NHS Choices weekly website report – week 21

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Can I use last year’s sun cream?

Woman applying sunblock protection on shoulders

This week’s NHS Choices website weekly report covers the period from May 22-28 2017, which saw 9.89 million visits to the site. This was a 10.33% decrease on the previous week, and a 7.32% decrease compared with the same period last year. Unique visitors totalled 7.29 million.

NHS Choices visits 2016 vs 2017

Top 10 site area visits (% of total visits)

Visits to Common Health Questions saw the biggest increase this week, going up by 0.59%. This week’s biggest faller was Tools, which saw a 0.15% 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 9.82% of all site visits in week 21.

Hot weather: The recent spell of hot weather caused an increase in visits to a number of associated conditions. The most visited was the ‘Sunburn’ page, which saw a 407% increase in visits to 33,197. Other well-liked conditions included: ‘Prickly heat’, which saw a 191% uplift in traffic to total 24,585, and ‘Heat exhaustion and heatstroke’, which saw visits rise by 83% to 13,806. Sun safety was another popular topic, with the common health question (CHQ) ‘How can I keep my baby safe during hot weather?’ seeing a 2.88K% increase in visits to sum 27,107, while the ‘Sun safety for children’ page saw traffic increase by 477%. The CHQ ‘Can I use last year’s sun cream?’ attracted 2,502 visits – a 171% increase compared with the previous week.

Nail abnormalities: It may be coincidental, but as the temperatures shot up and shoes were swapped for sandals and flip-flops, there was an increase in visits to foot and toenail related conditions! The ‘Nail abnormalities’ page saw visits increase by 5% to 23,701, while the ‘Fungal nail infection introduction’ page saw a 19% rise in traffic to 9,111 visits. The ‘Fungal nail infection treatment’ page saw an even bigger increase, with visits rising by 102% to 3,895. Another foot infection – Athlete’s foot – saw visits go up by 21% to 16,687, while information about blisters proved popular with the ‘Blisters treatment’ page seeing 8,385 visits and the ‘introduction’ page seeing a 48% rise in traffic.

HIV and AIDS: BBC One’s ‘The Truth about HIV’ was responsible for a spike in visits to HIV and AIDs pages on May 25. Weekly visits to the ‘HIV and AIDS symptoms’ page rose by 6% to total 11,754, with more than a quarter of the weekly total occurring on the day the programme was shown. Visits were highest during the 9-9.59pm viewing window on the Thursday, with visits during this time accounting for 53% all visits to the page on the day. Visits to the ‘HIV and AIDS introduction’ page rose to 8,654, while the ‘diagnosis’ page saw visits go up by 38%.

Top 10 search engine referral phrases: ‘Fibromyalgia’ and ‘ehic’ moved into the top 10 this week after ranking 13th and 23rd respectively last week.

Ramadan: The start of the holy month of Ramadan led to an increase in visits to pages on the topic. The ‘Fasting and your health’ page saw visits go up by 379% to 13,382, while visits to the ‘Ramadan health FAQs’ page rose by 527% to total 7,949. The ‘Healthy Ramadan’ page saw visits increase by 293% to 4,193. Visits began to rise on May 26 – the day Ramadan began – with visits peaking on May 27.

DiGeorge syndrome (22q11 deletion): Popular science blog ‘IFL Science’ caused an uplift in visits to the ‘DiGeorge syndrome (22q11 deletion)’ page after it included a link to the page in one of its articles about the condition. Weekly visits to the ‘DiGeorge syndrome (22q11 deletion)’ page saw a 69% increase to total 3,080. Visits spiked over the weekend, with visits over the two days accounting for 61% of the weekly total. ‘IFL Science’ was the top referrer to the page, sending more than 1,300 visits.

Top 10 videos: Video views, including those on the NHS Choices YouTube channel, were 142,997, a 7.32% decrease compared with the previous week. The ‘Pilates’ video was top, with 3,532 views.

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