Analytics from a simple website that went viral
Do you remember the ship that was stuck in the Suez Canal?
A guy created a website that went viral at https://istheshipstillstuck.com/ – it received about 50 million views in a 5-day period.
At the time I wasn’t super interested in the ship or how long it had been stuck but I was highly entertained at the number of memes created.
It wasn’t until I read an article in Morning Brew that I actually looked at the site. It was simple, to the point – nothing too fancy.
But then I see the site creator added Simple Analytics to the site – I guess as a way to get around the tracking consent in the EU. Either way, I’m a big fan of data, and having access to this was more entertaining to me than the site itself.
If you still haven’t gotten the memo – Mobile Is Important!
For people in the digital marketing space mobile-ready is old news. But for business owners and others that might not know – you need your digital assets mobile-ready. Meaning your stuff needs to look good on mobile as well as desktops and laptops.
Google Moved To Mobile Indexing
As of 2019, Google has moved to a mobile-only index – this means that they are scanning your sites as if they were on a mobile device. If your site or digital asset doesn’t fit well, look good, or can be easily navigated – they will move on to a better alternative.
The screen shot above shows that mobile is 79% of the sties traffic. The proof is in the pudding. And I see more and more mobile traffic everyday.
Social Spreads Fast
I found an article from the creator of the site that tells where he first shared the site – you can read more here – https://notfunatparties.substack.com/p/inside-a-viral-website.
The creator shared the site on Twitter – with a single tweet.
That’s it – it wasn’t shared anywhere else.
The power of Facebook
I find it – a tad – surprising that the largest referral is facebook. Even with the GOOG – facebook surpasses google and the original social share on twitter.
I’m not a fan of focusing much if not any of your efforts on facebook – but it should be part of your distribution strategy. Facebook has your audience on it. It’s worth take a bit of time to promote – but don’t spend too much time there.
To Social or Not
Social and how content gets distributed is constantly changing. We do know that if it’s entertaining, highly sharable, and attracts eyeballs – your organic ranking will increase.
At one time in the article, the creator commented that his website was showing in search results BEFORE news sites for ‘is the ship still stuck’. This is a great example, and lesson, for news sites and how they should consider integrating current events, or current trends into their strategy.
News sites make money off of subscribers and ads. More eyeballs, more money. Better article titles and content, better customer service and retention. If they would have paid better attention to what people were searching, they could have captured all this attention – or better yet – why not buy the site from the creator.
Analytics Has Your Insights
Analytics isn’t hard to install, but making sure to use it can really help your efforts. What if this site creator didn’t have a good mobile site – Goodbye to your traffic.
What if this creator has another chance to capitalize on another new trend and possibly monetize it? Better add it to facebook.
What insights did you gather?