Retail Websites Get 25% of Traffic from Search
According to InformationWeek, Hitwise released some figures this week, showing that retail websites are getting 25% of their traffic from search - up 0.7% from May 2006 to May 2007. Who sent the most traffic? Google, of course - accounting for 15.6% of visits, an increase of 8.7% from 2006. The study also claims that the top 20 social networking sites "... increased their influence on retail visits" by 86.7% from a year ago - with the leader in that category being MySpace.
So what have we learned? Not too much. There is no indication of what the results were based on, sample size or which retailers are being examined. For example, a well-known retailer could get more visits from type-in traffic and Web advertising than search. On the other side, a lesser-known affiliate could rely heavily on search traffic and search engine optimization. Without knowing the metrics we're dealing with, it's hard to say what, if anything, all of this means. In the end, SEO is important and Google dominates all things search - but you knew that already.
One interesting bit of data from the ambiguous study: one-word searches (including domain and URL searches) accounted for 23.7% of search terms that sent traffic to shopping and classified websites. That's a 20% increase since May 2005. Hitwise analysts believe this is due to the growing use of search toolbars as a primary means of navigating the Web. For the online retailer, it would seem of great importance to optimize for the one-word keywords that will end up in a high listing on the search engines - at the very least, dominance of your brand name and URL.