Traffic Trends: What's Up Facebook?
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: any site, service, or platform that’s around today - even the biggest kids on the playground - could go away tomorrow.
Now, that isn’t to say that Facebook and or Google will be gone, like, tomorrow - but what if? Where would all of your content be? Lost to the far reaches of the interwebs, never to be seen again? Or maybe everything would be fine, with just a few inbound links gone. But how would you know?
We ask because we’re a little obsessed with a certain article on Search Engine Land about Chartbeat, a content intelligence platform for publishers. Chartbeat is reporting - get this - that direct mobile traffic and traffic from Google search have actually surpassed referrals from Facebook on mobile devices.
Huh? Say That Again Slowly For Me
Across the Chartbeat Network (which is pretty large, trust us) they are seeing more traffic coming to their publishers from Google Search and direct user clicks.
One of the things marketers like to look at is where the traffic comes from: search, direct, referral, or social. As you can see from the graph, we’ve hit a bit of a turning point since September 2017.
Namely, the prior dominance of Facebook has slipped pretty dramatically, while direct traffic has remained relatively on-par with previous trends. The most surprising bit though: search is up - like, way up, and it’s beating out Facebook pretty hardcore for the first time in quite a long time.
But what exactly does this mean for marketers?
Let’s Be Direct For A Moment
A high volume of direct traffic brings a very different meaning depending on what kind of website you’re running.
If you’re selling something (either directly on the internet or by collecting leads when you see direct traffic), you are usually not doing any kind of happy dance. This traffic is typically from people who are coming back to your site - they’ve been to the site before, and now they’re just punching in the URL directly… whoopdeedoo.
If, however, you are a publisher or a blog site, direct traffic is definitely something you want to measure, and report on closely. These people are coming back to consume more of your content. These are potentially loyal visitors/followers and you want to woo them into coming back again and again.
Wait, I’m Not A Publisher. Why Should I Care?
Trends my friends… trends.
For a long time, pretty much everyone thought that social sites were the most important platforms for content marketers. This new data suggests that may not be the case anymore - according to Chartbeat, anyway:
“We know that the majority of readers arrive on a site directly via desktop. However, for as long as we can remember, this behavior has been different on mobile devices; mobile readers = social readers, where someone on mobile most likely found your content from Facebook.”
For all intents and purposes, it seems like only a matter of time until this trend will trickle down to all sorts of websites.
Should You Abandon Ship All Together?
Heck no! Having a strong organic and paid strategy on social media is very important for a smart/savvy marketer.
As Facebook continues to prioritize the news feed, marketers have grown increasingly frustrated with organic reach on Facebook and other social platforms. As a result, we and many marketers have instead turned to a more robust pay-to-play strategy, and that’s been fairly successful to counter the drop in organic reach.
At the end of the day, making sure our strategies ladder up to specific goals is key in delivering results for our clients. And making sure we are sharing notable trends with you, our readers, is a part of our strategy.
If you aren’t sure what a lot of this means and you want some help with your marketing strategy, give us a ring. We are always here to help.