NHS Choices weekly website report – week 20

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Can fizzy water make you fat?

Pouring A Glass Of Water

This week’s NHS Choices website weekly report covers the period from May 15-21 2017, which saw 11.03 million visits to the site. This was a 0.44% increase on the previous week, and a 3.33% decrease compared with the same period last year. Unique visitors totalled 7.96 million.

NHS Choices visits 2016 vs 2017

Top 10 site area visits (% of total visits)

Visits to Live Well saw the biggest increase this week, going up by 0.20%. This week’s biggest faller was the NHS Choices homepage, which saw a 0.41% decrease in visits compared with last week.

Within Treatments and Conditions, there are a number of guides providing in-depth information on topics such as ‘pregnancy and baby’; ‘contraception’; ‘vaccinations’; ‘stress, anxiety and depression’; and a guide for ‘care and support’. Guides accounted for 9.92% of all site visits in week 20.

Cluster headaches: BBC One’s ‘Doctor In The House’ drove visits to the ‘Cluster headaches’ page after featuring Gemma Hughes, who suffers from up to 16 cluster headaches a day. Visits to the page rose by 134% to 17,026, with 42% of visits occurring on the day the programme aired. A noticeable spike was seen during the 9-9.59pm window, accounting for 67% of visits on May 15.

Shingles: There was a 91% increase in visits, totalling 20,211, to the ‘Shingles’ page. The condition received attention after it was reported the son of Jamie and Rebekah Vardy, Finley, had been treated in hospital for the condition. There was an associated 7% rise in visits, totalling 31,454, to the ‘Symptoms of chickenpox’ page, while the ‘Chickenpox introduction’ page received 48,695 visits.

Penis size: Visits to penis content saw a spike this week – the ‘Penis size’ page had an 11% increase in traffic to reach 19,735, while the ‘Penis enlargement’ page saw visits go up by 7% to total 5,822. Other popular pages included the ‘Penis health’ page, along with the common health questions ‘What is this lump on my penis?’, ‘Is it normal to have a curved penis?’, and ‘What should I do if my penis is torn?’.

Top 10 search engine referral phrases: ‘Lupus’ and ‘glandular  fever’ moved up in the top 10 this week after ranking 14th and 12th respectively last week.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): Visits to the two conditions mainly referred to as inflammatory bowel disease – ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease – both saw increases in visits, along with the IBD page. The ‘Crohn’s disease introduction’ page saw most visits, totalling 18,670 – a 33% increase compared with the previous week. Visits to the ‘Ulcerative colitis’ page went up by 10% to reach 11,973, while the ‘Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)’ page saw an 8% rise in traffic, totalling 10,767.


Behind the Headlines: Two Behind the Headlines articles were particularly popular this week. ‘Can fizzy water make you fat?’ saw 7,365 visits, making it the most visited article that week. This was closely followed by ‘Gastric balloon pill launched in UK’, which received 6,814 visits – a 939% increase compared with the previous week. A corresponding increase in visits to the ‘Weight loss surgery’ page was also seen, rising by 22% to total 4,104. A number of stories about the Elipse balloon, a swallowable gastric balloon that can be inserted without endoscopy or anaesthesia, appeared in the national press, sparking interest in the Behind the Headlines article.

Top 10 videos: Video views, including those on the NHS Choices YouTube channel, were 154,297, a 1.43% decrease compared with the previous week. The ‘Pilates’ video was top, with 4,150 views.

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