What happens to site traffic when a story reaches ‘viral’ (sorry) levels of global coverage?

(Updated 23/06/17 to reflect coverage that JUST. WON’T. STOP.)

A week or two back, PR agency client Childcare.co.uk – the UK’s leading childcare website, with more than 1.5m members – messaged us to say they’d noticed quite a bit of traffic to one particular ad for a nanny on their site.

(We’re always asking clients about internal data, because it can often turn up interesting trends and stories).

The ad – which you can see here – read:

We are friendly family of four with 2 children ages 5 and 7 living in a small village in the Scottish Borders.

So far so normal.

We have 2 children ages 5 and 7…


We are offering a salary of £50,000 gross per annum…


We have lived in our home for nearly 10 years. We were told it was ‘haunted’ when we bought it… And 5 nannies have left the role in the last year, each citing supernatural incidents as the reason, including strange noises, broken glass and furniture moving

I’m sorry… what?

Oh, right – a family are looking to pay a nanny a comparatively high salary to brave a house that’s sent 5 nannies packing.

Well, we spotted a huge opportunity here, and took it with both (trembling) hands.

We took the ad, wrote it up into a press release, threw a few puns in for good measure, sent it to journalists we thought might be keen to hear about the ad and – well, it’s fair to say that it took on an afterlife (sorry. Again.) of it’s own.

230+ pieces of coverage (not including syndicated/lower-level blog mentions) around the world later, including the front page of The Scottish Sun, the BBC Online, Unilad, the Mail Online, the Metro, Mashable and maaany more top outlets, it’s fair to say we’re glad the guys at Childcare.co.uk spotted the traffic going to the site when they did!

Here are a few other takeaways for people interested to see the effect of such a big burst of coverage:

  • 178 links (only a handful of which weren’t follow links) into the site from a huge number of high authority news sites (average DA 65/100 – with many DA 100 sites including Yahoo linking)
  • More than 91,000 social shares of the story (according to our report on Coveragebook.com)
  • Traffic to the site was up 54% on the day compared to the same day the week before
    • This is incredible, given the site receives six-figure visits every single day
  • 356,000 unique views of the ad since we shared the story
  • New daily registrations were up 30% compared to the same day the week before
  • International traffic increased by 1,224%
  • There have been more than 2,000 applications for the position now from all over the world
  • Ex-professional footballer Marvin Andrews offered to exorcise the house…!

Here’s another useful bit of data:

This, on top of the other day-to-day PR agency work we do with Childcare.co.uk, makes for a very happy client, team and me.

If you’re reading this, and think you’d quite like to see what we can do for you – don’t hesitate to get in touch!