Every quarter we like to give readers an idea of how TTAG is doing in terms of readership and pageviews by throwing the books wide open and showing you the raw stats for the site. It’s probably not very interesting to most of you, but advertisers are naturally interested and that in turn keeps the doors open. If we had doors, that is. Most websites don’t share this kind of data, choosing instead to keep it confidential. We believe in openness and transparency, and in that spirit present the following accounting of TTAG’s performance . . .
The first graph up top is the metric most advertisers care about: raw pageviews. More pageviews means more impressions for their ads and so forth. Over the last year TTAG has seen an uncharacteristically high rate of increase in that metric, and in the last couple months things seem to have calmed down a little bit, which is fairly standard for this time of year. We’re still pulling twice as many pageviews as we were this time last year, but month-to-month things are a little more calm. Let me illustrate with another graph.
I whipped this one up when RF was concerned that our numbers might be dropping a little bit. And they are — the summer slump is very real, as more people go outside and actually shoot things rather than reading about it on the intertubes. But while last year was a more precipitous drop in traffic about this time, it looks like we’re holding relatively steady this time around.
Looking at the delta pageviews chart that’s even more obvious.
We aren’t seeing the same kind of wild traffic swings that we’ve seen in the past, which is a good thing. And in general, traffic seems to still be trending up. It’s just a more gradual ramp instead of the massive Feinstein-induced spikes of earlier this year.
One interesting point is that while the pageviews have stayed relatively steady, the number of readers seems to be increasing. Well, increasing as best we can figure.
The “unique visitors” metric is a tricky one, since counting absolute unique visitors is difficult in a world where people have multiple devices and entire city blocks share one public IP address. That’s why I prefer the pageviews metric, since it’s a concrete number instead of an interpreted one. Nevertheless, as far as we can tell we had more readers than ever this month, clocking in just north of 2.25 million.
My favorite metric, though, is the average time on site. In the second quarter of 2014 TTAG’s average time on site was 6:58. That’s up nearly a full minute from last quarter, and means readers are actually, you know, reading our articles. Sure, some people skim the content and only look at the pictures, but most visitors take the time to read our reviews and opinions. That’s pretty cool to me.
And then there’s the derived metric we can extrapolate from that figure: lost productivity. It’s pretty simple: if we know how much time people spend on the site and how many of them were here, we can use the average hourly wage (for May 2014, since June isn’t available yet) to figure out how much money we cost the economy in lost productivity when all of you could have been working. The tally: for Q2 of 2014, that figure is $684,964,572.05. In other words, this one website cost the world economy over $684 MILLION DOLLARS in lost productivity. And that was only this quarter. That’s an accomplishment we can really be proud of.
So is all this traffic because gun sites are doing well, or just because we’re the best? Well, here are a few selected competing websites and their global rankings, as reported by Alexa.com:
|Website||Alexa Ranking (US)
|The Truth About Guns||4,592|
|The Survivalist Blog||7,141|
|The Firearm Blog||9,951|
|Guns & Ammo||14,331|
|Moms Demand Action||35,537|
|The Gun Wire||40,351|
|Gun Nuts Media||41,987|
|Walls of the City||87,185|
|Sipsey Street Irregulars||128,937|
|Mayors Against Illegal Guns||7002457|
(Numbers as of 7/1/2014 11:00 PM Central)
As always, we’re #1 when it comes to firearms-related blogs. I’ve given away our secret to success time and again. Every quarter, in fact. The reason we are constantly growing in terms of traffic is our massive 300+ article catalog of gun reviews, and that’s supported by the list of the top 25 articles by pageviews this quarter.
- P320 Entry: “I’ll Only Be Out For A Few Minutes”
- BREAKING: Dianne Feinstein Introduces Federal Bill to Confiscate Guns
- The Coming Crash in Ammunition Prices
- Gun Review: GLOCK 42
- Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield
- AR-15 Rifle Choices
- BREAKING: Concealed Carry Holder Stopped Las Vegas Shooters from Continuing Killing Spree
- The ATF May Have Accidentally Thrown Open the Machine Gun Registry
- BREAKING: ATF Confirms Firing an AR-15 Pistol From the Shoulder Using SIG’s Brace is A-OK
- Oops: Red Jacket Firearms Loses Their FFL
- Gun Review: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport
- Obama Praises Australian Gun Confiscation, Vows to Act Without Congress
- Cops, MRAPs and the Heartbreak of Police Operator Syndrome
- BREAKING: Seven Dead in Santa Barbara Drive-By Spree Killing
- Gun Review: Ruger LC9
- Gun Review: Glock 19 Gen4 9X19mm
- Gun Review: GLOCK 26 Gen 4
- Gun Review: Remington R51
- Gun Review: FN Five-SeveN
- Gun Review: SIG SAUER SP2022
- Gun Review: Beretta Nano
- Gun Review: Springfield Armory XD-S .45 ACP
- Gun Review: Hi-Point C9 9mm Pistol
- G2 Research’s RIP Ammo – Ballistic Testing, Phase One
- Gun Review: SIG SAUER P226
While the tip-top of the chart is definitely dominated by “breaking news” type stories, the fact that half of the articles on the top 25 list are gun reviews should tell you something about how popular our reviews really are. Looking at the full list, it’s clear that they are the true driver of traffic for the site, and in fact only about 10% to 20% of our traffic for a given day is from articles published in the last 24 hours. If we were to close down shop tomorrow and never publish another article, we’d still beat every other gun blog out there for some time to come.
I initially disagreed with Dan on the winner of the P230 contest, by the way. I thought that our #1 article for the quarter — Tommy Y.’s story of being attacked in his car which got 200,000+ pageviews — should win the gun. Dan didn’t see things my way, and given the quality of the article he picked, I can’t fault him for his choice.
That about wraps things up for this quarter. I’ll have the results of the TTAG reader survey next week, so stay tuned!