[Air-l] research on factors driving traffic to web sites

Elizabeth Van Couvering e.j.van-couvering at lse.ac.uk
Tue May 15 02:05:01 PDT 2007

You want to look in the journals of interactive marketing, as this  
topic is of major interest to business.

In a very general sense, some traffic will be based on searches, some  
on recommendations given or sent in person or by email, some loyal  
readers will use bookmarks and some people will come from links from  
other websites, and a very little traffic (typically) will come from  
promotions in other media.

You could use link analysis (see some of Mike Thelwall's work) to  
assess the linkage patterns; there are some other tools that will let  
you investigate the number of search queries per month (look in the  
tools for advertisers on the Google website).  Assessing promotional  
activity through other media might be difficult unless the sites in  
question would tell you what they've been up to.

If you have a site with a lot of traffic, Nielsen//NetRatings track  
referrals from other sites - you could call and ask and they might  
give you the data for free.  But the sites have to be popular or they  
don't show up on the panel.

Or - you could ask the websites in question to let you see their log  
files.  But I doubt they would.

Good luck.


On 15 May 2007, at 09:20, Cristian Vaccari wrote:

> Hi all,
> I am doing research on factors that drive traffic to political  
> (parties' and caniddates') web sites. Can anyone point me to some  
> previous research in this field, e.g., studies that highlight some  
> key variables that can account for a web site's amount of visitors,  
> page views, etc.? Does not have to be about political web sites  
> (though I could not find any kind of this research on political  
> sites and would be curious to discover there is some), but also on  
> commercial, news, social-networking, or other kinds of sites.
> Thanks,
> Cristian Vaccari
> www.cristianvaccari.it
> www.comunicarepolitica.it
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Elizabeth Van Couvering
PhD Student
Department of Media & Communications
London School of Economics and Political Science
e.j.van-couvering at lse.ac.uk

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