Today i checked in on theleavingcert.com’s January stats and to my surprise it’s been our 2nd best month on record. It seems like site just keeps growing and growing and i still feel i can do a lot more with it, i just can’t quite give it the time it needs at the minute…
Long term trend
Looking back at the stats, we had our first ‘bumper’ month in June 2009 racking up almost 9,000 visits which at the time was a record. Fast forward a year and June 2010 saw the site attract over 43,000 visits, almost a 5 fold increase in visits in 12 months.
The reason why June is so popular of course is because that’s when students sit their ‘leaving cert’ exams (for those that don’t know). For some reason traffic has shot up this month and i suspect that’s because of ‘mock’ exams or ‘pre’ exams… it’s natural for students to hit the panic button and cram at the last minute.
However traffic has been rising steadily so this spike may in fact become the norm. Even on Christmas Day, we had 146 visits to the site which is mind boggling. 25% of those guys were searching for ‘leaving cert timetable’ or something to that effect. It shows you just how seriously some students take these exams or perhaps just how much pressure they’re under. Christmas Day and they’re concerned about leaving cert exams which are 6 months away? There’s something not quite right there. It was a points race in my day and i’d imagine it’s much worse now.
A good place to be
Whether education likes it or not, it’s gonna meet technology’s fist and that will be the end of paper & ink teaching. All schools will need websites, they’ll all need accounts for students, they’ll need a moodle-like set up. It’s inevitable.
When that will happen though is another question. The money isn’t there, but in order to compete with other countries or hang on to this ‘smart economy’ label, education has to move online.
So technology is a safe place to be. There’ll probably be new technology subjects which will need teachers, there’ll be a need for IT guys in schools etc… i feel all of that is almost certainly inevitable but it won’t happen overnight which is the frustrating thing.
Anyway, i’m gonna predict leaving cert students will spend more time online studying or doing homework and they’ll be searching for more and more material year after year until numbers sitting the leaving cert reduce significantly.
So if we can manage to keep slipping search engines brown envelopes they should keep us at the top for search results and thus traffic can only grow and grow. In January a massive 86% of our traffic came from search engines. Is it luck, is it magic, is it brown envelopes? I can’t answer that because i don’t know. All i know is that whatever we’ve done so far has worked in terms of SEO, so we gotta just keep doing what we’re doing.