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Future sees huge Tour de France audience growth, invests in US

Published October 1, 2020

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Future plc cycling websites saw a huge spike in interest during this year's 2020 Tour de France, with visitors to up 56% compared to the 2019 race period.

Combined global users to Future’s two leading cycling websites, and, were 7.44 million for the Tour de France period (Google Analytics, 29 August - 20 September 2020).

Dave Clutterbuck, Future’s Managing Director for Sports, says: “The work we did last year to re-platform Cyclingnews and improve search engine optimisation, along with excellent event coverage from the editorial team, has paid off massively this year. Organic search traffic is up 79% year-on-year and we fully expect to see growth at a similar scale for Cycling Weekly next year.” With the delayed Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a Espana and the Spring Classics still to come, Future’s websites are poised to see even more growth this year.

Future acquired and its sister magazine Procycling in March 2019 and has since purchased the parent company of Cycling Weekly and mountain biking brand MBR. The company has invested in its cycling brands, hiring additional staff to create content, launching a new site, and re-platforming its websites - in August 2019, with to follow in January 2021.

Part of the strategic focus for the group is to drive more qualified buyers to its sites through a combination of quality buying advice and SEO expertise. This has allowed the company to rank highly in search engines for key cycling buying terms, and use its proprietary ecommerce platform Hawk, to drive direct sales to merchant sites.

“In September we have managed $1.3m in sales orders direct from our sites to cycling retailers and brands,” says Clutterbuck. Future is targeting more growth in the US, already its biggest territory with over 3 million users to its sites in September (Google Analytics, September 2020). “We are investing in more US-based writers and reviewers to ensure we continue to serve the US market.

Since we integrated at the end of June this year, we’ve seen users from the States increase by 20% year-on-year and a 49% increase in traffic to our buyer’s guides since we began a project to improve our offering in August.” 

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