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Grumpy Gay Critic Q4 2015 Report

grumpy gay critic

An analysis of statistics for the fourth quarter of 2015 for Grumpy Gay Critic, between 1 October – 31 December 2015.

As mentioned in The Future of Grumpy Gay Critic, reports on how the site is performing is something I want to do to be transparent about the publication’s growth, as well as seeing for myself something about how well I’m doing. So, here goes!


Whilst no reports have been done before this, the 2015 Q4 report will form a baseline for future reports. However, even as it stands, Grumpy Gay Critic seems to be in solid stead with around 4,000 unique visitors per month with a page retention of 1.7, calculating at around 6,800 page views per month.

Despite the traffic longevity of news articles compared to reviews, reviews are still forming the majority of traffic to the site. Campaigns such as Grumpy Gay Critic Christmas Show Advent Calendar certainly has boosted numbers, especially with a dedicated effort to contact as many a show’s social media outlets in the campaign as possible (i.e. emailing PRs and theatres to let them know that their show is being included so they may include the article in their own social media campaigns). However, viewing figures are best when shows themselves re-promote a review on their own social networking outlets.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is currently good, forming the majority of directed for Grumpy Gay Critic. However, some of this is down to a serendipity of people searching for pornography, especially when shows like Fucking Men being included as a key word and the publication having the word “gay” in its name. People looking for more explicit content therefore stumble across Grumpy Gay Critic, much to their disappointment. Working more closely with dedicated plug-ins such as Yoast and OnPage, SEO is set to become more solid in 2016 with several tweaks and optimisations already being made (fixing “No Follow” pathways and submitting site maps to search engines). However, whilst this is all well and good, social media strategies need to be prioritised in order to bring more relevant traffic to the site.

Providing that from January 2016 onwards, where I will be limiting myself to two reviews a week, frequent publication of non-review articles will be important in order to stop visitor numbers from dropping. Taking on an additional writer to help cover more reviews is also being considered.


Total Published: 39
Reviews: 26
Non-Review (including news, interview, and others): 10
Fresh Off The Stalls: 3


grumpy gay critic

Visitors and views for Q4. Generated using Word Press Statistics.

Total Unique Visitors (raw)

I am currently using WP-Statistics as a way of tracking views and visitors. Presented below are the raw figures for the 2015 Q4 period for Grumpy Gay Critic. Per day calculations are based on there being 91 days in the 2015 Q4 period (1 October – 31 December 2015). A unique visitor is someone from an unique IP address that has visited in a 24 hour period. If that person has visited Grumpy Gay Critic three times, each on separate days in 2015 Q4, it’s counted as 3 unique visitors.

Total Unique Visitors: 13,812
Average Unique Visitors per Month: 4,604
Average Unique Visitors per Day: 151

Grumpy gay critic

Unique visitors for Q4. Generated using WP-Statistics.

Total Unique Visitors (adjusted)

Several spikes appear in the graph, suggesting that spam bots might be causing a false statistics. Therefore, where significant spikes have occurred, for that day the average has been taken between the day before and after. e.g. On 9 December there were 140 unique visitors, and on 11 December there were 133 unique visitors. Therefore, the adjusted visitor count for 10 December is 136.

Total Unique Visitors: 12,049
Average Unique Visitors per Month: 4,016
Average Unique Visitors per Day: 132

Overall, the graph shows a fairly unchanged flow of visitors in Q4, with the number of visitors peaking in November. It’s a shame that, despite the Grumpy Gay Critic’s Christmas Show Advent Calendar feature and campaign, and the volume of reviews over December didn’t reach these levels. This is down to some particular articles that drew a lot of views in November, namely The State vs John Hayes, Lovesong of the Electric Bearand Boat reviews: all of which saw strong re-promotion of the reviews via the shows’ own promotional campaigns.

Viewer Retention

Dividing the number of views by the number of visitors gives an average number of pages a visitor views in a 24 hour period. Again, spikes are significant, more so than with visitors, which is highly likely down to spam bots. Therefore, to give the truest possible ratio, the viewer retention rate for Grumpy Gay Critic has been calculated by taking the number of views and visitors in the 2015 Q4 period that has the smallest difference. This day is 7 October where the number of unique visitors was 74 and the number of views was 132.

The average visitor retention for this day is 1.7. This suggests that the majority of visitors to the site look at 1-2 pages on the site, meaning they’re linking through to related content or at least taking a gander at the home page.

Page Views (raw)

Total Page Views: 39,841
Page Views per Month: 13,280
Page Views per day: 437

Page Views (adjusted)

Assuming that each of the adjusted unique visitors viewed 1.7 the pages during the 2015 Q4 period, adjusted page views are as follows:

Total Page Views: 20,483
Page Views per Month: 6,827
Page Views per Day: 224


Taking the top 10 referring sites for the period, search engines form the majority of Grumpy Gay Critic’s traffic for the 2015 Q4 period. Buffer is a social media posting app which develops its own shortlinks in order to provide its own cross-platform analytics for posts.

grumpy gay criticBreakdown of Top 10 Referees by Platform

Google (including, .com,,,, 2,223 (75.8%)
Facebook (including, .com): 290 (9.9%)
Twitter: 285 (9.7%)
Buffer: 133 (4.6%)

grumpy gay criticBreakdown of Top 10 Referees by Category

Search Engine: 2,223 (75.8%)
Social Media: 708 (24.2%)

This shows that Grumpy Gay Critic’s SEO is in good stead, but this might be due to people searching for pornography coming across the site (pun intended) due to reviews for shows with explicit names (i.e Fucking Menand the fact that the word “gay” features in the publication name. Whilst this is great, upping social media engagement would be ideal, whilst keeping SEO strong, in order to direct more related traffic to the site.

As for Buffer, an app which is used to coordinate social media engagement, whilst it’s analytics are disappointing meaning more work needs to be done on the effectivity of coordinated social media campaigns, the fact that more traffic comes direct from Facebook and Twitter suggests that people are sharing the content themselves, which is very positive.


Grumpy Gay Critic has robust viewing numbers and visitors. However, there is definite potential to grow, and this initial report has given clarification on the areas that need to be further developed in order for Grumpy Gay Critic to grow, seeing as growth has stagnated across the 2015 Q4 period.

1 Comment on Grumpy Gay Critic Q4 2015 Report

  1. James this is a really insightful analysis of your quarterly figures; I read it after your honest 2015 review post. I would only add that Google tends to love posts with quality tagging, and the link below helps you do that.

    We come from a web design agency background (after 2,000+ clients, its’ time to do a theatre blog to keep sane!), and in addition to the time-saving BUFFER, I recommend if you want even more detailed stats.

    Have a great August!

    Chris + the TheatreSmart team

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