Web Hosting Traffic. The Downfall of AdWords

November 30, 2008

Sunday is the time to review the analytical data about the traffic that comes to a few of my clients’ websites. They are web hosting companies and I have contacts with them as a marketing consultant. But let’s stick to the topic. I’ll show you today that Google AdWords is one of the worst resources for web hosting targeted traffic.

Let me say first that I DO NOT say to anyone not to use Google AdWords. I’ve tried all other major advertising networks and they are more expensive, less flexible and provide even poorer results than those you can get from AdWords. This is probably the only reason for me to continue spending with Google’s advertising program. The problem with AdWords is not that the Google system is not good enough. It is just to big and there are too many websites of poor quality. As a result of this anyone who can not afford bids more than a $1 per click gets traffic mostly from non-targeted websites, ones that are made to attract general audience, that searches free or other non-commercial products and services.

Take a look at the next screen shot of Google analytics. It shows a few things we will talk abut below.

It is clear that the Google’s Search engine is still one of the finest resources for targeted web hosting traffic. You can see that my client got 6.246 visitors from Google’s organic search, and they spent 3.37 minutes on the website and saw 2.77 pages on average.

Take a look at the highlighted in orange section on the image. It shows the traffic came from Google AdWords. 3,940 visitors that stayed only for 0.38 seconds on my customer’s website and opened 1.57 pages on average. The customer of mine have spent at least $1,200 to get those 3,940 visitors from AdWords publishers. The data shows that they have just clicked on the text and image ads, came to the website and then just gone.

Someone might say that the landing pages of the website are not attractive enough. The truth however is that they are good enough for the visitors came from Google Search engine. Another proof that the landing pages of the website are good enough to focus the attention of their visitors are the data that came from Web Hosting Talk, the world’s most prestigious web hosting media and social network. WHT has sent 490 visitors to my client. Each of them have spent 1.53 minutes on the website and opened 2.74 pages.

The stats show that the only referral that have worse traffic than AdWords is the “traffic generator” Autohits.dk, a system that people use to exchange visitors within  close community. Those however mainly auto reloads of the Internet browser program of the network member’s logged to the system.

The data from the above image shows that AdWords produces poee results. At the same time Google organic search worked much better for my client than Yahoo Search engine. So we still need Google, but Google needs to revamp their advertising program and to add more quality.