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Study: Direct navigation yields highest conversion rates

Direct navigators "do it" better!

1:01 pm on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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From Clickz: Direct Navigators Do It Better [clickz.com]

. . . (the) best-converting group, is made up of people who know what they're looking for, and know where they want to shop to get it. These users arrive at a site via direct navigation, by typing in the site's name or using a bookmark. These kinds of users converted almost twice as well as those using search engine links, with a 4.23-percent conversion rate.

Any surprise? No.

What are they talking about? Most likely, people typing in BrandURLdotcom: BestBuy.com, Staples.com, Computer....

Is there likely some spillover phenomena for unbranded natural type-in domains: BlueWidgets.com? Is the answer a no-brainer or does someone want to debate the proposition?

5:35 pm on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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I don't think the answer is a no-brainer.

There is a difference between somebody directly typing-in a known website address and typing in a speculative generic-keyword wesite address.

The person typing-in amazon.com has probably visited there many times before. They haven't bothered to make a bookmark, perhaps because it is just as easy to type-in the name, and they have it memorized. And no problems using somebody else's computer, where they don't have their bookmarks!

- The person typing-in amazon.com wants to buy something (most likely books) or at least get product information. And they want to buy it or get the product (or other) information from a specific place. They want what the website offers, and they want it from that particular website.

- The person typing-in amazon.com can be a relative newbie or an experienced user.

- The person typing-in amazon.com probably has an established relationship with them

The person typing-in a generic keyword domain name is generally a new Internet user. They may not know about search engines yet. They may have "gotten lucky" just typing-in violetwidgets.tld in the past, so now they will try chartrusewidgets.tld. Are they looking for chartrusewidgets? Almost certainly. But they are a very different customer than the amazon.com typein customer.

- They are probably very new to the Internet
- The don't already know where to get chartruse widgets on the Internet
- they probably do NOT have an established relationship with the site

This might or might not make for good conversions. I am just pointing out that they are a very different type of customer.

It's too bad the study didn't break-out both types of direct navigation.

BTW, I visit webmasterworld.com by direct type-in. But I keep hitting the (unregistered) misspellings. While I'd be appreciative if somebody would buy the misspellings and redirect to webmasterworld.com, I'm sure that I would have no interest in any ads on such a site.

6:09 pm on Feb 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

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2 schools of thought.

If I was in charge of marketing hotels in the city of Example.com, based upon my own observations, I'd be quite content to accept type-in traffic from ExampleHotels.com all day long.

Gauging by the bids/payments for a few domains I hold that share some of those characteristics I'd say the advertisers are finding the same to be true. To the best of my knowledge the bids assigned to parked domains (quality assumed) have been going up, not down, as time passes.

Like everything else, in the analysis I think you have to start with quality matters.

The same held true when I ran/redirected a plethora of websites/URLs related to my other line of work.

To my experience there's a strong element of "self-filtering" associated with those who arrive at a website by personal declaration of intent or interest. The direct navigation searcher, when they type in a URL/domain, is declaring an interest and likely an expectation: "StateProfession.tld means I am looking for a professional xyz in the State of abc".

Worked like a charm for me.

I foresee increasingly improved and relevant direct navigation landers, one's that will be largely indistinguishable from "real websites". You know, the "real" type, the ones of the same ilk, designed to do the same thing (attract and collect leads) - except "real sites" live and die by virtue of an unloving bond with search engines. You lose that SE love and you can still buy some love, by paying PPC prices.

As concerns differing views or schools of thought about direct navigation, it's likely a matter of datasets. My data says direct navigation has a lot going for it and is likely to improve with time.

Then again, I also manage to control the quality of the domains, so my data may be skewed. :) That said, in the domaining world somebody always has one that's better.

'cept maybe for Sex.com


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