What Are You Reading?

Reading time: 3
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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
Read more about @TeacherToolkit

How do you know what your website readers are ‘actually’ reading?

Over the past six months, we have been making small changes behind the scenes to make Teacher Toolkit work better for our readers. This is a technical post for all the blogger-geeks out there – we know there are lots of you, so we hope you find the insight useful.


In January 2016, and for the following twelve months thereafter, we allowed all or our readers to see an insight into our blogging and Twitter performance in a series of posts called, What Works? These posts offered a useful summary for us, but also provided our readers with some insight so that they too could develop their social media work – after all, sharing is caring.

In July 2017, we made the switch to Google Suite and Google Analytics – thanks to Design for Digital. For the past 6 months, we have been provided with a monthly analysis of our website performance and we are sharing our November 2017 highlights with you here – compared with data from November 2016. We’ve also just moved to a virtual server, so you may not notice the small speed updates at the moment, but over time the website will show quicker download and performance speeds.

Total Users

In November 2016, TT website had 64,400 users. Last month, we had 86,400 which is a 34.2% increase. Note, users are not number of views.

Google Analytics

Peak Time

Readers visit the site mainly on Sundays and Mondays, with Monday 9PM the optimum time. If you want to know when best to engage with teachers on social media, this is the time – at the start of the working week and after putting the kids to bed/post dinner …

New vs. Returning

In November 2017, there were 71,800 new visitors with 48,800 of these users returning to the site to read more. When compared to November 2016, there were 48,600 new visitors with 45,300 returning to visit the website (12 months ago). So, the growth in readership is abundantly clear.

Google Analytics


Sessions are a period during which the user interacts with your site; browsing, e-commerce, contact forms are all actions taken during a session. Of the 86,400 users, together they visited the website over 120,000 times in November 2017. The average session time is 0:57 seconds – which is why we aim to publish blogs with a less than 3-minute reading time. Teachers are busy people!

The statistics can vary depending on the type of your website. If it’s really short (20 seconds or less), you should really focus on improving usability and content.

Google Analytics

Bounce Rate

We are really proud of our bounce rate – for over 2 years, it has consistently been 1.0% or less. A bounce rate shows the percentage of sessions during which visitors leave the site without interacting with it. An average bounce rate is 41-55%, so because TT’s is so low – this simply means a) readers come to TT because they know what they are looking for, and b) they often visit 2 or 3 other pages inside the website before leaving. This means an average amount of page views your users interact with during a session. The exact figure is 2.9 pages.

In November 2016, it was actually 0.8% which represents a 21% decrease with a total number of views at 343,600.

Google Analytics

Sources of Traffic and Sessions by Country

72% of our readers are based in the U.K. with USA consistently second with 10% of our readership. London is the most popular city for readers. Most readers come from mobile devices and as you would expect, from links shared via our @TeacherToolkit Twitter channel.

Google Analytics

If you think this has been helpful and would like us to report monthly on ‘what works?‘ using our latest data, just leave a comment below and we’ll gauge how popular the demand is.

5 thoughts on “What Are You Reading?

  1. Great article! I am surprised this bubbled up on my Flipboard.
    FYI: Your bounce rate is certainly not 1%. I looked and it seems you are “double-tagged” (one hard coded and one MonsterInsights tag) and receiving two page views for every 1.

    We would love to help if needed 🙂

    1. Digging deeper, that are two instances of GA on the website caused by two plugins adding the same analytics code which we have now removed – hope to have more accurate data in one month. So, it’s around 34% which is not too bad considering the conflict and change of server/codes.

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