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Reaching a Web Traffic Milestone on Congress.gov

The following is a guest post by Natalie Buda Smith, user experience team supervisor at the Library of Congress.

In recent blog posts, we shared how we continuously conduct usability testing and regularly release enhancements to make Congress.gov easier to use and search. We also use data analytics to understand website traffic, by monitoring visits, popular content, and frequent navigation paths. This insight also helps us optimize Congress.gov and informs our future releases.

Congress.gov Home Page

Congress.gov Home Page

Since January 2017, we have seen record-breaking traffic, with the milestone of 1.2 million page views in a single day. For comparison, in 2016 we averaged 43K daily visits. Average daily visits have increased 4 times, to 172K thus far in 2017.

Visits Comparison

Visits Comparison

Previously, our highest visits in a day were:

  • 250,507 on March 22, 2013
  • 111,355 on November 29, 2016

In 2017, the highest days so far have been:

H.R.1275

H.R.1275

Besides the large increases in visits, there are other interesting changes in our web traffic. The percentage of traffic from mobile devices has greatly increased from 27% in 2016 to 52% in 2017, and traffic from social media hit a high of 40% of visits in February 2017, compared to an average of 5% in 2016. Legislation went viral on Facebook, with the bill summary for H.R.861 shared more than 200K times.

Congressional Record

Congressional Record

The most popular pages on Congress.gov are consistently the home page, search results and the Congressional Record, but legislation has been the major driver of traffic this year, also including (in numerical order):

You can find the weekly Most-Viewed Bills | Top 10 at the top of the Congress.gov Home Page.

Link to the Top 10

Congress.gov Most-Viewed Bills

While we can not be 100% certain that these large increases in web traffic will continue, we can see that legislation is currently of great interest to the general public, and many new users are discovering Congress.gov.

Thank you for using Congress.gov and providing us with feedback!  Be sure to subscribe to legislation alerts for the 115th Congress and follow @Congressdotgov on Twitter.

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