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Is Hitwise Worth the Hit?

We have all heard of Hitwise. Their data is widely regarded as industry leading information, and their sample size is massive (One third of the UK market). You might have even worked with them, or have a client that has their package installed. In any of these cases, we all know the bottom line: It’s a hell of price to pay, and will definitely be a big hit in your budget.

Hitwise: US Search Ratings, Aug. 2007

Hitwise data is the most accurate data out there, and they regularly compile industry information regarding search engine market shares.

So, What can Hitwise do for me?

I have recently been to a presentation of the product, and a demonstration of what it can do tell you to do. And in that respect, the short answer is ‘yes': why would you not want to see what is happening to your competitors’ websites? If you can monitor what your competitor is doing, then great, that must come in handy somewhere down the line… but will it?

Ok so you can find out who is linking and sending traffic to your competitors, and trend this over time. But if you are a half-decent Search Engine Marketing agency, you should know this already! Not necessarily know about the volumes, but about the sources at least… Hitwise also lets you do the same for keywords, affiliates etc…

But, Is the Hit going to be reimbursed by an increase in business?

So I can find out if I’ve missed a link in my research, or if there’s a keyword or keyword variation that I forgot to bid on… But you’re decision is the following one: are these elements that I have missed out in my campaign/strategy going to generate enough business and ROI to cover the huge costs of Hitwise? The short answer is probably not, unless this traffic source you have missed out on has huge potential. In which case it’s your work that should come under scrutiny!

Hitwise can also inform you on what your competitors are doing in PPC, but doesn’t tell you if their PPC is working well. The idea is that ‘if they are doing it, so should you’. But what if their campaign gets more traffic but less sales/leads/conversions than yours?

So?? Is Hitwise worth the Hit???

Yerr but no, but yerr, but no, but…

Ultimately, if your are one of the 100 top brands in the UK, you probably should go for Hitwise, as a small source of traffic you have missed out on could send over 1000-2000 visits/day… But if your are in this band, then you probably are already on board with them!

If you are of smaller size, and your Search Marketing Agency has been doing its work correctly, then the Hit might not be reimbursed but you will get some get industry data that you can use online as well as offline.

However if you think Hitwise is a tool that that cannot be replaced by anything else out there, and has completely unique functionalities that you cannot afford to miss out on, let me know. All I am trying to evaluate is whether it is worth the hit.

I can assure you that, if it was 1/3 or even 1/2 of the price, I would go for it (but they don’t like Search Marketing agencies anyways and prefer to liaise sell direct with clients). I mean, it’s quite expensive for what is essentially data sitting on a server…

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