It's important for nonprofits to know which websites on the internet have the most traffic. It helps them understand where people are online so they can be sure they are participating on the most popular sites.
I am a fan of Alexa.com®, the web information company that ranks websites with the most traffic by country and by category as well as providing data on audiences. While the data you collect on your stakeholders online behavior, through website, email and other analytics is the most important, the data about activity on the greater web helps steer your online strategy.
As sites decline in popularity (as MySpace® seems to be doing, though it still has a lot of traffic) nonprofits may want to think about putting less effort into those channels. This of course depends on your website traffic statistics – if MySpace® continues to be one of the top 20 referrers of traffic to your site you likely want to maintain your presence there. If not, you may want to reduce the resources you expend on maintaining a presence on that channel. I recommend you check out this ranking once a quarter, just to see what sites are rising/falling in popularity.
For example, Twitter has moved from #9 to #7 in the past month. YouTube is now the #2 search engine on the internet after Google and visitors average almost 20 minutes when they visit. Are you on YouTube? Getting familiar with Twitter? You likely should consider it.
Besides statistics by country, you can look at the statistics by category. Under the heading "Society" there are listings for Activism, Philanthropy, LGBT, Issues and more. Under Philanthropy, the top 6 sites are:
As of August, 2010, here are the top 20 sites with the most traffic in the United States. The links take you to the detail page on the Alexa.com site:
10. Windows Live
18. CNN Interactive