Want to know how much interest there is in the leaving cert online? Well, i’m probably one of few people who can tell you. For those of you that don’t know, i own theleavingcert.com – the first website i ever created back in August 2006. The Leaving Cert is an official state exam, completing second level education for students. Same as A-levels in the UK… not sure what they’re called in America.
Anyway, theleavingcert.com ranks front page in google for lots of leaving cert related terms. In 2008, A massive 84% of traffic came from google searches.
In 2008, it recorded 14,101 unique visits and 38,814 pageviews. That’s actually only 9 months worth of data as i wasn’t tracking until Feb 18th 2008 and there was a problem with june and july stats.
Highest day for traffic was, wait for it, June 3rd (day before the leaving cert) – with 308 unique visits.
From my point of view, i’ll subtract 90 days from 365 and divide 14,101 and 38,814 by 275. It gives me some solid averages to look at.
- 51 unique visits per day
- 141 pageviews per day
So this is a site pulling in a solid 50 unique visitors a day, mostly from google with ZERO work from me. No promotion, no updates… nothing.The site has been sitting virtually untouched for almost a year.
It does beg the question what would happen if i did promote it or update it? It’s always been a tough one for me… it was up for sale and then taken off the market. I know it has potential but trying to come up with a way of fulfilling that potential is tricky.
Ideally, i don’t want to update the site, so that means making it more of a community based site. I know for a fact there are plenty of people willing to take it off my hands, but i’m reluctant to sell it 😉
A forum won’t work – it takes too much work and there’s already too much competition from established sites. Blog won’t work unless it’s updated. A social network is a no-go unless it’s supported by schools otherwise people wouldn’t register.
But a social networking / bookmarking / microblogging type site is what would work best, i feel. It has to be along those lines. Now that BeerChief is nearing completion, it’ll be a huge come down after January 27th in terms of work for myself. I’ll still be working hard on BeerChief but i’ll miss the development side of things.
The smartest thing to do would be to try and keep my work rate up and put in place plans to develop something useful for theleavingcert.com – something that would finally cement it’s place as top dog in search engines and the first site people come to when looking for leaving cert related information. The site already outranks wikipedia & irish government websites for some key terms and i just know i could take it even further and dominate ALL leaving cert related terms if i had the plans in place.
Removing or changing the layout and structure of the existing site will hurt me in google so it’s gonna be tricky trying to come up with a plan to;
- protect my google traffic and high placements in search results
- improve the all round quality of the site for users
- put in place a self-run community which offloads the workload from my shoulders
The most logical thing to do would be to keep the blog as it is to protect existing rankings. It would need to be redesigned to incorporate the new social elements and those social elements would need to be placed on subdomains. So we’d end up with newsites.theleavingcert.com.
It’s definitely food for thought and something to keep me occupied after BeerChief.