LAT Web Traffic Breaks 100 Million

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Looks like February brought some extra-sweet Valentines for latimes.com.

Executive Editor Meredith Artley sent around a Valentine of her own, congratulating everyone for a job well-done. February drew more than 100 million page views (we remember when the LAT gave its employees mugs for reaching a paper circulation of 1 million — ah, the olden days).

Congratulations, latimes.com!

We did it!

Latimes.com drew 101,364,530 page views in February. That’s 34% over this time last year.

This is cause for woo-hoos for a few reasons — we previously set a goal to break 100 million by June. It’s nice to be ahead of schedule.

This is short of the monthly all-time record of 103 million, set during the October fires, but the business intelligence team points out that the daily average in February is higher than it was in October, higher than it has ever been. February was just a shorter month.

Probably the biggest reason to be proud of this month’s numbers is that traffic is up across the board due to great efforts by the Web and print teams (a distinction that gets blurrier every day), and not just because of one news event or a few well-placed links from big traffic-driving sites like Drudge. This is broad, organic growth — the best kind.

Traffic was good for both Super Tuesday (4.3 million) and the day after the Oscars (5.7). For the Oscars coverage, the Entertainment, Calendar and Envelope teams worked with the video and photo folks to create an up-to-date, addictive multimedia package. On Super Tuesday, readers saw a dynamic homepage, great interactive graphics and live blogging from the ever-climbing Top of the Ticket. Both events had a lot of staff updates and breaking news email alerts that beat the competition just about every single time.

The new local blog, L.A. Now, powered by the metro staff, launched Feb. 13. It’s an addictive read, with ace bloggers Veronique de Turenne and Jesus Sanchez posting breaking news, fresh staff photography, finding fun things around the Web and posting items from Steve Lopez that get readers into lively debates.

Weekend traffic reached new heights in February. The fabulous tech team launched a new site search with Google at the start of the month — it’s an improvement, to put it lightly, over what we had before and the tech folks are continuing to make it better. A new video section was launched last week. We grew the A-Z page offering in entertainment and launched A-Z pages in politics. Speaking of, Top of the Ticket is one of the only newspaper blogs in the Technorati top 1000 and it continues to climb that list and break all-time records for blogs on latimes.com.

What’s next? More redesigned sections, new blogs, unique video, features, functionally that resonates with readers, better search engine optimization…before you know it we will be pushing 200 million. Here are the next steps:

* Who but LAT should dominate when it comes to all things auto? We’ll start taking the hill with the launch of pages for every make this year, and soon after, every model. Visitors to these pages will find slide shows, LAT video, user-generated photos, the best reviews and articles from us and other places on the Web. It’s a deep-dive great resource. And it’s just the start of improvements coming to our auto section.
* While L.A. Now continues to climb the charts, the local section is being redesigned to make it easier to read and navigate. Readers will find blog items next to articles, video next to reader comments, etc. Picture the look of the new entertainment section and you’ll get the idea.
* New blogs are coming including a personal finance blog with Tom Petruno, a health blog from our health team, a local pet/animal blog Unleashed from our metro staff, and a new light-hearted blog called Funny Pages 2.0.
* Readers will see more newsletter options this month, including Sports, Health, Your Money and Entertainment News.

On to the lists…

Blogs
Six month traffic trends:
February: 5,764,230 page views
January: 4,468,208 PVs
December: 3,475,581 PVs
November: 2,992,827 PVs
October: 3,008,179 PVs
September: 2,331,484 PVs

Most-viewed blogs for February:
1. Top of the Ticket – 1,648,673 PVs
2. Lakers – 811,491 PVs
3. L.A. Land – 401,083 PVs
4. Show Tracker
5. Homicide Report
6. Daily Travel & Deal Blog
7. Envelope: Gold Derby
8. L.A. Now
9. Envelope: Dish Rag
10. All The Rage

Top Articles

1. Oxnard student declared brain dead — Catherine Saillant and Gregory W. Griggs
2. Science of the orgasm — Regina Nuzzo
3. Kobe has more than chants to be MVP — Bill Plaschke
4. Obama deflects Clinton’s jabs — Peter Wallsten
5. Barack Obama for Democratic nominee — Editorial endorsement
6. More teenagers ignoring CDs, report says — Michelle Quinn and Andrea Chang
7. Gang mayhem cripples big area — Richard Winton, Susannah Rosenblatt and Andrew Blankstein
8. Obama calls for a cool-down — Johanna Neuman and Mark Z. Barabak
9. ‘Wrong,’ Clinton says of Obama’s campaign mailings — Michael Finnegan and Maria L. LaGanga
10. Bynum’s knee holds the key — Kurt Streeter

Most Viewed Slide Shows

1. Celebrity shots
2. Oxnard school shooting
3. Five dead in Valley standoff
4. Shooting at Northern Illinois University
5. The Secrets of Skywalker Ranch
6. Real lessons from fake presidents
7. Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show
8. Scarlett versus Natalie
9. Foreclosed: Listings From Pasadena to the Hollywood Hills
10. Shaq through the years

Top Videos

1. Oxnard student declared brain dead — AP
2. L.A. police get shot at by gang members — KTLA
3. Obama reflects on California debate — CNN
4. Obama speaks with doctors in Ohio — AP
5. SWAT officer killed in SoCal shootout — KTLA
6. Chino slaughterhouse under investigation — AP
7. Local update: Spears placed under conservator – KTLA
8. Faster than a speeding Concorde — Reuters
9. Radio host calls Obama a ‘hack’ — CNN
10. NIU Eyewitness: ‘I saw him shoot my teacher’ — WGN

The “Big Bucket” — top 20 pages viewed site-wide

1. Homepage
2. games.latimes.com
3. Sports – Front
4. Top of the Ticket
5. Site Registration
6. CareerBuilder – LA Times
7. Lakers Front
8. California/Local Front
9. Lakers Blog
10. Search
11. Homescape – LA Times
12. Cars.com – LA Times
13. YourScene – Photo Popup
14. ProQuest Archiver – LA Times
15. Oxnard student declared brain dead — Catherine Saillant and Gregory W. Griggs
16. L.A. Land
17. Business Front
18. Opinion Front
19. Entertainment Front
20. Celebrity Shots Photo Gallery

Thanks for reading, and as always, tag me or your nearest Web-minded person with any questions or ideas that will keep making latimes.com better for our growing readership.

Meredith Artley
Executive Editor, LATimes.com