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Bot Traffic: What It Means for Your Site

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.

John Paul Strong

John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 150 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.

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