Robust traffic growth to tax sites this season outpaced U.S. Internet population growth.
According to comScore, there's a spike in traffic to tax sites from late January to mid-February as early filers file their tax returns. Some 29 million users visited tax sites in February. The peak was the week ending February 6th, when 14 million users visited tax sites.
Early filers are outnumbered by late ones, who represent the second major spike in traffic to tax sites. In 2004, 1.9 million users visited irs.gov on April 15th. In 2005, that number hit 2.15 million users.
On a year-over-year basis, comScore found traffic to tax Web sites (including irs.gov, turbotax.com and H&R Block) not only increased over 2004, it outpaced the growth of the US Internet population. For January, growth for tax sites was 12 percent (internet population growth was 6 percent); February 8 percent (internet population growth: 5 percent); and March 24 percent (internet population growth: 7 percent).
On a year-over-year basis for the final 10 days of the tax filing season (April 5 to April 15), traffic to irs.gov increased 28 percent. TurboTax.com overtook HRblock.com among tax sites, growing traffic for the final 10 days by 101 percent (3 million visitors). HRblock's traffic grew 23 percent to 2.4 million visitors.
|Click on graphic to view Daily Visitor charts|
The most popular tax sites (by traffic) were also among the most visible on search engines. A WebTrends WebPosition Search Ranking study found HRblock.com and TurboTax.com were the most visible tax sites on search engines. WebTrends measured the tax sites' visibility in both paid and organic search results on Google, MSN, Yahoo and Ask Jeeves. Keywords and -phrases searched included: "electronic filing," "tax return," "efile," "taxes," "tax filing," "tax preparation," "tax refund," "tax information," "income taxes," and "tax help." The visibility percentage, as determined by WebTrends, is a reflection of a site's visibility within the first 30 search results for a given keyword/phrase on the search engines queried.
TurboTax was ranked most visible in terms of both organic and paid search at 68.17 percent visibility (organic visibility was 42.17 percent). H&R Block came in second at 60.42 percent visibility (organic visibility - 32.33 percent).
"As far as surprises, ExpressTaxRefund is almost 40 times more visible in paid than natural listings, and CompleteTax is almost four times more visible in paid than natural -- big opportunity for these sites to attract more visitors naturally," WebTrends spokesperson Corey Gault told ClickZ Stats. "It was also surprising to see that a couple of these sites are not doing any paid search campaigns for the targeted keywords and engines, or least aren't bidding enough to be seen in the first three pages of paid search results."
|Tax Web Site Search Visablitiy|
|Web Site||Overall Visibility |
(paid and natural, %)
|Natural Visibility (%)|
|Source: NetIQ/ Web Trends April 2005.|
Internet services company VeriSign reported for the final month of tax filing (3/15/04 - 4/15/04 v. period 3/15/05 - 4/15/05), e-filing transactions were up 48 percent over last year. April 15th tax day transactions were up 51 percent, with 23 percent of all transactions occurring on Tax Day. The last four days of the tax season saw 50 percent of all transactions. All this activity led to an e-filing dollar volume spend increase of 38 percent, though the average ticket was down by 7 percent. VeriSign said the average ticket spend is lower probably due to competition. Lots of competitors in the e-filing category mean the players can no longer charge premium rates.
Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!
IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.
An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.
September 17, 2014
September 23, 2014
September 30, 2014
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT