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The Southwest Times: Growing through technology

We were interested in something our Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce brought up, so we did a little research of our own just to see how our internet numbers looked.
 
In the 30-day period from March 28 – April 26, The Southwest Times has noticed an overall increase in our web traffic and social media interactions. Thanks to Google Analytics, we can tell you that not only does getting information from your local newspaper matter, apparently, it matters quite a bit.
 
In this 30-day period, we have seen a 15% increase in the number of visitors to our website, recording 135,985 visitors at that time. We have also seen an 8% increase in individual page views, which was recorded at 445,992.
 
The biggest day of this time frame was April 3 when Google recorded 39,814 page views. We were curious as to what was so interesting that day, so we looked it up.
 
That day we reported the first case of COVID-19 in Pulaski County, the story of the Governor announcing emergency funding to shelter Virginia’s homeless population and a new case of COVID-19 in the Virginia Department of Corrections. We also featured a story on a local woman who was seeking a living donor for a kidney transplant.
 
The report also recorded that 68% of those viewing our website were returning visitors and 32% were new visitors. Readers were checking in on a variety of devices as well. Mobile devices led the way with 81% of the viewers. Desktop computers were used by 14% of the viewers and 5% used a tablet.
 
Another part of our newspaper that has gotten attention is the list of local businesses that are still up and running through all of this. We’ve offered those listings for free as a way of helping our local small businesses get the word out.
 
With all the information in front of us, we found it interesting that we were not only getting visitors from Pulaski County, but we also were getting views from other countries. There were 482 views from Canada and 185 views from the United Kingdom. We recorded 149 views from Norway and 94 from Australia. Other countries that were recorded reading our site included India, Germany, Sweden and France, just to round out the top 10.
 
When Pulaski County needs to know what’s going on, they still look to their local newspaper to find out the story. We’re proud to have served Pulaski County since 1906. We’re proud of those 114 years and we’re looking forward to the next 114!
 
Thanks to the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce for reminding us of the importance of technology.

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