I was interested to read Ubervu’s post last week about Traffic Quality – Twitter vs. Google. They shared metrics demonstrating that a web site referral from Twitter was much more valuable to them than a referral from Google.
We’ve found quite the opposite. Twitter does drive a lot of traffic. In the last 30 days, 7% of site traffic to www.thoughtfarmer.com came from Twitter, making it our #3 referrer after Google and direct visits. But compare the quality of visit:
Twitter Traffic: 67%
Google Traffic: 49%
Twitter visitors leave more quickly.
Time On Site
Twitter Traffic: 01:42
Google Traffic: 03:17
Google visitors spend 90 seconds longer on our site than Twitter visitors. Bing visitors, even longer.
Pages Per Visitor
Twitter Traffic: 2.2
Google Traffic: 4.1
A Google visitor views almost twice as many pages on our site as a Twitter visitor. Again, Bing visitors are even better.
Conversion Rate For Goals
Twitter Traffic: 0.49%
Google Traffic: 2.17%
This is the most important metric of all: what percentage of visitors complete a goal? Our goals include sending us an email or signing up for demo access. Notice that a Google visitor is 4 times more likely than a Twitter visitor to convert; a Bing visitor, almost 6 times more likely.
Clearly, for us here at ThoughtFarmer, traffic from Google is much higher quality than traffic from Twitter. Interestingly, Bing is even better than Google, though in terms of raw numbers, Bing delivers only 3% of the visitors that Google does.
Why were Ubervu’s results so different? Probably because they provide social media consulting, and people looking for social media consulting are more likely to be hanging out on Twitter.
Moral of the story: For most of us, Google search is still king. Don’t ignore Twitter, but beware the hype.