Compete.com recently put out it's list of 'Top 50 websites' for unique visitors during the month of August and although there is not all that much 'month to month' change from July, there are some trends to note from a year on year perspective. (see: Compete.com Top 50 Sites for August 2009)
Sites like Google, Yahoo, Facebook and YouTube along with MSN continue to dominate the 'Top 5' positions, with Facebook being the only site that was not grouped at the top in 2008.
Like any brand that is hot and gaining momentum, it starts off with large spurts of growth and heavy acquisition of users and then it's about keeping them. Facebook has enjoyed a 197% increase in unique visitors from this time last year and Twitter at position number 38 has increased their unique visitors by 803% making them the social media kings and what much of the online marketing world is buzzing about these days, but they have had virtually no change from last month.
The user-generated content site ehow.com dropped 6% from last month, but is still holding strong with 123% growth over this time last year.
Blogging sites like Blogger and Blogspot continue to grow from last year as well while sites like myspace.com that have dropped 5% from last year.
Finally, Microsoft's Bing.com continues to surge ahead with 7 figure percentage growth and that's quite impressive considering that they were not even on the 'Top 50' at this time last year.
What does this all mean?
Well, it's a pretty good snapshot of where the online traffic lives — and gives business owners an idea of which sites are seeing the most unique visitors these days.
Retailers like Amazon, Target and Wal-Mart are on the list as well as Apple who continue to stay clear of the negative impacts of our downtown economy.
It's pretty much a snapshot of the masses – what most people are doing and primarily what Americans are doing online and where they are spending their time and you can't go wrong with affiliating to any one of the 'Top 50', if you are looking to gain more eyeballs to your website.
Still – you need to remember who you are targeting as many of these sites serve the masses and you might need to do more than open up a 'seller-central' account with Amazon or buy 'adwords' on Google and create a 'fan page' on Facebook to get your business off the ground.
Think about what it is that you are selling, where those customers may be and how you can get to them by linking to sites that already have them. Mass online marketing strategies and tactics to leverage e-commerce platforms and media properties like Google and Facebook are necessary to climb the popularity ranks of the online world and the more high traffic sites you affiliate to, the higher your rankings will be from an SEO perspective.
Having said that, think about the niche markets you are serving and create your own 'Top 50' for your industry or category to effectively target your audience. Affiliating to a site that has a customer base of sports fans when you are selling sports apparel, for example, can likely do more for your business than ever imagined. It's all about targeting and it always will be about effective targeting as someone who just doesn't need or want what you are selling likely never will.
Ron Kunitzky, an expert in strategic business affiliations and partnerships and founder of Geyser Marketing Group – the Partnership Marketing Firm, and has successfully brokered partnership marketing programs for companies as varied as Coastal Contacts, Dell Computer, NASDAQ, and 1-800-GOT-JUNK?.