The State of Inbound Traffic in 2014

Do you know where your visitors are coming from? Go ahead and take a second to pop open your Google Analytics page and take a look.

My guess is it looks something like this:

October 2012 Inbound Traffic Sources

Everyone talks about social, but as of this time last year, social referrals were less than 15% of all inbound traffic. The truth is Google is still Goliath and social platforms are a bunch of Davids. This will remain true in 2014 just as it did in 2013.

It will take time to dethrone a source that currently accounts for over 40% of all inbound traffic. That's one source out of millions of websites, with a 40% market share!

Organic Search Engine Traffic October 2012-2013

But let's not dismiss social as just a fad. The long-term trends are promising as more people use and share via social platforms.

Search and Social Traffic October 2012-2013

Just look at how Facebook has increased it's referral traffic 170% in the last year!

Facebook Share of Visits November 2012-2013

What caused this growth? Likely growth in active users, new like and share buttons, and tweaks to edge rank and the newsfeed.

I expect this to even grow further with Zuckerberg's product vision for the newsfeed to become your personalized newspaper.

Social media is already very important and that importance is growing. You want to be have a presence there because that's where your customers spend a large amount of time. Getting any share of their attention is incredibly valuable. And getting to social and emerging platforms early to establish a presence makes it easier. You'll gain outsized credit.

But do not neglect Google and organic search for social. It carries intent driven traffic to your site that is often easier to monitize than social sharing. For as much as Google diversifies with Android, Chrome, and self-driving cars, Google search and adwords are the core product and bring in over 90% of the revenue.

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