Other SEO blogs linking to us
While perusing the SEOptimise Google Analytics reports for last month, I noticed a few traffic spikes where I did not necessarily expect them. Upon taking a closer look, I discovered that many major traffic sources only show up as such on blogs, or rather blogs that are popular on social media.
I write for and contribute to several blogs so that I can compare the stats of other top blogs as well. I think it’s worth noting that these significant traffic sources are not very commonly targeted by businesses, especially businesses that don’t blog. In the past I often argued that
without business blogging your company barely exists on the Web today
as a static website and sheer social media marketing do not suffice to catch and retain the attention of the volatile social media crowd. Today I want to show the positive outcome of a long term social media strategy based on business blogging.
Below are the traffic sources not so commonly found in web statistics unless you blog successfully.
SEOptimise has been on Google News for years and from time to time I noticed a few dozens visitors from there. Sometimes there may have been even more, but the numbers weren’t awe inspiring until recently. Several Google News sites – the US, UK and Indian ones – sent us considerable traffic.
I’ve watched Feedburner traffic grow over the years to become one of the most significant traffic sources on the SEOptimise blog. The numbers are pretty fuzzy as you can’t track them directly, you can only attach a “utm_source” parameter to the URL. Feedburner does this by default and Google Analytics counts it as Feedburner as well, but the parameters don’t only show up when you click right from the feed.
If somebody bookmarks a Feedburner tagged link, the “utm_source” is used when the bookmark is clicked. Add social bookmarking on Delicious to the equation and you see that the data is far from accurate. Still, you can determine that it’s many or not so many, and it is many indeed.
I was surprised to see that my post on Google Profiles got nearly 100 visitors from Google+. I didn’t expect significant traffic from there yet, but it seems that the fast-rising user numbers can be seen in the website statistics already. In a very short period of time, Google+ has become the third largest traffic source when it comes to social networks behind Twitter and Facebook.
Some people argue that Twitter.com only accounts for roughly 20% of all visitors from Twitter. I can’t prove this, but it is certainly just a part of it. People arrive from Twitter using Web apps or mobile phones that do not send referrers. Some other referers like t.co or Hootsuite can also be considered Twitter traffic. So you can at least take those and multiply the sum with two to get a more accurate estimate of Twitter traffic.
You will notice that it’s quite considerable, at least if you have a large Twitter following like we do. The number of followers by itself is of course not sufficient; you must entice your followers to click and share. Nonetheless, once you have an engaged audience on Twitter you can count on it. By the way, take note of how my SEO 2.0 visitors click on the embedded Twitter links.
While some leading blogs, such as Search Engine Land, are not surprisingly a good traffic source, you might have the impression that most other blogs aren’t. A few clicks here and there but not real numbers. Well in July just the blogs that have the term “blog” in their name have been impressive traffic sources. The same applies to industry blogs or the blogs containing “seo” in its name (see on top for screen shot).
Is traffic the best way to measure website success? Of course not. But you have to know where your visitors come from to target them better. Casual visitors who arrive through Google News probably don’t even know what SEO is, and need something different from your devoted subscribers. Likewise, early adopters from Google+, Twitter users and readers from other blogs are different audiences with a special approach.
Please also take note of how three of the five traffic sources I have reviewed above are Google properties (Feedburner is owned by Google as well). Google traffic can mean a lot of things these days; it might be returning visitors, social media participants or search users.