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Internet Marketing Research Of Search Traffic And Social Traffic

Aug 17, 2007
Internet marketing is always evolving. There was a time when internet marketers relied almost 100% on search engine traffic. Time have changed and now there are a lot more traffic sources available. Social media sites have become an exceptional alternative for driving traffic to websites.

Digg, Reddit, and StumbleUpon can each provide a site with the opportunity to grab thousands of visitors per day as long as they provide the right content. Users can develop social networks by using these sites, and that can help them to have a lot more success with their articles. Their network friends can easily help them by voting for their content.

For about the last year, I have been watching my statistics closely so that I can get an idea of how social traffic performs against search engine traffic. The differences are quite interesting - the two types of visitors interact in a totally opposite manner on websites.

The first thing I looked at was the conversion rate of social traffic to sales and ad clicks. I found this very interesting - on good social traffic days my site can easily receive a few thousand extra visitors. The problem is that even with a ton of extra visitors, my site rarely made more sales than usual. The site also didn't have an increase in ad clicks.

Search traffic has a very opposite effect. When I have big search days, I almost always generate more revenue. I believe this gives us a psychological look into the minds of visitors that come from the different sources.

Social traffic is looking to be entertained. They will jump quickly from one site to the next searching for entertainment. The key is that they aren't looking for anything in particular. Search traffic is generally looking for answers and they will take extra time to look for it. They will stay on a website longer and are much more likely to make purchases.

During this research study, I also tracked the amount of links the different types of traffic generated. Social traffic generates over 10 times as many links as search traffic due to the increased technical ability of this type of web user. Users of social traffic sites are a lot more likely to have sites and blogs of their own and this contributes to the increased links that are gained from social traffic.

If you have a site, make sure you leverage social media to get links. Getting links will lead to more traffic from search engines, and search engine traffic is going to be where you make your money.
About the Author
Court writes about internet marketing to help people learn to make money online.
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