You May Get More Traffic from Twitter Than You Realize

Analytics Services May Be Missing Some Twitter Referrals

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If you use Twitter or create content, you have probably figured out by now that it can be a great tool for driving traffic to your site. There are measures you can take to expand this if your content is not bringing in the Twitter traffic on its own.

Is Twitter a significant traffic source for your site? Comment here.

If you’re not seeing much traffic from Twitter, there is a chance it’s coming in anyway, and you’re just not aware of it. For that matter, if you are getting a lot of traffic from Twitter, you may be getting even more than you thought.

Stan Pugsley, director of business intelligence for iCrossing says that nearly 70% of referral traffic from Twitter goes unmeasured, particularly if you are using web analytics tools like Google Analytics or Omniture.

"The problem is not with the web analytics tools, but with the Twitter applications like Tweetdeck and Twhirl that are not based in an Internet Browser," explains Pugsley. "When a user clicks through a link in a tweet, those applications do not register a referring URL that can be picked up by the destination website. It appears that they are coming directly to the site. According to TweetStats, only 31.7% of tweets originate from twitter.com, and those are the visitors that can be tracked back to tweets."

Pugsley suggests testing this for yourself, by installing a Twitter app like Tweetdeck, installing the Live HTTP headers plug-in for Firefox, and clicking through the URL in a tweet, then looking at the referrer.
Danny Sullivan
His observation about missing Twitter traffic stats is not a new one, but probably still a topic that gets overlooked frequently. Back in the summer, Danny Sullivan wrote a couple of articles for Search Engine Land tackling the subject. These dig in quite a bit further. If you feel like you are being shortchanged on your Twitter traffic, these are required reading.

As far as simply increasing your traffic from Twitter, here are a few tips:

1. Include some kind of Twitter/tweet button on your content.

2. Abide by this equation, or at least the principle behind it.

3. Make your Twitter presence known throughout your site

4. Use your Twitter presence along with your site on business cards, signatures, etc.

5. Actively engage on Twitter.

6. Tweet your own content. If they’re following you, they must be interested in what you have to say (that doesn’t mean to just tweet ads and sales pitches. Tweet useful information.).

7. Include ways to share your content on other social networks. It will often find its way to Twitter by other people.

8. Integrate Twitter into your other marketing channels (email for example).

I’m sure there are plenty of other tips that could go here. Feel free to share some if you have them.

Twitter is much more than a way to drive traffic, but when traffic is the goal, it certainly holds a great deal of potential. If you were unaware that you may be getting Twitter traffic that is not being counted as such, perhaps you will see even more potential.

Have you found Twitter traffic that wasn’t being counted by analytics services? Tell us about it.

Related Articles:

> Driving Traffic with Twitter

> An Equation for Getting More Traffic from Twitter

> Where Social Media Fits Into the SEO Equation

You May Get More Traffic from Twitter Than You Realize
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  • http://catstechnology.blogspot.com/ Catalina

    Every time I need to measure how my URLs are performing, I use bit.ly that offers fairly good analytics for web addresses that travel through twitter clients, IM clients, Email clients and more. It also offers geographical info, which I consider very useful.

    • http://makemoneyonlinehowtos.com MakeMoneyOnlineHowTos.com

      I also use bit.ly as a source for tracking Twitter. It works perfectly for what I need, and yeah, otherwise I would have NO idea that I had any traffic at all coming from Twitter.

  • Guest

    The issue with non-browser applications like email clients not reflected in web stats is an old one that the analytics vendors appear unwilling to address.

  • http://www.webhost-choice.com web hosts

    Twitter does not really work for me. I’m having a hard time getting visitors trough social media…

    but this article is a nice read

  • R. Hiebert

    Amazing that I learned something today, thanks for the good info. I do use Twitter and have wondered about the “followers” and “following” features there. I still prefer making a connection with serious prospects.

    • http://www.dotCOMReport.com SEO basics

      That’s the thing about using Twitter. You can turn people into serious prospects. They may have not heard of you or your business before. They may read some of your tweets and decide you have something to offer them.

  • http://www.snerdey.com Snerdey

    Twitter is an amazing tool, if you use it correctly for the niche your into. If you don’t think it’s working search my nic name ( snerdey ) and see the results. Twitter is already in # 2 spot over BlogSpot. Organic results are higher as in many keyword phrases have moved up to #1 .. the only thing different is we added Twitter to the mix a few months ago.

    Nothing is instant on the web… except for Tweets!


  • http://findable.pl Guest

    You can receive visitors but it’s very hard receive buyers

  • http://nigeria70.com nigeria70

    It was a suggestion by a user who wanted to have an easier way to follow the top stories on our site but publishing our top stories to twitter via twitterfeed/RSS doubled our traffic.

  • http://www.maps4pets.com/members.asp Guestmaps4pets

    We have found that in a saturated marketplace (pets), Twitter has been incredibly successful in delivering precise sign ups to our pet charity affiliation programme on a worldwide basis that would have been a lot more difficult otherwise.

    It’s particularly good in identifying specific indiduals in our niche market.

  • Kiki

    I’ve noticed that no Tweets are coming up in the search engine results – so this is not helping people find my site. However, when people do find my sites, they are signing up to follow my Tweets. It’s really too bad that SEs don’t include Twitter Tweets – it would be a great marketing tool.

    • http://www.NormallyThisWeird.com Stacy

      That is not entirely true. Tweets may not rate HIGHLY on Google. But that’s a good thing. Can you imagine doing a search and getting nothing but the same Twitter message 2,000 times? However, I have found two of my tweets with Google searches. It made me very pleased I had posted the news, since clearly, no one else was posting the news I shared.

  • http://www.nortad.com Toronto Posting

    It will not be long till the ever increasing twitter applications will embed some kinda http referrs for tweets.The type of urls they create a scalable and very search engine friendly

  • http://wwwmikestewart.ca/blog Mike Stewart

    I have been using Twitter for some time now and I am finding that over time its utitily in driving traffic to my site has declined, or at least thats what Analytics was telling me. I never thought it was because Analytics wasn’t picking it up….

  • http://www.twitter.com/PrayMaddyMcCann www.twitter.com/PrayMaddyMcCann

    Thanks for this, it’s very helpful to hear tips about getting your website out there! Mostly I use Twitter to help keep up the awareness for Madeleine McCann though.

    Please follow me Twitterers!:

  • http://morganservice.net Don Morgan

    I really did not think I was getting any traffic from Twitter. I use Google anaylitics. So I’m going to install Tweetdeck and Twirl. Thanks for the tip. Good article.

  • kelli

    A lot of times I will tweet with bitly, when needing to shorten one of the links for my website. I love it, because it also lets me know how many hits I got from that tweet to my site. So with bitly I can also go back and look to see which post was the most effective on driving traffic.The least amount of hits I have gotten from one tweet was 20. Its generally in the 50’s, so x’s that by 2 to 4 times a day, that’s pretty good for typing in a simple link

  • http://newman.net.nz Philip

    I get lots of traffic from twitter. People follow me, and when I post they go and view my content. I get about 60% of my followers clicking on links.

  • Guest

    Twitter certainly drives more traffic to your site, I’ve joined for only 2 days and have seen the effects of people becoming a member on my site and facebook despite not having many followers yet. My best tool for analysing visitors is actually the premium tracker feature on bigcartel, so I can certainly point Twitter for my increase in Sales this week

  • http://officialsafetyandsecurity.com Official Safety and Security

    I use Twitter to market my safety and security web site so thanks for this great information. It’s important to know where your traffic is coming from when planning marketing campaigns.

  • Pablo T. Gordon

    I use Hummingbird to get more followers on Twitter. I think this is the link: http://www.hummingbird2.com

  • http://www.ManifestYourDreams.Biz Curt Bizelli

    This was a very interesting article. I never realized how much I was missing. I have 1 question, first of all. Both of these things are very relevant and I think useful to anybody.
    1. Does this mean that if I’m an affiliate marketer and I post an affiliate link in tweetdeck that I will not receive credit for the referal.
    2. I have a blog site problem that I’ve been trying to figure out. My blog site will not allow TweetMeme to work. I tried it in the past and just gave up on it. Can somebody get in touch with me and help me with this?
    I really appreciate anybody’s assistance you can give me.

    God Bless your success,
    Curt B.

  • hollywoodphotoretouch

    Hmmm, interesting article. I do have twitter accounts for most of my websites. I see some traffic coming from twitter, but nothing substantial. I think it really depends on what your are tweeting… but will look into this some more.

  • http://www.normallythisweird.com Stacy

    Twitter has been the biggest boost to my new comedy web series, Normally This Weird. It refers viewers 10% more than Facebook, and 90% more than Google. I wasn’t too surprised by this.

    But I thought tweets like “Only two days left to win an iPod Touch” would be the biggest hit on Twitter. AND it’s not! Twitter users seem more interested in watching the show, while Google/Facebook are more interested in winning free gifts. That surprised me.

    Twitter = Highest number of true comedy fans?? Only time will tell.

  • http://traffic2website.wordpress.com/ Virtual Author

    However, not in all niches. Looks like many are using automated software or online services to get followers and post tweets, especially in IM, SEO, Business, etc niches. To get some decent traffic from these you need tons of followers. On the contrary, in niches that are not so crowded with online marketers I experience amazing results from relative small amount of followers. It all boils down to being selective chosing followers and building relationships with them.

    Most of all you must visit your Twitter site and comment, re-tweet, send private messages to people that add value and thank them, and so on. Don

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