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Summer Traffic Patterns for State Capital Focused Web Sites

New associations and lobbying firms that work in state capitals should not automatically be too concerned in a noticeable drop in traffic from the winter and spring months to the summer months, particularly if the state legislature is out of session during that time. After a few years of experience you’ll know the traffic tendencies of your audience, but if this is your first year with a site, everything’s new and nothing is a pattern.

We’ve monitored traffic for such organizations for years, and a twenty to thirty percent (or more) drop in traffic is not out of the question for such sites. Supply AND demand is less.

Demand in this case means the number of interested parties wanting to check out the web site. For many associations and lobbying firms, one of the most important reasons people visit the site is to monitor what is happening at the state legislature from their perspective. If nothing’s happening in the state legislature, there’s considerably less interest. In addition, those interested are usually involved in some way in the legislative process. Once the legislature either recesses or adjourns, the process comes to a standstill, which allows them a window to vacation, or at least take an afternoon off to go golfing. Again, less demand.

Supply is what you’re providing. Updates for such sites often slow down during the summer as well – less activity to report on, internal vacation schedules, etc. Less new content means less reason to visit the site, and the internet public knows that. It shows up on log analysis.

Some associations have events, particularly annual conferences, during the summer which generate interest in the organization and traffic to the site, but often this only masks the seasonal drop off with an annual increase.

Bottom line: if you’re a new statewide association, or a new state lobbying firm, and your traffic has dropped in July, consider the Legislature’s schedule. If there are less people in the halls of the Capitol, it’s likely to be a trend you’ll see on your web site as well.

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Kessler Freedman, Inc.