Traffic Down At Weekends

I’ve seen a lot of people fretting over the fact that their sites receive much less traffic at weekends than during the week. If I turn my attention to my own sites, I find that some of them have a very erratic traffic graph in Google Analytics, and some have that same established pattern of peaking during the week and troughing at the weekends. Here is a very simplistic breakdown for the established sites I own:

Site Type Traffic pattern
Entertainment/gadget erratic
Children’s entertainment fairly consistent with very few peaks and troughs but no pattern
Technical resource very pronounced troughs at the weekend
Musical, very niche fairly uniform graph
Technical resource peaks during the week, troughs at the weekend
Technical resource peaks during the week, troughs at the weekend
Shopping mall just plain random

Why Traffic Varies At The Weekends

Lower Traffic At The Weekends

I can see why traffic might vary at the weekend. Usually, peoples’ behaviour changes drastically at the weekend. I know that I spend a lot more time on the internet during the week than I do at the weekend. A lot of people have jobs that encourage internet use during the week. This might be because they need to do research for their work (programmers looking for technical solutions, brain surgeons in the middle of a tricky op). Alternatively, they might have a job that gives them the liberty of using the internet for entertainment in their breaks. Students do a lot of research on the internet during the week (yeah, right!) and have the weekends off. The list of reasons for high weekday internet use/low weekend use goes on.

On the flip side of that coin are the people whose jobs don’t allow them to access the internet. When they get home, perhaps they need to attend to their responsibilities (cooking, cleaning, house chores) and then chill out. Maybe they don’t feel the urge to use the internet after working a full day and the weekend is a better time for them.

Higher Traffic At The Weekends

Interestingly, not one of my sites gets more traffic at the weekends. Are there any sites that experience this traffic pattern? If there are, I would imagine they would probably be in the entertainment niche, possibly in the NSFW (not safe for work) area.

In my quest for the answer, I thought I would prowl around Sitepoint Marketplace, as kind hearted sellers often display their traffic stats for all to see. This is what I found:

Site Type Traffic pattern
Social voting troughs at weekends
Vector art resources troughs at weekends
Guitar tuition fairly stable traffic with small peaks at the weekend
Search engine fairly stable traffic random peaks

I had to stop there because most traffic statistics provided in the marketplace did not show data at a daily level. The guitar tuition site had a very level graph, but you could just distinguish some peaks at the weekend – but then it could just have been coincidence. It wasn’t a marked trend.

In the interests of research, I’d like to know if any of you have sites that experience an increase in traffic at the weekends. If you have one of those freaks of nature, let me know. We can gather a posse together and burn it at the stake!

Don’t Fret

The bottom line is that no fretting is required. Nosediving weekend traffic is not a sign that the Google demigods are punishing you. It’s just a sign that they love you during the week.