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Automotive Professional Blogs, Communities and Digital Dealer Magazine: Site Traffic Reports for November 2009 by Compete, Inc.

Click on the chart image shown above to open a larger, easier to read and view image of the Website Traffic Tracking widget provided by Compete, Inc. that is shown on the ADM Showroom page about halfway down...
Here is a Direct Link To Automotive Professional Social Media Site Tracking Report from Compete, Inc.


12 Months: Unique Visitors (below)


12 Months: Visitors (below)


12 Months: Compete Rank (below)

Views: 92

Tags: Automotive Blogs, Automotive Professional, Automotive-SEO, Compete Site Traffic, DealerRefresh, Digital Dealer Magazine, DrivingSales, Professional Communities, Reports for November 2009

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Comment by Josh Hixon on January 1, 2010 at 11:58am
@Ralph Very nice, it's always nice to have an "in". Dr. Parson's has done pretty well for himself!
Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 31, 2009 at 10:16pm
@Josh - I have had those domains and quite a few more for quite awhile now... I choose to use Network Solutions, but the guys from GoDaddy are my neighbors in Tempe, AZ and they are good people... I have a pretty sweet pricing deal with NetSol due to the volume of business. I have been registering domain names since 1998 and have built up quite a library.
Comment by Josh Hixon on December 31, 2009 at 5:30pm
Nice, so you secured all of the above huh? Thats cool! GoDaddy hook you up?
Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 31, 2009 at 12:35pm
@ Josh; In regards to ADM domains, here are a few shortcuts you can use for direct access to specific sections:
After experiencing what it is like to try and tell people how to get to the ADM Professional Community, I began to realize that having so many letters in the 3 primary Root Domains was a hindrance. So, I went to the queen of domain name management, Haley Paglia...

Haley knows that www.AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com (#1 Root Domain) is a lot of letters to remember and to type in when you are giving somebody directions to this Professional Community... So, we went ahead and asked Haley to invest in several additional domain names that are now pointed to this site. Please feel free to use any of the following URL's when you give people directions to get here. I have listed the URL's that Haley has registered and pointed to ADM in order of characters in the domain name, with the shortest at the top, and a description of where they point listed to the right:

www.ADM.fm (points to ADM main section)
www.ADMPC.com (points to ADM main section)
www.Automotive.bz (points to ADM main section)
www.ISMBlogs.com (points to the ADM "all members" blog section)
www.ADMblogs.com (points to ADM blog section - shows all ADM blogs)
www.ADMvideos.com (points to ADM videos section - shows all ADM videos)
www.ADMphotos.com (points to ADM photos section - shows all ADM photos)
www.ADMforums.com (points to ADM forum section - shows all ADM forums)
www.ADMmembers.com (points to ADM Members section - shows all members)
www.AutomotiveDigital.net (points to ADM main section)
www.ADMcommunity.com (points to ADM main section)
www.InternetSalesBlog.com (points to the ADM "all members" blog section)
www.AutomotiveDigital.info (points to ADM main section)
www.ADMprofessional.com (points to ADM main section)
www.Automotive-Digital.com (points to ADM main section)
www.AutomotiveMarketing.info (points to ADM main section)
www.AutomotiveMarketing.bz (points to ADM showroom page)
www.AutoDigitalMarketing.com (#2 Root Domain - Main Section)
www.AutomotiveDigitalBlog.com (points to the ADM "all members" blog section)
www.AutomotiveDigitalMarketing.com (#1 Root Domain - Main Section)
www.Automotive-Digital-Marketing.com (#3 Root Domain - Main Section)
Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 30, 2009 at 6:18pm
Josh - That has been a perplexing problem since the very beginning of the ADM Community... I believe it will be resolved by the end of next week... I hope!
Comment by Josh Hixon on December 30, 2009 at 11:30am
Ralph, I am glad that I came across this site. I now see that you have the best one and I am proud to be a part of it. The only issue I have with it is if I type Automotive Digital Marketing into Google it wants to direct me to the ning version not this one. If I log into that one will it be the same site? I know you paid extra to have this site seperated...
Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 29, 2009 at 10:15pm
REPOSTED FROM DRIVINGSALES.COM:

Brian Pasch says:
December 29, 2009 at 8:11 pm


@Ralph
I love data analysis and you are correct in stating that organic search traffic is not always the highest converting traffic. When you think about it, it really should not be your highest converting lead source.

Once a website is branded, like ADM or a car dealer’s name, people who want to catch up with things will type in that URL brand directly. People who want news type in cnn.com and those who want to go and shop at amazon type in amazon.com.

Consumers who want to shop at John Marazzi Nissan will type that name directly in Google or maybe even type in the URL directly because of radio, TV and print advertising.

Branding and website bookmarks drive high quality direct traffic once a brand is made aware to consumers.

So, direct traffic, if you have the luxury of brand awareness, will always convert better and result in the most time on site.

The Role of SEO

SEO, in its fundamental purpose, is best thought of as lead acquisition. So, to determine the benefit of SEO you need to see where you are in the branding cycle. SEO leads convert less but add incremental traffic and sales when consumers don’t know your brand.

A good example is BMW. Their website is not great for SEO but they don’t care. They have spent millions of dollars so that people have been trained to type in bmw.com or just search for bmw.

A local BMW dealer in Macon Georgia would benefit from the organic search traffic generated from search phrases on “BMW Georgia”, “BMW Service Georgia”, “Used BMW Macon” or “Macon BMW Dealer” or a related phrase.

Will this be the highest converting traffic? No. But you would not expect acquisition traffic to be higher than someone who typed in a dealer name which was a direct result of offline spending.

So, everything has its place. SEM or paid advertising can be very effective. Offline billboards, newspaper, radio or TV can be effective.

SEO can be effective for acquisition and brand awareness for online shoppers. Everything has its place in a comprehensive Internet Marketing strategy.

Jared Hamilton says:
December 29, 2009 at 9:00 pm


@jeff - Good call on the image, I went into the post and re sized it. Its smaller and harder to read, but if you click on it you can see all the data and I think it looks better inside the post correctly sized.

As far as the traffic reports, I think compete is good for trends, but unless you have a really large sample size from the Compete User Community visiting your site, they are simply using general web trends to statically guess on what your traffic really is. Ive seen some months were it is close, and others where Compete is not even close to correct. Its not that compete needs to be discredited, they explicitly state they simply dont have enough sample size for our sites. Because of how they collect data, they are more accurate for larger mainstream websites then smaller niche sites.

Like Brian says each traffic source has its benefits. DrivingSales has the exact opposite traffic problem ADM has. We initially blocked google from accessing the site (Since it started as a private community) and we just really began even doing the very basics of SEO because we usually only have a few hundred visitors a month from the search enginges since we really only rank for our name. We’ve got a ton of SEO work to do and are just getting into it. Its great to build a site with direct traffic (although it takes longer) but the problem is we have a bunch of great content for dealers that should be accessible in the search engines and right now isn’t. Its really a dis service to the industry to keep some of the posts we have out from being found on the engines.

Whats really cool about all of our communities is that you can really see the industry progress and innovate. Seriously, how many of us have met through these communities, keep in touch through these communities and look forward to industry event to hang with the others in person that we hang out with online… Social media really is about being social and its bringing the industry closer together.

Brian Pasch says:
December 29, 2009 at 10:01 pm

@ Jared

Amen

Ralph Paglia says:
December 29, 2009 at 10:11 pm


Jared - Thank you for the image resize! I tried to do that after Jeff’s comment and could not figure out how to resize it in the Wordpress editor… I could use some commercial teaching from you!

You and Brian, as usual, make several good points… But, for every ounce of the fine logic that Brian expresses, there will be several pounds taken out of context. My comments regarding SEO sourced site traffic were in direct response to Jeff in acknowledging his statement about traffic quality. Once that got me going I started thinking about the visitor traffic analysis and reports that many of us on the ADP Digital Marketing team receive every month from both internal and external sources.

When we look at data from multiple sources about a particular site, regardless of the total traffic to that site, whether in the millions or the thousands, there is always considerable variance between the different reports WHEN COMPARED BY REPORTING SOURCE… However, whether it is Compete, Google Analytics, Omniture, Hitwise, Comscore, Webtrends or any other traffic measuring source, the relative traffic volume relationships between different sites stays proportionately similar across all these disparate reporting sources.

In other words, if Compete shows twice as much traffic going in and out of a particular website, although the actual numbers may fluctuate considerably, the same two websites compared using any other measuring resource will still show the same site getting more traffic than the other site.

For example, when setting up both Google Analytics and Omniture SiteCatalyst on the same two websites, you will most assuredly get 4 different numbers of Unique Visitors. Maybe Brian can explain why, personally it doesn’t matter to me, it is what it is… Anyways, the same site that Omnture shows as having 12,000 UV’s may have Google Analytics show 10,000 UV’s. Meanwhile the second site has Omnture showing 6,000 UV’s while Google Analytics is showing 5,000 UV’s…. What you will NOT see, is any of these measuring companies generating data that shows opposite results from the relationships between websites that are measured using the same methodology.

In regards to Compete’s disclaimers, when you put in a website to track that Compete does not have enough data or there is not enough volume for them to stand behind the numbers, they do not generate any numbers… You get the disclaimer instead of an actual chart or report!

There are many times when I put in a URL into the Compete reporting application and instead of getting the numbers or a chart, I get the standard Compete disclaimer that the site is either not being monitored or there is not enough data to publish a report.

What would be a lot of fun and quite interesting would be to have a trusted and independent third party issue 5 sets of Google Analytics tracking code from the same Google account for each of the five sites I have set up with Compete. Then each site administrator would install their assigned Google Analytics tracking code. The independent site traffic auditor would also check to make sure that no pages outside the root domains being tracked have had the issued code installed on them… No cheating allowed! And, then we would watch the results come out…

I predict that when measured on a direct basis, the site traffic volume relationships between each of the five sites would confirm similar levels of traffic volume variance in relationship to each site that Compete shows. Hey, if I am wrong, I would be the first to acknowledge and stand corrected!

However, I also know what 18 months of Google Analytics show for ADM, and I know what the Compete reports show for the same time period… I also know that all 5 sites have far more value than what is reflected by their visitor metrics, regardless of the technology used to measure that traffic.
Comment by Ralph Paglia on December 29, 2009 at 8:13pm
REPOSTED FROM DRIVINGSALES.COM:

Jeff Kershner says:
December 29, 2009 at 7:07 pm


Ralph, I think you blew-up DrivingSales with your large images. You love to post these Compete Charts across the different sites don’t you?

Even though DealerRefresh falls second in place here, I will have to say that the numbers for some reason are not consistent with my own analytics. Not discrediting Compete.com, I too use them as a reference tool as well.

Keep in mind..traffic is traffic and then there is “quality” traffic…

It will be nice once Compete.com has enough stats to include the new DealerRefresh dealer forums in the mix as well http://forum.dealerrefresh.com

I think it’s great that we finally have a hand full of sites like ADM and DrivingSales for dealers to gather information and educate themselves. When I started DealerRefresh almost 5 years ago, I would have never guess it to be what it is today nor would I have thought there would have been others in the mix. Plenty of traffic for all of us!!

Kudos to everyone helping out the industry.

Ralph Paglia says:
December 29, 2009 at 7:42 pm


@Jeff - It is kind of funny you mention "blew up DrivingSales..." because while I was creating that post by copying and pasting images, I was on the phone with Jared and we were talking about social media platform features and UGC site architecture for dealer sponsored social networks and communities. As we were speaking, I was looking for an image intense blog post already created at ADM to see if I could "copy and paste" it into DrivingSales; which unfortunately you cannot do at ADM because all images have to be uploaded to the server as they are inserted as separate files, which makes creating blogs with images just a little more tedious than if you could copy and then paste into the "create post" app, which is what the WordPress platform allows... When I saw that the bigger chart image pastes in at the full size, I was surprised enough to want to see if it would "take" into the production environment... I am actually quite impressed that the image is not a blank square with a little red X mark!

You may want to submit your forum subdomain to Compete, which is easy enough to do by email, because when I tried to add the DealerRefresh Forum the response I got from Compete was that the Forum was already included as a sub domain in the overall DealerRefresh numbers... But hey, maybe Compete is wrong... The Google Analytics reporting for traffic to the ADM Professional Community shows larger numbers than Compete does, just like you see for DealerRefresh.

Additionally, I couldn't agree with you more about the significance of "Quality" traffic, which is one of my own pet peeves, and is why I am not as enamored with organic search engine optimization as everyone else seems to be... Everyone, that is, except anyone who has ever hit an SEO home run! A thousand leads a month with 990 of them from more than 150 miles away from your dealership is a bitter pill to swallow... But beyond the global nature of SEO results, which has it pluses and minuses, a close look at Omniture or Google Analytics reports will usually show that the highest "bounce rates" are from organically sourced search engine referrals. Likewise, the lowest bounce rates are for direct visitors who type in the domain, and in the middle are visitors that arrived using links from other sites.

I admire Jared's discipline in generating most of the DrivingSales traffic without resorting to the low quality of SEO driven traffic. Almost any direct or linked source of visitor traffic works out to being a higher quality traffic source than organic search engine traffic... Of course, it is difficult to compete with the cost of SEO sourced visitors!

I do not know what you see in your Google Analytics, but I do not mind admitting that the segment of visitors to ADM with the highest average length of time per visit to the community, and who are also reported as having the highest average number of pages viewed, are NOT the visitors who arrive via organic search engine listings! The best quality visitors are those that have arrived from either DealerRefresh or DrivingSales, and/or go to DealerRefresh or DrivingSales after leaving ADM...

This mirrors what I see when ADP aggregates the Omniture SiteCatalyst data from over 1,500 dealership websites, which totals out to over several million unique visitors each month... The highest visitor-to-lead conversion rates results from traffic that arrives at the dealer websites either by a sponsored search engine listing (an advertisement), a link from another website, or from visitors to the dealer's website that typed the URL directly into their browser... The lowest conversion rates, the highest bounce rates, the lowest average visit session time, the least amount of pages viewed on average, and the least amount of KBA's generated per visit are always from the organically sourced search engine traffic!

Heck, 3 of the biggest OEM trafficked websites have shown us that conversion rates into KBA's are 40% higher for PAID traffic originating from ads than it is for organically sourced visitors... Then, if you remove the organically sourced visitors who have seen a Dealer's Online Ads at least 3 times in the previous 30 days, the SEO traffic conversion rate drops again! Which is because dealer website visitors who have seen an online ad and then searched for that dealership by name convert into completed lead forms at a far higher rate than organically sourced traffic that has not seen any dealer advertisements on other web sites... Go figure, it makes sense when you think it through, and the data proves it!!

Of course, nobody really wants to see THOSE kinds of numbers because for some strange reason dealers seem to think that "organic" traffic is sexier and better than earned traffic from people who seek their website out because they want, and are ready to do business with them... Me? I like organic traffic, but approach getting it as the reflection or side effect of having great content on a site... Whether it is ADM, an OEM's site or a dealer's website. Sometimes you cannot avoid having a popular website with search engines if the content is deemed highly desirable. When that happens (I have experienced it), you simply have to deal with the out-of-area leads, high bounce rates and low page views from too many low quality SEO driven website visitors.

LOL... Anybody who has REALLY studied the numbers for more than a couple of years cannot help but notice these patterns. But, I know that my friends who make a living from their SEO related business practices are going to pee all over this comment! Sometimes the truth can be a pain in the ass... Sometimes it can set you free to focus on the activities that generate more business.
Comment by VJ on December 28, 2009 at 8:25pm
Congrats to all "Five" here, especially Brian and Jared with their increase in November 09. Happy New Year to you guys (Ralph, Jeff, Alex, Jared, Brian and Michael).

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