Visitors Welcome: Paid Search Outperforming Paid Social

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“A visit has never been so valuable.”

As Contentsquare’s 2024 Digital Experience Benchmark Report lays out, cost inflation and declining traffic numbers are creating hurdles for marketers, with the cost per visit rising 9.4% last year. And with marketers responding with a variety of potential-promising solutions, these solutions can “mask — and often contribute to — a fundamental issue negatively impacting digital journeys.”

“Frustration can have painful consequences on customer engagement, and digital teams need to continue to combat it in 2024,” the report says. “While encouraging advances were made in reducing friction in the experience in 2023, it still impacted 2 out of every 5 user sessions in some way.”

These moments of frustrations included code-producing errors, slow page loads, multiple clicks, and low page activity (rather than at the top). Whether they’re hurting SEO or contributing to bounce rates, these frustrations make noticeable impacts on the customer experience.

“When stacked together over the course of an entire journey, the cumulative effect of letting frustration fester and go unchecked is disastrous,” the report says. “The theoretical outcome of frustration-fueled higher bounce rates and shallower sessions can reduce the engagement — and thus the visit’s value — by -15.0%.”

(Photo Source: Contentsquare)

The report points to intention as a key factor in bounce rates. While paid search, for instance, not only outperforms paid social on conversion rates (2.55% to 0.61%), it also has a lower bounce rate (43.9% to 61.7%), showing how intent differs on the two channels.

“Paid search traffic converts at 4x the rate of paid social, while paid social traffic is 41% more likely to bounce,” the report says. “Paid searchers … know what they want and are typically receptive to landing deep within the site. For these visitors, a product or solution page is likely an appropriate landing spot.”


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