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Help With Odd Website Analytics & BOT Traffic.

Discussion in 'Websites, SEO, SEM, Display, Social, Marketing' started by Baron Ringler, May 17, 2019.

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  1. Baron Ringler

    Baron Ringler
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    First Name:
    Baron
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    Planet Honda
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    I'm having trouble deciphering data, and want opinions.

    Our web site traffic ytd for year-over-year numbers for three stores is UP 12%, 19%, and 50% respectively but for each store the total lead submissions are DOWN. In the case of the 19% increase the submission rate is down 31%. This means that the total visits ytd are up nearly 6500 and the form submissions are DOWN by nearly 200. These aren't small Kia, Mitsubishi or Mini stores, but major Japanese brands at decent-sized locations.

    Anyone have any ideas? Could it be some sort of bot is being used to inflate the visit numbers? If so, how could you tell? The traffic is showing as excellent but the total page visits are way down, the time on site is way down, the form submissions are way down, and the numbers just don't make any sense. The sites have added features compared to last year so time on site should be up, not down, and same with page views. How can you recognize bogus traffic? Is there a way? By the way, it's matched analytics with the same providers, year-over-year, so it's good comparative data.

    Any help would be appreciated.
     
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  3. AWNick

    AWNick
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    Nick
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    AutoWebing
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    Have you tried looking into whether its paid traffic, organic traffic, etc? You could be buying garbage paid traffic that comes in droves but doesn't do anything, or you could be experiencing a high amount of bot traffic. You could also break it down to pages and see where it's coming from. We've noticed similar results on our client sites when one of their blog posts or content pieces takes off. We'll get 1000s of people per month looking at a specific blog post thats informative but isn't converting. It could be a lot of things. I'd be more than happy to help you dig into it if you'd like, just PM me.
     
  4. CarlAutofusion

    CarlAutofusion
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    You may be right. If time-on-site, pages/visit, etc are bad, I would suspect bots too.

    Check to see where your traffic is coming from. Do you have large concentrations of traffic coming from outside your state?

    Check your referral traffic and try to find the source of that traffic.

    If you need help, feel free to reach out to me [email protected]

    Thanks.
     
  5. C Dorman

    C Dorman
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    Take a hard look at your traffic sources and ask yourself what's changed? Did you change paid search providers? Did you change vendors? Did your Tier 1 or Tier 2 change providers?

    Then take a hard look at the ratio of your desktop to mobile users. I've got dealers that are up to 75% mobile traffic now. They aren't going to submit web form leads. Look at the total number of leads submitted, including chat/text/calls.

    Did you add on or change your digital retailing? It's entirely possible to skew the number of leads depending on your strategy. You can squeeze a lot of "leads" from your site by requiring people to give up info just to see a "real" price. This is not a one size fits all answer, but for a lot of dealers they are better off not wasting time with upper funnel shoppers who are just trying to decide if a vehicle could be in their consideration set.

    You've done a great job noticing the change.

    Now you just need to drill down to discover the why.
     
  6. Alexander Lau

    Alexander Lau
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    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Baron Ringler

    Baron Ringler
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    Just an update for those who were watching this, and it's a lesson for all of us.

    I finally got access in to the Google Analytics for our site (did it in a not so kosher way, but at least I got them), and sure enough I found major 'bot' traffic that was being passed along as the real deal. After fighting to get it removed (the ad company swore up, down, left, and right that it was legit traffic - despite the clear-cut evidence to the contrary) sure enough for June our traffic was down 10% yoy, which helps to explain some, but not all, of the reduction in submissions.

    There are politics of the situation that prevent the store from moving to the next logical step and ending the relationship with that agency. But at least everyone knows that I have a clue as to what is going on and these folks will have to 100% toe the line going forward, because they know someone with knowledge is watching them.
     
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  8. Kristen Liggins

    Kristen Liggins
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    I just went through the same thing with C4 analytics, they set up google analytics in a confusing way and also could never give me an answer to the questions I asked regarding conversion. I guess this is happening more than often and if they have the GM's and DP's sold on it, it's a neverending battle. I just want to get the right traffic through the door, results. I don't want nor do i have the time to watch if the spaghetti is going to stick to the wall. Great topic!
     
  9. SoCalMark

    SoCalMark
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    The Bad Bot Trap

    Typically, good bots will follow your robots.txt file, but the bad bots don’t care and they ignore the “rules” because they think they’re cool and are after your assets for the most part.

    Step 1. Install Blackhole PRO for bad Bots Plugin.

    Blackhole for Bad Bots does one thing and does it well: traps bad bots in a virtual blackhole. It’s a lot of fun, and very effective at stopping bad bots from visiting your site.

    The idea is simple: add a hidden link to your site, forbid access to that link via robots.txt, and then automatically block any bots that disobey the rules and follow the link.

    Both free and pro versions work the same way, but Blackhole Pro gives you some sweet features not included in the free version. Like deluxe bot log and adding bots manually. Check out the Blackhole Pro Tutorials at Plugin Planet to learn more.


    Step 2. Update Robots.txt file

    After installing the plugin, update the robots.txt file via filezilla, do it on WPengine and added Disallow:/?blackhole to the file.


    Step 3. Now wait!

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Baron Ringler

    Baron Ringler
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    I was with a store that dropped C4 for the exact same reason. My GM and I, both savvy and intelligent people, couldn't figure out the mess they would give us, so we finally gave up. Sure enough, after we sent notice of termination we got calls from all the higher ups promising more transparency. C4 is a joke.
     
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  11. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner
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    That’s some messed up bullshit right there.
     
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