Thanks A Million – The 2012 Year In Review For LetsRun.com

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By Robert Johnson
January 11, 2013

It seems as if most organizations did their 2012 year-in-reviews at the end of the 2012. Not us.

LetsRun.com prides itself on being old school (an old school website – how’s that for an oxymoron?). Call us traditionalists, but no yearly reviews should be done until the college football season has ended. Admittedly, that should occur on New Year’s Day, but the greedy ADs and conference commissioners extended the BCS title game to January 7th this year. Oh well. They aren’t alone in their greed. Baseball now ends in November.

Now that the college football season is finally over, we thought we’d recap our year for you.

What a year it was.

You all flocked to LetsRun in record numbers in 2012 (admittedly, the Olympics certainly help a running/track and field website, but the New York Marathon being cancelled and NCAA cross-country moving to a Saturday from a Monday definitely hurt our numbers a bit).

2012 was the first year that we ever attracted more than one million unique visitors in a given month. It also was the first time we attracted more than 100,000 unique visitors in a given day. Overall, visits were up by more than 20% from 2011 and unique visitors up by 38.55% (although some of that is undoubtedly people now using mobile devices). Homepage visits – our  bread and butter – were up by more than 10%.

As a result, we really wanted to just say, “Thanks a million for visiting LetsRun and making us a part of your busy lives.”

In producing the website each and every day, 365 days a year, we really consciously try to do one thing – give you news about running that you’ll find interesting and do so in a way that makes it entertaining and saves you time. Running is a hard sport to follow with no set schedule and action all over the globe. As a result, we spend hours each day surfing the Internet so you won’t have to. We’re thrilled that so many of you visit each and every day.

Here are some stats that hopefully you find to be interesting.

The 5 most trafficked days of the year (in terms of unique visitors – they all came during the Olympics in 2012).

The homepage on August 5, 2012 – the day the most number of unique visitors came to LetsRun.com in 2012.

1. Sunday, August 5This was the day that Usain Bolt won 100m gold and the day after Galen Rupp won silver. Lots to talk about.
2. Monday, August 6Monday is the busiest day of the week for LetsRun and the first Monday after Rupp/Bolt was virtually tied with the day before in terms of traffic (298 less visits and there were more than 125,000 visits).
3. Tuesday, August 7Men’s 1,500 final (this was the #1 day of the year in terms of page views, which makes sense as half of the Olympic track is over and half remains so there is a ton to talk about).
4. Saturday, August 4Men’s 10,000 final.
5. Wednesday, August 8 - Day after the men’s 1,500 final. Men’s 110 hurdles final and women’s 200 final were the two biggest finals.

The 5 least trafficked days of the year
1. December 25Christmas Day. There still is some hope for society that this is the least trafficked day.
2. January 1New Year’s Day.
3. Saturday, March 17thAt first we thought this was random and then we realized this was St. Patrick’s Day. People would rather drink than visit LRC? Shame on them. Actually mid-March (when there is a break between indoors and outdoors collegiately) is a slow time for us.
4. December 24Christmas Eve.
5. Saturday, January 7, 2012Saturdays are the least trafficked day of the week and in early January not much is going on.

What You Are Most Passionate About – The 5 Biggest Days In Terms of Page Views (Not Counting The Olympics)
8 of the top 10 days were from the Olympics so we took them out.
1. NCAA Cross-Country - November 17, 2012
2. US Olympic Trials MarathonJanuary 14, 2012
3. The US Olympic Trials – June 25 - This was the first Monday of the 2012 US Olympic Track trials. Monday is the most trafficked day for us so this makes sense (800 finals).
4. The US Olympic Trials - June 231st Saturday of Olympic Trials – the day after the 10,000 finals.
5. The US Olympic Trials - June 28A Thursday. The first day after the break at the Trials and there were 3 distance finals (5,000s + men’s steeple) plus 1,500 qualifying.

10 Most Read LetsRun.com Stories From 2012
10. Paris Recap: A Sensational Men’s 5,000, A Troubling Women’s 1,500 And David Rudisha’s 1:41 Highlight The 2012 Samsung Diamond League Paris Track & Field Meet
9. LetsRun.com’s Recap Of Men’s Races At 2012 USATF Occidental High Performance Meet
8. The Women’s 5,000 Final – The Olympic Trials At Its Absolute Best
7. Long Run Pain: A Staten Islander’s View On Why The Marathon Should Not Have Been Cancelled
6. Taoufik Makhloufi, One of the 1500m Favorites, Is Kicked Out of the Olympic Games 1500m Final
5. LetsRun.com’s Recap Of The Men’s Distance Action At The 2012 Payton Jordan Cardinal Invitational
4. Geoffrey Mutai Wins 2012 BMW Berlin Marathon And World Marathon Major Title In Bizarre Finish
3. 2012 Olympic Men’s Marathon Trials Analysis And Reaction
2. Eight-Time US Cross-Country Champion Pat Porter Dies In Plane Crash
1. Mark Block Caught In Nike VIP Tent

5 Most Popular Message Board Threads From 2012
5. Update on Ryan Hall and Abdi Abdirahman Dropping Out of Olympic Marathon- We had this on the homepage as a story so that’s a bit unfair.
4. Paul Ryan’s Marathon
3. D3 Atlantic Region 2012 XC
2. The Official D3 XC Thread 2012
1. 2012 College Coaches Openings Thread - This may surprise many of you, but college coaches are into the sport so they are on LetsRun a lot and they are into their careers as well. This was by far the most popular thread on the year.

Now, I’m not 100% sure if that’s accurate. I don’t know much about Google Analytics and our tech guy Weldon Johnson is on vacation. When I sort by title versus doing it by URL, it gives me a slightly different list.

10 Most Popular Message Board Threads From 2012
11.The Race Goes On: Live Splits of Monday’s Pro NYC Marathon in Central Park (fake) 67,000
10. Masters Runner Cuts Course and Wins San Fran Marathon (since deleted)
9.  OFFICIAL BOSTON UPDATE THREAD
8. The Official Men’s 1500m Thread
7. The Official D3 XC Thread 2012
6. Paul Ryan’s marathon
5. Official Men’s 10000m Thread
4. D3 Atlantic Region 2012 XC
3. Suzy Favor-Hamilton: Vegas Escort
2. Rojo says he might start a Kip Litton thread but only 1 and only 1 thread
1. “Official” LetsRun.com Olympic Marathon Trials Thread

Most Popular Photo Galleries From 2012
1. 2012 NCAA Cross-Country Photos: Oregon And Oklahoma State Win
2. 2012 NCAA Cross-Country Banquet Photos
3. 2012 NCAA Division III (D3) Cross-Country Photos
4. 2012 New York City Half Marathon Photos
5. 2012 NCAA Cross-Country Division 3 Banquet Photos
6. Day 1 2012 Olympic Track And Field Trials Photos

Amount Of Time Average Person Spends On Homepage
3 minutes, 17 seconds.

Some Records Are Made Not To Be Broken
2012 was definitely a record year in terms of visitors, unique visitors and page views for LetsRun.com. However, the record for most page views recorded in a single day lived on.

In fact, the #1 and #2 spots in terms of most page views ever recorded in LetsRun’s history managed to stay at #1 and #2.

The top 2 days with the most page views in LRC history still are as follows:

2) 2011 Boston Marathon. The historic 2:03:02 blew people’s minds.
1) 2011 NCAA cross-country meet.

This is a stat that might surprise many of you but it makes sense to us. Boston and NCAA cross are probably on average the two biggest days of the year in terms of page views for LRC (obviously not this year with the Olympics). Let us explain why.

The Boston Marathon is always on a Monday. Most people are at work on a Monday and thus they can’t follow an event on TV – they have to follow it online. Where else are you going to follow it/discuss it but LRC?

Similarly logic applies to NCAA cross-country, which isn’t on TV (or at least on a TV channel most people get if it is on) so people basically have to follow it online and thus NCAA cross-country is normally the most trafficked day of the year in terms of page views. The fact that it was on a Monday (until this year) also helped boost our traffic as again some guy in the office can’t really watch ESPN4 or whatever channel it is on.

So thanks for making us a part of your day. But please do us a favor. Spread the word and tell your friends about us. Take 2 minutes and send out an email/post to Facebook.

You’d be amazed but not all hard-core runners know about us. And in 2013, there are no Olympic Trials or Olympics to help us grow.

Like runners, we need to PR every year and it ain’t going to be easy by any stretch of the imagination to do it in 2013. We feel a bit like Galen Rupp; it’s getting harder and harder to top ourselves so please help us out by spreading the word.