.: Ski XCOttawa.ca :: Skiing in Ottawa and Gatineau Park

2008 XCOttawa.ca Facelift and Statistics
By:  Craig Storey   (2008/02/15)


It has been awhile since I updated everyone on how popular the site is getting. Funny thing is the last time I did that I changed the layout! (2005/11/08 - XCOttawa.ca has a new look!)

We didn't set out to create a comprehensive website for skiing in Ottawa. No, we set out to build a racing team of skiers training in Ottawa. The website was just a tool to keep ourselves informed at first, then our sponsors and a few others. Eventually it grew and grew with many, many hours of work. Work we enjoy.

As with the site, the readership has grown tremendously since we started in 2001. Back then we could tell when our mother's were checking up on us. Now we see an average of just over 1000 unique visitors/day in winter, which is double what it was since I last reported. We've had time the past few years to digest the statistics, run them through a few very thorough computer simulations to see if there are any trends. Here's what we've found..


Website Rank and Reach

Alexa rank of 2,487,343 which is in the top 21% of all websites.

There are more than 1,200 articles written by XC Ottawa athletes, which you can find using Google or our own search feature. Maybe you've read every single one? We do know we have loyal readers! Some of you send emails, some we talk to in the park, and others just visit the site a few hundred times a month. It breaks down like this for the past month..

  • 30% are first timers to the site
  • 24% are on there 2nd-15th visit
  • 16% have visited between 25 and 50 times
  • 10% between 50-100 times
  • 8% 100-200 times
  • 12% have visited 200-2000 times!

Search Google for "Gatineau Park Skiing" and many other terms related to skiing in Ottawa, and you'll find XC Ottawa comes up first!

Event Trends

During the weeks leading up to and after the Gatineau Loppet (the race formerly known as the Keskinada) we can see peaks of nearly 2000 visitors a day. That's awesome, we're glad we can help inform you about skiing and share stories about the races and events you enjoy.

This is a plot of the peak one day traffic in February over the years. That little red line suggest that next Feruary we should see 11,000 visitors on a peak day. Hmm...seems like the Gatineau Loppet will be big next year!

Seasonal Trends

- There's still a seasonal trend with only ~500 people/day in summer. What everyone is thinking about May-November??

Daily Trends

- We've discovered a daily trend among skiers. Most get up between 6-10am, and immediately check the website. Then they head out skiing from 11am until 3pm, and as they get tired and hungry return from skiing to continue reading the website. Interestingly a small number of people spend all night on the site.

Envirenmental Trends

Just like the skiing conditions, the website stats have fluctuate with the temperature and precipitation. Usually the traffic to the site is constant but right after a big storm our popularity peaks. Big winter rain storms trigger the most activity as skiers fret about the loss of snow, or just try to distract themselves for a few minutes when they can't ski? People also tell us they check to see that the webcam is showing rain or snow, or to see if we've skied in the blizzard and if the park has been groomed.

Geographical Trends

While you might think that the site readers would be strictly Ottawa-Gatineau based, but we have a fairly broad audience...


The top few areas are Ottawa-Gatineu, Toronto area, Northern Ontario (Thunder Bay, Sudbury, North Bay), Edmonton-Calgary and New York state. This isn't a big surprise when you consider that's where the biggest skiing populations live. But there are also dedicated readers in little pockets all over the country. So we're glad we can reach you and hope you were informed/amused/educated or whatever you were looking for.

Website Features

A feature we've always had on the site, that we call "What the Team's Reading", is a collection of links to other articles and resources about skiing, ski news, etc.. Until this summer we had heard positive things about the feature, but never tracked stats for it. We set up a simple system and it looks like we refer >6000/people a month to these resources.

Classified Ads are something we've always had on the site and with the new interface they are more popular than ever.

Hopefully you've enjoyed this little tour through the details of the web stats. Drop us a line if you want to learn more, submit content to the site, or have a suggestion. Happy Skiiing!

Interesting Reading. . .
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