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On January 1st each year, the ball drops in Time Square and most of us are full of two things: champagne and resolve. On January 2nd we come up with a list of things we want to change about ourselves in the new year; common resolution themes typically revolve around health, money, and time with family. Given that money and family behaviors are a little more ambiguous in terms of online behavior, let’s focus on the biggest online gainers in Diet/Fitness/Beauty category in January.
In the Diet and Fitness Category, the Top 15 sites by UV’s are as follows.
While livestrong.com, lifescript.com, weightwatchers.com, sparkpeople.com, and beyonddiet.com rounded out the top five for number of UV’s in the month of January for the Diet/Fitness/Beauty category, it’s interesting to note that 4/5 share a community or forum functionality. I’d surmise that these top sites got a natural SEO boost this January from all of the fresh user generated content and also reaped the benefits of positive brand buzz from community members via social media.
Top 15 by Unique Visitors
While UV’s gives some insight into the overall popularity of these sites, I find it interesting to look at the list again ranked by the percentage increase in number of visits. This help us hone in on sites driving traffic to the top performers with largest percentage gains in January (when the industry peaks).
Top 5 by % Increase & Top 5 Referrers
From the list of top referrers we see that Facebook drvies a lot of social media traffic for these sites. For other diet and fitness sites it would be worth while to see how they’re engaging customers and prospects through their site and pages.
Search was also a big traffic driver, pumping large volumes of traffic toward these sites. If I were a search marketer I’d be looking closely at the differences in search strategy for the more established brands like jillianmichaels.com, nutrisystem.com, and weightwatchers.com. While joybauer.com and beyonddiet.com are up and coming, it’s apparent that they don’t have the mind share that the other three do as direct traffic only accounts for 9.8% and 6.5% off all traffic respectively, in comparison with the larger brands 20-25% of direct traffic.
Email is also a big traffic driver; if you aren’t subscribed to these sites’ email marketing and you compete with them directly or indirectly you should consider doing so.
Top Growing Sites from Category
Now that you have a taste for the top performing referrers for the top growing Diet and Fitness sites, here are the top 10 performers overall for the category. While there are many similarities between the whole category’s top-performing referrers and that of the top diet and fitness sites, it’s interesting to note how pinterest.com, the current “it” start-up, shines even in the diet, fitness, and beauty industries.
Given this top performing traffic referrer information, diet and fitness marketers should be pumped to explore future advertising and partnership opportunities with these specific top referrers that get results.
Lindsey Mark works in Client Relations at Compete and is responsible for the strategic development of client retention and support policies for compete.com, with a focus on education and training efforts. She graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY so she's a certified technology junkie and open source advocate. When she's not thinking about marketing or training digital 007's at compete, she's doing yoga & blogging about gluten-free diet and lifestyle. Find Lindsey on Twitter as @linji, Google Plus as Lindsey Mark or connect with her via LinkedIn.