Perfect timing—the NCAA basketball championship was last night (congrats, Huskies!) and March data is live in Compete PRO, chock-full of interesting data pertaining to this year’s March Madness. I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for your awesome Compete PRO success stories submissions! We’ll be announcing the winner soon so stay tuned.
The home of college basketball March Madness, NCAA.com, experienced the growth they usually see in March and then some. Growing unique visitors by more than 10% year-over-year (YoY) is an impressive feat when we’re talking about millions of Americans. Much of that growth can be attributed to fellow monthly fast mover, CBSSports.com, which sent over 1 million visits to NCAA.com in March. With its hub for keeping up with game scores, as well as fantasy brackets and round-the-clock coverage, CBSSports.com was the fourth favorite destination for March Madness fans seeking updates. Looking at a keyword report for “March Madness,” we can see that CBSSports.com was only bested by the NCAA, ESPN, and Yahoo! in terms of traffic for the keyword. Also interesting to note is that while historically, users seem to be more engaged with CBSSports.com in terms of average stay, March 2014 marks the first month where NCAA.com is only about a minute shy of CBSSports.com engagement.
Besides college basketball, television also made a big splash in March. Three big television events that helped propel sites like TV.com into the fastest growing for the month include the much-anticipated series finale of How I Met Your Mother on CBS, the series finale of USA’s Psych (which has a notably lively online fan community), and the season finale of the continually popular Walking Dead series on AMC. Keywords related to all three of these shows made an appearance in the top 50 keywords driving traffic to TV.com.
In the online news world, BBC.com’s traffic grew significantly in March. Search referrals suggest that much of the traffic was U.S. Internet users’ interest in two global crises, the situation in Ukraine and Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 (9 of the top 50 related to Ukraine and 3 of the top 50 related to Malaysian Airlines). BBC.com users have been increasingly engaged lately as well with average stay over six minutes in March and users visiting more than three pages per visit.
MayoClinic.org makes an interesting appearance in the yearly fast movers this month. They switched their website from MayoClinic.com to MayoClinic.org at the beginning of this year, and while traffic took a brief dip at the start of the year, it seems to be back on track. Before the switch, they were averaging around 9-10 million unique visitors per month and since then, they’ve only managed to top 7 million once, but strong growth in March is a good sign.
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Conor is VP of Products, Compete Intelligence Solutions. He has led product teams in organizations of all sizes, from startups to multinationals, across multiple industries. Professional experience includes leadership roles in product marketing, product management, development, and communications. Conor is based in Boston and can be found on Twitter at @conor_omahony.