Where to Reach the Student Demographic Online

Image from: zmkstudio/Shutterstock

I still consider myself to be young and hip, so I can’t believe I’m about to do a “back in my day…” post.  So here I go…

Back in my day, when I had to use a dictionary, I visited the public library where it (the big book) was proudly displayed atop a pedestal in all its glory.  Nowadays, students of the Millennial Generation turn to the internet to look up a meaning for a word.  Three sites in particular, dictionary.reference.com, merriam-webster.com, and thefreedictionary.com were in Compete’s top moving sites, month-over-month, for September 2011.  Their M-O-M Unique Visitor increases for the month of September were 35%, 33%, and 27%, respectively.

The chart below illustrates Daily Reach, or, how many people visited dictionary.reference.com (orange), merriam-webster.com (green) and thefreedictionary.com (blue), as a percentage of all U.S. Internet users.  As soon as the school year started, traffic to all three sites soared.  Traffic to those sites typically spikes on Monday and Tuesday, starts to decline on Wednesday and Thursday and by Friday the sites go into their weekend decline.  Those spikes in traffic validate that students might be telling us that they are not doing their homework over the weekend.

Another interesting note from the above chart is that traffic to those sites decline during the summer months; this isn’t a surprise as many students are off on summer vacation.  For example, dictionary.reference.com has a Daily Reach average of 0.55% when school is in session and during the summer months its average is 0.36%.

Online marketers looking to target students in the high school and college demographic should definitely take advantage of the traffic these sites get during the peak days/months of the year.  It’s no secret that the Millennial generation is active online, especially in social media, so finding cost effective alternate online destinations to market to them is key.