Increasing traffic to your website is an important goal for many businesses, and understanding how to increase referral traffic is a key aspect of your digital strategy.
These days, social media is getting more attention in this regard. However, as many recognize, social is not always a significant driver of referral traffic, even when social platforms are frequently used and serve different purposes.
So what are the biggest drivers of web traffic? That’s what this new report from Alexa is trying to find out. Alexa’s team collected data on the sources of his web traffic to 450,000 domains and categorized domains vertically to segregate results based on user behavior/interests. Researchers ultimately identified the top 10% sites in each segment in terms of total traffic.
Here’s what they found:
As you can see, search and direct traffic are the biggest drivers, with social coming in as a significantly smaller factor across all categories. Social is well above average in the “news, weather, and information” category, but otherwise social drives less than 5% of his referrals across all other niches, according to this data.
That makes sense, right? People are far more likely to share the latest news content on social as a means of sparking discussion and debate, so it’s surprising that publishers generate more referral traffic than other sites in this regard. It’s not what you should do. But the data can sometimes seem to downplay the importance of social as a traffic driver and its relevance to your overall digital marketing plan. In practice, the data may indicate different characteristics of social media usage as opposed to search. When looking for information on various businesses and products.
The numbers shown here don’t necessarily mean that people aren’t using social for product or business discovery. In fact, other reports show that social is becoming more important in this regard. However, they suggest that people are trying to find information on the social platform itself rather than going to the actual business website. This means that restaurants, for example, will probably get better results by posting their menu on their Facebook page than by linking to their website. A mechanic might get a call based on his Facebook business profile, but not much. People then connect to your website.
This probably isn’t a good fit for SEO considerations where you want to drive more traffic and links, but it can indicate different ways people use social and search, so it’s important to be careful in your planning. am.
Of course, these numbers are also not definitive. As mentioned above, Alexa uses samples and Alexa data is not 100% accurate. This is because you only have access to representative user panels. However, the numbers are likely indicative of a more general trend, so these findings are worth considering in your digital marketing approach.
Improving SEO performance remains a key focus if you want to drive more traffic, but social is more inclusive on its own rather than trying to get users back to your site for more information. should be considered to be As you can see, that volatility is related to different market categories and products.
You can read the full Alexa report with detailed breakdowns and data comparisons here.