James Arnold, Chief Digital Officer, Rooster Strategic Solutions
Last year, Rooster introduced an independent review of 33 agricultural company websites across six categories. Using the same tools and measurements, this is an “apples-to-apples” approach that companies can use to see where they rank, and advertisers can use to compare publishers. We provide this report first to our clients, along with more context and sophisticated metrics – that’s only fair – before providing this free to the public. We hope that this accurate review of websites will be useful to you.
Here’s the Q3 report and some take-aways:
Overall web traffic remains low. We saw a significant decrease in traffic in June, across nearly all categories. This was strange in that consumer traffic spiked as more people stayed inside their homes. Although traffic rose for most agricultural categories in Q3 – particularly the number of visitors to Pioneer’s website – overall traffic remains muted. We’ll keep an eye on this.
Two publishers take control. AgWeb.com and Agriculture.com have owned the top two slots among publishers since we began measuring last year; Q3 saw both extend their separation from the others.
Interest in used equipment stays strong. This is particularly true for TractorHouse.com, which not only avoided the overall agricultural dip last summer but extended its dominance in this category.
Drovers is pulling away. After battling neck-and-neck with BeefMagazine.com through most of 2020 for the top slot, Drovers pulled away last quarter, both in terms of the number of unique visitors to the site and time spent on the site. On the dairy side, there was a small bump in traffic in September, but overall numbers are still down. DairyHerd.com leads the category; we’ll keep an eye on this in light of Farm Journal’s recent announcement to fold MilkBusiness.com into DairyHerd.com.
Precision sites battle for limited views. The spread in this category has narrowed significantly as traffic continues to slide.
What’s next? We’ll keep watching. Look for another report in January. And we understand that a report like this raises as many questions as it answers. That’s why we provide our clients with a smorgasbord of options, from a one-time web audit to a comprehensive, ongoing analysis. If you’re ready to delve deeper, I’d love to have a conversation.