At the start of this year, I spent some time looking at the Google Analytics information for our website. After reading an interesting post by Ann M. White about social media’s impact on traffic to her institution’s website, I decided to look into that for our site as well.
The analytics from our university website more or less mimic what Ann found at her campus, Oklahoma Christian University. That is, social media as a driver of traffic to a university website composes a very tiny sliver of the pie. So tiny, in fact, that I can’t even illustrate it with a pie chart.
Here’s how it shakes out for our campus:
- The Missouri S&T website had 7,855,680 visits in 2009
- 24,685 (0.3 percent) came from Facebook
- 2,634 (0.03 percent) came from Twitter
- Facebook ranks as the 11th highest referral source, but far behind the usual suspects (direct, Google, Blackboard, Yahoo, Bing)
- Twitter ranks 40th in terms of referrals to the main website, a few notches below StumbleUpon and tied with the University of Texas
The relatively low numbers don’t mean social media is insignificant to your online presence, however. It could be that those visits to your website might not have happened without social media. As Ann says in her post, “I choose to think of it as ‘wow, those are all deliberate hits that we wouldn’t get without social media.’ Hooray!”
I’d be interested in hearing how these averages compare with other campuses. Does anyone else (besides Ann and me) look at this kind of information? If so, please share.