Lab report

The Haden team, with the able assistance of our colleagues Jay and Shan, launched an educational website on April 18th. While we certainly intend that this website should be a useful resource for educators, it’s also serving as a lab for us.

After all, when we launch a new site for a client, our goal is to get them the absolute best results possible, so we jump right in and get to work on it. That means that it’s hard to tell which aspects of its success are due to which effort.

So we launched this site and did nothing for a week but add good content every day. It did turn up on the search engines results pages, but when a week later we submitted it to the major search engines, we had twice the traffic within days.  We placed a few excellent links, and traffic doubled again.

I set up a Facebook page and sent the blog posts on to that page. We got a little bit of traffic from Facebook, and a slight rise, but not as strong an increase.

The following week, I changed the featured content. I know from experience (I’ve done lots of educational blogging) that classroom themes are a major focus for teachers at this time of year, so I did some heavy emphasis on classroom themes.

Among the 216 keywords people have used to find this site since its launch, we now see a lot of variations on “classroom theme.” This shows that choosing to focus on a particular keyword gives good results with that keyword pretty quickly.

But our traffic actually fell slightly. Now, we’d seen steady growth from nothing to 127 visits a week, and then the week that we got hot and heavy with classroom themes, it fell to 112 visits.

What can we conclude from this?

School is out. Memorial Day took place.No matter how carefully we manipulate our variables, we can’t change the effect of events in the outside world.

You can’t forget that things are happening in the outside world, and you can’t change them; you can only take them into account before you make strategic decisions.






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