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How To Gain Search, Web Traffic Through User Engagement

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Social media contributed to more than 1 million page views for a WordStream study that ran last week detailing the financial gains that Google garners from specific paid-search keywords. Taken a bit by surprise, founder Larry Kim admits that articles on his site do not typically drive that much traffic, so he set out to determine how the content could have spread as well as it did.

While Facebook contributed 47.26% and Twitter 27.51% to the frenzy, Google+ contributed 15.42% -- although it is just several weeks old. LinkedIn followed with 9.81%.

But the ratio to site members and contribution to traffic might not make sense until user engagement is considered. Google+ seems to have higher user engagement. Whether that will last is anyone's guess. Kim said there were about 20,000 tweets for the article, but much of it was spam.

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When Google announced the +1 button, Kim remembers saying, "oh, gosh, not another button to add to my blog." A lot of marketers felt that way. Now he takes it back after seeing the surprise results in the Google Analytics referral traffic for the past seven days. That's where marketers can follow the Web traffic coming from sites and social networks.

Seeing the results from Google+ seemed surprising to Kim, especially after putting so much effort, time and money into optimizing Fan pages and campaigns in Facebook and Twitter, respectively. For Google+ to be one month old and be so strong in user engagement seems unprecedented.

Google+ reminds Kim of Twitter in the early days. "When we started using Twitter in 2008 for marketing, it was a bit more effective than today," he said, pointing to a higher ratio of signals, rather than noise. Not as much spam. Maybe, but visits to Google+ by members declined last week. The social site received more than 1.79 million visits last week ending July 23 -- down 3% compared with the previous week, according to Experian Hitwise.

The average time spent on the site also fell by 10%, from 5 minutes and 50 seconds to 5 minutes and 15 seconds. Among the top 50 upstream sites, 59% of upstream traffic to Google+ last week came from other Google properties. Google.com accounted for 37% of traffic to the site. Gmail accounted for 15.59%, up 9% from previous week, according to the data firm.

It turns out that 40% of traffic to Google+ last week came from search engines -- up 8% -- followed by email traffic at 19%.

Males still dominate visits to Google+. Fifty-nine percent of visitors to Google+ are male, up 4% from the prior week.

 

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