The most visited Costa Rican websites

The most visited Costa Rican websites

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Conozca su Cantón and its investigation unit set themselves to the task of assessing how well ranked are Costa Rican websites around the world, and launched a unique study in the country. Get to know in this report, the Top 200 most visited national sites and find out which one got the crown

Costa Rica stands out in the Latin American map when it comes to connectivity, according to the Global Information Technology Report 2015 of the World Economic Forum Costa Rica is in the 49th position out of 143 economies in regards to technology use, and in second place in Latin America.

The report explains that in Costa Rica 72 out of 100 people use mobile broadband internet, and worldwide is ranked 50th in terms of social media. In addition, if we take a look to the future in just one year from now the quantity of cellphones will exceed the number of habitants and in the year 2036 we will have 100% Internet penetration.

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In terms of digital presence how is the performance of the Costa Rican websites? We might be a country with its people online but that does not mean that we have digital presence through websites. This is what the study “CR Enlace” of Conozca su Cantón points out, Conozca su Cantón manages the most comprehensive commercial guide of the country. The study identified, with Mckinsey Consulting’s statistics, that last year out of 120.000 companies operating in Costa Rica only 20.000 of them have a website.

Due to this Conozca su Cantón and its investigation unit conducted a study to review how well ranked are the Costa Rican websites worldwide.

How was it done?

The generation of this ranking of the most visited national sites, was part of a two-phase investigation process.

First of all, Conozca Su Cantón did an study called CRENLACE Costa Rica, through which all of the websites were tracked and then those of Costa Rican origin were filtered to increase the country’s digital fingerprint. The study used a data mining software, that up to now has processed 15.000 links of websites confirmed to be from companies with operations in Costa Rica.

From this results, a personalized database was created and it is the only one of its kinds in the country, and later on, during the second phase of the study, those websites were submitted to consultation with Alexa.com data, which has been established as the web positioning tool by default. That way it was possible to get the position that the tool gave to each website in regards to the worldwide ranking, and based on those extracted rankings we created the Top 200.

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It is important to clarify that the companies that use the same website for multiple countries and not just for Costa Rica, were excluded from the list. This is the case of some banks and hotels that operate under one url for their customers in Central America or the world. For example: BAC, Marriot, Four Seasons, Freshdelmonte, among others.

Using this methodology, Conozca Su Cantón conducted an investigation never before done in the country, an innovator study since this would be the first time this data will be shown.

Something else worth mentioning, alexa.com offers for free its top 500 of the websites most visited per country, which makes it a ranking of the websites that Costa Ricans visit the most but it does not reveal which Costa Rican websites are the most visited around the world, including both Costa Ricans and foreign visitors, on the other hand Conozca su Cantón’s study did cover that part. In other words, this study measures the impact of Costa Ricans websites in terms of digital presence.

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Finally, it is critical to point out that Alexa is a ranking that enjoys of credibility in the Internet area, and it is property of a huge company amazon.com, this ranking assigns a position to all of the websites of the world with enough data to be considered in the list, the lower the number the highest the position. This means that if a site has a score of 1 then it is the best positioned on the internet.

The most relevant results:

noticiasThe media outlets on top:

The study revealed that when it comes to the booming of visits, mass media take the crown because of the Top 200, 35 are media outlets. The one that got the first crown because it is the Costa Rican outlet most visited is crhoy.com, ranked in the 1.825 position of all of sites of the world. It is followed by the sites teletica.com y nación.com ranked 1.917 and 2.579 worldwide respectively. Among the media outlets, radio shows are the ones missing, but the digital sports sites have to be highlighted such as everardoherrera.com in the 13th position of our study and yashinquesada.com ranked 50th.

Digital government stands outinternet

On the other hand, the websites of the private sector lead the ranking because 72% of the 200 websites are private companies. However, it needs to be highlighted that the public sector has a good role in the ranking of the most visited sites as well, 55 of the 200 websites are from the government. Furthermore, after the media category, the next category with more websites on the list is the one of public universities and independent institutions.

bilinguisEnglish lagging behind

From the total 200 websites analyzed, 76% are exclusively in Spanish, 13% only in English and only 9% are bilingual. This proves that the digital presence in English of the Costa Rican websites is not the best, which is a negative phenomenon for a country with an economic model largely based on the touristic sector and that is working on improving the touristic projection at a global level.

Results 

noticiasThe media outlets on top:

The study revealed that when it comes to the booming of visits, mass media take the crown because of the Top 200, 35 are media outlets. The one that got the first crown because it is the Costa Rican outlet most visited is crhoy.com, ranked in the 1.825 position of all of sites of the world. It is followed by the sites teletica.com y nación.com ranked 1.917 and 2.579 worldwide respectively. Among the media outlets, radio shows are the ones missing, but the digital sports sites have to be highlighted such as everardoherrera.com in the 13th position of our study and yashinquesada.com ranked 50th.

Digital government stands outinternet

On the other hand, the websites of the private sector lead the ranking because 72% of the 200 websites are private companies. However, it needs to be highlighted that the public sector has a good role in the ranking of the most visited sites as well, 55 of the 200 websites are from the government. Furthermore, after the media category, the next category with more websites on the list is the one of public universities and independent institutions.

bilinguisEnglish lagging behind

From the total 200 websites analyzed, 76% are exclusively in Spanish, 13% only in English and only 9% are bilingual. This proves that the digital presence in English of the Costa Rican websites is not the best, which is a negative phenomenon for a country with an economic model largely based on the touristic sector and that is working on improving the touristic projection at a global level.

Tourism still needs to improve

The results of the study show that from the Top 200 most visited Costa Rican sites, only 8.50% (17 websites) belong to the touristic sector and from those sites, only 3 are lodging services or hotels, despite the importance that this rubric has for the economy, and despite the fact that from the 15,000 sites tracked by CR Enlace most of them are from this sector. The most visited lodging websites are villathoga.com from the holiday rent place Villa Thoga, tabacon.com from the Great Spa and Luxury Hotel Tabacon, and witchsrocksurfcamp.com from the Witch’s Rock Surf Camp hotel.

This shows that the tourism sector still has a weak digital presence in terms of visitation, and this allows to establish a number of interesting contrasts on the fingerprint of our country in the world and also to find out in which way did they take advantage of the web or not. It is well known that tourism is one of the most important sectors of the Costa Rican economy. Only in 2015 it represented 5.8% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and it grew three times more than the national economy. In this regard, it is one of the fastest growing industries, breaking historical visitation numbers with more than 1 million people from the US and 400,000 Europeans last year.

However, if we measure the presence of Costa Rica in the Internet world and how relevant is tourism within this digital fingerprint, the truth is that this sector generates 150,000 jobs, more than 2.8 million foreign currency and captures more than 26% of tourists coming to Central America, it has a contribution in quantity but not in quality. The majority of the Costa Rican sites tracked by this study are from tourism, but among the listed 200 most important only 17 are there.

While the official website of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT in Spanish), visitcostarica.com figures in the list, it does not appear until the 79th position and although, according to data from 2014, there more than 490 local lodging places officially registered with the ICT and 2515 existing in the country, only 3 appear in the list of the Top 200 most visited Costa Rican sites. That is, there are still many touristic companies that do not take advantage of the Internet platform to promote their services to local and international markets. They do have present but there is no strategy to attract visitors.

Another contrast that can be established from the results of the study in the field of tourism, is the fact that only 13.5% of the sites considered are bilingual, even though the United States is one of the most important markets for the Costa Rican economy. The number of visitors that the tourism sector received from this country increased by 8% between 2014 and 2015, amounting to 1,077,044 tourists, but, in light of this research, it appears that those who visit the country or want to visit it, probably not only find not much information on hotels and lodging in the country but it is also not in their language.

Thus, the analysis shows that the tourism sector has been consolidated as the engine of the national economy, but is still lacking in the function of being an engine of the digital economy.

The reign of the small: Villa Thoga and Costa Rica Guide

In addition to this, it is important to highlight that the first place in tourism is the site Costa Rica Guide (ranked 49), run by a foreign couple and the first touristic accommodation place listed in the Top 200 is Villa thoga (position 133), a cozy villa in the center of Tamarindo.

Both are success stories that reinforce both the scope that a small or medium business can have through internet platform, as well as the potential of the digital economy. Guide Costa Rica has positioned itself in a competitive sector such as tourism, exploiting the tool that Internet is. Villa thoga, meanwhile, is another evidence of the importance of digital presence, to the point that a small villa in Tamarindo can surpass many of the big hotels, appearing in the first places when you search tourism in Costa Rica. However, it is important to reiterate that the Top 200 does not take into account the sites of companies in Costa Rica using a single digital domain for all countries where they have operations, such as some large hotel complexes.  

Costa Rica mail courier, promoting e-commerce

Another interesting finding of this study of Conozca su Cantón, it is the case of the public company Correos de Costa Rica, which turned new technologies, use of internet and digital presence in its main allies to expand its market and increase profit. Correos de Costa Rica web site and their other website boxcorreos.com, which is the platform that raided in e-commerce, are located in the top of the most visited, at positions 36 and 54 respectively.

This is important considering that the company, which was established in 1844, was able to reinvent itself and adapt to the culture 2.0 after that in 2011 its earnings fell ₡ 247 million due to the introduction of new email technologies. Instead, in 2015 and following the implementation of the improvements, the company reported revenues of about ₡1.3 billion.

Thus, the course that has now taken the company, becoming a delivery service for the packages purchased online in virtual stores in the United States, China and Costa Rican local market, shows the successful experience of a company that recognized in the Internet and e-commerce a business opportunity. Even the current manager of Correos, Mauricio Rojas, has claimed that they seek to move forward in the local e-commerce as intermediaries between online stores and customers, becoming a high level logistics operator, to handle warehouses, product delivery at home and preparation of orders through Internet trading.

The other success story in terms of electronic commerce in Costa Rica corresponds to the company H y M Store, in the position 86 of the Top 200. This is a fully digital platform through which you can purchase affordable clothing for women and all from the comfort of your home. H y M Store represents the strength of this trend that turns Internet into a new way to earn significant revenue and reach new markets.

Costa Ricans can not get enough from guides and directories

The data show that out of the 200 sites just 5 of them are guides or business directories, however, these guides are positioned in the most prominent places in the ranking, as in the case of the guide ticosland.com ranked number 23.

Nonetheless, there are two phenomena that are curious, the first is that ticosland.com (the directory most visited of the country) is a site that contains outdated information and receives little or no maintenance for long periods of time. The second curious fact is that if one of the most visited sites in the country is an outdated directory it means that Costa Ricans really want to consume online information services of this kind. This is where our commercial guide Conozca su Cantón stands out, a guide with over 15,000 businesses and shops in Costa Rica which has become the new digital tool for Costa Ricans and foreigners to locate services with just one click. The commercial guide Conozca su Cantón, allows you to search by business category, province or canton. The guide is already in the top most visited sites and has become the most complete, unique and free guide and business directory of Costa Rica.

Grupo Nación and its reign of digital properties

After the Government, the one who has more digital properties or websites on the list, is the Grupo Nación, who has managed to position 8 of its products within the 200 most visited Costa Rican websites. These include: Nación.com in position No. 3, elfinancierocr.com in the 16th place, yuplon.com at No. 30, buscomicasa.cr in place 61, saboresenlinea.com in 132, in the position 157 revistaperfil.com, lateja.co.cr in the 166 position, buscomitrabajo.cr in 169. This shows a good job of digital positioning and variety in offering services operating under its business umbrella.

Poor culture of blogs and forums in Costa Rica

Unlike what happens in other countries where bloggers have reached an important position in public opinion and discussion of various topics (including becoming great leaders of opinion), the study of Conozca su Cantón shows that in Costa Rica there are no major discussion forums nor consolidated blogs as new spaces of expression within the culture 2.0. Only three blogs are in the Top 200 tiazelmira.com in the position 120, therealcostarica.com position 122 and elconstructorcivil in the 160th position. In the case of the forums, there is only one in the entire list, but surprisingly manages to sneak in the coveted Top 10 most visited Costa Rican sites. It is Foro Costa Rica, which together with the first blog Tía Zelmira, represent the growing demand for erotic content, because both give significant weight to this issue. It is even recognized that the biggest theme of Foro Costa Rica revolves around offering sexual services and pornography online, so the results of this Top 200 continue to be revealing.

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