I sometimes write about the size of the revenue assurance world. Estimates can be made based on revenues from RA sales, numbers of employees of vendors, attendance figures at conferences… but it is not easy. The first rule is never to trust a stat if it comes from GRAPA! They boast a few thousand ‘members’ (read: email addresses which they spam). In contrast, the TM Forum’s RA community has several hundred members, but people can only join that if their company is in the TMF. There is another source of data about the size of the RA world that I look at on a regular basis, though I have sometimes been reluctant to share it – the popularity of talkRA itself. Endless caveats should be applied to any statistics about the popularity of websites, because the methods used for calculation vary so greatly. For anyone interested, here are the most reliable numbers I have about talkRA’s audience.
- Since the site launched in August 2008, talkRA has generated 65,000 page views from 32,000 visits.
- On average, the site attracts over 600 unique visitors per month. There are seasonal variations in numbers, with February tending to be the most popular month, despite being the shortest month of the year. talkRA had over 1,000 unique visitors in February 2010.
- About 60% of all visits come from long-standing recurring visitors. The visit and visitor numbers corroborate that talkRA has a very loyal audience of repeat readers.
- Reader loyalty is also emphasized in the traffic sources. 42% of readers visit by typing in the URL or because they have bookmarked the site. 36% of visits come via web search, with the dominant search string being “talkra” and variants thereof. 21% of traffic comes through inbound links.
- By far the most significant inbound link is from revenueprotect.com, because of the migration of readers when my blog first moved from there to talkRA.com. Links from the TMF generate roughly ten times the traffic received from specific vendor sites. There are inbound visitors coming from a wide variety of vendor sites, including WeDo, Subex, TEOCO, Martin Dawes Analytics and cVidya’s Gadi Solotorevsky, but the number of visits from these sites is small.
- talkRA has been read in 165 countries. Analysed by continent, talkRA has 43% of its readers in Asia, 28% in Europe, 18% in the Americas, 6% in Africa and 5% in Oceania. The site has most readers in: India, USA, UK, South Africa, Australia, Israel, Portugal, Malaysia, Canada and Indonesia.
- Comparing readership numbers to national population, it becomes clear that talkRA does especially well in English-speaking countries which are also home to RA industry players – which is not that surprising when you think about it. Penetration is lowest on the continent of Africa, though the reason for this is unclear, especially as talkRA does well in South Africa. Low African visitor numbers may be due to poor internet connectivity or because of GRAPA’s popularity in African telcos.
- After the home page, the most visited pages are: my bio (!), Downloads & Links, and Who Are We?.
The readership of talkRA has steadily and consistently grown, after allowing for seasonal variances. The audience is currently about 150% of the numbers when the site was first launched. Everything suggests that readership retention levels are very high, but new readers are added only slowly. This probably reflects two things. First, the total numbers working in revenue assurance is growing, but only slowly. Second, talkRA has been successful in its core mission, and appeals to those RA practitioners with the greatest dedication, but is less successful at picking up new readers and transient readers. As trade-offs go, that suits me. If forced to choose, I would rather talkRA appeals to RA decision-makers and pioneers than to those with only a passing interest.