I have a saying around the office here at Bamboo, “If it isn’t worth blogging about, it isn’t worth doing”. Honoring the spirit of that statement, I spent some time surfing our Google Analytics numbers today and decided to share some of my findings.
I started this visit to Google Analytics with a primary interest in how our recent Google Adwords campaigns have been doing. In the second half of 2010, we dramatically ramped up our Google Adwords spending, adding new campaigns for most of Bamboo’s now more than 60 individual software add ons for SharePoint. I wanted to know how those expenditures were doing, and was comparing Google Adwords to other sources of site traffic.
In my travels, I took a fresh look at the top domains that refer traffic to Bamboo. For 2010, here is the list:
- Google (Organic) – Over 50% of all traffic to Bamboo web sites comes from “natural search” conducted via Google. Wow! Reminds me of how critical it is to be good at search engine optimization.
- Direct – Nearly 20% of all Bamboo traffic comes from visitors who simply type “www.bamboosolutions.com” into their Web browser. I’ve always maintained that this relatively large percentage of direct traffic is a measure of “word-of-mouth” sales, but it also clearly includes repeat buyers, as well as existing customers seeking support. In any case, it’s a healthy number, and it grew almost 7% in 2010.
- Google (Paid Search) – Bamboo pays to have text ads in place whenever Google users enter one of about 681 key search terms related to our products and services. For a small company, we have an aggressive campaign in place.
- Bing (Organic) – Rocketing into 4th place this year is Microsoft’s search engine Bing! I saw a statistic in a Microsoft advertisement the other day. The claim was that more than 37% of all Web searches are performed through Bing. This figure includes search results now syndicated through Yahoo. Pretty impressive. Still Google accounts for more than 50% of Bamboo’s overall traffic, while Bing represents less than 4%. For the time being, Google is the only game in town for search marketers. But it’s easy to root for Bing, and to be impressed how that team has fared in the face of Google’s virtual monopoly.
- Microsoft’s ASP.NET Community Site – A few very favorable and complimentary blog posts on this site consistently drive traffic to Bamboo. Sincere thanks to the SharePoint MVP community for their mentions and positive reviews.
- Microsoft’s TechNet – Again, quite a few positive mentions in the TechNet community have helped make this site a perennial top ten source of site traffic for Bamboo.
- Facebook – Facebook’s ascent into the top ten also surprised me. We spend a couple of hundred dollars a month on Facebook ads, and apparently they work well. Facebook’s ability to serve targeted ads based on the content of user’s profiles is very attractive. I am hopeful that LinkedIn will offer similar capabilities in the very near future.
- SharePoint Reviews – Inna Gordin and the team at sharepointreviews.com have built a very nice site that has gained some serious traction as a source of independent reviews for third-party SharePoint products. We do a small amount of advertising with them, but I suspect that the majority of referrals are based on user reviews. Thank you to our customers who took the time to share their positive experiences with Bamboo products on this site.
- StackOverflow – This niche programming Q&A site (www.stackoverflow.com) is a perennial top referrer. Seems to be a very active and engaged community that includes SharePoint developers.
- Experts Exchange – Another community site (www.experts-exchange.com) where SharePoint developers tend to congregate. Some very good information out there from developers sharing experiences configuring Bamboo software to solve SharePoint issues.
The big surprises for me here were the rise of Bing, and the performance of Facebook. I’d be very interested to hear from other SharePoint search marketers if these results are similar to yours or unique to Bamboo. I hope this information was useful or at least interesting. Next time, I’ll share some data about the top search terms that drive traffic to Bamboo.