Digital Marketing Megatrends 2017

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The top traffic drivers for publishers

Chart of the Day: Research shows the importance of social networks to B2C online publishers

It's really interesting to see which digital marketing channels drive the most traffic or sales in different sectors. In retail, this compilation of top online sales channels shows that organic and paid search, email and affiliate channels dominate, with each contributing more than 10%. It's surprising that when using 'last click' attribution the contribution of social media is sub 5%, although this is an average of all categories and we can expect that in some retail categories like fashion, the percentage of sales from social media will be higher.

This research of traffic sources across large publishers who use the Parsely traffic reporting platform shows a very different pattern.

The first chart shows that search (orange) is the largest external traffic source, but with social not far behind (purple). Note that this traffic source breakdown is unusual in that internal traffic is included and is the highest referrer by volume, showing the success of publishers in making their sites sticky by encouraging clickthroughs to other site content. Perhaps evidence of the power of the 'sidebars of shame' and footer links.

The next chart looks at the importance of individual social networks in driving traffic. This clearly shows that for consumer publishing brands Facebook dominates social network traffic, being way ahead of Twitter and more surprisingly, ahead of Google Search.

By Dave Chaffey

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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