Environmental “Green” Websites in the Red?

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Environmental

Image from: Environmental / Shutterstock

We hear the term “Going Green” constantly these days. Be it from a personal or business perspective, more people and companies are striving to “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” as environmental changes and impacts from increased industrialization are becoming more evident. With green initiatives becoming increasingly important, I thought it would be worthwhile to explore the digital landscape for websites devoted to the Earth’s landscape in the “Environmental/Green Information and Advocates” category on Compete PRO.

The total category does see a drop in most monthly market share metrics from January to February. However unique visitors (UV’s) are over 17 million, when last year at this time they were only slightly over 12.2 million, and the year prior to that were only at 11.2 million. This growth most likely correlates directly with global climate change and green initiatives becoming highly visible topics both socially and politically. With UV’s on the rise from a yearly perspective, it means environmental sites are able to expand their reach to a larger audience, although this does not necessarily dictate success for a website.

UV's

Reaching a large audience is definitely a positive, but converting that audience into loyal visitors or consumers is arguably paramount. Visits are down for the month, but again there is clear graphical evidence of year-over-year growth. Visits dictate that people are coming back to a website at least more than once, signifying the start to loyalty.

Visits

Average stay is another metric to focus on when trying to gauge the loyalty of your visitors, because it can show how engaged visitors are with your content. Overall, average stay has dropped over the past two years, but that is normal with the substantial rise in UV’s. New people coming to a site for the first time may not find what they are looking and will leave relatively quickly, which deflates the average stay. Over the past year average stay has stabilized to around five minutes per visit.

It is genuinely interesting to see the convergence of environmentalists with the digital world. The web serves as a great source to circulate important messages and engage visitors with strong content. Driving the digital conversation is especially essential for a topic that has become so significant.

March 24th 2015 News

Search Share: Shoes & Accessories

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Shoes

Image from: Shoes / Shutterstock

In case you missed our last blog, the Compete PRO Search Share Add-On is up and running! This add-on allows you to quickly assess the share of paid vs. natural clicks and to see which brands benefit the most from each, for any list of up to 40,000 keywords. We have decided to add a brand new installment to the Compete Pulse to discuss trends, topics, and insights regarding the top 500 keywords for a category on Compete PRO. In this piece, we will analyze search share data over the month of February for the Shoes & Accessories Category with keywords like “zappos,” “nike,” “dsw” , “Adidas,” and “vans”.

The overview for the category shows that 93.9% of clicks were from natural search and 6.1% came from paid initiatives. Since natural share in total represents 93.9% of all the clicks from the list of keywords, winning this arena becomes a much more central and competitive battle. Nonetheless paid search efforts are still incredibly important for many brands to compete in.

Natural Share & Rate

Amazon.com had the highest amount of brand paid clicks with 41.6% of the share, a relatively staggering amount. To put that in perspective, Macys.com had the second highest amount of brand paid clicks for these keywords at only 3.3%. An extremely high paid share means their ads show up more often on search pages, are listed higher on those search pages, and have a higher performing ad copy. All three of these are vital aspects for a healthy pay-per-click strategy. However, it’s important to put into perspective that Amazon has a high percentage of a rather small piece of the total clicks across paid and natural, as paid clicks make up only 6.1% of the entire clicks for the keywords.

Paid Share & Rate

Overall it would be best to have a low paid rate* with a high paid share, coupled with a high natural rate* and high natural share. This means you are using your budget effectively, but also competing in natural search where consumers click the most.

The Compete PRO Search Share Add-On also allows you to view results by demographics like gender, age, and income. I thought it would be interesting to see how paid versus natural clicks deviated between age. The age bucket of 18-24, the youngest age set, had the lowest amount of paid click share at 4.4%. The age set 35-44 clicked on paid ads the most with 7.0% of their clicks. This insight is valuable because it arms advertisers and marketers with knowledge that can be used to target PPC ads closer to a particular age group or generation.

Check back to the Compete Pulse for search share posts like this! If you are interested in gaining access to the search share tool and/or the rest of Compete PRO follow here!

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

*Paid Rate / Share for Advertiser is the percentage of search referrals that are generated for the destination website from paid clicks. Paid Rate / Share for Advertiser is calculated by taking the number of paid search referrals for that website and dividing by total search referrals (paid and natural) for that website.

*Natural Rate / Share for Advertiser is the percentage of search referrals that are generated for the destination website from natural clicks. Natural Rate / Share for Advertiser is calculated by taking the number of natural search referrals for that website and dividing by total search referrals (paid and natural) for that website.

March 19th 2015 News

Introducing: Compete PRO Search Share Add-On

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Search-Share-Tool.jpg" rel="lightbox[41273]">Search Share Tool

Image from: Search Share / Shutterstock

Over the past few months the Compete PRO team has been hard at work on a new feature to add to our toolset. Search data and understanding brands’ share of traffic for any set of keywords, not just for an individual keyword, has been a big request among our customers. To fully understand the pain points our customers were feeling we worked directly with them to scope and build this new feature. We reached out during the prototype and design phases, gained feedback at every step of the way, and built the tool that was right for them. With that, we’ve released the ‘Search Share’ Add-On for Compete PRO!

What is Search Share?

The Compete PRO Search Share Add-On allows you to quickly assess the share of paid vs. natural clicks, and which brands benefit the most from each, for any list of keywords that you upload and manage. Results can be narrowed by time period (to the day), demographics (age, income and gender), broad or exact match, or a custom set of destination sites.

Basic functionality

The Search Share Add-On allows users to create and manage custom lists of keywords; up to 40,000 keywords can be added to a list. Users can bulk upload terms or add individually along with ‘excluding’ terms that return irrelevant results. The tool is broken out by three tabs; Overview, Table, and Trends. The Overview tab gives you a quick breakdown of paid vs natural share based on the keyword list, along with top 10 brands that received paid and natural clicks. The Table view breaks this down even further by providing a full list of domains that received traffic from the keywords applied, and the click type share and rate. From here users can refine the results by changing demographic segments, time period and match type. Users can also recalculate the share based on a competitive set – just select the domains you want to compare and recalculate. Finally, the Trends view is just that – a trended view of share up to a 52 week period for the selected competitive set.

The Search Share Add-On is a powerful tool for anyone looking to do heavy search keyword analysis. We’ll be featuring this new tool on the blog in the coming days and weeks, so make sure to check back to see this data in action.

March 18th 2015 Keywords, News, Search

What’s Cooking?

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Cooking

Image from: Cooking / Shutterstock

Over these past couple weeks, my interest in cooking has dramatically spiked. I’m not exactly sure what spurred my fascination with the art of food, but I do know that I am most definitely hooked. There is something so fulfilling about making a whole meal nearly from scratch. Somehow the work I put in makes the foods taste a whole lot better, at least most of the time. Given my current fixation with the kitchen, I wanted to look at the Cooking category in Compete PRO.

Over the past two years, the cooking category shows general ups and downs across all metrics, with slight increases around December and January. This increase is likely fueled by home cooking around the holiday, and the subsequent preparation for new diets with weight loss New Year’s resolutions. Therefore, it’s not surprising that the category saw an overall month-over-month decline in all metrics for February.

UV's Cooking

FoodNetwork.com not only had the greatest amount of unique visitors (UV’s) for the month, but also the most visits, with year-over-year growth of 9.8% and 14.6% respectively. UV growth suggests that the website is attracting new visitors, and visits growth suggests that those visitors are returning more often. Food Network is bringing in new audiences and getting them to return more often than any other website in the category.
UV's Food Network
This highlights the success of The Food Network’s cross-device engagement. The Food Network is largely known for its television shows, but desktop is another medium that consumers are using to access its content. This is beneficial for The Food Network, because it furthers brand engagement and loyalty.

Allrecipes.com, a site that I use all the time when I cook, was also at the top of the Cooking category for most of the monthly metrics. It even surpassed Food Network in page views and total time spent metrics. This website’s focus is fairly clear in the name: all recipes. It serves as a sort of database of user submitted recipes and rankings – in other words, an online cookbook. The importance of this website is that it represents the convenience and popularity of digital community-building. Using Allrecipes.com is like asking millions of friends what their favorite recipes are, and getting the validation from a community that those recipes are good.

Visits All Recipes

My current cooking strategy is generally to throw a lot of spices and herbs onto anything (I’ve almost mastered it at this point) and it will taste good. Of course, I am getting better and learning new tricks the more often I cook. Perhaps it’s time I check out more of what FoodNetwork.com and Allrecipes.com can offer to advance my skills in the kitchen.

March 17th 2015 News

Tell A Story: Pitch New Opportunities Using Data

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Data

Image from: Data / Shutterstock

Learn how to win new business through a compelling, data driven story.

No matter what industry you work in, the key to success is a strong knowledge about how to find new business opportunities, and how to effectively communicate with clients and prospects.

On Wednesday March 18th, the Compete PRO Customer Success team will host a 30 minute webinar to help make you an expert in identifying opportunities and taking action using data.

During the webinar we will highlight ways to build strong prospect lists and quick and easily identify new growth opportunities using Compete PRO. With this information, you can ensure that you consistently have the resources you need to continue expanding upon your business.

We’ll show you how to find sites that are really worth your time and have the most potential for becoming an asset to your business. Understanding where to focus your attention, and how to accurately qualify websites and businesses will ultimately save you time and money.

Once you know which businesses best align with your interests and expertise, it’s time to have a productive conversation.

Utilizing data to support claims and pitches will add a layer of credibility and will make your story that much more compelling. We will show you how to quickly put together an enticing, data driven proposal that can be easily exported and shared with the right people.

We’ll also step you through how to continuously monitor the data trends that matter. This will further enable you to become an expert in your client or prospect’s industry and will prove that you are very familiar with their brand. Having the ability to convey how well versed you are in a particular subject matter will work in your favor when it comes to the decision making process.

Being well versed in important trends will also enable you to secure frequent and relevant touch points. We’ll show you how to use PRO to consistently engage in productive conversations that will be thought provoking and ultimately, profitable.

For more tips about how to make prospecting and outreach quick and easy, join the webinar on Wednesday, March 18th. Register today!

March 16th 2015 News

The Weekly Pulse

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Weekly Pulse Digital

We hope everyone had a great week! Here are our top digital marketing news picks that we thought you should take a look at!

5 Ways To Optimize Your Digital Marketing Budget

This article from Entrepreneur highlights a few key changes that businesses can make to optimize their digital marketing budget. Find out how you can maximize success through cross-channel integration or remarketing, focusing on what works best, and scaling when necessary.

Top Four SEO Factors to Look Out for in 2015

SEO is constantly evolving and businesses always need to be prepared. What are the best efforts to deploy to ready your company for the changes? This piece by Business 2 Community contends that user friendliness, going local, content, and not over-optimizing are the keys to success. Find out why!

Creative Ideas Are Good, but Creative Solutions Are Better: Managing Online Leads

Measuring ROI turns a creative idea into a creative solution. These solutions arm marketers with more information that can help them hone in on the consumer. Find out how to transform your creativity into a great fit with your customer base with this article from ClizkZ.

March 15th 2015 News

February Top 50: News, Tax Sites Among The Mix

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Taxes

Image from: Tax Sites / Shutterstock

February data is now live on Compete PRO! With the new numbers up, we wanted to devote a blog piece to the top 50 domains with some impressive stats for February.

News Sites

Numerous domains for news sources made their way into the top 50 for unique visitors during February. Websites like Huffingtonpost.com (#19), Forbes.com (#25), NYTimes.com (#26), and CNN.com (#32) just to name a few. Despite CNN.com having the fewest unique visitors of those news sites, it did have the highest amount of visits with over 224.2 million. This suggests that it is developing a loyal audience, as higher numbers of the same people are coming back at least two or more times a month. Perhaps it is because of the way the site packages its content: aside from text articles, it has extensive sections devoted to video deliverables– a medium that is becoming increasingly popular for digital platforms.

Tax Sites

IRS.gov (#42) had the highest month-over-month growth at 19.3% for the top 50 domains during February. Clearly this growth is stemming from all the activity during tax season. Search referral traffic reports showed people were focused on getting money back from their tax returns. The keyword “Where’s my refund” garnered the highest percentage of search share at around 4.6%. In total, 8.7% of the search share was devoted to a combined group of similar keywords involving the term, “refund.”

Aside from Google.com, the highest incoming and outgoing traffic shares went next to Intuit.com with 8.3% and 7.1% of the traffic. Intuit offers a host of finance and tax services like QuickBooks, TurboTax, Quicken, and Mint. With tax season in full swing and the clear relationship to the IRS-graphically the two trend lines are nearly identical – it is no surprise that so much traffic was coming to and from this domain. Intuit actually had more unique visitors (UV’s) than IRS.gov with about 27.7 million as compared to that of 24.6 million, placing it at 37th in the top 50 domains last month.

Takeaways

As tax season trudges on, I fully expect IRS.gov and Intuit.com to remain in the top 50 for March, perhaps even moving further up the rankings. News sites have been generally deviating between small rises and falls in unique visitor counts, but perhaps gaining a new audience isn’t the exact formula for success. Rather, news sites may want to focus on loyalty metrics and gaining a more devoted following.

Rank
Domain
Unique Visitors
MoM Growth
1 google.com 175,756,484 -1.27%
2 youtube.com 163,285,448 -1.41%
3 yahoo.com 161,513,399 -3.56%
4 facebook.com 159,415,132 -2.25%
5 amazon.com 111,399,015 -9.52%
6 bing.com 100,146,963 4.08%
7 wikipedia.org 98,461,327 -1.42%
8 live.com 81,461,128 -3.27%
9 twitter.com 78,706,425 -7.97%
10 msn.com 64,708,772 17.80%
11 blogspot.com 59,656,866 -4.27%
12 linkedin.com 57,838,215 -0.53%
13 ebay.com 57,505,495 -12.49%
14 wordpress.com 53,563,383 4.32%
15 microsoft.com 48,850,239 -11.97%
16 pinterest.com 48,497,556 -3.97%
17 go.com 46,745,927 -10.51%
18 about.com 46,028,481 -16.20%
19 huffingtonpost.com 45,670,004 -9.16%
20 apple.com 45,400,403 -6.19%
21 craigslist.org 44,553,620 -13.24%
22 paypal.com 41,832,260 -3.74%
23 instagram.com 41,389,162 0.98%
24 walmart.com 41,228,911 -17.21%
25 forbes.com 39,262,400 3.08%
26 nytimes.com 37,979,872 11.61%
27 tumblr.com 36,800,062 5.31%
28 weather.com 36,138,900 5.25%
29 imdb.com 35,445,175 -0.14%
30 yelp.com 34,886,606 -3.17%
31 netflix.com 34,368,060 -8.38%
32 cnn.com 33,503,555 2.37%
33 buzzfeed.com 30,886,464 11.53%
34 chase.com 30,331,822 -11.92%
35 dropbox.com 29,803,321 6.28%
36 myspace.com 28,479,040 -11.41%
37 intuit.com 27,646,907 16.19%
38 adobe.com 26,608,022 -29.14%
39 usatoday.com 26,249,579 2.25%
40 businessinsider.com 26,074,461 6.76%
41 washingtonpost.com 25,177,478 6.35%
42 irs.gov 24,567,028 19.31%
43 target.com 23,810,470 -20.94%
44 aol.com 23,691,925 -20.76%
45 wikihow.com 23,626,396 -6.29%
46 answers.com 23,564,556 -2.29%
47 foxnews.com 23,559,812 -3.43%
48 bankofamerica.com 23,471,613 -11.97%
49 bestbuy.com 23,214,894 -15.89%
50 cnet.com 22,971,556 -6.95%

If you need early access to the latest month’s data and you’re not a Compete PRO user, start your Compete PRO subscription today to get early data and more!

March 12th 2015 News

February Data is Now Live – Better Call Saul, #TheDress, and More

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television with remote

Image from: Watching Television / Shutterstock

February data is now live and available in Compete PRO! Unlike last year, tax sites have all but dropped out of the Monthly Fast Movers in February (with e-file.com being the only such site to make an appearance). Like last year, flower sites made their annual ascent to the top of our Monthly Fast Movers with U.S. consumers making purchases for Valentine’s Day. However, there were plenty of other interesting things that happened in February that drove growth for our Fast Movers.

Television network, AMC, also made a huge splash online in February with the release of their new original series and prequel to the hit show, Breaking Bad. Looking at search referrals for AMCTV.com for the last 90 days, the keyword “better call saul” has accounted for nearly 12% of all search traffic to the site. Adding in other keywords related to the show in the top 50 keywords driving traffic and they account for almost 20% of all search traffic to AMCTV.com. While the 165% month-over-month (MoM) growth in unique visitors for AMCTV.com is very impressive, such explosive growth usually leads to a decline in engagement metrics since more new site viewers are typically looking to see what the hype is about and don’t tend to stick around. However, AMCTV.com saw increases across the board in engagement metrics like monthly attention (the amount of time spent on the site as a percentage of total time spent on the Internet in a given month), average stay, visits per person, and pages per visit. It seems as if fans of the show are also happy to engage with AMC online, a good sign for advertisers, especially since demographics for AMCTV.com in February show much higher rates of visitation from the coveted 18-34 age bracket compared with the Internet population as a whole. 48.3% of AMCTV.com’s audience falls into that bucket compared with just 35.7% of the Internet browsing population.

If you spent any time surfing the Internet towards the end of February, odds are very good you saw all the hubbub about #thedress. In case you didn’t, we’re referring to a Tumblr post in late February in which Internet goers were asked to identify if the dress in the image was either white and gold or blue and black. Since different people saw different colors when they looked at the image, an Internet-wide debate was sparked and the resulting publicity for the image was huge. One site in particular that reaped the rewards of covering the now infamous dress was Wired.com. The news site wrote a very popular piece on the science behind why different people perceived the dress to be different colors, which resulted in a large, noticeable traffic bump for the site. In fact, running an exact match keyword report in Compete PRO for “the dress” shows that Wired.com received over 31% of search traffic for the keyword, even higher than BuzzFeed.com (which captured 12% of traffic from “the dress”). Looking at the top 50 keywords sending traffic to Wired, dress-related keywords accounted for more than 20% of search traffic to Wired.com.

Monthly Fast Movers February 2015

If you need early access to the latest month’s data and you’re not a Compete PRO user, start your Compete PRO subscription today to get early data and more!

March 10th 2015 News

Sunday Series: Ski Slopes…Slope Up and Down with the Seasons

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Ski

Image from: Ski / Shutterstock

To me, there is no better feeling than flying down a mountain on a pair of skis. I will always love skiing, even if the temperature reads below zero and my feet freeze (when I forget my toe warmers). With the mountain constantly on my mind, I thought it would be good to channel my obsession into looking at data from the Skiing/Snowboarding Enthusiast category on Compete PRO.

The Ski and Snowboard industry is generally at the mercy of the change in seasons. When the weather gets warmer and the snow melts, ski season unfortunately has to come to an end, for most places in the US at least. But when the weather gets cold and the snow starts, skiing can once again commence. And each year, nearly every online market share metric begins to steadily increase from October- as the weather gets colder and the start of ski season rapidly approaches- until December.

However, we see that each year the market share metrics start to decline after December. I thought this was rather interesting given the fact that the season is still in full swing and there is great skiing through January till even the end of March. However, while metrics such as Unique Visitors peak in December for the category, UV’s are actually higher during the months of descent – January through March (7.2 to 5.5 million) – than ascent – September through November (2.9 to 5.4 million).

UV's

One reason for the peak in December is that a lot of people may be going online to purchase skis or gear in December, either because it is the beginning of the season, or because of the holiday season. People may flock at the start, but once they’ve purchase what they need they may not be compelled to return to certain websites for the rest of the season.

Backcountry.com (#1), an online winter sports retailer, claimed the top position on the mountain for January unique visitors (UV’s). The website made up a little under half of the 5.3 million total UV’s for the category. Despite month-over-month drops – consistent with category trends – year-over-year growth was positive for most of traffic and loyalty metrics. Unique visitors rose by 76% and visits went up by 155% over the year, meaning new people are coming to the site and returning more often. Developing a large audience is important, but creating a loyal audience is arguably paramount. The good news for Backcountry is that both the size of audience and the loyalty of the audience are on the rise, which could lead to increased conversions.

UV's Ski & Snowboard

Will ski and snowboard sites ever be able to stay relevant to consumers in the off-season? Major sales do occur during non-peak months, so this is one area that websites should try to capitalize on. Developing strong content and getting users to engage is, of course, always another source to remain relevant. As of now though, it appears that the sunshine and warm weather makes a lot of consumers forget about the trails.

March 9th 2015 News

The Weekly Pulse

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Weekly Pulse Digital

The week may be coming to an end, but tons of news has circulated around the web as always. One important topic that we wanted to highlight today is content. We have found a few articles from top sources on the subject for you below!

Templates for Successful Social Web Content

Social engagement, although often over looked, can help drive SEO and conversions. This article from ClickZ highlights a few easy ways to get your content shared and appreciated around the web.

Why B2B Content Is So Important

Content is important, because it often dictates how your current or potential customers perceive your business. The distinction between strong and weak content may be end up converting or costing you a sale. Check out the insight and the numbers to back it in this piece by Business 2 Community.

The Future Looks Bright If You Use Adaptive Content

Mobile, tablet, and desktop are the three major platforms for content consumption. These devices, although somewhat similar, are definitely not identical. Some marketers may be forgetting to adapt their content to fit with the right source and display. Catch the latest on how to maximize content with the right configuration on the right screen.

March 8th 2015 News