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Published by Kevin O'Keefe, CEO & Founder of LexBlog

Good law blogs losing traffic from Google?

social media referrals to blogs
January 21, 2015

Well not losing traffic, but just seeing the percentage of over all viewers coming from Google dropping.

The percentage of viewers coming to my blog from Google has dropped 28% in the last year.

In January of 2014 almost 57% percent of viewers came from search, or Google. This last month, it’s dropped to 41%.

Why the change? An increase in viewers coming from social media and referrals (citations/links from other blogs/sites). The biggest source of viewers is social media (Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook), which I believe represents 30 to 40% of viewers.

I say “believe” as Google Analytics displays viewers coming directly as 30% for my blog. There’s no way that many viewers are keying in my blog’s domain or clicking on a bookmark on their browser. It turns out viewers coming from a site with a “https” url (site operating a secure network), strip out referral information and show up as “directs.”

And the “https?” Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+. All social media on which my blog posts are increasingly cited and shared, by me and others.

Here’s the increase in social media traffic depicted.

January 2014
January 2014

Blog traffic jan 15
January 2015

I’ve always told lawyers if they could inch their non-Google traffic higher than Google that was a good sign they were engaging readers and influencers. People were citing their blogs on other blogs and people were sharing their posts.

Having people who have trusted social media followers or readers of their own blog or news site share and cite your blog posts is gold. After all, people are apt to trust people they follow and read more than a “cold” Google search. Google is also going to refer people doing random searches for which your blog was not relevant.

The key is having a good law blog. One that is purpose driven offering unique insight and ideally engaging other blogs and news sources. Otherwise your posts will neither be shared nor cited.

As more and more people get their news and information on social media, you’re going to see viewers coming from social media increase dramatically, and the viewers coming from Google drop.

You’ll start to hear of social media optimization, not just search engine optimization. Lawyers and law firms using blogs and other social media in a real and authentic fashion to engage their audience will prevail here. Those who don’t will have a tough time catching up.

For information on how to review traffic channels on Google Analytics, search engine consultant, Gyi Tsakalakis (@gyitsakalakis), has a good piece on Lawyernomics about doing an annual review of your law blog’s analytics.

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