New Study Shows Google Drives 85% of SMB Traffic, But Social Media Still Converts Higher

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First quarter BringShare user data shows Bing/Yahoo matching Google on traffic quality while Pinterest continues to increase it’s influence in the small business sector.

In the first quarter of 2012, organic traffic from search engines accounted for 33% of all visits compared to social media, which was accountable for only 8% of all visits.

BringShare, a popular online marketing analytics solution for small businesses and marketing agencies, has released its Quarterly Small Business Marketing Insights for the first quarter of 2012. Using aggregated data from a random sample of BringShare’s small business customers with a combined total of 23 million visits in the first quarter, key insights regarding the role of social media and search engine optimization for small businesses were developed. And the implications are critical for small businesses looking to improve their marketing efforts.

Search Engines drive more visits but Social Media visitors are more likely to make a purchase.

In the first quarter of 2012, organic traffic from search engines accounted for 33% of all visits compared to social media, which was accountable for only 8% of all visits. In sharp contrast, the social media traffic conversion rate is 76% higher than that of search engine traffic (7.64% versus 4.35% respectively).

Small Businesses Aren’t Very Successful at Ranking For Targeted Keywords

In BringShare, small businesses are able to monitor their search engine rankings for targeted keywords. On average, small businesses rank on the first page of Google’s search results for 16% of their monitored keywords. It is possible that improving search engine rankings for targeted relevant keywords would help improve the search engine conversion rate mentioned previously.

Google’s Overall Share of the Search Market Is Higher for Small Businesses

While Google is known to have approximately 65% of the search market, they accounted for 85% of visits to small business websites in Q1 2012. Bing/Yahoo accounted for 9.87% combined.

The conversion rate for Google versus Yahoo/Bing is fairly consistent (4.34% and 4.29% respectively).

Bing/Yahoo might be gaining ground on Google in terms of driving traffic to small business websites. In January 2012, Bing/Yahoo was responsible for 9.79% of all visits from search engines. In March 2012, Bing/Yahoo visits increased to 11.5% of all visits from search engines.

Facebook and Twitter Are Dominant in Volume of Traffic But Not Quality

Not surprisingly, Facebook and Twitter were the dominant social media traffic generators for small businesses in the first quarter of 2012.

% of Social Media Visits By Social Network

  •     Facebook: 58.68%
  •     Twitter: 37.7%
  •     LinkedIn: 2.03%
  •     YouTube: 1.20%
  •     Pinterest: 1.16%

*Google+ was not being tracked for Q1 and is not included in this report.

In terms of conversion rate, Facebook and LinkedIn are the dominant players.

Conversion Rate by Social Network

  •     Facebook: 8.84%
  •     LinkedIn: 8.11%
  •     Twitter: 5.95%
  •     Pinterest: 5.08%
  •     YouTube: 3.91%

Pinterest Is Quickly Becoming A Major Source of Traffic for Small Businesses

In January 2012, Pinterest was responsible for .58% of all social media visits. In March 2012, Pinterest climbed to 2.44% of all social media visits. This is a significant increase and may be representative of Pinterest’s rapid growth in recent months.

About BringShare

BringShare is an Internet-based tool (dashboard) designed to help small businesses measure and evaluate their online marketing investments more efficiently and cost-effectively. BringShare is unique in the fact that it creates highly intuitive marketing performance reports in a fraction of the time and related cost than it would take using other programs or methodologies. This affords small business marketers the ability to make better strategic use of their time as well as their marketing dollars.

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Justin Spring
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