I discovered Wikipedia in 2004 and have used the site extensively to research everything from pop culture and ancient history to current events. While I do recall there being some controversy over accuracy issues in the site’s early days, Wikipedia has been accepted by a majority of people as a reliable source of information. As the site has grown in size, both in terms of visitors it attracts and the number of pages it creates, the website continues to be that free online resource I remember back in the day.
As Wikipedia reaches its 10th birthday, I can’t help but wonder how much longer it will continue to be ad free. If visitors use the site like I do (and yes, I know I should never assume everyone uses the internet like “I” do), the potential for brand messaging alone is huge. I rarely spend less than 10 minutes on the site once I decide to use it as a reference. Almost every (if not all) the articles are interlinked to other pages and I often find myself clicking on those links as well (after I initially look up what I came for in the first place). After reviewing some of the statistics that the Pew Internet & American Life Project has collected, http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Wikipedia.aspx, I see that I am not alone in my Wikipedia usage.
Among some of the highlights from Pew’s findings (that advertisers would be attracted to):
For another year at least, my colleagues and I in the online marketing industry will have to settle for using Wikipedia for personal use only. But nothing stays the same forever, this is particularly true for technology and anything related to the internet. As a regular internet user, I can appreciate the advertising free version Wikipedia has maintained for 10 long digital years. The online marketer in me…would love an opportunity to market for my clients on Wikipedia. I wonder how much it would cost to run a banner campaign on the homepage of Wikipedia? I would anticipate a very large monthly minimum spend and a minimum campaign length in order to be considered. I would also expect some of the largest companies in the world lining up to advertise on the site. We may never know these figures or we may know by next year! I am not predicting Wikipedia will ever change their model, but if they do, the site usage and demographics alone will attract major advertising dollars. In that respect, I do predict those dollars to be greater than the 16 million Wikipedia raised this year to meet their goal of another ad free year.
Wikipedia.org, the free online encyclopedia, is a force on the Internet and in the world of social media. This wholly interactive way of sharing and retrieving information has over 13 million articles. According to their website, the word Wikipedia means a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning “quick”) and encyclopedia.
Having an article about your business in Wikipedia is beneficial for the simple fact that it can drive great quality traffic to your website:
For instance, when a business (such as IBM) appears prominently in the search results pages of Google, the Wikipedia entry is considered to be such an authority, that it will rank very prominently in the search results. This results in more traffic to your site because of the valuable real estate that it takes up in the SERPs.
Links coming from Wikipedia to your site do not have any value in terms of “Link Juice”, but, again, will drive traffic to your site and will give your business credibility in the industry.
Wikipedia is human edited, so any Wikipedia editor can delete your article if they feel that it is merely a “commercial” for your business and/or it doesn’t have any cultural significance. This means, obviously, that not all websites will be successful at submitting an article to Wikipedia and keeping it there. Articles on people or businesses should read like biographies, in that they are written from a neutral point of view. So, has your business made any industry innovations? Is it notable and culturally significant? If so, you may have a shot at gaining a presence on one of the largest sites on the web.
Google Analytics defines bounce rate as “the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.” Wikipedia defines it as “the percentage of initial visitors to a site who bounce away to a different site, rather than continue on to other pages within the same site.”
Both of these above definitions basically say the same thing. What a marketer needs to know is that the lower the bounce rate, the better. So what is considered a good bounce rate? There are actually many different opinions on this. Some experts say that 50% is average and anything lower is considered above average. Others say that a number below 30% is what you should be striving for.
Monitoring your bounce rate can be a very valuable tool, but also a bit misleading and therefore should definitely not be the only way you are measuring your performance. A high bounce rate typically translates into a visitor that was not sufficiently engaged and left your site without so much as visiting a second page. A high bounce rate is also an indication that your visitor was not as qualified as you had hoped for.
That being said, this may not always hold true for lead generation sites. Think about it this way…lets say that you’re running a Pay per Click (PPC) Campaign, you have a lead generation site and you are sending visitors directly to your form page. If a visitor fills out the form and your website is not configured correctly (in other words, the URL does not change when the form is filled out), this could result in a “bounce” when in actuality, your searcher completed the desired action item. This often occurs with blogs, as well. Visitors will reach your blog, read all of the way through and then exit when done. For this reason, blogs tend to have a high bounce rate, as well.
While I encourage you to pay attention to your bounce rate, as it can be a useful way to gauge progress, other factors should also considered, such as time on site, landing page quality, percentage of new visitors, etc.