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Three months on – Inside Government’s traffic, demand and engagement in numbers

They can't tell the whole story but digital analytics are a useful and readily available source of information about how people are interacting with the GOV.UK platform and content.

Like other GOV.UK teams, Inside Government uses the insights from digital analytics to monitor performance. Using this insight we can see where we need to focus our efforts to ensure that everything is running smoothly.

The GOV.UK performance dashboard is a useful way to track traffic patterns. Following on from an earlier post in the weeks following Inside Government's launch on 15 November 2012, we wanted to share some more figures and pick out a few trends.

Cross site traffic
As of 30 January 2013, the Inside Government section of GOV.UK has grown from 5 government organisations at launch, to 21 in a three month period. Eight of these  are ministerial departments.

The site has had 3.2 million visits from 1.6 million unique visitors, which is about 4% of the overall traffic to GOV.UK. Inside Government users have viewed 7,738,445 pages, looked at approximately 2 pages per visit and spent an average of 2 minutes and 13 seconds on the site each visit.

Forty-five per cent of traffic to Inside Government comes via search, with 38% coming from referrals and the remaining 17% is direct. In terms of referrals from social networks, Facebook accounts for approximately 45% of traffic, as does Twitter.

Views on the departments
It has been interesting to see how the page views break down across the departments. Note: some of these organisations have joined Inside Government more recently than others:

  • AGO -  73,545 page views 
  • BIS - 1,150,573
  • DCLG - 2,102,537
  • DECC - 425,814
  • DFT - 1,819,176
  • FCO - 784,136
  • MOD - 1,685,224
  • Scotland Office - 5,281

To get this organisational breakdown, we use 'custom variables' which we'll be blogging about soon.

Much in demand
In terms of page popularity, the top 10 are all 'top level' pages:

  1. /government/publications - 582,518 page views
  2. /government/organisations/ministry-of-defence - 486,168
  3. /government/organisations/department-for-communities-and-local-government - 333,406
  4. /government/organisations/driving-standards-agency - 322,948
  5. /government/announcements - 258,688
  6. /government/organisations - 224,648
  7. /government/organisations/department-for-transport - 221,048
  8. /government - 177,290
  9. /government/policies - 163,787
  10. /government/organisations/department-for-business-innovation-skills - 158,730

With the Publications index page featuring so highly, we thought it would be interesting to identify the top 10 most visited publications, which are:

  1. /government/publications/hs2-revised-line-of-route-maps - 91,197 page views
  2. /government/publications/high-speed-rail-investing-in-britains-future-phase-two-the-route-to-leeds-manchester-and-beyond - 25,702
  3. /government/publications/national-planning-policy-framework--2 - 23,770
  4. /government/publications/50-ways-to-save-examples-of-sensible-savings-in-local-government - 19,790
  5. /government/publications/improving-the-energy-efficiency-of-our-buildings - 18,183
  6. /government/publications/defence-commercial-graduate-programme-brochure - 16,984
  7. /government/publications/traffic-signs-manual - 14,695
  8. /government/publications/foreign-embassies-in-the-uk - 14,643
  9. /government/publications/english-indices-of-deprivation-2010 - 13,288
  10. /government/publications/service-inquiry-report-into-the-accident-involving-red-arrows-hawk-t-mk1-xx179-on-20-august-2011 - 12,565

The list of publications shows how varied the content on Inside Government is, and it's also an excellent illustration of how wide our audience is.

While there are frequently visited and popular content types on Inside Government, the site also plays an important role when government makes, or is involved in, any topical or major announcements.

For example, on 28 January 2013 Inside Government had its busiest day yet. Over the course of one day the 'HS2 phase two initial preferred route plan and profile maps' received 483,511 page views. This was the second most viewed page on GOV.UK that day (Find a job with Universal Jobmatch was the most viewed page).

These are still early days; Inside Government isn't even 100 days old. We're encouraged by what we're seeing but we're not celebrating. We are watching the data and carefully considering what it means as we continue to focus on the exciting transition of the remaining 16 departments.

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