Global online audience management firm Effective Measure, the official traffic measurement partner of the IAB South Africa, has released their latest mid-year ranking reports for websites in South Africa, revealing the country’s most popular websites in 14 categories, from sports to news.
Audience data reveals the top three ranked websites in South Africa for the first half of 2017 are News24 in first place, with 6.6 million unique browsers, followed by Gumtree with 5 million unique browsers and TimesLIVE in third place with 3.6 million unique browsers.
Greg Mason, sub Saharan Africa Regional MD for Effective Measure, said that ranking reports from an official measurement currency is crucial for the publishing industry, “these numbers encourage healthy competition between websites and publishers”.
“However, these ranking reports are just one element of the publishing industry. We actively look at the niche audiences that these websites attract, whether it’s sports-mad males or high net worth individuals,” says Mason.
The websites included in the ranking are tracked with the Effective Measure tracking tag, the official audience measurement currency of the IAB South Africa.
Websites are ranked by average monthly unique browsers for 1 January 2017 to 30 June 2017 and the ranking report includes monthly averages for page views, average visit duration and percentage of unique browsers on mobile.
The ranking reports also list the top 10 websites for 14 categories, including Arts & Entertainment, Automotive, Broadcast Media, Business, Careers, Health & Fitness, Hobbies & Interests, Mobile, News, Portals, Sports, Style & Fashion, Technology & Computing and Travel.
In the News category the top three are News24 with just over 6.5 million unique browsers and 60.99% on mobile, TimesLIVE with 3.6 million unique browsers and 68.46% on mobile and IOL with 2.8 million unique browsers and 49.94% on mobile.
The top three business websites are Fin24 with 1.4 million unique browers and 53% on mobile, Business Tech with 950k unique browsers and 70% on mobile and BusinessLIVE with 900k unique browsers and 57% on mobile.
Sport24 tops the sports category with 1.6 million unique browsers and 67% on mobile, followed by Soccer Laduma with 1.5 million unique browsers and 89% on mobile, and SuperSport with 1.25 million unique browsers and 78% on mobile. The Sports24 mobile app comes in at seventh place in this category with just over 412k unique browsers.
The top three in broadcast media show EWN far ahead with 2.4 million unique browsers and 71% on mobile, followed by ECR in second place, with 580k unique browsers and 56% on mobile and thirdly, Jacaranda FM with 509k unique browsers and 57% on mobile.
Media24 boasts the top three mobile App winners. News24 is in first place with just under 4.3 million unique browsers, followed by Sport24 with just over one million and Careers24 in third place with 870k unique browsers.
Mason says the trend shows continued maturing of programmatic advertising and the adoption of audience data into programmatic display campaigns. Audience data allows for far deeper targeting of digital campaigns.
“As both suppliers and consumers of audience data become savvier we can expect to see an increase in the supply of quality audience data into the market, as well as an increased demand from digital advertisers and agencies,” he adds.
So how can publishers and advertisers improve their rankings? Mason advises publishers to “firstly focus on producing quality content and as much of it as you can. Secondly, focus on the basics of SEO and in particular the effective use of metadata and keywords. It is also vital for a publisher to effectively leverage social media to post and share their content,” he says.
His advice to advertisers is to “always ensure the relevance of your message to the audience you are targeting. A small change in banner copy can instantly make your ad more relevant to a specific audience on a specific site. It might seem like a huge job to have multiple versions of the same banner but the results will more than make up for it.”