Argyll News: continues to improve its reach

Our periodic analysis of our stats shows that has increased its reach year-on-year by 30.9% or 483K to 633K visits per annum.

We use the industry standard analytics service from Google, and we re delighted to report our continuing traffic growth:


The slight decline in pages per visit and a natural decline in attracting new visitors are the only slight negative in these measures.

The month-by-month graph gives a clearer indication of the difference between this and last year:


We ve also experienced a significant rise in mobile traffic:


2. Yes in this table shows an extraordinary rise of 391.05%, but we would expect that, given the rise of android and ios devices over the last few years. The apparent delay compared to the worldwide marketplace might be that these devices have taken some time to penetrate Argyll and Bute and that might be the function of slow broadband connectivity.

Also of interest is the content which has attracted most traffic.

Of course the main page gets a huge proportion of the traffic, but it is interesting to note the three top news stories:


Now, none of these stats mean much without a direct comparison with other news websites in Argyll and Bute. Obviously we can t access other sites Analytics, nor do the like-for-like comparisons on that service mean much because they compare our traffic with other regional news services (and we do very well on that score incidentally). We re interested here in Argyll.

So we have used Amazon s publically available stats service There is a health warning here, in that the service depends on public-spirited users installing a plugin and therefore the only the stats for the top 1 million sites represent rigourous accuracy. In the broadest sense however, we believe provides a reasonable useful comparison it is really the only game in town anyway so we don t have much choice.

Alexa takes its stats from the last three months of operations, so the first thing we did was establish a baseline with our stats showing a total audience of 88,494 people visiting us.


We then entered all the relevant urls into the service (and we checked these against the google to ensure we had the right ones).

The results speak for themselves:

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The important figure here is Reach (%) which gives us the proportion each site attracts of the global internet audience which is why the percentages are so small. We then extrapolated our traffic to give us total audience for each of our competitors ( Total 3 months ), which then allowed us to get daily traffic averages ( per diem ), and an overall percentage ( % ).

When interpreting these figures, the first thing to point out is of course that has the advantage of attracting traffic from all over Argyll, and this might therefore give some or all of the variation we see here. Also, all the other websites, excepting, have a weekly print version which represents a significant proportion of their audience.

Ourselves and have the advantage of timeliness, and are not held back by the primacy of print in publishing our stories.

Significantly however, only the Oban Times comes close to our 88.5K total for the three months, and the rest struggle to get close to the 50% mark. In fact the OT beat us in the GB ranking, but then that s distinguishing visitors on the grounds of IP addresses which is not necessarily accurate (only 10% of our visitors are from overseas).

The Helensburgh Advertiser with its large potential audience locally is the best of the rest. manages 9% of our traffic and this could well be because it has a much smaller potential audience, it could also have something to do with the membership system it operates which will be a significant drag on pageviews and repeat visits.

Whether it has anything to do with the merits of its journalistic approach over ours is a moot point, but I am guessing they would know more about that sort of thing than we do.

In my view these stats tell us several things:

  • The first is that is still the most read online news source in Argyll and Bute, and that this primacy is only set to increase given the 30% rise year-on-year and our ability to remain at the top of the search engine rankings for Argyll.
  • The second is that we remain popular not only because we break stories of national interest regularly from all over Argyll (Schools Dinners, Whales), but that we maintain a level of local interest which our visitors return to repeatedly (A83, A&B Council).
  • The third is that as a place to advertise online to all of Argyll we are peerless.
  • The fourth is that despite claims by local politicians to the contrary we are demonstrably increasingly well-read and relevant.

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