May 11, 2011

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Studies Say Go Social for Traffic


Social media in general, and Facebook in particular, is the most valuable source for loyal website traffic according to recent studies.

Research by online advertising network Chitika found that the two best sources for loyal, repeat website users were referrals from Facebook and the Digg online community.

This study, based on a sample of 33 million unique users across Chitika’s publisher network, compared the number of visitors coming from traffic sources such as Facebook and Digg along with Google, Yahoo!, Bing and Twitter, with the number of times those visitors returned to the referred website. Chitika considered a visitor who came back four or more times over a week a “loyal” user.

The results revealed 20 percent of visitors referred to a website from Facebook fit the loyal category, with Digg referring 16 percent of loyal visitors. Search engines Yahoo!, Bing and Google were next, and Twitter referred the lowest number of loyal visitors with 11 percent. Chitika explains what this means for people looking for loyalty in their audience:

“While Google naturally wins in sheer numbers, if a website owner can drive a thousand people to their site via Google, or they can drive the same number via Facebook, Facebook seems to be the way to go for creating a loyal reader.”

Further emphasising the significance of social media as an influence on traffic, Nielsen recently released the results of its study on where Internet users go to find information. Unsurprisingly, search engines and portals dominated, but the report also found that locations such as Wikipedia, blogs and websites like Facebook and MySpace – all categorised as social media – accounted for 18 percent of the results.

The report also found 26 percent of “Socialisers” – those who spend 10 percent or more of their online time on social media – think there is too much information online. Why do these users turn to social media to find what they need? Nielsen has a simple explanation:

“The short answer: Socialisers trust what their friends have to say and social media acts as an information filtration tool. This is key because Socialisers gravitate towards and believe what is shared with friends and family. If your friend creates or links to the content, then you are more likely to believe it and like it.”

Website owners convinced by these results and keen to incorporate Facebook are in luck: reports that Facebook has recently simplified the process, offering a three-step “wizard” to add the Facebook Connect button to a website.


Related posts:

  1. Are Social Networks Still Growing?
  2. Over 65s Flock to Social Media in the US
  3. Social Media a Key Component of Fortune 500
  4. Woopra Reveals Top Referral Sources
  5. Ad Spending Up in US, Down in UK
  6. Aussie Audiences Leave Portals for Social Networks
  7. Social Media Gains Strength
  8. Challenges and Opportunities on the Social Web
  9. UK Agents Aren’t Tracking Traffic
  10. Gets Social on NY1 TV

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