Media, Finance Site Traffic Rises In A Stay-At-Home Coronavirus World

Media and finance websites are experiencing the biggest jump in web traffic, with 33% and 29%, respectively. Traffic to food-related websites rose by 22%; healthcare, 15%; and pharma, 5%.

“Ecommerce was a mixed bag, depending on what sites sold,” Neil Patel, cofounder of KISSmetrics, Crazy Egg and other companies, wrote in a post published Tuesday. “Traffic was either up or down. For example, if you were selling baby products like diapers or wipes, then you saw a nice bump in traffic. But if you were selling luxury goods like big-screen televisions you saw a drop in traffic.”

Consumers may be homebound in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, but global stats released today suggest website traffic and conversions continue to fall in most market segments, but not all.

The economic fallout could include recessions in the U.S., Europe and Japan, the slowest growth on record in China, and a total of $2.7 trillion in lost output equivalent to the entire GDP of the U.K, reports Bloomberg.

Patel suggests it may be the time to “double-down” on campaigns when others are not. During an economic downturn, there’s “less competition, which means it is easier and faster to get results. In some cases, you’ll be able to get deals, such as a potential reduction in pay-per-click advertising.”

While the findings provide a global perspective, the data does not include sites with less than 5,000 monthly visitors. They tend to have a drastic swing from a percentage perspective, even when there are no global issues or algorithm updates. The findings also exclude data from restaurants for lack of enough data.

Conversions dropped in most industries, even in the financial sector, which had big traffic booms in traffic. Food at 58%, healthcare at 29%, media at 7%, and pharma at 7% rose, while areas such as construction, travel and manufacturing fell.

As people start spending an increasing amount of time at home, this could all change — and web traffic could rise again.

Forrester conducted the #pandemicEX research project to understand how employees feel about COVID-19 and the spread of the virus. The survey, fielded between March 3 and 6, asks a random sample of 470 U.S. adults who work part-time or full-time to share their thoughts.

Some 53% said they are “afraid of the spread” of the coronavirus. For those 45 and up, the number rose to 63%. Both numbers are lower than the 67% of people who indicate they “regularly read about” and stay informed about the situation.

Construction at minus 50%, manufacturing at minus 21%, real estate at minus 30% and travel at minus 41% are taking the biggest hit in conversion growth.

Patel wrote the data shows a dip in the number of people searching for flights and hotels. It doesn’t show a drastic drop in the cost per click, but did see a big increase in cost per acquisition.

“As we recover, you’ll see your revenue climb and the ROI from your marketing spend go through the roof,” Patel wrote.

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