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The top traffic drivers for publishers

Author's avatar By Dave Chaffey 20 Apr, 2017
Essential Essential topic

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.

Author's avatar

By Dave Chaffey

Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of online marketing training platform and publisher Smart Insights. 'Dr Dave' is known for his strategic, but practical, data-driven advice. He has trained and consulted with many business of all sizes in most sectors. These include large international B2B and B2C brands including 3M, BP, Barclaycard, Dell, Confused.com, HSBC, Mercedes-Benz, Microsoft, M&G Investment, Rentokil Initial, O2, Royal Canin (Mars Group) plus many smaller businesses. Dave is editor of the templates, guides and courses in our digital marketing resource library used by our Business members to plan, manage and optimize their marketing. Free members can access our free sample templates here. Dave is also keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing 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. My personal site, DaveChaffey.com, lists my latest Digital marketing and E-commerce books and support materials including a digital marketing glossary. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question.

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