All experienced online marketers are aware that there are numerous options when it comes to deciding how to allocate an inbound advertizing budget. You could concentrate on the latest techniques and make a sizable investment in social media promotion. Alternatively, you could make SEO your priority, spend a large amount of cash on paid search platforms, or try different combinations of all of these methods.
Many business website owners are unsure of where they ought to be, with regards to the ecommerce traffic percentage they receive from organic search. There is no single correct answer to this, because several variables can affect channel spending, such as vertical type, the type of service/product, the culture of the organization and more. Nonetheless, it is a good idea for business website owners to gain an awareness of where their distribution stands, in comparison to their competitors. In order to acquire an understanding of how inbound ecommerce traffic is distributed across different industries, a recent study assessed 30 websites across 6 industries. The inbound traffic was analyzed over a 12 month period, with more than 310 million visits monitored overall.
Organic Search Generates Almost 50% of Visits in all Industries
The study demonstrated that organic search generates more traffic than any other channel, as it was responsible for 47% (i.e. almost half) of all website visits. Also, the study differentiated visits that came from social sharing sites from referral visits. It was shown that referrals generated 15% of total visits, whereas social sites only generated 2%.
The same channel distributions were assessed across individual sectors. It was clear that the online retail, education and consumer electronics sectors all shared similar percentages of channel traffic distribution. Here, 53% to 56% of ecommerce traffic originated from organic search. Also, other channels shared similar traffic distribution percentages too. Intriguingly, the finance/banking sector got a bigger percentage of its’ ecommerce traffic from direct visitors. In all likelihood, this is because a high number of users log into their trading or online banking platforms, after clicking a link that they have bookmarked in their browser previously.
In the online retail sector, 1% of all visits came from social sites, 1% from paid search platforms, 7% from referrals, 13% were direct visits and 53% came from organic search. Here, the disparity between the percentage of visitors from organic search, and the percentage of visitors from other channels, is particularly pronounced. Hence, it seems that visitors are drawn to websites that show up prominently in the search engine results, due to the perceived credibility. This highlights the importance of effective SEO strategies for companies that operate in this industry.
Similar to the other sectors examined, natural search is the biggest traffic generator for travel companies. However, paid search generated a substantially larger quantity of traffic in this industry, compared to any of the others. In the travel sector, search terms are extremely competitive, because the average value of each visitor is large. As a result, traditionally, paid search has commanded some of the most expensive CPC values, along with the biggest investment of any industry. The analysis from this study supports this notion, with 18% of ecommerce traffic originating from paid search, which was the biggest percentage out of every industry assessed.
Comparing Your Business Website to the Trends for Your Sector
Lots of factors, both online and offline, can influence the way ecommerce traffic is distributed to your website. Although there is no single, universal blueprint for how a website’s traffic distribution ought to look, being aware of how incoming traffic behaves, for other companies in your sector, will provide you with a reference for comparison against the traffic you receive. As mentioned above, in relation to the online retail sector, the most obvious conclusion from this analysis would be to give a renewed priority to SEO, as an effective inbound traffic generating channel. This idea is made all the more compelling when you consider that the analysis from this study was not adjusted to take into account the (initially omitted) search referrers from the Android 4+ and the iOS6+. Had this been done, then the organic search traffic would have accounted for over 50% of the ecommerce traffic for all industries.