Marketing Pilgrim's "Research" Channel

Sponsor Marketing Pilgrim's Research Channel today! Get in front of some of the most influential readers in the Internet and social media marketing industry. Contact us today!

The Problem With Measuring Time Spent on a Web Site

Nielsen/NetRatings is going to dump page views as an official measurement of web site popularity and instead start measuring the total time spent by visitors on a web site.

“Based on everything that’s going on with the influx of Ajax and streaming, we feel total minutes is the best gauge for site traffic,” said Scott Ross, director of product marketing at Nielsen. “We’re changing our stance on how the data should be” used.

Nielsen will still provide page view figures but won’t formally rank them. Ross said page view remains a valid gauge of a site’s ad inventory, but time spent is better for capturing the level of engagement users have with a site.

Consumers Taking 180% as Long to Convert

MarketingSherpa reports today that on average consumers are taking 34 hours from click to conversion. That’s up from 19 hours—180% as long as their original study in 2005 indicated. The full report on time to conversion is expected tomorrow from ScanAlert.

As MarketingSherpa President Anne Holland noted, this finding indicates how important it is for marketers to mearsure longer conversion cycles than just click-buy.

Noting that every page is a landing page these days, MarketingSherpa also offered four suggestions to improve the conversion cycle:

  1. Add “About Us” blurbs to every conceivable entry point
  2. Grab emails early on — before the shopping cart
  3. Content: give more product info than the competition does
  4. Exclusive here-only bonuses

How to Double Your Online Sales Without Any Marketing!

Ok, did that headline draw you in? Good!

Marketing Sherpa (via e-consultancy) has some advice for all e-commerce web sites – 48% of potential customers are bailing on their purchase at the checkout stage!

While some of these customers can’t be salvaged, many are likely abandoning their purchase due to reasons you have control over. I’ve worked with lots of companies that have asked for SEO and marketing advice, yet the first step is always to look at the usability of the site and the checkout process. I’ve told many clients, doubling your search engine traffic is often a lot harder than doubling your conversion rate!

Be Leery of Social Media & UGC: They Just Might Work!

Many a marketer contemplates using user-generated content and other forms of social media. Despite evidence of truly good UGC campaigns, marketers continue to express doubt about the usefulness of UGC and social media.

Studies show marketers and consumers doubt UGC and social media
The E-Commerce Times reports today on a JupiterResearch study released Saturday. The study stated that “The majority of online shoppers who have used social and community sites while researching and purchasing do not believe that such sites affected their purchase decisions, and few online shoppers said they spend incrementally more due to their use of social and community sites.”

JupiterResearch analyst Patty Freeman Evans told the E-Commerce Times:

Presidential Internet Campaigns Weak

Last week, we announced the results of the 2008 Presidential Election Candidate Reputation Study. You remember—15 of the 18 candidates studied had negative listings in the top 20 on Yahoo and Google.

This week, another study follows suit. iCrossing published the “How America Searches: Election 2008” study yesterday, examining the 42% of voters who turn to the Internet to inform their voting. According to their study, which looked at candidate- and issue-related keywords, social media sites and news media sites outranked candidates’ own sites:

The candidates’ own Web sites trail behind news and social media sites as preferred sources of information; and candidates are sorely lacking in visibility when it comes to voter searches on specific issues in both natural and paid search.

Given Identical Search Results Searchers Still Prefer Google & Yahoo

Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology conducted a study in which they gave participants identical search results, but wrapped in the brands of Google, Yahoo, Windows Live Search and generic in-house search engine. Not surprisingly, participants favored the results that appeared to be from Google and Yahoo.

Then the identical search results were shown to 32 study participants who were asked to evaluate the engines’ performance in returning relevant results.

Despite the results being identical in content and presentation, participants indicated Yahoo! and Google outperformed MSN Live Search and the in-house search engine.

Since there was no difference in the search results, all of the search engines should have received the same score, said Assistant Professor Jim Jansen, who led the study.

Exclusive: 15 of 18 Presidential Candidates Have Negative Search Listings

With 16 months until the 2008 Presidential election, we thought it would be interesting to conduct a study of the search engine reputation of current candidates. We examined the first 20 results on Google and Yahoo for the ten Republicans and eight Democrats to see who had the best and worst online reputation.

The results were startling, with only three candidates fully in control of their search engine reputation. Who were they? How did Hillary and Barack fair?

I won’t spoil the surprise, so head over to the 2008 Presidential Election Candidate Reputation Study for the breakdown.