The vast majority of all traffic is organic, and that’s not likely to change anytime soon…
When it comes to referral traffic, however, that’s where you look for the patterns and trends that are changing the landscape. We’re seeing one right now — just look at the graphic below.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about the “device-content link,” now we’re getting confirmation that this “link” is really shaking things up… and not in a way that the “Big Boys” are going to like (they pretty much don’t like any change that doesn’t help them consolidate their hold on the marketplace).
Just when they’d all got used to the world of Twitter and Facebook, everything starts changing…
Visual platforms are driving a bigger and BIGGER share of referral traffic. In February, Pinterest drove more referral traffic than Twitter for the first time. Not only that, but Facebook lost .54% of its share of referral traffic. WHY?
Part of it is the “device-content link.” Part of it is the shift to a more design-forward, visual web. Yet another part is the natural ebb and flow of business cycles (e.g. Facebook’s IPO) and human behavior.
When it comes to marketing, cheap and easy referral traffic is GOLDEN.
The problem is that explode or disappear overnight. It’s almost like the harder you try to drive traffic, the less ROI.
That’s why I always tell my team to OPTIMIZE EVERYTHING, before driving in more paid traffic…
The other BIG concept I recommend is exploiting all existing channels. Clearly, that now includes Pinterest.
According to this chart, Pinterest is driving more traffic than Google’s entire referral network (which includes AdWords and Google+). Pretty impressive, especially when you consider that Pinterest is still invite only.
Perhaps even more surprising is who’s beating Pinterest…
Although “StumbleUpon for Marketers” isn’t a very sexy headline — but it ought to be for anyone who’s following the numbers. StumbleUpon is second only to Facebook when it comes to driving referral traffic. In other words, it’s probably worth reading StumbleUpon’s 5 Keys to Brand Discovery.
The main thing is that visual platforms like Pinterest and StumbleUpon are growing, while text-based platforms like Twitter (it doesn’t get much more text-based than Twitter, does it?) are losing eyes.
Don’t get me wrong, Twitter still has tons of active users and it’s important to marketing strategy… but driving traffic just isn’t what Twitter or Facebook are all about.