Click. Laugh. Leave.

by Ben Myers

Not all traffic is created equal. Simply looking at number of visitors and transactions each month doesn’t tell the whole story. Any good web analyst will tell you that. Here’s an interesting story to help illustrate:

While I was working on a monthly report for one of our clients, I noticed that referring traffic had gone up higher than both recent months and last year – clearly a phenomenon worth investigating. Wading through their referring URLs, I found that one stuck out like a sore thumb.

A popular technology web site (and I won’t name names) had linked to a product on our client’s website. It was a cool product and they wanted their readers to know about it (and laugh about it).

Click. Laugh. Leave.

Knowing that our client cares more about revenue than about visitors (don’t we all?), I had a look for associated transaction from visitors from this referring source. No dice. Not a single person who clicked through to our client’s site had any significant interaction with the site (like a transaction or conversion).

The bounce rate for this page seemingly skyrocketed. But if you remove these gawkers (wait, that’s a different website…) then everything seems to be normal.

So make sure that you look at more than visitors and transactions. There’s always more to the story.

Ben Myers


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