Question about Twitter and Direct Traffic

Discussion in 'Social Media for Business' started by Andym, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. Andym

    Andym
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    I've read that Most of the Twitter traffic reflects under 'Direct Traffic' in Google Analytics. This is because we mostly use automated applications, desktop applications, shortening links services etc. Use of all these results into Direct Traffic.

    Though I am unsure about it, Is there anyone who can put some light on it.

    Thanks for all your answers! :)
     
  2. Fergal

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    I've just checked Google Analytics for one site I own that gets some traffic from Twitter. Twitter shows up in the list of "referring sites" so at least some of your Twitter traffic shows up in Analytics. I've read that traffic coming from Twitter users, who use applications such as TweetDeck or Twhirl will show up as direct traffic, hence as you said, your Google Analytics reports will often under-estimate the traffic you are getting from there.

    Thankfully Google provides a solution that allows you to tag your URL's and hence record all the traffic coming from a particular source of campaign - you can read more about it on Google's How do I tag my links? FAQ and also on Google's URL Builder Tool.

    Another way to see how much traffic you are getting from Twitter would be to sign up for a URL shortening account at a site like http://bit.ly and then create a unique short URL redirection to your site, by only using this URL on Twitter, you will be able to see how many clicks your links in Twitter are receiving.

    Hopefully that helps.
     
  3. Andym

    Andym
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    Thanks Fergal, the information you provided is very helpful.
     
  4. SissyBard

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    twitter url service

    Twitter is gradually rolling out their own (t.co) URL shortening service which will probably show up in analytics as traffic from twitter.
     
  5. DavidL

    DavidL
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    I can confirm that Twitter is listed under referral traffic. When I do a referral traffic break down, Twitter itself is listed as one of the sources, so it cannot be direct traffic.
     
  6. Fergal

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    True, when the traffic is coming directly from Twitter, but it can when the visitor is using something like TweetDeck or Twhirl.
     
  7. PaulPinnacle

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    The traffic you'll see coming from Twitter as a referrer is traffic that comes through Twitters web interface. A large majority of people don't use the web interface (depends on which reports you believe, but web interface usage estimations vary from 50% to as low as 10%), instead using one of the various desktop or phone clients to make the process easier and faster. Unlike traditional browsers, many of these clients don't pass along the referrer information and instead register as direct traffic in the analytics.

    This is a common and relatively easy solution. It's just a matter of tagging on "?utm_campaign=tweets&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=twitter.com", or something of that nature depending on what you want to monitor, to your URL's pre shortening. However, it does come with some limitations (it causes problems if someone bookmarks the link or uses it for social bookmarking purposes), so not exactly fool proof.
     
  8. Andym

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    Thanks everyone for your answers!

    I have found an amazing service. It belongs to StumbleUpon. StumbleUpon is a bookmarking website and they now have this service where you can get Twitter stats. I would recommend this service for better monitoring of your results.

    http://su.pr
     

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