I want to let you in on a secret. Want a great way to drive traffic to your website? There is a way and it doesn’t require any type of special skill set or knowledge, in fact, all you need is good (preferably awesome) content.
It seems that users have been fed up with Facebook and Twitter for nearly as long as each respective service has been around, and if only in day-dreams I think it’s safe to say that just about everyone has wished for the “perfect” social network to come along at one point or another. After opening its doors as an invite-only service on June 28th, yesterday officially marked the one month milestone for Google Plus.
For years now, Internet users in search of direction have turned to Google to find content and answers online. While this need to find information has done a great deal in boosting Google’s user-base in years past, 2010 has paved the way for a new trend; a trend in which Internet users know where they’re going and need no help in getting there. Their destination? Facebook. You see, the social networking site that was once unheard of has been growing at exponential rates and has shown no signs of stopping. In fact, Facebook received so much traffic in 2010 that it managed to surpass that of Google, who previously held the position of highest-visited site according to analytical group Experian Hitwise.
So why has Facebook been able to topple the Internet giant that is Google? Facebook’s success, I believe, has been a direct result of the site’s expansion in 2010. While Facebook was originally created and marketed as a “social network”, improvements to the site starting in the Spring season revamped the site to become more of a “portal” than anything else. The implementation of “Community Pages” and the integration with online resource Wikipedia, for example, has allowed for information – one of the key components of Google’s success – to be readily available to users in a convenient location. By fusing information and a social environment, Facebook has created an environment that has a purpose greater than simply socializing with friends – something that has given users justification to use the site.
In the past, I have both praised and criticized Twitter with regard to its ability to drive traffic to a website. There is no question that Twitter is one of the all-time great link juicing tools out there. It may be the best, most legitimate, and most effective link juicing tool ever created, especially if you have a large following and with the integration into search engines such as Google and Bing. But something that has been bothering me for the past year or so (since Twitter really exploded) is does Twitter really bring any long-term and/or residual traffic to a website. I’ve combed through analytics over the past year and came to the conclusion that Twitter does not bring much (if any) residual traffic after the initial inflow.
I have included 4 screenshots (see below) from Google Analytics which is pretty much a representative sample of what each tweet looks like in terms of visits. However, keep in mind, Analytics is only able to see the referring source if it came directly from that tweet. This means that links within tweets which were clicked directly within someones feed, directly from my profile, or other possible miscellaneous ways were not accounted for. That being said, I still think this gives you a pretty good idea of what happens to older tweets.