The Mirror Group’s websites reached 4.4 million unique users in March, its debut ABCe figure has confirmed.
The figure combines traffic to Mirror.co.uk, SundayMirror.co.uk, People,co.uk, DailyRecord.co.uk and SundayMail.co.uk, and the group says the figure represents a 93 per cent year-on-year increase over unaudited internal figures for March 2007.
In statements released by the parent company Trinity Mirror this week, Mirror Group Digital head Paul Hood stressed that the digital strategy of the national newspaper division would focus on growing its domestic audience.
The group’s figures show that 2.5 million unique users (56.7 per cent) of Mirror Group sites’ traffic was from UK-based users.
The Mirror Group’s debut figures leave it trailing significantly behind the other newspaper websites that publish ABCe audits each month.
Despite a 4.18 per cent month-on-month dip, Guardian.co.uk continued to lead the pack online, with 18.7 million unique users, 35.92 per cent more than in March 2007.
Mail Online, which is currently test a beta version of its redesigned website, was second with 17.97 million unique users. The Mail’s figure represents a 175 per cent boost over March 2007, 5.5 per cent more than this February and is the closest it has ever come to catching the Guardian.
Telegraph.co.uk reported record traffic, pushing with just over 17m unique users, a 137 per cent year-on-year increase.
Telegraph Media Group marketing director Barry Flanigan attributed the strong March major news stories, particularly around the credit crunch.
In a statement released by the group, Flanigan said the Telegraph had had best-ever day for UK traffic on the day that the Budget was revealed.
‘We are extremely pleased with the way our multimedia strategy has helped drive performance and our Budget coverage is a great example of this,’he said.
Telegraph.co.uk’s massive 38.7 per cent month-on-month rise – the largest recorded since monthly ABCe audits began – pushed Times Online into fourth place, despite it also showing record traffic with 16.08 million users.
The Sun Online was fifth, with 13.79 million unique users, a 71.79 per cent rise over March 2007.
FT.com, which only publishes ABCe figures semi-annually, reported 7.13 million unique users in March, 33 per cent more than one year ago.
The Mirror Group’s 56.7 per cent UK readership was the highest proportion of any grou had the largest proportion of domestic readers, but its 2.5 million
Guardian.co.uk had the biggest domestic readership, with 7.7 million UK readers, followed by Telegraph.co.uk, which had 6 million – 35.5 per cent of its readership. Times Online had a similar proportion of domestic users, 5.6 million in total. Sun Online had 5.2 million UK users, or 38 per cent of its total.
Mail Online had the highest overseas readership, with just 28.4 per cent of its readership, or 5.1 million users, coming from the UK and 12.87 million abroad.