https://insidegovuk.blog.gov.uk/2013/07/17/coups-and-cups-how-external-events-affect-traffic-to-gov-uk/

Coups and cups: how external events affect traffic to GOV.UK

So, how many people would rather watch Wimbledon than visit a government website?

Over the past few weeks we've been trying to find out the answer to this - and similar questions - as we've looked at how external events affect traffic to GOV.UK.

Usually, aggregate traffic to GOV.UK is fairly predictable, with Monday the busiest day, and Saturday the quietest:

Graph showing overall GOV.UK visits
Overall GOV.UK visits

But on 8 July, we spotted this trend on GDS’s Performance Platform GOV.UK dashboard:

Graph showing GOV.UK's web traffic 7 July 2013
GOV.UK's web traffic 7 July 2013

It didn’t take much insight to correlate this drop with the beach and barbecue weather on Sunday, 7 July. And, of course, in the afternoon there was something rather rivetting on the TV as people tuned into the Wimbledon men’s final.

At update for last Sunday (14th) shows traffic was still below average, but without the diversion of Wimbledon:

Graph showing GOV.UK web traffic 14 July
GOV.UK web traffic 14 July

On a more serious note, GOV.UK is a vital source of accurate info in the event of emergencies. Following the deposing of the Egyptian government, travellers were not surprisingly concerned about visiting the country.

GOV.UK's travel advice to Egypt was very findable in Google:

Google search results for Egypt
Google search results for Egypt

and there has been a lot more traffic to the advice, with a peak on 3 July:

Pageviews of GOV.UK's Egypt travel advice and search keyword variations
Pageviews of GOV.UK's Egypt travel advice and search keyword variations

So what's the take-away for those of us working on GOV.UK? I think it's about knowing (y)our business, understanding the context  (both policy outcomes and events) and planning an investigative approach. I had a Twitter conversation with someone recently and I loved his reply:

peter_oneill's avatar
Peter O'Neill @peter_oneill
@peterbjordan I usually say that knowing your business questions gives you a map to your data/reports