Nielsen highlights top U.S. web properties and activities in 2012, helping brands see potential for 2013.

Web traffic trends influence how marketers develop online outreach campaigns. New data from Nielsen highlights the most popular and trafficked web and mobile properties in 2012, which can show marketers where to focus their attention for greater content ROI.

Nielsen Top 2012 Web PropAccording to the source’s research, American internet users search, socialize, shop, browse and research frequently. Nielsen identified the two U.S. sites that serve the highest percentage of monthly unique visitors – Google and Facebook. The search engine giant apparently reaches 172 million monthly visitors, while the social media giant caters to 153 million strong.

Media sites Yahoo! (No. 3) and AOL (No. 7), shopping hub Amazon (No. 8) and Microsoft presences (No. 6) all landed in the top 10 web properties.

As for online video content destinations, Google’s YouTube landed in the top spot, averaging more than 132 million monthly unique viewers and 15 billion video streams per month. Nielsen also discovered that internet properties with video content attracted an audience that spent longer periods of time viewing online media on those websites.

Nielsen’s data provides marketers with insight into which web properties they should consider when developing online marketing campaigns. Optimizing branded content for Google, publishing social media content on Facebook and implementing an effective video marketing campaign can help companies reach new markets in 2013. As for how these sites help brands thrive online, content marketing – especially through social networks and video content production – give marketers opportunities to speak with wider audiences. The power of the internet continues to become more obvious for brands, and future outreach programs will prove that optimized web content provides noticeable ROI in today’s digital world.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.