My Facebook Traffic Confuses Me

with 8 Comments

Last month we launched, a social media company directory as the latest site in the Social Fresh family. As we tweak the site’s featured and get ready to gear up some of our marketing efforts, the site has slowly grown traffic organically.

We launched with a nice traffic spike and then traffic fell off about 50% when the buzz subsided. This makes sense. No disappointment here. The site got a nice spike in traffic when we launched and this month is on track to do even more traffic than last month, with a more steady and growing traffic.

This is what I do not get. According to our Stats plugin, which uses Google analytics data, Facebook is one of our top 10 and most consistent sources of traffic. Close to 3,000 in the last 30 days.

I had a few thoughts as to why. We have about 200 likes for the main URL and scattered throughout the site, anyone can like any of the 350+ companies on the site, though most only have 0-2 likes. These are not big numbers, but I have noticed some of these pages showing up in Facebook search for some of these companies.

So my hypothesis is maybe that Facebook search was the source for the traffic. Or secondarily, people were sharing with friends on Facebook. While I know that happens some, I did not think it would result in consistent traffic like this.

So next I went to Google analytics to see if I could dig up even more data on the source of this Facebook traffic. But I found something that is still confusing me. I am not an analytics ninja in any way, but I tend to be able to find insight in Google analytics when I am looking for it.

When I pulled up our referral traffic for the same 30 day period, Google said our traffic from Facebook was only 56.

Quite a large difference. And I really have no idea what the issue is. Our direct traffic is very high as well, so maybe that is the issue? Who knows. I am writing this post to see if anyone out there smarter than me has suggestions.

Moreover, I still have no idea where our traffic is coming from. Hopefully we figure it out and will have lessons to report to you soon.

8 Responses

  1. Justin Kistner

    I bet if you gave me access to your Google Analytics account I could find your answer :)

  2. jakrose

    Ok, but leave me your passport while you are in there.

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  4. Matt Heisler

    I’d like to know more about this as well – my facebook traffic is growing so quickly it’s threatening to rival search.

  5. Zaid Rasid

    Same thing is happening with my blog results at a very early stage. But I have no idea how to interpret some of the data as well. It’d be nice to know which profiles my traffic came from too but I guess that’s impossible.

  6. Marcelino

    Same problem, 1000 of daily referrals from FB, but, Google Analytics showing 65 for the month.

  7. Bruce Serven

    I suspect It’s because the stats plugin is counting raw hits rather than actual visitors.nnFacebook, just like other major sites, used crawlers to spider your site. (especially if you have any like/share buttons or other FB plugins or JavaScript, but also to make sure that they don’t have any dead links coming off their site). The stats will often count & show these because it doesn’t know better. Google Analytics does know that these are bots and so doesnt count them.nnI’ve seen it on one of my sites that there will be a FB bot view/reverify the page every time there us a human viewing any page.