Bot Traffic: What It Means for Your Site

November 16, 2018 / Web / 0 Comments /
Busy Robot

Robots may get a bad rap in dystopian fiction, though in real life, they are incredible allies. Robots help us build cars, explore space, and even vacuum our floors. But, just as physical robots can be dangerous if not properly managed, digital bot traffic also has good and bad sides to consider.

Bot traffic is defined as online traffic that comes from automated programs rather than human-controlled interactions. This is an important distinction to consider when trying to evaluate your marketing ROI and performance. For example, if you received 100 views on a blog post, but 50 of those views were bots, you’re actually only reaching half as many prospects as you thought you were.

Strong Automotive Merchandising has partnered with bot-detection expert Orbee to help filter and remove bot traffic from our clients’ traffic reports.

In the following interview, Daniel Kim, co-founder and CEO of Orbee, explains the implications of bot traffic and how dealers should handle it.

Where does this bot traffic come from? Is it intentional?

Bot traffic comes from a variety of sources – this can be malware and viruses installed on a personal computer; it can be a device connected to a network; it can even be servers in the cloud, crawling websites and clicking links. Bots can be intentional. If someone writes a crawler to click certain ads, then that’s intentional to drive traffic through a source.

How does Orbee detect bot traffic for automotive dealers?

Orbee uses a combination of third party and internal proprietary bot detection algorithms to determine bot traffic based on known device ID and IP combination as well as their browsing behavior on the dealership website.

Are there any practices that a dealer or advertiser can use to deter bot traffic?

A dealer should make sure to discuss with their digital vendor what their policy on bot traffic is. It is also not a question of if you have bots, it’s a question of what percentage of your traffic is coming from bots. Different forms of paid advertising mediums have different averages for bot traffic, such as email campaigns and display ads garnering high bot traffic and paid search resulting in less bot traffic.

Bot traffic chart

What advice do you have to dealers looking to maximize their online presence and leads?

One way dealers can maximize their online presence and leads is to convert every visitor into a shopper profile. The more data you can collect from each shopper, the better the profiles get and the more robust they become. Personalizing your campaigns with the shopper profiles across search, social, display and emails allows you to seamlessly provide dynamic recommendations on your website and maximize your online presence and leads.

About the author

John Paul Strong: For someone who spends an average of 135 days outside of the office meeting with clients, John Paul Strong remains the driving force behind his Birmingham-based advertising agency, Strong Automotive Merchandising. Strong began his career as a fresh-faced account executive at Martin Advertising. Learning much, but never satisfied, he convinced his father to partner with him in reopening their own advertising agency in 2004, catering exclusively to the automotive industry. The company started strong but humble. The original roster of 10 employees and eight clients has exploded today, growing to 100 full-time employees and more than 220 automotive dealers. And it hasn’t gone without notice. Along the way, Strong Automotive Merchandising has been recognized as a perennial winner in Birmingham’s Best Places to Work contest and as a Top 20 Agency among Google’s National Ad Partners. Yet, Strong still finds time to share what he’s learned along the way. As an avid writer, he has published two books in the Next Day Traffic series, along with more than 1,000 automotive-focused blog posts. He is also a member of the Texas Auto Writers Association, and his success has been recognized in the Birmingham Business Journal’s 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” feature and the 2017 CEO Awards. The foundation for Strong’s career began at the University of Montevallo where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and advanced public speaking. Always staying ahead of the competition, Strong later went on to study in Harvard Business School’s Executive Education Program. Amid all of his endeavors, Strong always makes time for what matters most – his family. He is a proud husband to Amy, and father to Lilly Grace, Anne Charlotte, Hudson, and Ford.


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