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A Study of Kelowna Website Traffic

We get asked questions all the time.

Most of the time they are good ones.*

  • What should my bounce rate be for my website?
  • How much of my traffic will come from mobile devices?
  • How many visits should I be getting on my website?

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.

 

How many visits should my website get?

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.

Industry Visits
Media 41,311
Recreation 30,967
Services 28,073
Hospitality 26,569
Retail 13,685
Food 8,565
Real Estate 8,379
Wine 8,305
Org./Membership Groups 8,201
Health 7,252
Construction 4,950
Charity 3,103
Professional Services 3,142
Trades/Industrial Services 2,878
Average 13,955

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.

 

How many visitors should my website get?

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.

Industry Visitors
Hospitality 23,005
Recreation 19,041
Media 16,551
Services 11,509
Retail 10,102
Food 6,726
Wine 6,289
Real Estate 5,794
Health 5,671
Org./Membership Groups 5,640
Construction 3,206
Trades/Industrial Services 2,360
Charity 2,332
Professional Services 2,213
Average 8,602

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.

 

What should my bounce rate be?

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.

Industry Bounce Rate
Media 23%
Health 39%
Professional  Services 47%
Services 48%
Construction 51%
Charity 52%
Org./Membership Groups 53%
Real Estate 53%
Trades/Industrial Services 54%
Hospitality 57%
Retail 59%
Food 59%
Wine 60%
Recreation 60%
Average 51%

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.

 

How engaged are my visitors?

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.

Industry Visits/Person
Media 2.50
Services 2.44
Recreation 1.63
Construction 1.54
Org./Membership Groups 1.45
Real Estate 1.45
Professional Services 1.42
Retail 1.35
Charity 1.33
Wine 1.32
Health 1.28
Food 1.27
Trades/Industrial Services 1.22
Hospitality 1.15
Average 1.52

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.

 

How popular are mobile devices?

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.

Industry Phone Tablet
Food 38% 14%
Recreation 30% 16%
Retail 29% 14%
Wine 26% 17%
Hospitality 25% 17%
Health 28% 10%
Trade/Industrial Services 21% 11%
Real Estate 15% 17%
Services 18% 11%
Charity 18% 8%
Org./Member Groups 13% 13%
Media 19% 6%
Professional Services 15% 6%
Construction 12% 5%
Average 22% 12%

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.

 

What sort of traffic can I expect from Social Media?

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.

Industry % of visits
Media 12%
Services 12%
Trade/Industrial services 6%
Food 6%
Recreation 5%
Wine 3%
Professional  Services 3%
Real Estate 2%
Retail 2%
Hospitality 2%
Org./Membership Groups 2%
Health 2%
Construction 1%
Charity <1%
Average 4%

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.

 

So what?

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:

  • Why am I not getting any leads from my website?
  • Is social media 'worth it'?
  • What are other local businesses experiencing?
  • Is there value in a digital marketing strategy?

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!
 

About The Numbers in this Study

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".