Search and Email Driving Half of Website Visits in Europe

September 20, 2016

adi-european-website-traffic-sources-in-q2-sept2016Direct visits only accounted for about one-third of website visits in Europe in Q2 2016, with the remaining two-thirds coming from brand-driven tactics such as search, email and display, according to Adobe Digital Insights’ Advertising Demand Report 2016: Europe. These brand-driven tactics also drove about two-thirds of smartphone traffic in Q2, up from 50% three years earlier.

Over the past 3 years, 54% of websites in Europe experienced traffic growth, with visits increasing by an average of 52%. For the 46% of websites whose traffic shrank, the average decline in visits was 35%. For comparison, North American websites have experienced more success in recent years, with 62% growing their visits over that time frame.

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The gap in smartphone traffic share between growing and shrinking websites in Europe has exacerbated over the past 3 years. Given that brand-driven tactics are driving a larger share of smartphone traffic now than 3 years ago, these results suggest that those brand-driven tactics are contributing to website traffic growth in Europe.

Overall, growing websites in Europe saw their largest share of traffic in Q2 2016 come from natural search, which contributed one-third of traffic. Direct traffic was responsible for 31% of visits in the quarter, followed by paid search (14%), referrals (8%), email (4%), display (3%), affiliate (3%), social (1%), and others.

In sum, then search (paid and natural) and email combined to account for 51% of visits to growing European websites in Q2.

For shrinking websites, direct traffic accounted for the largest share (35%) of visits, followed by natural search (30%). The remaining traffic sources approximated the breakdown for growing sites, though the report separately notes that growing websites see 1.7 times more share of traffic from social media than shrinking sites.

Results from a survey of more than 4,000 consumers in the US and Europe reveal that:

  • Consumers in Germany, France and the UK are more likely to believe that advertisers’ ability to show more valuable or compelling ads has improved than worsened over the past 2 years;
  • Consumers in those markets are split as to the effectiveness of marketers in providing interesting ads, though, whereas in the US 57% of consumers rate marketers as being effective in this regard;
  • Few consumers in the UK, France or Germany are willing to watch an ad that pops up after a new link is clicked, and few are likewise willing to watch ads that automatically play music or other sounds;
  • Consumers in those countries are more likely to stop than continue watching an ad if it can’t be skipped; and
  • While two-thirds or more of European consumers try to skip ads as soon as they can, only 15-25% would be willing to pay in order avoid seeing ads.

About the Data: The Adobe Digital Insights report is based on an analysis of aggregated and anonymous data from 1.1 trillion visits to 1,100 websites from January 2013 to June 2016. The websites analyzed were in the following industries: Media & Entertainment; Retail; Travel; Finance; Automotive; and Health.

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