I have been working in the industry for over 5 years and I always find it interesting to study patterns in traffic for our own websites and our clients' .
As you may well know, we have had 2 terrible (or fantastic, depending on how you look at it) days of snow in London, and indeed the whole of the UK. Personally I barely managed to get back home last night and I am now working from home today.
We use Google Analytics to track website traffic, conversions, sales, email marketing and lots more, and more recently we have started using "Analytics Intelligence" that monitors your website's traffic and alerts you when you it "sees" significant changes. A drop in traffic could be one such example.
Google likes to say that "this groundbreaking anomaly detection technology is only available in Google Analytics"; I am not sure it is necessarily groundbreaking, but it is definitely useful. I suspect they use some very basic data mining technology to bring about the results.
As per this morning, we have started receiving alerts from several different sites, informing us traffic was down week on week. See below on our very own Secret Salons' stats:
Yes, that's almost an 8% overall decrease - quite significant if you think about that the we have seen a 10% traffic increase week on week. Considering this, an 8 point drop is effectively an 18 point drop! Another site of ours, Lawyers Review saw the same sort of results.
So why would this be? Well, digging deeper the trend is down to less people reaching our site via the search engines. It seems that people are searching less - perhaps travelling more with less time to browse the web. User focus may well be redirected, instead checking other websites like metoffice.gov.uk or the nationalrail.co.uk website to plan their journey back from/to work.
With the spread of smart phones, bad weather could be a good news for social media websites like Facebook and Twitter. While waiting for my training I tweeted 8 times and wrote a couple of direct messages on Facebook to friends and family - a lot more than I normally would.
There's no hard data at present from either Google or Facebook but having being in the industry for a while I suspect I might be right :)