When I was a kid I liked the old Spy vs. Spy comics and cartoons. It always featured two spies, who are completely identical except for the fact that one is dressed in white and the other black. The pair was constantly warring with each other, using a variety of booby-traps to inflict harm to each other. I thought of this old comic strip the other day when I was helping a client analyze two opposing online traffic sources.
There were member’s of his team who thought one form of traffic should win while other team members and I thought the other form of traffic should win the fight for the advertising dollars for that business.
When it comes to marketing your business online, not all website traffic is created equal and that became apparent when I was helping this client analyze two different traffic sources for their local business. This particular business invested a good chunk of change in their online marketing this past year and they were trying to figure out how to best divvy up their online marketing budget.
Lets compare these two specific sources.
Video Version of This Blog Post
About the Two Traffic Sources
Let me give you a quick breakdown on the two different traffic sources so you have some background information on the two.
Online Traffic Source 1 – (Local News Website) – This first traffic source came from Online Banner ads that were displayed on a Local News Website where people go to check the weather and read local news stories.
This particular news site gets a lot of traffic from people that live within the State of New Hampshire.
Online Traffic Source 2 – (Targeted Google Ads) – A targeted Google AdWords campaign that only showed ads when someone looked for specific keywords in Google. There was much less traffic from this source as compared to the News site but that’s not the end of the story.
What Was The Difference Between These Two Traffic Sources
Online Traffic Source 1 (Local News Website) – A little background, the business invested a LOT of money into paying for their banner ads to show on this local news website. They paid top dollar directly to the sales representatives of the News station for a year-long ad placement.
The business marketing team assumed that since they offer services to a lot of people in the state of NH and because so many people visit this site to read News stories and check weather, it would be a good place for them to advertise.
We logged into the Google Analytics account for the business (you DO have Google Analytics installed on your website right?) and it showed a lot of traffic to their website from people who clicked on the Banner ads. This may lead you to think this was a good investment of their advertising dollars but before I tell you what happened lets take a look at the traffic from the other source. Online Traffic Source 2 (Targeted Google Ads) – This traffic source was Google AdWords and its was run by my team and I here at NH Strategic Marketing. For this campaign we only targeted specific keywords that we knew their ideal customers would be searching Google for. We had a fairly small budget as compared to the investment on the News site banner ads (it was only 25% of the budget devoted to the banner ads on the News site).
The Final Results – Traffic vs Traffic
Online Traffic Source 1 – (Local News Website) – Over the course of the year the client had over 5,000 people click on the ads and visit their website. This may seem really good but when you dig a little deeper you may not be as excited. When we looked at the Google Analytics information we noticed the “average session duration” was 7 seconds. That means the people that clicked that ad are closing the web site as soon as they got there. Google calls this “Bounce Rate” and it is very reflective on the quality of the traffic. When a user clicks an ad and then immediately leaves its a clue they were not very targeted traffic. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page. In the case of the traffic from this news site they had a Bounce rate of 92%. That meant that only 8% of those visitors actually visit more than 1 page. Not a great sign and its show just how un targeted that website traffic was. Lets take a look at the other traffic source.
The Knockout Blow for the Black Spy
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