While Moment Garden was founded by two developers who are not natural marketers (heck, we’re typically modest to a fault), we have been fortunate to have had Moment Garden featured in a variety of mediums, including web, a popular magazine, and even on TV.
Since we were surprised by the different traffic patterns resulting from each medium, we thought others would find the results interesting as well.
First, to baseline the comparisons, let’s take a look at the traffic characteristics of a referral most of us are more accustomed to: being featured on another website.
One of the websites we were featured on was CoolMomPicks.com, a site directly serving our target audience: namely, moms. Cool Mom Picks is a good sized, though not huge, website and it resulted in a fairly nice bump in traffic to our site.
Chart: Referral traffic from CoolMomPicks.com
Breaking down the numbers, we found that the majority of traffic came the first day we were featured, though we experienced a noticeable level of elevated referral traffic for just under a week. During that time, Cool Mom Picks resulted in 225 new gardens created on our site, and a conversion rate of 24%.
Last year, we were unexpectedly mentioned in a popular magazine, Better Homes & Gardens, within their annual “Innovation Issue”. We immediately noticed increased traffic to our site, but since Moment Garden was only mentioned in the print version of the magazine, we could not identify a referrer for the spike of new visitors: the increase manifested entirely in direct traffic and Google search results (people searching “Moment Garden” by name). We eventually learned we were in Better Homes & Gardens after one of our new users mentioned it to us.
The increased traffic from being in a monthly magazine lasted, as you might expect, about a month. Rather than a distinct, initial spike, as was the result from the website feature, the increased traffic from the magazine was much more sustained throughout the month.
Search traffic during Better Homes & Gardens issue
As a result of the magazine reference, we received abut 300 new gardens created at a conversion rate of around 10.2%.
We received another unexpected press mention when we were featured on the BBC television show, Click, which is focused on technology. We had contacted the Click host months earlier and received no response, so the feature caught us off guard. Like the magazine, there was no referrer in Google Analytics to reveal where the increased traffic was originating. Fortunately, my good friend lives in Canada and had literally just given birth - she notified us when she saw Moment Garden on BBC from her hospital room!
Moment Garden featured on BBC’s Click
As a result of the TV program, we saw an immediate spike in direct and search traffic. The show was then posted to the BBC’s website a couple days later, resulting in another initial spike, which then plateaued at a sustained, increased level for about 4 weeks.
Search traffic after being featured on Click
Referrer traffic from bbc.co.uk’s website
The TV mention and subsequent bbc.co.uk posting resulted in 496 new gardens created, at a 25% conversion rate.
While having Moment Garden mentioned in a magazine and on TV certainly provided an ego and morale boost (as well as excitement for our mothers), the boost to our product was limited by the lack of SEO friendly links and the increased friction required for the user to visit our site, given that they were not likely to have been at a computer at the time they saw us mentioned.
Additional Lessons Learned
- Magazine and TV mentions are difficult to get
- Their benefit is longer lasting, and less of a spike
- Conversion rate is a function of how closely their market matches yours
- Lack of a back link limits the long term, SEO benefit