Often directly related to the size and overall traffic of a Web site is the share of downstream traffic search received. The AdGooroo and Hitwise study released this week highlights the important point that search represents one of the largest sources of traffic referrals to CPG Web sites, making the medium a critical component of any marketing strategy.
In April 2010, 25% of the upstream traffic to the Top 10 CPG Web sites was the result of a visit to a search engine immediately before a Web site visit. The share of traffic referrals from search increased 15% in April 2010, compared with the previous year, highlighting the importance of search for CPG brands.
If CPG companies can't scale search on engines, how will they tackle Web TV? Google TV will highlight the importance of search for CPG brands. And, if a search company manages to pull together a variety of media buys for this platform it will have realized the dream of Web-to-television conversion for search engine marketing, rich media display ads and video on the tube -- not YouTube, but the television tube.
YouTube will become another story. Today live concerts are streamed on YouTube, but tomorrow there will be an option to provide a pay-per-view or ad supported service. The experience will only be limited by the size of the consumer's television screen and audio equipment. Web TV could provide an entire new industry for electronics companies, with Sony leading the way.
Google has published an optimization guide for Web sites, and recently released a YouTube video highlighting the content.
The transformation noted in Google TV's recent appearance on ABC's "Nightline" demonstrates the device's QWERTY keyboard on two circular pads. It looks like a combination of a computer and smartphone keyboards, a device certainly familiar to techies and soon to become familiar to non-techies, too.
Google TV will become a lead-generation tool for brands through the data collected from not only surfing the Web, but watching television. Now, just to clarify, the study from AdGooroo and Hitwise doesn't consider Google TV in the findings.
So what's my point? Technology keeps moving at a speed faster than brands, namely CPGs, can keep up. If they can't master search on the Web, how will they become successful at optimizing sites for the next generation of technologies?
Larger Web sites like KraftRecipes.com and BettyCrocker.com will typically have a higher number of paid and organic listings, garnering more attention in the search engine results pages (SERPs). This puts into perspective the share of visits received immediately following a visit to a search engine, including both paid and organic traffic.
In April 2010, Kraft's and Betty Crocker's respective Web sites received more than two times the volume of traffic to their Web sites from search engines than the third-ranked Pillsbury brand, according to the study. Among their peers in the food category, Kraft and Betty Crocker excel, capturing the highest share of search clicks among 80 CPG food Web sites.
Combined, the three Web sites captured 64% of all paid search clicks to CPG food sites during the four weeks ending May 1, 2010.