Image from: Football / Shutterstock
When we think of the game of football, a few immediate things come to mind: tailgating, big hits, Joe Montana, and… web traffic results (with a special emphasis on web traffic results). We can’t really facilitate the first three things, but we’ve got you covered with all the web data. In honor of Super Bowl Sunday, this Sunday Series we will be reviewing the performance of the Football category from the last few months on Compete PRO. *spikes football at desk*
For the overall category, we tend to see a surprising downward trend in January, specifically around Super Bowl time. The category sees the most action around September, when the NFL season kicks off and college football is a few games in. Traffic tends to decrease as the regular season progresses, but spikes when playoff time and bowl games hit. By January, with the NFL championships fast approaching, there is a large drop in unique visitors, a fall that continues fairly drastically into the offseason. The drop eventually comes to a halt in August, when preseason football begins and the viewership ramps up dramatically through September again.
Think your team’s website made it up into the top 10 for December? Packers.com (5), Seahawks.com (6), Dallascowboys.com (7), Patriots.com (9), and Steelers.com (10) all ranked among the top 10 websites for December. Probably not coincidental – these teams all made it to the playoffs this year. Furthermore, the Buccaneers and Titans, who had the least amount of wins this season, also had the least amount of unique visitors among team websites. On the surface, there appears to be a direct relationship between winning on the field and winning online unique visitors. The deeper notion, however, is that “good content,” in the form of winning, drives consumer web traffic.
When focusing in on the keyword, “football,” the usual cast of characters rounded out the top websites on the referral list with one abnormality in the mix. Maxpreps.com (#7), a website devoted to high school sports, commanded a higher share of search referrals for the keyword, “football,” than nfl.com (#8), the domain for the national football league. This, of course, does not mean we can draw the conclusion that high school football is more popular than the professional league.
One possibility is that digital could be a more preferred medium for high school sports than professional sports. The NFL games are broadcast through TV on a frequent basis – not to mention multiple television shows feature news about the NFL throughout the day, allowing for a much more rapid diffusion of information. Rarely will news from the high school level escape the local area, so students need to turn to the web to find information they may not have easy access to.
Unfortunately football season is winding down, but the good news is that we can finally refocus our attention back to real sports like hot dog eating, curling, and logrolling. Even if you aren’t rooting for the Patriots or Seahawks, have an excellent Super Bowl Sunday!