We all know that Google Analytics gives us access to a wealth of information about our website traffic. You can find out not only how many website visitors you have but when they came, what content they looked at, how long they stayed and what page they exited from (along with much more valuable information). One of the statistics that I keep a close eye on is referring sites (under traffic sources).
Google Analytics Referral Traffic
Imagine my surprise when I sat down to analyze my website traffic for January and I discovered that my 3rd highest source of referral traffic came from SocialMediaToday.com. The reason I was so surprised is that (as much as I hate to admit this) I had never heard of them before.
Now, I pride myself in trying to keep up with the major social networking sites but let’s face it, that can be a daunting task. So who are they and how the heck did I get so much referral traffic from them?
Syndicating Your RSS Feed
As I started taking a closer look, I noticed that within 2 days, I had 47 visits from their site. Upon closer inspection, I found the link and followed it to find out how this happened. It turns out that the link was from the RSS feed that I syndicated to Tia Peterson’s BizChickBlogs website. (Ladies, be sure to check out Tia’s BizChickBlogs community.) It turns out that Tia syndicates her RSS feed for Biz Chick Blogs to Social Media Today.
(Hmmm . . . interesting! The connections suddenly made sense to me. Even though I was totally unaware of a site, I benefited from referral traffic because of my connection to Tia. Isn’t social networking wonderful?)
A Community of Bloggers
What is Social Media Today, anyways? They describe themselves as a community of bloggers and they pride themselves as being a “blog of blogs” so to speak. It’s free to join and you can syndicate your RSS feed to them. (Don’t look to this site to connect and socialize like on Facebook or FriendFeed. It’s not that kind of a site. You can find them on Twitter and Facebook though.)
So, what’s the article that drove this new traffic? It’s “The Synergy of Business and Blogging” – a Collaborative Effort of 31 Bloggers” the free eBook that I contributed to last month. (Be sure to read the post if you haven’t already and download your free copy – no strings attached. I don’t even ask for your email.)
Your turn! Have you had a similar experience? Do you know someone who you owe a big thank you to? (Thank you Tia!) Have you discovered valuable information that you were unaware of by delving into your Google Analytics statistics?
51 thoughts on “How Google Analytics Introduced Me to Social Media Today”
Due to the Google Panda changes, articles that you submit to SocialMediaToday now look like duplicate content. Rather thank linking to your site like BlogEngage and BizSugar, SMT scrapes the entire content and posts it as if it’s theirs. I recently deleted my RSS feed to SMT for this reason.
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I recently deleted my feed to SocialMediaToday. With the changes that Google made to their algorithms in their Panda update, it could hurt you to submit your RSS feed to sites like SocialMediaToday because your post will look like duplicate content. Rather thank linking to your site like BlogEngage and BizSugar, SMT scrapes the entire content and posts it as if it’s theirs.
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I finally made it! I have wanted to read this all day. You know, it is amazing how, along the way, you leave this “trace” or “track” behind (in this case your feed) and just one person deems it significant. That is all it takes sometimes. And I know for me, that one little seed planted is like a blessing. Whether you are trying to make a living online, retired and bored, or have things on your mind that you would love exposed and to have feedback from, it’s mind-boggling sometimes, isn’t it?
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Thanks for dropping by! It is amazing what can happen when just one person introduces your blog to their followers. I was caught completely by surprise when I saw the affect that having my RSS feed on Tia’s blog had on my traffic. I’m hoping to see similar impact by joining BlogInteract too. I’ll keep you posted.
Wow, thanks for sharing this information about social media today and the RSS feed. I’m going to do this right away. It is generous of you to share this information!
You’re welcome Nancy! I hope it works out for you.
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KPI? Oh…. “key performance indicator”! There was a time when I knew what that meant. (Today, I had to Google it.) These days, I’m more in the wold of cpc and cpm. Thanks for making me think today! 🙂
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Hi, this is the first time I’ve heard of social media today.
Checking it out now! Will report back with an update.
Good luck Sean! I wish I could report back that I’ve had continued success with Social Media Today but so far, this is the only post from my RSS feed that they’ve published. I think they’re looking for posts on very specific topics. On the other hand, I’m continuing to get new traffic from BizChickBlogs.
Sherryl Perry recently posted..2 Steps to Stalking the Popular Kids and Getting More Traffic
Awesome post!! Most people don’t really consider any analytics to help them outside of finding out how many people are coming to their blogs. But it’s so important to find out WHERE they are coming from so we can better our efforts to reach them in a more effective manner.
Thanks for the post! 🙂
You’re welcome Morgan. Thanks for dropping by. I agree with you that a lot of people dont look at where their traffic is coming from. Sometimes it’s interesting to see which blog post gets the most hits too. I like to look at that particular data if I’ve tried a different tactic of promoting a particular article. Analytics are valuable. It just takes time to analyze them. 🙂
Thanks for the smart advice to syndicate my RSS to increase traffic. Once again you prompted me to do something good for my business Sherryl.
Tia was brought to my attention last fall by TopRank’s Lee Odden who chose Tia and me as winners of his blog competition. Her innovative BizChicksBlog is quite impressive.
Congratulations on your additional traffic and THANK YOU for sharing your secrets with the rest of us! I see your Alexa rank continues to do better and better too. Nice.
Thanks for the encouragement Catherine. My Alexa rank is doing better? Great! (I haven’t checked that in a while.) I always enjoy reading your blog and I hope to see your posts over on BizChickBlogs. We should connect on the community she’s building there too.
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Thanks for the valuable information. I registered with Tia and I am not sure about SocialamediaToday. I wrote an article for them months ago and got TONS of hits. That site is awesome and everyone loves it because of the value. I need to check out what my status is there and head on over to my analytics and check it out 🙂
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Sherryl, Your knowledge and understanding of all the “tech stuff” amazes me and inspires me. While I love to look at my Analytics superficially, trying to grasp its deep meaning gives me a headache! Slowly but surely….
Excellent post and thanks for reminding us to pay attention to some a important tool.
Would love to get that kind of traffic from SocialMediaToday. Again, they haven’t published my latest post. Just checked. And according to Google Analytics I have had 4 visitors from SocialMediaToday. Having said that one of my two published posts had 1,066 views, was twitted 38 times and shared on Facebook 6 times.
We will have to look into how to get as many visitors from SMT as you did. It’s silly really that over a thousand people read it but only 4 visited the site.
That traffic came through my syndicated RSS feed on Tia Peterson’s BizChickBlogs.com (which SocialMediaToday.com picked up). I’m not an expert on this but I believe I can credit Tia’s Google page rank for having a hand in this.
It is interesting that I received so much more traffic from SMT’s syndication of Tia’s blog than Tia’s blog itself. Again, I suspect it comes back to page rank. In Tia’s comment above, she said “I’m not sure that they are syndicating bizchickblogs any more likely due to the large number of updates we have every week”.
If anyone can shed some light on this, please feel free to comment! I’ll keep everyone updated when I analyze my GA stats next month.
Google analytics is a powerful tool that helps you to track your traffic details. recently i have to install one of the plugin because many users usin iPhone to view my site.
Well at present Social Media is a greatest traffic source and wise person is one who can uleash it as much as he can
Thanks Vivek for the reminder about iPhone users. That’s a stat I haven’t paid attention to and should.
Sherryl — congratulations on getting so much traffic from Social Media Today. I belong to the SMT LinkedIn Group, but I went to their site directly and had completely forgotten I had registered by RSS feed but had not filled out my profile (do not know why). They have several of my unpublished posts in their queue but never published. I checked their FAQs and learned that they won’t post without your avatar and bio which I quickly uploaded. So we’ll see if this gets me published! So thanks to you for refreshing my memory about this important site. And I hope you keep getting lots of visitors from them!
Thanks for letting me know my article helped Jeannette. There are so many opportunities to network and promote our blogs, I often find myself distracted and I know I’m missing little things. If it weren’t for that one stat in GA, I would probably still not even know Social Media Today existed. Now that I’ve set up my profile and subscribed my RSS feed, it will be interesting to check my stats in a month and see what happened to my traffic from them. I’ll update everyone when I know more.
At this rate there isn’t going to be much you DONT know Sherryl:) Yep, referrers and keywords in analytics can show you some interesting tricks if you’re willing to dig a little just as you did. Great work.
Thanks Paul! I’m learning the tools even if I don’t ever expect to understand SEO the way you do. (If I have SEO questions, I know where to find you. 🙂 )
Sherryl, thanks for the heads up about adding RSS feeds to Social Media Today. Ironically I was on the site the other day updating my profile and somehow I missed this feature. I seem to remember seeing some of Tia’s posts there in the past.
Tia has done a fantastic job with her site and I’m really pleased to know that you’re contributing there. Good for you!
If you missed the RSS subscription, I feel really good about finding it! 🙂 It seems everywhere I go, I find you there – which is a good thing. All I need to do is find you, look at who you follow (and who follows you) and I’m easily introduced to a network of bloggers that are worthy of connecting with.
Tia has done an amazing job. I’m always in awe by how much she can accomplish. She inspires me to work just a little harder and do just a little more.
I’ve never heard of this either. Thanks for sharing the advice about different ways to help your syndication. Always something new to learn in the social media realm. You made it a bit easier!
Thanks for dropping by. Syndication to the right blog can work out well. That way, you’re adding value to the blog while reaching the same target reader. It should be a win-win.
I just read your post about stress breakers. It came at the perfect time!
That definitely is a nice surprise! Google Analytics is such a wealth of information and an invaluable tool. I’ve often been surprised where some of my traffic was coming from; sites I’ve never visited such as you experienced.
Goes to show, you never know and eventually the snowball effect of all your hard work begins to pay off and you feel the cumulative effect of it all.
Keep up the awesome work. =)
In case anyone here doesn’t recognize Michele, she masterminded the collaboration behind the free eBook The “Synergy of Business and Blogging” – a Collaborative Effort of 31 Bloggers. You can download your free copy here http://bit.ly/hZpZ5n.
I had a similar experience, but mine was with Facebook. I saw a huge spike from what we normally get through Facebook, and I knew someone pretty popular must have posted a link to our site. After looking around a little, I found that my message to a pretty influential photography content sharer the day before had sent her looking through my blog, and she found a post she liked, then she shared it with her network. The article she chose to share didn’t usually get all that much traffic, but it got quite a few likes on Facebook. Not too many people were searching on Google for that article, but because someone influential mentioned it, the article got a ton of attention. I’ll take it =)
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Wonderful TJ! I’m sure you’re working to cultivate that social relationship. Do you know if we follow each other on Facebook? It’s a wonderful way to connect.
Just sent a friend request on Facebook. Do you have a fan page too?
My Facebook fan page is http://facebook.com/keepupweb. If you have one, let me know and I’ll follow you too. Thanks!
This is our main business fan page – http://www.facebook.com/LarissaPhotography . I don’t have one for the photography education side of the business yet. Either way, we’d appreciate the like on the main page =)
Sherryl, aloha. Thx so much for introducing me to Social Media Today earlier in the week and to bizchicksblog which I just joined. Look forward to working with you ladies to help us all achieve more. Aloha. Janet
Aloha Janet. You’re welcome. I’m anxious to see the affects of subscribing my RSS feed to both Social Media Today and BizChickBlogs. We’ll have to share our results and continue to help each other grow our blogs in other ways. You’ll find a great group of supportive bloggers commenting here for sure.
What a lovely surprise for you eh 🙂 I thought I was getting the bulk of my traffic from blog commenting till one of my techie friends who had been looking at my Google analytics told me the highest percentage was organic traffic.
That was an encouragement cos it meant people were coming to my site for information and hopefully now with products to sell there will be customers amongst the traffic too 🙂
Patricia Perth Australia
That’s wonderful Patricia. I would love to see my organic traffic higher. Right now, my traffic is about 25% organic and 50% referral. The referral traffic is coming from multiple sources
You’re lucky to have techie friends! 🙂
Oh the stats. What will the stats say today? I check my stats a few times a week. I only poured into it towards the end of last year. I was amazed at what I saw and it kicked me into making some good decisions in regards to my blog. I’m going to look into Social Media Today and see if this is something for me. Thanks for the great info, Sherryl.
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You’re welcome Dennis. Good luck with Social Media Today. I hope it helps drive traffic to your site. You check your stats much more often than I do. I make sure I check them once a month but I don’t usually look at them closely more often than that.
We are new in the virtual assitant services and we want to improve our services and we use Google analytics to know exactly what to do to get more links and also the keyword which we have to target. Thanks for sharing this with us. We know exactly where we stand with this tool.
That’s good that you recognize the value of Google Analytics. A lot of smaller businesses aren’t aware of the value of this tool. Stats have really helped me identify where I should concentrate my effort as well as point out that which efforts aren’t producing results and it’s time to change or stop them.
Great post, Sherryl. I look into my stats, but I admit, maybe not as closely as you do. I am glad you wrote this post because it gives me a reminder to really look closely next time. I will also look up Social Media Today and join in. But, yeah, social media has done me wonders, too. It brought me to people like you who has really helped me. Thanks!
– Wes –
Thanks Wes. It takes time to look at your stats but I have a reminder on my calendar to check them at least once a month. I pay close attention to referral sites because it’s responsible for 50% of my traffic.
It will be interesting to see next month what (if any) impact subscribing my RSS feed to Social Media Today has. I’m hopeful that it will be measurable.
This is exactly what happened to me a few weeks before. I am not an active stumbler but I used to stumble some articles and share them with my friends. Accidentally one of my stumble friends, stumbled an article in my blog and it went almost viral. On that day alone I got almost 2K hits which is a record number of visitors for my blog.
After this stumble effect, I started focusing on Social Media and these days, I can tell myself as a Social media enthusiast as I am active on almost all popular social media websites.
Thanks for sharing your success story with StumbleUpon. I haven’t had much luck with that site but after hearing your success, I’m motivated to stumble more.
BTW – You may notice you gained (at least) 1 more follower on Twitter. 🙂
Even i very recently came across the advantages of google analytics,it gives a great of info not only about the websites visiting your site, it also provides you with details like bounce rate which is an average time spent on your site and the part of the globe they are visiting from.
This is a great example of checking the important stats. The funny thing is I have subscribed to Social Media Today for quite a while and never even knew about their RSS syndication. The other thing that comes to mind if you do submit is to make sure the sites are relevant.
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Great point about submitting your posts to sites that are relevant. Both you and I have written articles before about the importance of tracking statistics. I was blissfully unaware of this site until I had that sudden spike of traffic that piqued my interest. I’m looking forward now to seeing what sort of traffic I can drive through them now that I’m in a proactive mode. (I think I see a follow-up post in the future.)
That’s so funny, because I was introduced to Social Media Today in a very similar way. I don’t remember exactly how it happened now, but I noticed hits coming from there to my site, and voila.
Syndication can be very rewarding! 🙂 I’m not sure that they are syndicating bizchickblogs any more likely due to the large number of updates we have every week, so I’d encourage you to syndicate there.
Surprisingly, I have actually met quite a few people through Social Media Today!
You learned of them the same way I did? That is funny. It shows how important it is to look closely at our analytics.
I joined Social Media Today as soon as I learned of them and I have syndicated my RSS feed to them. They picked up all my articles from December on but they’re still sitting in the “unpublished”. I’ve contacted them to see if I need to do anything special to get them published.
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