Visitors to websites arriving via direct access or bookmarks stay on sites longer, view more pages and have higher conversion rates.
These were some of the many findings from a recently published report from San Diego-based internet marketing firm Engine Ready. The report and survey associated with it examined the role traffic sources play in visitor purchase behavior.
For the study, Engine Ready gathered and analyzed metrics from 26 e-commerce companies. Twenty-one of the companies already had been analyzed by Engine Ready for a January 2008 study. The additional five were randomly selected. The data was gathered from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. The data was analyzed this past July.
Direct access/bookmark traffic averaged 308 seconds per visit. That was 41 percent longer than organic visitors, who remained on sites the shortest amount of time among the groups studied. As for average number of page views per visit, direct access/bookmark traffic tied with other referrers at 6.2 pages, which was 44 percent more than the lowest category: paid search ad visitors.
Direct access/bookmark traffic had a 7.4 percent conversion rate compared to a low of 1.3 percent for organic traffic.
Inbound links to a site from other domains are also beneficial for search engine optimization and driving additional quality traffic, the study found. In fact, visitors arriving from other domains and emails took top honors for the highest value per visitor at $7.19.
Visitors from other referrers ranked second in both conversion rate (6.6 percent) and average order value ($109.27).
Engine Ready also found that visitors from pay-per-click ads outperformed those from organic listings in every category except average number of page views per visit. Overall, the average sales dollar value per visitor arriving from a PPC ad was $2.38, or 76 percent higher than that of a visitor from an organic listing.
Additionally, paid traffic converted at a 54 percent higher rate and experienced an average order value 10 percent greater than that of traffic from organic listings.