Print URLs can’t be clicked

On Friday, the Indianapolis Star did a little story on me and my “No Repeat Lunch Week” routine. The story included a URL to my website in the forth of eight paragraphs (told you it was short).

Some of my coworkers thought my site would receive a huge spike in traffic for having it’s URL mentioned in the city paper; others didn’t care.

The result? I received only a minor spike in traffic. It was more than average, but not even close to my busiest day this year, which happened to be three days earlier for no apparent reason.

A measly 18 visitors came directly from by clicking on the link in the online version of the story. Two strangers sent me emails — one to recommend a food site and the other rambled about doves for some unknown reason.

During lunch today, we came up with three reasons why my site received little traffic.

Neither the story nor I interest the readers of the Indianapolis Star

Few people read sidebars in Section E, beneath the fold

URLs don’t translate well from print to web

My guess is all three are likely reasons.

Though I can definitely guess at least three people read my website (I can hear you breathing), I’m sure more read the Star.

Which leads me to believe few people read a URL, remember it, and type it in the next time they sit down at a computer.

In contrast, when I published “Keeping Navigation Current With PHP” on a little website called A List Apart, traffic to my site quadrupled the first two weeks and eventually leveled off to nearly three times the amount of traffic I received a few months prior.