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    Understanding Web Traffic


    International Trade Forum - Issue 3/2007, © International Trade Centre

    A behind-the-scenes look at Trade Forum's online audience may spark ideas to boost traffic on your own sites. It can also help you better select content by understanding where your own web audiences may match with those of Trade Forum.

    Web traffic grew dramatically in the early years, reaching around 40,000 visitors a month by 2003-2004. Even in the last two years, traffic has continued to grow, averaging 130,000 visitors a month. The Internet helps us get relevant information to more readers who contribute to building export success, since Trade Forum magazine is part of ITC's technical cooperation programme. While some online readers also read our print version, a new, younger and bigger audience is using the online version - with a relatively high percentage from developing countries. The growth in traffic hasn't come about by accident. From its launch, we have used up-to-date technology to make sure the site ranks highly on major search engines. We changed the way we provide online information, too. We send out smaller groups of articles more frequently, to make it easier to read. While print versions are quarterly, online editions appear every four to six weeks. As an added benefit to readers, we research and promote useful sites on the same topic. User feedback has helped us revamp our site structure, so that readers can search by trade topics, country or product/service sector. Linking to big sites helps most to boost traffic. Partnerships inside and outside ITC make a difference in getting material to the right people. For instance, the World Trade Organization consistently includes relevant material from Trade Forum in their web postings for their own readers. Visit numbers passed the 200,000 mark in October 2005, when the issue on service exports attracted many high-profile links, including on the WTO site. Much of the year-on-year growth has come from developing countries and economies in transition, which account for almost half of Trade Forum's audience online.   
    Steady rise in visitors
    Trade Forum's online audience for the month of June shows consistent   year-on-year growth between 2001 and 2007. Visitor traffic in 2006 was just under1.3 million for the full year.

    Survey highlights

    Three hundred readers, from a range of ages, occupations and countries, volunteered their opinions between September and December 2005, in a survey on Trade Forum online.
    • 37% are visitors from business; 29% from academia; 13% in government; 10% from international organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
    • 59% are under 35.
    • 37% use it for work; 37% for their studies.
    • Most prefer to look for articles by theme.
    • Most (77%) found it easy or very easy to navigate.
    • 94% found the information useful; 66% found it excellent or very useful.
    Read more about the Trade Forum online survey results atwww.tradeforum.org/survey

    www.tradeforum.org at a glance

    • Site launched: December 2000.
    • Language versions: English, French, Spanish.
    • Number of articles: 1,100 in each language.
    • Readership: 130,000 visits / month.
    • Visitors from developing countries and economies in transition: 62,000 / month.
    • E-mail alerts sent to registered users in each language: 8-12 / year.
    • E-mail alert recipients: 12,100.
    • RSS feed subscribers: 150.
    • External links pointing to the site: 325.
    • Online requests to print subscriptions: 750-1,000 / year.