The Fraud Social Media is for Web Traffic, SEO
A lot is said in web optimizing websites, blogs, and in the news about the importance of social media to website traffic and over all SEO (search engine optimization).
While I cannot address businesses outside the fish keeping world; what I can say is I've have found social media plays a very small role in our website traffic and SEO rankings, especially in Google.
The FACTS are in an average 24 hour window, my website with the most traffic (about 4000 visits per day), American Aquarium Products receives 3-6 hits from Facebook or Google Plus.
This is .09% of traffic!!!
See: "American Aquarium Products"
One might argue that we have no presence on Facebook, etc... but that would not be true. We have a Facebook page and many of our pages, such as Aquarium Lighting Information and Aquarium/Pond UV Sterilization have many likes and shares.
*Aquarium Light Facts & Information
*Ultraviolet Sterilization, facts and information
Now I will admit that websites such as this one (My Opinions) obtains more traffic from Facebook, but still less than 1%.
So where does traffic come from?
HERE IS A LIST IN ORDER OF NUMBER OF VISITS:
- Search Engines (34.4%)-
Google, Bing, Yahoo, Blekko, Dogpile, Ask, etc.
This should come as no surprise to anyone.
- Book Marked (31.25%)-
These, I do not know how they originally found the website, but however they found it, they liked the content and re-visit regularly.
- Other Websites/Blogs (7.81%)-
Whether it be websites I created with related content or even semi related content (such as this website), this this the third largest generator of traffic.
- Aquarium, Pond and Other Forums (3.13%)-
This is where Google and so-called gurus of social media and SEO really screws up in their algorithm.
The FACTS are forums are a clear 4th, far more than social media, yet little attention is paid to these forums.
WHY? In my opinion we have become such a ME society and that is what social media is all about is selfishness.
However many forums are about helping others in a community of support. Admittedly some forums can be rather mean and dishonest with clear anecdotal agendas, but even the "bad" forums still post links to articles, which is helpful even if it's only to bash them with "straw man" arguments.
Either way, good or bad, forums are a major way readers find my most popular web site.
Recommended Forum: Aquarium Fish Forum
Sadly Google's search algorithm gives little credit to forum posts. This makes little sense when you consider the reasons many visit, post, & answer questions.
- Yahoo Answers (1.5%)-
While I am not a fan of many of the answers given there, especially in the Fish/Aquarium category, the fact remains that questions with links to my article answered about 1-2 years ago or further back often come up in searches which brings in vistors.
- Social Media (.09%)-
Social Media comes in dead last with .09% of traffic.
Even when activity is high on our Facebook page (including when we experimented with the disastrous Facebook advertising), few if any persons will actually come over from Facebook or Google Plus.
What do I think is the problem with Social Media?
As I noted earlier, part of the problem of social media is that its is "me centric".
As an example, I can post contests, pictures, articles, etc. about my business on my personal Facebook, and even persons such as my niece will NEVER even give these a like or share.
Most persons I know post everything about themselves or what they think is important, and never bother to think maybe I can look at someone else's stuff (my wife quite Facebook for this reason after no one even cared to comment after a family tragedy).
Personally I take the time to read or at least look at many others posts when I visit Google + or Facebook, but VERY FEW return this favor.
Interesting I have other websites which have no Facebook "like" buttons or little presence on Facebook, Google Plus, or other social media sites, yet these websites often come up ahead of my main website for search terms they compete heavily for.
An example would be "uv sterilization" which has copious amounts of Facebook activity, likes, promotions, etc...but still does poorly on searches. Yet on the other hand, I have a website that I do not promote in social media at all and even have less content, but still does MUCH better in Google Search.
So much for Google giving credit for Social Media.
Recommended Reference: UV Sterilization
Of coarse this also does not say much for Google's spam ridden search engine either. There is a problem when a minor blog style website comes up ahead of a major research/content website!
*Google IS Evil, Content Plagiarism
*GooGle Search, DMOZ, Aquarium Lighting
*Testing Google new Penguin & Panda, Farmer Algorithm; Verdict, FAIL
- Other (21.82%)-
This would other sources, and undiscernable visits, which I doubt any are stealth Facebook or other social media since these are easy to track with my software.
Do not believe any of these people sending emails telling you your lack presence in social media is hurting your website or blog traffic. THIS IS A BIG LIE TO SEPARATE YOU FROM YOUR MONEY!
As well be wary of many well intentioned blogs that place too much emphasis on social media, take what they say with a grain of salt.
Also keep in mind this social media phenomenon is just a fad, and hopefully someday we as a society will wake up and realize that life is NOT all about ourselves!!