Data Tracker: Where the shoppers come from

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Part of the business of running a boat-sales website such as BoatTrader.com is to identify how site visitors get there to begin searching for boats. We recently studied this by developing a report about how visitors arrived at the three major sites that Dominion Marine Media operates — BoatTrader.com, Boats.com and YachtWorld.com.

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From September through November this year, boating enthusiasts visited the three sites 31.5 million times, roughly 10 million times a month. Nearly half of the visits came by way of a search engine such as Google. Most of the rest arrived via links on another website or through a typed or bookmarked URL.

We found that Boats.com, the smallest site, drew most of its traffic from search engines, probably in part because of its generic name. YachtWorld.com, which has the highest rate of repeat visits, scored higher than the others through bookmarks and referring websites. Boat Trader, which in season has the most visitors of the three sites, showed more balance in its referral sources, including the most from social networks, a new and growing source.

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