According to the UK Online Measurement company (UKCOM), the amount of time people spend online has mushroomed by 65% over the last three years. The average Briton now spends almost a day a month surfing the web.
Most of that time is spent either on social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter or MySpace, or on blogs. These account for almost 25% of all time spent online.
Not all web activities have grown: Instant Messaging (IM) used to be a real favourite in the UK, but its use is in decline. Whilst three years ago people spent around 14% of their time using IM, it now comes in at just 5%.
Meanwhile, that old favourite ‘Email’ continues to play an important role, up from 6.5% to 7.2%.
Other risers include classified adverts & auctions (up to 4.7%) and online news (up to 2.8%).
Here’s the full list:
Social networks / blogs – 22.7%
E-mail – 7.2%
Games – 6.9%
Instant Messaging – 4.9%
Classified/Auctions – 4.7%
Portals – 4%
Search – 4%
Software info/products – 3.4%
News – 2.8%
Adult – 2.7%
Since there are 85 different categories, the fact that ‘adult’ makes it into the top ten shows that it continues to be popular.
What does this mean for you
If you’re a website builder, this survey makes interesting reading. To start with, increased net use shows that your website will have an ever growing opportunity to gain visitors.
Second, the online activities of Joe public point to the areas that you should be using to boost your visitor numbers.
The increasing popularity of social networking sites shows that you should be looking to get visitors from both Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a Video Tutorial on how to integrate your website with Facebook and Twitter. And here’s one on how to add a Twitter feed to your website.
Email is also an important way to reach visitors. Make sure you give users the chance to sign up to a newsletter from your website.
And search engines should also be a good source of visitors. Here’s a link to the first part of our SEO Guide.
Do you know where your visitors are coming from? Has that changed? Leave us a comment below.