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Paid Search Down, Social Media Up in the UK

Hitwise Looks at Traffic to UK Online Retailers

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Research from Hitwise indicates that online retailers in the UK are seeing less traffic from paid search efforts and more from social networks. Paid search traffic has fallen over the last year – the percentage of all UK Internet visits to online retailers dropped from 10.1% in March ’08 to 8.9% in March ’09 according to Hitwise’s Robin Goad.

Hitwise - Paid Search Traffic

Based on the above chart, it looks like paid search traffic in general has fallen significantly. Goad does note that search engines are still the primary source of traffic for nearly all online retailers. It’s just that the paid listings seem to be having a decreasing effect.

Meanwhile, the amount of traffic sites that fall under Hitwise’s Shopping and Classifies category get from social networking sites has increased from 5.2% in March ’08 to 7.1% in March ’09. Furthermore, social networks are accounting for 58% more traffic than webmail providers like Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo Mail.

Hitwise - Social Traffic

All the more reason to integrate social media into your email marketing campaigns I would say. A recent study on that showed that while only 13% of email marketers are integrating social media into their campaigns, 46% of them intend to do so this year.

The data from Hitwise lends another piece of supporting data indicating that sites like Facebook may cut significantly into the advertising revenue of sites like Google. It’ll be interesting to see the numbers in another year.

Paid Search Down, Social Media Up in the UK
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  • http://tristanbailey.blogspot.com Tristan Bailey

    It will be interesting to see if it will make people pay for ads on socail networks or just use the free channels they have at the moment.

    • Chris Crum

      I can definitely see more dollars being thrown at social media advertising in the future. There has been a lot of haziness on the part of businesses about just how to use social media. I think we’re starting to get to the point now where more businesses are seeing the value of social media presences and as things get more competitive, I think we’ll see ad spending increase. As targeting capabilities of social networks improve, this is going to be increasingly enticing to advertisers as well.

  • http://www.trafficconnection.com/ Traffic Connection

    PPC prices always rise to the point of zero profit. With advertising budgets shrinking, it makes sense to find lower cost, more profitable alternatives.

  • http://www.sophiesnell.co.uk roband sophie snell

    no surprises here…I always visually skip over the paid links anyway.