Our story begins on June 16th 2017, when Lansing's #1 rated morning radio personality, Josh Strickland, announced he was leaving his post of ten years at the city's number one radio station, and moving to a nonprofit Christian station across town.
The story was published on StricklandNow.com. From that point on, StricklandNow.com would continue publishing high profile news stories from the Lansing area, helping to keep the Strickland name top of mind. The site was named Strickland's Love Lansing
. "Love Lansing" is a social media hashtag used regularly by municipal offices, businesses and individuals when sharing good news about Lansing.
Just over a year later, on June 20th 2018, Strickland's Love Lansing announced
it would change its domain from StricklandNow.com to Lansing881.com, giving the site an identity apart from Strickland. Though officially unrelated to the Smile FM flagship, WLGH 88.1 in Lansing, where Josh Strickland began hosting the morning show in October of 2017, the choice of domain was another intentional move, this time, to help keep the radio station top of mind. The announcement also revealed that the site would shift from a general news website to a "GOOD" news site, focusing on positive and uplifting stories from the Lansing area.
On October 25th 2018, Strickland's Love Lansing made another move to establish its own identity. After Josh Strickland stumbled across an article that suggested, in astrological terms, the number 881 means "integrity," inspired by the word's meaning, particularly relative to the ideal vs. the present tumultuous image of journalism, Strickland's Love Lansing
officially, quietly became Lansing Integrity
. With the name change, the site shed both the reference to Josh Strickland and the popular "Love Lansing" hashtag.
Two other big changes that occurred in 2018 were the complete redesign of the website, with a move to the brand new Mobirise platform, and moving to Google Analytics for tracking website traffic and other demographic data.
Before we get to "the best news of the year," (the most-read good news stories of 2018), we've got some good news of our own to share.
There were 20,701 visits to Lansing Integrity
between January 1st 2018 and December 31st 2018 by an average of 1,204 unique visitors per month for a total of 28,871 page views (pvs).
While we're happy with the numbers, there is a stark difference between 2018 and 2017, when in just six months following the site's initial launch, there were 58,635 pvs. There are two main reasons for the disparity. The first is a single story published in 2017 that exploded, garnering more than 30,000 pvs on its own. The second is that, generally speaking, "good news" doesn't tend to draw nearly as much traffic as stories involving death, damage, scary situations, etc... Sad as it is, it was anticipated.
The brand change and time spent on the redesign and build of the new site impacted numbers as well. The silver lining is that we anticipate a rebound in 2019.
The top three most trafficked months of 2018 were February (7,735 pvs), August (3,779) and March (3,730). There were an average of 2,405 page views per month.
One final, but very important note: we are forced to rely heavily on traffic data that was documented throughout 2018, rather than reviewing existing online data, due to an apparent loss of some first quarter stats; an issue that occurred after we left the platform and moved to Google Analytics in April.