As we continue to study the world wide web and focus on how we can take advantage of this limitless resource and marketplace, we must pay keen attention to the players who are winning the game and do so consistently. Also, we must learn as much as we can from them to avoid re-inventing the wheel and rediscovering fire.
Therefore, I chose to do a quick case study on the top 5 websites in Jamaica and also do a rough listing of 9 more based on their user traffic. Since high user traffic indicates that there must be something attractive or useful on that site. This is key if we want to retain regular viewers, increase advertising opportunities and thus create and maintain website profitability.
Most persons do not clearly have a plan to directly monetize their websites. Too many individuals create websites without setting targets to achieve specific landmarks. So, let us begin to look at some sites in Jamaica that are consistently attracting traffic and see what we can learn.
I think this one might be a ‘no-brainer.’ The Jamaica Gleaner has been a source of entertainment, sports news, international news and basically all the latest happenings in Jamaica. I would not say that their site is the most user-friendly or the most attractive, but it does the job of getting the latest news to the general public. This is a one of a kind online service in Jamaica that only a multi-million dollar news publishing company has been able to achieve in such a timely fashion. In addition, the price of the Sunday Gleaner publication is now JM$100 / US$1.11 and I’m sure that this price will go up very soon, as is the very predictable trend. Thus the online news site will be the perfect alternative especially as home internet availability is on the rise in Jamaica, with penetration at 54.5%.
Jamaica Gleaner Traffic Rank:
Jamaica – 1
World – 17,853
The Jamaica Observer is another news publication company that has gone online and is a direct competitor to the Jamaica Gleaner. Their site is not as cluttered as the gleaner’s website and makes finding information and news much easier. My philosophy: Simpler is better. One problem that I found on their site, was the inability to accurately search for previously published articles in the archives. Searches for popular news returned nil. Overall, the aim of the site is good and it does the job.
Jamaica Observer Traffic Rank:
And yet another news publishing company. I prefer this site’s design in comparison to the gleaner and observer. They have chosen a vibrant and attractive color theme that doesn’t make the site look like an old publishing company. The Jamaica Star is another company providing a useful information and news service for Jamaica and the world
Jamaica Star Traffic Rank:
Go-Jamaica, another subsidiary of the Gleaner Company, for as far back as I can remember, its website has not changed. Same old look. Yet, it does the job. They also offer additional services such as premium business directory listing, that costs a whopping $20,000 +Tax per listing, that’s approximately US$225. I seriously think they should go back to the drawing board with this and offer a lot more benefits than just a listing. There are hundreds of credible business directories on the web where listings can be placed for free that will have a greater chance of generating more traffic.
More go-jamaica offerings include web development and web & e-mail hosting.
Go-Jamaica Traffic Rank:
And finally at number 5, we have Techjamaica.com. Upon initially viewing this website, I could not figure out how it manages to attract all their traffic to the extent that Digicel Jamaica has taken over their landing page with an ad. I hope I don’t sound too much like a scrooge, but the site design is just blah. It doesn’t catch the eyes. Also, they provide technology news, which is basically copied and linked to Jamaica Observer. It would be a better experience if they provided a wider range of tech news as the name suggests. They have other links that basically scratch the surface of areas such as internet security, web development and mobile technology.
So, at the end of the experience I did not see what the hype was about, but I still wanted to know how they got so much traffic. Then, I looked deeper and found their forum. Here I found a secret online community buzzing with discussions about all types of topics. I say ’secret’ because I didn’t know about it all along. At the time of my viewing they had 65 users online, most of whom were viewing topics on mobile phones. They currently have a total of 564,915 posts and 10,924 members with 1,258 active.
So I have found the key to their attraction on the web. They offer a place where the average person can log on and share their views and information on different topics and also get advice. I just wish that their site was a bit more visually appealing. A revamp of the site design would surely attract more loyal users, certainly me as well.
Tech Jamaica Traffic Rank:
Other ranked sites in Jamaica:
NCB Jamaica – Jamaica: 6 | World: 191,731
Scotiabank – Jamaica: 7 | World: 3,941
876 Radio – Jamaica: 8 | World: 148,839
Digicel Jamaica – Jamaica: 9 | World: 178,180
University of the West Indies – Jamaica: 10 | World: 37,712
Wheels Jamaica Host – Jamaica: 11 | World: 274,258
Jahkno.com – Jamaica: 12 | World: 155,936
Dancehall.Mobi – Jamaica: 13 | World: 129,485
Splash Jamaica – Jamaica: 14 | World: 434,407
At the end of my analysis, I have learnt a lot, hope you have too. We have seen that excellent, unique and useful service will in most cases, if not all, drive traffic. On the web, Content is Key! There must be something useful for viewers. As we aim to attract more viewers to our sites, we must never forget the additional dynamics pertaining to user interactivity. Sites need to be designed to be clear, user friendly and conducive to a rich viewer experience. So, our choice of colors, placement of links and icons, graphics used, etc are all important factors in delivering rich content, since it is less likely that someone will appreciate what you’ve written if their initial impression of the site is poor.
Once consistent traffic is secured to your site, more opportunities become available through companies who wish to advertise their products on your site. These companies, at a fee, leverage your site’s visitors and attract customers. In addition, with the explosion of social media, a useful site which may have been previously unknown can grow to rockstar status in just a few weeks if the content and services are good.
Let us begin to leverage the internet and take advantage of its endless possibilities.
Note: Traffic ranks are obtained from Alexa.com, a free web service that offers traffic metrics, site demographics, hot urls, etc.