New Survey on Web Traffic Turns Up Surprising Results

by Jim Berkowitz on November 9, 2010

Here are several excerpts from an article by Tracey Schelmetic, a TMCnet Contributor, New Survey on Web Traffic Turns Up Surprising Results:

While an increasing number of companies try to figure out how to tie their marketing plans to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, these companies may want to take a good, hard look at a study released today by Intellimon, a U.K.-based producer of website building software, in partnership with the University of Bradford in England. The study results were based on the largest website traffic survey ever conducted to date.

If the study is to be believed, social networking sites do not drive nearly as much traffic as the business world generally presumes.

Some of the more noteworthy findings within the report include…

  • While 67 percent of respondents use social media platform Facebook to promote their business, an average of only 29 percent find the platform effective in any way for driving traffic to their business website.
  • Popular micro-blogging platform Twitter fared even worse: only 27.2 percent of respondents said they found it effective for generating Web traffic to their business website.
  • The typical age of people doing business online is higher than had been presumed. Of the thousands of respondents, 62 percent were 50 years of age or older.
  • Despite the prominence of older businesspeople online, it was the youngest age group (18-43 years of age) that reported the highest success rate with their traffic marketing. Over 25 percent of respondents in this group reported their success rate as “good” or “excellent” compared with a spread of 9.8 percent to 16.3 percent across the remaining age groups.
  • Despite “Search Engine Traffic” being reported as the most important traffic generation tactic, only 62.8 percent of respondents perform search engine optimization only monthly or less frequently.
  • Less than 10 percent of traffic generation activities are outsourced or delegated, typically falling to a single business owner/operator to carry out the tasks required.

Intellimon CEO Paul Smithson commented on the findings. “We were genuinely shocked by some of the results across several areas; Social Media, Training, Outsourcing and Demographics sections all threw up some very unexpected results,” said Smithson. “It’s a real eye-opener, even for experienced online marketers.”

Well, what can I say!  I am over 50.  I am an avid user of Twitter and Facebook.  And I do believe that they are effective tools for driving traffic to my web site.

What are your thoughts?


CRM Consultant November 11, 2010 at 6:30 am

Social media is effective. Do your “On page” SEO. Do your Off page SEO. Do your social media work. in that order.

Spencer November 12, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I think this neglects a key metric: quality. Generally methods such as Twitter, Facebook, and email drive more engaged users and higher quality users. So it’s not a volume game – it’s an efficiency game.

We’re talking about word of mouth – and it provides context that isn’t found in search.

Douglas (business opportunity) December 1, 2010 at 2:01 pm

I also am over 50 and i use facebook to market my business too

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