I'm not surprised by your findings.
My total unsupported grandmother research: people who visit a site as a result of a search query are more likely to find it relevant than someone following a link on Twitter or most other social media sites. I write this as it's what I do and have observed others doing.
When my daughter, friends, mom, dad want to find something specific they use a search engine. When they want to see what others are doing or kill some time they visit websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and the like.
Entering search terms in a query demonstrates a need for information whereas people clicking through from Twitter like sites may to be doing so as a result of curiosity.
Well said Dertyfern. I agree 100%. And it's something which will stand the test of time.
I've got wayyy more Twitter followers than you, and my data tells me that Twitter is not the right source of Adsense revenue. My followers just don't click on the Adsense ads.
My #1 source of Adsense revenues is Yahoo Answers. I suppose their audiences are more inclined to click on ads, considering they are looking for answers to their specific questions.
The time spent on twitter and the like would be better spent on actual SEO. Why the thought process of "lets try to reach random people who aren't interested in our stuff and maybe we'll hook a few" ever wins over "lets try to reach people who are actually looking for exactly what we offer" defies all logic.
For our site we have found twitter and stumbleupon users to be pretty much worthless.
We get stumbled several times a week and end up with 40-50,000 visitors a day from it but I can count on one hand how much adsense pays us for it. Same goes for twitter.
Google views that traffic the same way I do, worthless dribble.
Thanks all for sharing their experience with twitter. I have never tried twitter and was thinking about giving it a try. But with the experience of fellow webmasters, now I am little sceptical.
Anybody who has been benefitted by twitter? Would like to listen if anyone has been successful with twitter.
I've got the same experience as the others. BUT we did not have any monetary expectation when we established our account.
I've been shocked at the huge amount of background noise and spamming that occurs on Twitter. I don't see how the average user can wade through all the trash.
We tweet to announce a new publication - which occurs about once per week.
IMO Twitter and other social media sites are useful for the long term. No point in trying to get lots of followers and keep trying to pull them to your site. Get followers who are really interested in your site and subject matter, use Twitter to remind them about you, and to get retweets to others. Use Twitter to update Facebook too--2 updates for one post! Use of hashtags, judiciously, will help you reach new audiences too.
Over time, you'll gain traffic as people who don't know about your site will find it who wouldn't have otherwise, and people who already knew about it will visit more often. Immediate results may be disappointing--it's the return visits that count. YMMV, of course.
Twitter can be a great source of traffic and may be weak on producing direct income through adsense. But there are many upsides to using Twitter.
First and foremost is using Twitter as it was intended to be used. To come together with those of similar interests building a social network of your own while tapping into the network of your followers.
Doing this successfully your network expands quite rapidly as you tap in the network of new followers. The cycle continues.
Secondly is the direct contact you can have with people of the same industry. We are talking about other site owners, bloggers, business owners, media, etc.
This is extremely valuable for helping you to build authority. You tweet with those of authority so shall you become. With authority you build a much stronger visitor base who is easier to sell to and brand.
Thirdly comes a natural SEO aspect. Yes by building a strong base and becoming buddy buddy with other authority figures you will find that they begin to link to your content within their own sites. The better your stuff the better your chances. With those extra natural links your rankings will zoom in search engines thus bringing in more clicking visitors.
Part time bloggers will do the same. Also being able to get featured in media sources such as magazines, newspapers, and other print publications is a nice bonus.
Again use Twitter as intended. There isn't really any other media that has that many freely accessible users at the same time being able to directly communicate with those users. It is a pretty good deal just have to find what works best for you.
[edited by: arubicus at 10:11 pm (utc) on Feb 24, 2010]
PurpleCape, one Twitter problem is that the attrition rate per month among your followers is high. The accounts go dead or people go inactive, and our numbers looking at several different twitter accounts is that each month the number of follower account going inactive "may" be as high as 20%.
The indications are pretty clear, if that's the case, but basically it means there isn't much "long term" there.
I don't see why that attrition rate is a problem. I'm not interested in building up numbers on Twitter long term. I'm interested in getting visitors to my site long term. Say a Twitter user visits my site three times over a few months, likes what they see, then stops using Twitter, but continues to visit my site. I see that as a good thing.
FWIW I've seen the argument made that having lots of Twitter followers, or working hard to grow your Twitter following, just don't matter. You want the right followers--people who are themselves active and will retweet your messages, so that they get out to many others. I've already seen this happen on a couple of posts that "went viral" in a small way, and based on clickthroughs must have been seen by many more people than I sent them to directly.
The number of followers isn't as important as WHO. The numbers tend to grow naturally. Again aligning with very active users in your industry is key. Get to know them. Discuss the topic at hand. You become more interesting and authoritative. It is a perception game to attract and hold visitors at your site not necessarily on twitter.
And then there is the SEO aspect as well.
I've used Twitter to connect with businesses. You can use twitter to connect with someone who is in the marketing department of a big company...it is better than going through the receptionist.
|I don't see why that attrition rate is a problem. I'm not interested in building up numbers on Twitter long term. I'm interested in getting visitors to my site long term. Say a Twitter user visits my site three times over a few months, likes what they see, then stops using Twitter, but continues to visit my site. I see that as a good thing. |
I agree with your points, and that it isn't about numbers, but it is a little about numbers, in the sense that if your twitter attrition rate is high, then you ARE going to lose the ability to communicate with people who could be potential customers, but aren't because they've "left" your reach.
Of course once you "have them" somewhere else it doesn't matter, but isn't the point to create longer term relationshps no matter what the "channel"? In particular, the number of small business owners leaving is so high each month that if you are on twitter to contact small business owners, your chances are quite slim, as compared to social media marketers who aren't leaving quite so regularly.
People who are wanting a quick price comparison because they are seriously interested in buying don't go to twitter so it makes little sense to throw your line in those waters.
You can spam a billboard in front of twitter users to create a brand name some may remember but in terms of direct conversions Twitter doesn't work for most types of sales (unless you want to give away free pizza and get published in the news).
I've used Twitter as a resource for my site in order to create additional content. New content with Adsense means more possibilities to earn from Adsense.
- to find people to interview and feature
- to connect with PR folks and authors that I can also inteview and feature on my site
- to find interesting research and information that I can also write on
And there's the tit-for-tat factor. My sites have gotten several press mentions through Twitter;I got interviewed and featured in some sites including radio interviews; and even an offer to produce my own radio show.
Twitter is not just a place to get traffic but a way to connect with the movers and shakers in your area (ignore those who drop off or spam). And if you look at it like that, then you can see how Twitter can benefit your Adsense
I began using Twitter to experiment with adsense traffic. The only plus for me has been receiving more requests for the traditional advertising on my site. I also use a twitter app on Facebook which has been a benefit in the same way and saves time. Increased adsense earnings? Nope.
coachm, as you suggest, your audience matters at least as much as your approach. I have found that you can use Twitter to, in essence, join a community. The individual members of that community may come and go, but it's a living community with recognized authority figures and regular Twitter "chats."
I'm going to continue with it, if only because if I don't I think that in the long run I'd start to LOSE traffic, as other sites put themselves forward....
The problem with Twitter, Facebook and similar social media platforms is that you never know if your followers actually end up seeing your post or not. If they are following 500 twits or are fans of 120 pages on Facebook then it's very likely that your post will get buried very quickly and not be seen.
This is the problem I have with a Facebook fan page that I have. I have a little over 1.1 million fans, but every time I post I can hope for only about 5000 visitors to the link (at best).
Those who visit the link (to my site) do end up clicking on AdSense links; however, unlike what others have said the CTR is similar to visitors originating from a search engine. That being said, my site is not informational, it's 90% for fun and entertainment.
So it seems that the CTR for ads may also depend on the type of site, as well as the source of the traffic.
The time spent on twitter and the like would be better spent on actual SEO.
As other people have mentioned, I think it depends on your goals. I recently built a site and started a Twitter account and made several posts on topics related to the new site. I have posted almost no links and gotten almost no traffic from Twitter.
BUT, I've been asked to guest post on blogs and have gotten some one-way links from twitter "friends". One, who would be a direct competitor, is now a regular correspondant. He's giving my free linsk from his much more popular site and he consented to a podcast interview with me (for which he got a link, but during which he also pumped my site in a way that slightly embarrassed me - I wouldn't have been so shameless).
Also, I made a tweet aimed at my audience. I didn't realize there was a completely unrelated audience that would be interested and it got retweeted by the national advocacy organization for that group, which brought in a new audience.
So to oppose SEO versus Twitter is wrong, I think. I'm no expert on Twitter (or SEO for that matter), but the tiny amount of time I've invested in Twitter has probably been the best time I've spent in terms of making connections, getting inbound links, and more.
|This is the problem I have with a Facebook fan page that I have. I have a little over 1.1 million fans, but every time I post I can hope for only about 5000 visitors to the link (at best). |
250 followers, about 5 visits a day
1.1m followers, 5k visits
But it seems it's in the same range.
|The problem with Twitter, Facebook and similar social media platforms is that you never know if your followers actually end up seeing your post or not. If they are following 500 twits or are fans of 120 pages on Facebook then it's very likely that your post will get buried very quickly and not be seen. |
True, which is why it's important to be a part of a community and post regularly, and why it's important to focus on getting the right followers, rather than having LOTS of followers. A modest but steady stream of quality posts (none of the "I'm having pizza tonight!" variety) will maximize the chances that people will look for your posts, and retweet them. Also, even people who follow many others may be using Lists, a relatively new feature on Twitter that allow one to focus on selected Twits.
You do need to have a strategy on Twitter, understand how it works, and take a little time to learn and try things out. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it...
My opinion on this, based on very limited experience, as well as numerous comments and much advice from others, is that MOST info site publishers would be FAR better off working on their own site(s) rather than spending time chasing traffic from places like twitter.
Since I don't do ecommerce myself I can't speak to the topic of ecom sites and the effectiveness of chasing twitter type traffic.
Its like asking a person who wants to eat pizza if they want roast lamb instead, some might change their mind/click the majority won't.
jetteroheller, I'm curious to know how many followers/followings sites you visited.
Alika or anyone Please,
How do you get adsense revenue from "Yahoo Answers?"
Answer well, get in the top 10 lists even in just your category. I usually answer questions that can be answered by any of our articles, so I include a link to my website in the source box.
The category where I am apparently attracts a lot of new folks to my sites that respond very well to ads.
The key is to look very closely at your sources of Adsense revenues in Google Analytics -- then focus on that source and make sure that you increase traffic coming from that source.
Just checked in Google Analytics my Twitter stats
About 0,1% of my revenues is registered to come from Twitter.
There could be more because of software using Twitter and not showing Twitter as referer.
So maybe 0,5% from Twitter in total
Direct quick revenue from Twitter followers - no. Long term contacts, relationships, direct one-way links, exposure, credibility - yes. All that might lead to more links and higher Google ranking, and therefore, Adsense revenue in the future. Maybe.
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