Driving Traffic and Securing Sales for Small Business Websites

If you own an ecommerce website, you may be interested in some of the latest statistics on which search engines and websites are most effective traffic drivers for closing sales online.

According to a recent report released by Hitwise.com, Google retains the top position in online sales. Compared to rival search engines, the big “G” is leading the pack, as most small business owners would expect. According the press release dated August 31:

“Hitwise today announced that Google was the top U.S. search engine responsible for 14.93 percent of U.S. upstream visits to the Shopping and Classifieds category for the week ending August 26, 2006. Yahoo! Search was the second most popular search engine sending visits to Shopping & Classifieds websites, accounting for 4.69 percent of upstream visits for that week. MSN Search rounded out the top search engines accounting for 2.33 percent of visits to the category.”

(Note: Upstream sites are those sites visited immediately prior to visiting the subject site.)

In addition to the expected Google dominance, a newcomer to the commerce scene is the social networking site MySpace.com. Commonly considered a gathering place for teens and young adults, this online community now accounts for a serious market share of online purchases via upstream clicks. WebProNews reported last week that upstream visits from MySpace.com accounted for more upstream traffic to shopping and classifieds than old-timer MSN search.

Marketing and online communication with your target audience is becoming a more diverse equation. Today, you should consider multiple approaches to establishing your brand and vary your platforms. Consider new, less traveled roads when marketing online and always try to keep a pulse on where the people who comprise your target market congregate online.

It’s not a static problem, but keeping abreast of the changes and shifts of dynamic online populations will pay big dividends for your business, no matter what the size.

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