In the January Top 50 sites list, we saw significant activity around the Powerball drawings and record jackpot, weather-related sites, and the natural post-holiday decline for retailers.
News Making News:
Several news-related sites appeared on our January Top 50 list including: businessinsider.com (#39), usatoday.com (#38), and forbes.com (#21) just to name a few. When looking specifically at usatoday.com – the top 2 non-branded terms driving traffic to the site were “presidential polls” and “powerball” – each falling directly in line with some of the bigger events from last month. Looking further into Incoming Traffic sources to the USA Today website, you’ll notice that social media sites increased significantly. Facebook.com, twitter.com, and youtube.com each increased over 10%, MoM. Both the Powerball jackpot, and presidential news certainly made the headlines in January, and people were talking about them across social platforms.
Looking closely at weather.com for the month of January, we noticed almost 25% growth MoM with average stay increasing 5% to 4 minutes and 36 seconds per visit. Towards the end of the month, New York City experienced one of their largest winter storms in a while – and people were researching just that. Looking into the Search Referrals to weather.com, terms like “NYC Weather” appear 3 times in the top 15 list. Direct traffic to weather.com increased over 25% MoM, and Google searches driving traffic to the site increased 37% for the month. What’s also interesting to note, is that a few competitor weather sites gained a big share of outgoing traffic from weather.com last month. Both accuweather.com and wunderground.com increased their outgoing share 48% and 10%, respectively.
Finally, just as we saw this time last year, many of the retail-specific sites came down from their holiday surge, and started out the New Year by leveling out their digital traffic. Interestingly enough, bestbuy.com saw a -26.11% decline (as expected), but a YoY increase in Unique Visitors by almost 25%. This pattern also held true for many other retail sites in January.
Take a look at the rest of the January Top 50 list below and see what additional trends you can uncover.
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Brian is currently the Digital Marketing Associate at Millward Brown Digital. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University, where he achieved his B.S. in Business & Enterprise Management. Outside of work, Brian is a die-hard Boston sports fan, guitar player, and a Pop-Warner football coach. Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn.