexa [click through from chart below]. But 62.8 per cent of users look at just one page.

In terms of daily page views per user, the Sun (4 pages), Guardian (3.1) and Telegraph (2.9) are above average. Visitors to the Mail site look at just 2.4 pages a day – so while the Mail may have come top in the July ABCe figures, maybe its large number of overseas visitors aren’t staying to look round the site.

Newspaper Daily page views
per user
Bounce
rate (%)
The Sun 4 48.5
Guardian 3.1 59.2
Telegraph 2.9 65.2
Daily Mail 2.4 60.7
Times Online 2.4 59.7
Independent 2.2 70.4
FT.com 1.9 66.8
Mirror 1.7 67.5
Express 1.7 66.7
Average 2.5 62.8
  • Better than average figures are in bold.
  • The bounce rate is the percentage of visits that consisted of just one page (so a low number is good).
  • These figures are 3-month averages. These change on a daily basis at Alexa – so they may have altered slightly by the time you check. Click the papers’ names to see the current data.
  • The overall average at the bottom is a simple average – it has not been weighted by traffic.

Page views vs bounce rate
The table is ranked by daily page views per user. The bounce rate is another measure of stickiness. It doesn’t exactly correlate with page views, as papers may have differing proportions of loyal, engaged users who visit lots of pages. The more pages that these users visit, the better the page view figure – but they won’t affect the bounce rate.

The Telegraph has a worse bounce rate than the sites near it in the table, perhaps because the great success with its Digg tool doesn’t always lead to multi-page visits?

Using Alexa data
There are issues with using Alexa data like this as it underrepresents UK users, who may have differing usage patterns to other visitors. However, as it seems to underrepresent them more or less equally, the rankings should be ok, even if the absolute figures are all out by the same margin.

Oh, and all the papers are doing better than me! Visitors to my own blog look at 1.5 pages a day and I have a 76 per cent bounce rate (which gets a bit worse when I publish things like Tweets people pray their bosses doesn’t see).

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