q12013

We are HUGE fans of transparency and openness here at TTAG. We don’t hide anything from you guys when it comes to reviews or editorials, and we try to achieve that same level of transparency about how we run the site. It also gives our advertising partners something to compare us to the rest of the field (spoiler alert: we’re the best) to make sure they’re getting the most bang for their advertising buck. So once every quarter we take a moment to reflect on how we’re doing, what articles seem to be the most popular, and where we’re planning to take the site in the next three months . . .

The first quarter of 2013 was amazing in terms of traffic, but for all the wrong reasons. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary was taken as a sign for the gun control advocates that now was the time to push through all of the draconian and illogical gun control legislation on their wish list, and we were right there in the thick of it bringing you guys the latest news. That constant drumbeat of gun control related news lead to us almost doubling our traffic compared to November.

m12013

Admittedly it didn’t last long, but it happened. December of last quarter was artificially inflated due to the coverage of Newtown and the immediate aftermath, but the gun control fervor of January combined with the SHOT Show coverage meant that we had doubled our numbers from November (the last “normal” month on record). We came 500,000 pageviews short, missing the target by less than 10%.

In terms of our performance, we beat the expected numbers for this metric by a wide margin. I was anticipating being well under 4 million pageviews per month at this point still, but it looks like we skipped straight over that threshold. Based on past performance I’d expect a slower second quarter, with the new baseline somewhere around 4 million pageviews per month, but that all depends on how hard and fast gun control advocates continue to press the issue.

That gun control fervor is evident in the top 20 most read articles on TTAG for the quarter. Usually only gun reviews make it into that rarefied air, but this quarter there are a couple notable exceptions in the top slots.

  1. BREAKING: Illinois Bill to Ban All Modern Firearms
  2. Feinstein: Veterans Have PTSD, Shouldn’t Own “Assault” Rifles
  3. List of Proposed California Gun Control Measures — 500 Round Max, No Grandfathering, No Detachable Mags, Mandatory License
  4. This is How the DHS Seizes Your Guns
  5. VA Man Arrested for Following “Double Barrel” Biden’s Armed Defense Advise
  6. 9mm Subcompact Pistol Roundup – Because You Asked for It
  7. Gun Review: Hi-Point C9 9mm Pistol
  8. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport
  9. Gun Review: Ruger LC9
  10. Gun Review: Springfield Armory XD-S .45 ACP
  11. Gun Review: Beretta Nano
  12. BREAKING: LaRue Tactical Plans to Limit Law Enforcement Sales to Civilian Standards
  13. Ask Foghorn: What’s Up With the Ammo Shortage?
  14. Midway: No LEO Mag and Ammo Sales Where Civilian Bans Apply
  15. Gun Review: SIG SAUER P226
  16. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson BODYGUARD 38 and BODYGUARD 380
  17. Gun Review: SIG SAUER SP2022
  18. BREAKING Colorado Approves “High Cap” Mag Ban Bill
  19. Gun Review: Mossberg 930 SPX Tactical Shotgun
  20. Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield

Those political articles up top had about twice the number of pageviews for the quarter than the gun reviews just a few slots lower. And the percentage of articles written by yours truly that made it into the top slots hasn’t gone unnoticed — a point I’ll be making to RF when bonus time rolls around.

While gun control dominated the first quarter, the fact that it didn’t completely drown out the gun reviews is promising. It indicates to me that while people are starving for the latest news about the proposed infringement of their second amendment rights, they also want to read the same content that brought them to TTAG. Namely gun reviews and general interest articles about shooting. Things that remind them what it is about guns that made them fall in love in the first place.

v12013

In terms of readership, it looks like we had a sizable bump over the last couple months but we’re back down to the expected increase. Interesting to note is the fact that we haven’t dropped below 1 million readers per month since the middle of November. Keep in mind that Google calculates this based off their proprietary algorithms (things like unique IP address and browser configuration), so the number may not be precise. I anticipate that this metric will remain constant or continue its increase over the next three months, given that we’re back on the “normal” curve for increasing readership.

What I’m taking away from these numbers is that we’re awesome, on the right track, and will continue to see increased readership assuming that we keep pumping out good content. I’m also interpreting these results to mean that while current events and politics are hot topics on people’s minds, they still want the “old” mix of articles that TTAG is known for: gun reviews and stories about firearms. So I’ll make it my mission for the next quarter to try and bring some balance to the force, cranking out more general interest stories and leaving RF and Dan to continue their awesome coverage of the politics of guns.

One more bit of good news to finish off. Some months ago, Ammoland listed the top gun related websites on the internet and noted that TTAG beat out every other non-NRA non-forum news website, Ammoland included. At the time, we were ranked as website #6,755 on the internet in terms of traffic.

At the moment, we’ve moved up to #3,148. And rising.

[For the Google Analytics summary, click here]

Recommended For You

33 Responses to The Truth About TTAG: Q1 2013

  1. Congrats on the numbers. You guys should have advertisers knocking down TTAG’s doors as the #3148 most visited Internet site with a special focus on guns.

  2. Well, that’s neat. I heartily applaud your recommitment to gun stuff. I sent an email to RF a little while back that it was starting to seem like I was seeing the same political story written three different ways on three consecutive days, and that some of those stories seemed to do nothing but (willfully or not) encourage shallow, meaningless Facebook-style commenting. For a brief, scary period, this site started to feel like nothing but politics and cop-bashing, and that’s not why I started and continue to read it. If you lean harder on the guns, then maybe that’ll push the ratio back in the “fun” direction. Keep it up.

    • The politics is what brought me from an occasional reader to full-time status. Also keep in mind, some of the “cop bashing” is misplaced frustration at the system. We get very little positive reinforcement of LEO’s doing good things. Always the bad apples that get the press. It doesn’t help when the powers that be seem to be pushing an us vs. them agenda.

      • The focus on cops is solely because they’ve been chosen as the shock troops of disarmament. Nothing more, nothing less. If they follow the program, they deserve MORE criticism, not less. Hey, cops – YOU CAN’T CHANGE IT. WALK AWAY OR BE SWEPT AWAY.

    • Sorry to break the news, Matt, but in these times, guns and politics CANNOT be separated from one another.

      MORE POLITICS, not less!

      • If you want more politics, write something so RF doesn’t have to rehash the same story three different ways to fill space. Otherwise, give me a fvcking gun review, or a movie review, or the recipe to Ralph’s cornbread sage stuffing.

    • Some of the reasons I have been reducing the time and comments I make at TTAG are re-hashing of the same old seemingly recycled now boring political and social stories, too much state by state coverage (I don’t have time or inclination to read), too much emphasis on the gun tactical genre (I could care less), and sometimes too much overall sensationalism so it seems like TTAG is a cousin of the national enquirer.

  3. I’m new to this web site within the last four months. I found it doing research for a particular gun i was hoping to read about in the upcoming 2013 shot show. Now i am truly addicted to this site. The number one reason i keep coming back is the sheer number of articles you guys post each day. Keep up the good work.

  4. Keep up the great work Robert & staff, your kickin ass, the bradys are looking for a softer chair, Randy

    • It’s MY first visit every day because there’s an email posting or three at the top of my email list. I’m fine with that.

  5. Well done guys! As evidenced by the stats, you are the go-to destination on the intertubes for firearm-related content. I would also like to thank TTAG for allowing these posts to link over to my site. The TTAG community has helped spread the word.

    Final note: if anyone happens to run ad blocking software, please look to disable it on the sites you enjoy. It helps sites like this pay the bills.

    Illustrating Chicago’s Murders, Homicides, Violence and Idiocy at heyjackass.com

  6. I’m a fan of your site, but I hate how a lot of the news has been focused on the antigun efforts against us, but its stuff we need to know.

  7. Congratulations and all the best for the future! A terrific source of news and views at this critical time. Careful about going back to over-coverage of the latest gizmos though, if we don’t stop (or at least control in a less harmful direction) the waves of ill-conceived regulations coming along there won’t be any toys left to play with

  8. This is my browser home page for a reason. Good Content.

    Vuurwapen & TFB on my favorites list but this is always my first stop (followed by gunbot in my usually fruitless search for ammo)

  9. Congratulations on well earned success, and wishes for more. You’ve certainly won me over as a hardcore fan.

  10. TTAG has become one of my top three favorite/most often visited (many times a day actually) websites in these past couple of months.

    Congrats. But keep up your good work.

  11. congratulations all…though i’d stumbled onto your site once a couple of years ago and put in into bookmark suspended animation since, i’ve been a daily reader since mid-december, so i’m one of the reasons for the spike. keep up the good work 🙂

  12. You need an app. I read you guys every day. Several times a day if possible. Love the info and civil tone.

  13. TTAG being at the type of the pile is a testament to its quality and hard work of the staff. I may not agree 100% with every single thing that gets posted, but I appreciate the willingness of TTAG to go beyond just gun/gear reviews to examine the culture of firearms ownership and how we as gun owners can broaden our community. Cheers!

  14. My only beef is that TTAG downloads more cookies than all the other sites I look at by an order of magnitude. I have to, and do, delete all of them. Please. ENOUGH!!

  15. i wont say i read everything you guys put up, but i’ve been visiting daily since you could still buy xm855 by the ammo can and not the paycheck. you’ve got your fingers pretty well on the pulse and good gear reviews.. please keep it up and congrats on the metrics.

  16. I’m shocked and disappointed to learn that my gun review article on the MAS 49/56 did not break the top 20.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *