Two years ago when I started using twitter I wasn’t impressed. The people came in dozens from there, even when the actual post was about Twitter itself. Later on I realized that many Twitter users do not send a proper referrer due to using some web apps or other tools instead of browsing the actual Twitter.com website.
Fast forward to the end of 2009 and I notice the opposite: Some posts or even blogs altogether get more traffic from Twitter than from any other source. What about Google, Digg, StumbleUpon and Delicious you might ask?
Well, consider this:
- Google is wary of new sites so it might take 6 months or longer before you get substantial traffic from the moloch of search. Even a blog needs a while before it gets accepted by Google.
- Some people still bother to promote their sites on Digg but Digg is known to popularize mostly sources that are popular already. You are not the Daily Mail, the BBC or Ars Technica I guess so you won’t succeed very often there. Sites that don’t get popular see barely any traffic. The few winners take it all.
- StumbleUpon is similar. Only certain topics get popular there and the site is very unreliable, you can have thousands of visitors for one article and only a few for the next very similar one. It depends on who stumbles you in which category and several other seemingly often random parameters.
- Delicious doesn’t have a “popular” frontpage anymore. It’s just a worthless mashup of some mainstream news with a few tweets and sometimes just two bookmarks. Delicious filters blogs now. Lists of resources are not welcome anymore.
Then there is Twitter. On Twitter everything is simpler. You attract followers and friends and these people read your tweets and click your links.
There is no frontpage or weird algorithm to determine whether you are worthy of spreading a link or not on Twitter. The people decide.
There is no ban on business there like on Digg or SEOptimise where users representing businesses are prohibited. SEOptimise is very popular on Twitter, I have a bunch of followers as well, Kevin Gibbons is a Twitter maven. Together we can make many of our posts succeed on Twitter just by posting them once to our streams. This is amazing! Do you count the wasted hours spend on Digg waiting to see whether you get on the frontpage or not?
Especially new and business blogs but simple sites as well can get substantial traffic from Twitter both from your own followers as well as via other people interested in a topic. In case you have already some followers on Twitter and you start a new business blog on a new domain it’s quite likely that Twitter will became your most important referrer long before search traffic from Google arrives.
Twitter traffic is better statistically than the one stemming from other social media sources. People visiting via Twitter have gotten a recommendation by someone they follow and trust. So the bounce rate is lower than from one size fits all social news sites like Digg. Still Twitter visitors are quick and they don’t act as much as regular blog visitors or searchers. You have to invest time in some full fledged Twitter integration to make these people act in some meaningful way. There are many solutions by now to capture the conversation on Twitter and bring it back to your blog, importing comments and votes from Twitter or elsewhere for instance. Startups like
propose different but nonetheless similar solutions for blog integration. Which one do you use? How do you bring the conversation back from home from Twitter?