Increased consumer interest in website categories including home improvement, baseball and theme parks indicated that consumers were preparing for the arrival of spring in March 2010, according to Compete.
Every spring, there is typically a spike in home improvement-related traffic online. March 2010 followed this trend. Home improvement sites Bedbathandbeyond.com (5,058,487 unique visitors), lowes.com (10,342,666 unique visitors) and homedepot.com (12,792,326 unique visitors) were all among the month’s top moving sites, with month-over-month increases of 19%, 14.5% and 11%, respectively.
Web Users Ready to Play Ball
Compete’s “Baseball” category was among the month’s top movers with 7,513,832 unique visitors, a 43.7% increase from February 2010. Mlb.com led this category with a total of 6,786.134 unique visitors, earning the site the number three spot on Compete’s list of the month’s top-moving sites.
The greatest rivalry in baseball, Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees, showed no signs of cooling off in March 2010. The Sox’s online home, boston.redsox.mlb.com, was the highest trafficked Major League Baseball team site for the month with a total of 638,257 unique visitors, closely followed by newyork.yankees.mlb.com with 626,636 unique visitors.
Midwestern baseball fans were responsible for the most dramatic traffic increase at the MLB.com subdomain level, however. As the Minnesota Twins prepared to open the season in their new stadium, traffic to minnesota.twins.mlb.com soared to 348,975 unique visitors, representing a 73.9% month-over-month increase and a 70.78% uptick from March 2009. Chicago.cubs.mlb.com (494,882 unique visitors), philadelphia.phillies.mlb.com (387,972 unique visitors) and losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com (356,701 unique visitors) all also experienced strong month-over-month gains.
Warm Weather Means Travel
Two categories, “Theme Parks” and “Vacation Packagers,” showed strong month-over-month growth. Sixflags.com led the sites in Compete’s Theme Parks category with a total of 845,000 unique visitors, an 89.5% increase from February 2010. Seaworld.com (427,000 unique visitors), disneyvacations.com (344,398 unique visitors) and buschgardens.com (282.895 unique visitors) all experienced month-over-month gains and contributed to the category’s total 4,029,013 unique visitors for the month.
Compete’s Vacation Packagers category was also among the month’s top movers with a total of 6,788,309 unique visitors, a 30% increase in traffic from February 2010. Top sites in this category include voyageprive.com (1,408,864 unique visitors), southwestvacations.com (743,581 unique visitors) and cheapcaribbean.com (681,440 unique visitors).
Auto, Political Sites Gain Visitors
Auto manufacturer and political information sites were the top-growing US online site categories during March 2010, according to comScore Media Metrix, which uses different metrics than Compete. Auto manufacturers ranked as the top-gaining US site category in March 2010, growing 23% from about 20.5 million to 30.3 million visitors, as potential buyers researched vehicle options online.
The US audience for political sites grew 18% in March 2010, from 17.4 million to 20.5 million visitors as Americans sought the latest news and analysis on the political landscape, including the hotly debated healthcare reform bill. PoliticsDaily.com attracted 5.3 million unique visitors, while The Economist Group grew 35% to 2.7 million visitors and Politico.com grew 10% to 1.8 million visitors. The number of visitors to BarackObama.com more than doubled during the month, growing 133% to 1.5 million visitors.