There’s an odd—and slightly discomforting—duality in Similarweb’s 2020 Digital Trends report. While mobile web saw traffic increase by an “astounding” 30.6% since 2017,” traffic to the top 100 media publications was down by 5.3% between 2018-2019 and by 7% since 2017. The two media categories that saw increasing traffic are Finance and Business, and Women’s Interest.
The trend benefiting finance publications is that of users seeking impartial financial information turning to third-party content sites to learn more. “While most of the top finance publications see traffic rise, money.cnn.com switched to a different URL structure, resulting in what only appears to be a decline in traffic, and thebalance.com sees traffic decline due to a diversified portfolio of sites,” the report explains.
The report covers the latest trends in eCommerce, travel, media publications, finance, social media and more. It examines incoming desktop and mobile web traffic, alongside Android app usage for the top websites and brands around the world.
Here are more highlights from the report:
Time for video. “Decrease in media traffic may be related to democratization of media consumption, as audiences go to video-first platforms, social media, and general news sites for information.”
Response: Any publisher not doing video and social media now should take another look.
Attention spans are getting shorter. This is not breaking news. As mobile web becomes more prominent, its shorter visit duration, coupled with a decrease in visit durations on desktop, leads to an overall decrease in time users spend on sites—49 seconds over the course of three years.
Response. Get to the point. I saw a weekly email here that a colleague sends out titled The Week Ahead. He begins it with Here’s What You Missed Last Week. At the bottom is This Week’s Events and Future Events. I suggested that he might want to move those up. The days of teasing people with “openers” and then getting to the important content may be behind us.
Online Shopping Is Growing in Every Category. The General Shopping category, fueled by Amazon, received 69% of shopping traffic over the past three years. Its volume of growth is staggering, increasing by 126 million monthly visits over the past year. Americans recent focus on health is also apparent, as the Health and Pharma category saw an impressive 17% growth, YoY.
Response: Hop on board. Large publisher Bonnier sells its Good Life collection on Amazon along with its own site. BuzzFeed generates substantial revenues from its product reviews and recommendations. If you have can branch out in any health or pharma ways, go for it.
There’s Value in Third-Party Content. Users seeking impartial financial information turn to third-party content sites to learn more.
Response: Make your website as mobile-friendly and content-on-demand as possible. Content remains king here. Impartiality should also remain huge as political polarization and fake news continue to be real concerns. Another colleague wrote me today that “so many publishers still have channels that aren’t mobile friendly.” That has to change.
Bye Bye Tumblr, Hello YouTube! While the total volume of online socializing hasn’t changed, the category is being shaken up, as traffic usually reserved for Facebook has shifted to YouTube. Every other network has seen traffic increase, besides Tumblr. 77.3% of those surveyed said they consider either Facebook or Youtube as the most important channels for influencer marketing, 26% of which consider both.
Response: Did we say video? Oh right, we said that. Being mobile friendly is also huge. On the Metro now here in Washington, D.C., I’d say 8 out of 10 people are on their mobile devices. And in cars… let’s not go there.
59.53% of Traffic to News Sites Is Mobile. “It was found that users browsing the internet on their mobiles prefer to visit sites that cover topics such as adult content, gambling, food and drink, pets and animals, health, community, sports and lifestyle.”
Response: Community is something to always keep in mind.
Go here to download the report.