Do you use Analytics for your website?
Do you agonize over the data like I do?
Did you notice a significant drop in Direct traffic recently?
It isn’t a bad thing!
Twitter recently rolled out their own link shortening service http://t.co. Any link shared on Twitter will be shortened to a t.co link. You may have noticed already when you add a link it says “link will appear shortened” and when the tweet is posted you still see the original URL listed. This is done mostly for your safety and to try to eliminate phishing scams and evil doers.
More importantly to analytics nerds… this is great news if you are trying to measure website traffic you are getting from Twitter!
Previously Twitter showed up two ways in your analytics. First, if someone was coming from the website, twitter.com, you would see the site referrer as twitter.com. The problem was people who use desktop clients like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite were counted as Direct traffic to your website. We were left to make assumptions, use tracking links like bit.ly or just be satisfied with lower traffic from Twitter than we expected.
Now with all links going through t.co, you will see it as a traffic referrer! Pretty cool right?!
Even cooler is in your Analytics, if you open the t.co you can see specifically which links it was that drove the traffic. You can go link to link to see which one directed the most traffic.
Measure away tweeters!