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DePauw.edu Logs Record 7.24 Million April Hits

DePauw.edu Logs Record 7.24 Million April Hits

May 9, 2002

May 9, 2002, Greencastle, Ind. - April, 2002 was a record month for traffic on the DePauw University Web site. Web director Scott Cooper says the site received 7,244,285 successful "hits" last month, the most ever. That total almost doubles the 3.8 million "hits" recorded in April, 2001, and is a more than 500% increase over the April 2000 level of 1.3 million.attracted 334,430 visitors (versus 190,135 a year ago) and 75,914 unique visitors (compared to 31,227 in April 2001). The 7.24 million April "hit" total represents an increase of more than two million from March 2002's 5,238,479 hits and 279,448 visitors.

Clearly, the April 7 fire at Rector Hall was a major driver of traffic to the site. (Video Link [DOWNLOAD VIDEO: "Busy Monday-" 275KB] "We had almost twice the number of visitors and twice the number of hits on Monday, the day after the fire, as on a normal Monday," Cooper says. Indeed, the site averaged 241,476 hits a day for April. But on the 7th, 8th and 9th, it logged 380,896; 560,549 and 443,472 hits. For the month, the site averaged 11,147 visits per day but spiked to 19,724 Monday, April 8.

"In 2002, the Web represents the best way to get information to a broad audience quickly," says director of media relations Ken Owen, who creates and manages the news content of DePauw.edu. "We were able to get text, photos, audio and video on the site shortly after the fire began and continued to update it throughout the day. The notes we've received from parents and relatives of students, and from alumni, media organizations and others suggest getting that information in a timely matter was very important to a lot of people."

Cooper adds, Video Link [DOWNLOAD VIDEO: "Critical Immediacy" 791KB] Audio Link[DOWNLOAD AUDIO: "Critical Immediacy" 382KB] "The immediacy of it is what was critical. I heard about the fire on the local news from home on television. By the time I got to the Web site to see what was going on, there was already a story and video clips there, President [Robert G.] Bottoms was already there with his statement, and I'm sure that was even more reassuring to people off campus."

The average visitor to DePauw.edu last month spent 13 minutes and twenty-nine seconds on the site, up from 12:30 in April 2001, and 10:50 twenty-four months prior. At least 5.4% of the visitors were viewing the DePauw site from international locales. More than sixteen thousand (16,077) unique visitors stopped at the site more than once last month, a statistic that Cooper calls "remarkable. It's proof that a number of people made our site a daily stop as they browsed the Web." (BONUS CLIP: Cooper on why it now takes fewer "hits" to find what you want at DePauw.edu Audio Link[DOWNLOAD AUDIO: "Easier Navigation" 396KB])

April's record statistics eclipse November, 2001, when DePauw's web site received 6,336,224 successful "hits" and 273,404 visitors. Not coincidentally, that month also featured a major event, the Monon Bell football game (read more here), which until April 7 was the all-time most-viewed page on DePauw.edu.

"We had a lot of Wabash fans and college football enthusiasts coming to see the video highlights," Owen says. "Still, in two days, the Rector coverage had tripled [in terms of "hits"] what the Monon story had taken five months to amass. News is clearly driving visitors to our site. It's also evident that the people who stop in tend to return, to learn more about DePauw's great faculty, students, alumni and academic programs. We have a lot of great stories to tell."