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What percentage of your site’s visitors should come from search?

In my weekly column for Search Engine Guide, I address a question I received recently on search metrics. Do you know what percentage of your site’s visitors ought to come from search engines? When your Web metrics analyst tells you that number, do you know whether to be happy or not? Find out why this particular search metrics can be problematic to benchmark and to interpret when you read “What Percentage of Your Site’s Visitors Should Come from Search?” And see what this gentleman with the distinguished white beard has to do with it.


Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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  1. Avatar Funny

    I think 60% come from search and 40% from refferals, direct traffic etc.

  2. Avatar mikemoran

    I am sure you know your percentage, Funny, but others’ mileage may vary. As stated in my post, I don’t think this metric is the one to focus on.

  3. Avatar kugou

    Ah,My website’s Visitors 80% come from SE!
    ut and kugou
    That are music websites!

  4. Avatar Juan

    Great post, thanks.

  5. Avatar Don

    speaking in terms of effective marketing the majority of your visitors should be ‘direct’ (long term) otherwise in my opinion referrals and SE have to be good amounts.

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