Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Contentsquare research finds Cost Per Visit to brand websites increasing by over 9% 

Digital ad spend is set to surpass $740 billion in 2024, yet website traffic, consumption and conversion were all down last year, according to the Contentsquare 2024 Digital Experience Benchmark Report. 

In fact, 55% of all sites saw lower traffic, 58% saw session consumption fall, and conversion decreased by 5.5% according to the report by Contentsquare, a global leader in digital experience analytics. The research also found that 40% of all online visits included avoidable friction, including technical website errors, slow page loads and rage clicks.  

New Digital Age (NDA) spoke with Jean-Christophe Pitié, Chief Marketing and Partnerships Officer, Contentsquare, to unpick the research findings…

What’s the idea behind the report? 

With Contentsquare’s all-in-one platform, we collect trillions of data points on how people are using websites on PCs, laptops and mobiles, so it’s a goldmine of insights. Our customers always want to know how their site stacks up against their peers. What are the trends? What are we seeing? We’ve been producing the Benchmark report for the past few years in response to those questions.

The headline finding of the latest report is that, while spending on digital marketing is up, web traffic is down, meaning that the average Cost Per Visit (CPV) has risen by 9%. What does that suggest about the state of digital marketing? 

The decline in web traffic is being driven by a few different things. Firstly, we’re still in the post-Covid era, so year-on-year comparisons are still being influenced by that and the unprecedented spike in web activity we experienced during those covid years. That’s particularly true in the UK, where online traffic has dropped off even further, due to a bigger return to high street shopping than some other countries.

Another reason is a consumer shift towards mobile apps. More brands are creating apps and consumers seem to be spending more time there on their mobiles. A final reason is that some of the big ad platforms like Google, Meta and others have been making some changes to their ad offerings, which have also helped to drive up the cost of acquisition.

In terms of digital experience, what are the main things that consumers are complaining about?

When web traffic is down and CPV is up, meaning brands need to work on retention. Frustration with the web experience is the number one issue that brands can fix. 

With the dip in global web traffic this year and the cost per visit rising almost 10%, making every visit count is business critical. We know from our previous consumer research that shoppers are leaving sites as a result of frustrations that could be easily resolved

We estimate that the customer experience is good in around 60% of cases, meaning than 40% of web experiences are still leading to frustration for users. Common causes of  friction include slow load times and JavaScript errors, leading to rage clicks (when users click three times within two seconds). Interestingly, the mobile web experience is even worse in many cases, with things like too many pop-ups and scrolling errors being particular problems. 

We’ve seen gains in terms of engagement for apps this year, but mobile  optimization as a whole is not as mature as it could be given the intelligence we have today on customer behaviours and preferences.   

To learn more, download the full Benchmark report here