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referred search percentage too high?

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Could you please help us with this question?

We are very undecided about what our search engine? performance is: What does 50% 60% for "visits coming from search engines?" for a B2B UK magazine mean?

This number seems quite high and would account for a good se performance .

Or in fact it is not? Is it an average number? or lower? Do you have any data available what the average rate of "visits coming from search engines" for UK B2B magazines is?

The reason we are surprised is because our log based statistics accounts for 20-30-40% for years.

One of our sites shows 83% in Opentracker. Isn't this number too high?

I am looking forward to your answer.
Thank you very much in advance.


Let's start by assuming that the data is correct, as we have no reason to believe that it is not correct, and to proceed from there.

Given that statistic, as an SEO company, we would say that you are doing a very good job, excellent in fact, and that the other departments, such as mailings, newsletters, and customer loyalty, are not keeping up.

If 82% of visitors came in through search engines, but only 10% of visitors were returning - then this is an area to focus your energies, improving the return rate.

The best thing to do with the statistics is to benchmark, set a goal, and proceed. For example, decide to get that Returning Visitor number up to 12% by using a newsletter, etc.

If your log-based stats show a different number, this could be because they do not use the same list of referrers? which they classify as Official Search Engines, as we do. We created the list ourselves. Do you know how the log-based system works?

As to what is "normal" this really differs per site. Opentracker has a high number of returning visitors, because people login to check their stats, and dont come through search engines. What is typical of B2B clients? Do they come through trade sites, etc?

A random sampling of B2B sites will find a wide range of percentage returning visitors, from 0% to 60%. B2B sites and magazines, which are often industry trade magazines, often on "invitation" basis, meaning that they send out to mailing lists, rather than relying on SEO and search engines.

In this light, a good SEO ranking can save a lot of advertising revenue, but is dangerous to rely on.

What is perhaps also interesting is that we are generally more "alarmed" when we see zero, or very few, search engine referrals. When you see high search engine referrals, it's perhaps time to concede that you have "done what needs to be done" for the time being, with regards to SEO and need to think about how/where else to concentrate your energy.


Very helpful, thank you.

To clarify we did not doubt the data but were simply surprised by it.
The high s.e. ratios correlate with the low number of pages per visit?
and with the very few returning visitors, as you said. So it all makes
sense and gives us a direction into which we need to push our clients.

We will be doing more digging to see whether clients whose site
navigation and data presentation we consider better than others really
are doing better in terms of reader retention.