Published: June 25 2015
We get asked questions all the time.
Most of the time they are good ones.*
The answer to these questions usually starts with "Well... it depends...".
The tricky thing with this line of questioning is that every industry and every website is different. There is no "common" bounce rate to aim for across the board. It can differ by industry, website, age of business, quality of the website, consumer demographics, or even the location of the business. However, it can still be useful to have some numbers to use as a starting point for setting your own benchmark.
One of the perks of working with websites for over 15 years is that we have access to a large amount of data that can be referenced when we start to talk about site statistics. We rummaged through a sample of sites that we have on-hand to see if we can create some statistical averages for the Kelowna and Okanagan market.
In total, we went through a sample size of 256 websites and reviewed their 2014 traffic statistics. We then grouped the businesses into 14 industries to compare variances between businesses in one sector versus another.
This is the most common question we are asked, and it is a great one to start with. Here's what the numbers say when we averaged out total site visits for each of the industries over the course of the year.
It's no surprise here that media companies are experiencing more visits than any other industry. The main focus of many media companies is to push traffic to their website. It's interesting to note that, in general, industries with a greater focus on B2B or industrial services rank lower than businesses that have a consumer-driven focus.
A great follow-up question. The previous data showed how many visits a website might experience, but we all know that the amount of actual people visiting the website may be lower, as a single person may visit a website multiple times.
We see a similar order when we rank industries by the number of actual website visitors. The most notable difference is the placement of media and its drop into third place; likely a sign of high engagement with its visitors (more on this later). Hospitality takes first place, which isn't too surprising given the tourism-focused economy of Kelowna.
Now we are getting to the interesting stuff. The bounce-rate measures how many of your site visits result in the user leaving the website as soon as they show up, without visiting other pages of the website. It is the online equivalent of a customer walking into your store, and then turning right around and walking back out. A high bounce-rate is one indicator that something on your website is preventing visitors from becoming customers. It is also one of the several metrics we can use to measure engagement.
The high engagement we predicted for the media industry really showed through when we look at the bounce-rate, as it is considerably lower than other industries. We also expected the hospitality industry to be lower, but many hotel websites often push to a third-party site for reservations and room-availability inquiries, and incorrectly track traffic in the process. If tracked correctly, the bounce-rate for the hospitality industry would be significantly lower. This issue is also common on winery websites that source their e-commerce to third-party websites.
Another metric we can use to track how engaged visitors are with your content, website, and brand, is how often a single person visits your website. This is an easy metric to calculate. We take the total amount of visits and divide it by the total amount of visitors.
Another big mix up! Media once again shows up as a highly engaged industry. For industries and services that have few pain points in transitioning to a different service provider, there appears to be more repeat traffic. For example, it is more difficult to switch to a new lawyer, but it is very easy to eat at a new restaurant. There also tends to be a lower loyalty rate (repeat website visits) among industries where there is higher competition.
There has been a lot of talk about mobile devices as of late - especially with Google's recent announcement that websites that are not mobile-friendly may be penalized in some web searches. This leaves us wondering just how much mobile-traffic websites are getting.
It appears that there is a relatively strong correlation between the complexity/scope of the product or service, and the device in which it was found upon. Lower intensity purchases (such as visiting a restaurant, or finding a retail location) experienced much higher total mobile usage. On the other hand, more complex products or services (such as professional services like accounting, marketing, or legal) saw a lower number of mobile visits. Regardless, we are now seeing some industries rise above the 50% mark for mobile usage Even the industries that saw the lowest mobile usage amounts still have nearly 20% of their website traffic coming through mobile devices. The conclusion? Your website needs to be mobile-friendly to compete.
Social Media channels are on everyone's mind - and for good reason as they are the quickest growing new source of web site traffic and sales leads. Surprisingly though, few companies have active social media accounts! The few that do have accounts don't have a social media strategy in place to generate traffic and engagement on their websites. The following table illustrates what percentage of overall site-traffic can be attributed to referrals from various Social Media channels.
|Rank||Industry||% of visits|
We would certainly hope the media industry would use social media - so their top placement here is no surprise. The only surprising thing in these results is how little some industries are utilizing social media. Some of the industries that placed lower are essentially throwing away over 10% of their potential reach.
The percentages in this table are good indicators of industries that are more likely to be executing digital marketing strategies. All of the previous data represents numbers and statistics that can "just happen" by idly existing. Generating traffic from social media is a result of consistent and timely action that is usually driven from a digital marketing strategy. You will also notice that the placement of an industry in the social media table is very close to the ranking for that industry in the total visits table, with one exception. There is a strong correlation that an online digital marketing strategy results in larger traffic numbers from a broader spectrum of sources.
What do all these numbers mean? By themselves...Well... Nothing we suppose. But the website statistics for these select Kelowna industries can serve as an important benchmark for your own company when you start to ask yourselves some other hard questions, such as:
In the second part of our review of website traffic to Kelowna businesses, we will be taking a random sample of websites that do not have online marketing strategies and comparing them to companies that do. We're sure the results will be interesting!
All the numbers in this study were taken from websites that experienced 12 months of traffic in 2014. The sites ranged across various industries, differed in age, and represented multiple business sizes.
Lastly, these numbers do not include statistics from our sister company "KelownaNow.com", as it would drastically skew statistics. The goal of this study was to determine averages for small to medium sized businesses.
*There are always a few that are really "out there".
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