Are Bots Influencing Your Marketing Metrics?

May 9, 2013 Courtney Brady

As a marketer, my life revolves around metrics. My work and day-to-day activities can be shown through how many visitors I bring to our site AND who they are. Obviously the more people I bring the better my team looks– so if I were to just bring thousands of pageviews each day my job would be done, right?

WRONG!

I’ve known many marketing teams that are solely judged on the amount of traffic they bring in – uniques per month, pageviews, duration of pageviews, etc. But are all pageviews equal?  Who’s to say the number reported isn’t correct? Hopefully my fellow marketers won’t hate me by saying this – but not all pageviews count equally as valuable interactions on your website.

Sure it looks great to your management team that you’re bringing in thousands or even 10s of millions of pageviews – but when the sales team turns around and asks where are the real customers and why none are converting, you are sent searching for answers.  What if your total pageview traffic is really a fraction of what your analytics tools are reporting? Yes, it surely is a lower number unless you are able to discern the bots and webscrapers that competitors and other data mining companies are running on your site…  Are the numbers you report actually accounting for malicious bot traffic visiting your site without you even knowing?

What if you are able to identify all the bot pageviews from the human pageviews visiting your website?  What if 10% of your traffic is bot generated pageviews… that means your data are diluted and distorted.  Well sit down, because the reality is that some sites have 20% to 60% of traffic from bots, making it very difficult to report on for marketing and driving up operational costs.

Bottom line for my fellow marketers: don’t just consider the number Google Analytics gives you every day for your website data.  You can save operational costs, improve your website performance, and measure the results of marketing when you have the ability to filter out bot traffic. With the correct data, it helps your marketing team properly set goals that are attainable and they can do their analysis more effectively.

For the CEOs, COOs, and CMOs – make sure your team has the right tools to do their jobs effectively – ask them how you are mitigating web scrapers and automated bot traffic sessions.  After all, bad data doesn’t help anyone and inbound bot traffic does not grow your revenue  – ensure the web traffic which you report is humans looking at your pages and not just malicious bots scraping your website.

To learn more about how bots may be infiltrating your website and marketing metrics, read this data sheet

About the Author

Courtney Brady

Courtney Brady is the Director of Marketing at Distil Networks. She comes to Distil Networks from a variety of start-up companies, routed in SaaS and DaaS solutions. Formerly the global communications manager at multiple companies, Courtney is responsible for developing the company’s marketing strategy and branding campaign.

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