Website traffic and visitor satisfaction

Statistics Canada conducts visitor evaluations of its website regularly, to ensure that the design and content of the website stay in step with visitors' changing needs. The following information illustrates the use of the website and provides some key findings from the evaluations.

In March 2013, Statistics Canada sought feedback from website visitors on topics including task completion success rates and overall satisfaction with the website.

Number of and frequency of visits and page views

Since the launch of the Statistics Canada website in 1997/1998, the number of visits and the total number of pages viewed by visitors increased every year until reaching a historic peak in 2006/2007—2006 was a census year. Traffic stabilized in 2007/2008 at more than 15 million visits and almost 100 million page views.

Traffic increased again in 2009/2010 to more than 16 million visits and almost 116 million page views, and has been relatively stable since. The website sees a daily average 46,000 visits and nearly 317,000 page views. In 2012/2013, page views exceeded 115 million. Visits to the overall website were similar to the previous year's number due in part to CANSIM becoming free and the releases of census data.

Visits and Page Views

Visits: Based on the IP address of the visitor (a series of pages viewed within 30 minutes counts as one visit)
Page views: Number of access to a page (URL)
Source: Statistics Canada website trends

Visitor satisfaction with the website

The main focus of the 2013 website evaluation was to measure respondents' task completion success rate—the percentage of visitors who find the information they were looking for. This indicator is widely cited as the key measure of a successful website.

In 2013, 69% of consultation participants reported satisfaction—that they found what they sought. This rate has been relatively stable over the most recent four fiscal years.

Fifty-five percent of participants were looking mostly for data and data tables on a specific topic; 16% searched for studies, articles or other publications on a specific topic.

Their top three topics of interest were population/demography, 11%; health, 10%; and income, pensions, spending and wealth, 7%.

Participants planned to use the information primarily for

  • academic purposes and school assignments, 35%
  • personal interest, 20%
  • policy research, development, analysis and/or evaluation, 9%
  • economic/financial research, analysis and planning, 8%
  • business development or analysis, 8%.

Frequency of visits to the website

In 2013, 69% of consultation participants expressed overall satisfaction. This rate has been relatively stable over the most recent four years.

Frequency of visits to the website

Source: Statistics Canada's Website Evaluation.

Task completion success

In 2013, 66% of participants completed their task successfully, down from 70% in 2012.

About 76% of frequent visitors (those who visited the website six or more times in the last six months) successfully completed their task; 63% of infrequent visitors (those who visited the website fewer than six times in the last six months) were successful. The success rate was highest for participants looking for information in The Daily (85%).

Participants in government or the public sector (71%), non-government or not-for-profit (70%), and business or the private sector (67%) had the most success in finding information.

Among successful participants, 74% took 5 minutes or fewer to find the information they were seeking: 75% reported that finding information was easy.

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