Why You Can't Just Focus on Google: The Power of the Social Push


Social Media Pushes More Website Referral Traffic Than Google


You want more people to visit your website so you can convert them into customers, so we create websites designed to entice your potential customers and provide a hub where they can easily research who you are, what you do, and what you’re selling. It’s our job to increase your website’s traffic through great design and functionality, but that only accounts for part of your website’s traffic.

Until recently, the biggest referral traffic driver for most websites was Google searches, and this still holds true for many websites. However, the tide is starting to turn with the announcement by Parse.ly that Facebook “accounted for nearly 43% of traffic to its network of media sites…Google, meanwhile, drove a mere 38% of traffic to media sites,” as reported by Mashable. We're not saying SEO doesn't matter, but the data's a good reminder that no marketing strategy should focus on just one area.

If you’re thinking that this information doesn’t apply to you, think again. In January 2014, Facebook only drove 20% of media sites’ traffic. That number has since doubled and doesn’t show signs of slowing down or reversing. This trend could start applying to all types of websites beyond just media sites as people continue to scroll through their social media feeds more than ever, thus creating more opportunities for your content to also be discovered through these channels.

Think about your own behavior. How do you discover great content? Sometimes, you click an article from your Facebook or Twitter feed. Other times, you search a specific topic through Google. But the discoverability that comes innately with social media platforms means that these social networks can and will continue to drive more and more traffic back to your website.

If you analyze your website’s Google analytics each month—and you definitely should—you will see which social networks are driving traffic to your site. Month after month, those numbers can and should continue to grow if you interact on social media consistently, while using best practices. Of course, once people land on your website from their social networks, your website needs to have useful, interesting content to keep them there and keep them coming back. Read our post, “Why Blogging Matters,” for more information about the importance of creating quality content that sparks conversations.

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