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The Top Sources and Trends in B2B Website Traffic

B2B marketers have been on a wild ride over the past five years, as the economy went into and then came out of COVID-era shutdowns. How have the primary drivers of B2B website traffic changed, particularly search and social media? How do those trends vary between different segments like enterprise software, B2B professional services, and B2B healthcare?

Image credit: Mikael Blomkvist on Pexels

Here’s a dive into those questions, plus the detail behind them, such as a breakdown of social media traffic by source. The total sample size is less than 30, so your mileage may definitely vary. But the charts and findings below show the trends within this sample, which give an indication of broader industry experience.

B2B Website Traffic Trends Over Time

The charts below are divided into six 10-month time periods, covering the past five years:

May 2019 through February 2020 — Pre-COVID: This was the “Goldilocks economy” (low unemployment, low inflation, strong growth) period immediately preceding the nightmare that was 2020.

March 2020 through December 2020 — Early COVID: The hard lockdown phase when the stock market plunged, unemployment spiked, offices emptied out as everyone (who could) began working from home, and we all had to adjust on the fly.

January 2021 through October 2021 — Late COVID: The era of social distancing, masks, and vaccine cards.

November 2021 through August 2022 — Early Reopening: By the late fall / holiday season of 2021, people began tentatively gathering, maskless, in groups again.

September 2022 through June 2023 — Post-COVID: The coronavirus was still with us, but had mutated to become far less deadly by this point. People were just done with the whole thing. The pandemic was officially declared over in May 2023.

July 2023 through April 2024 — New Normal: Employment is back to pre-pandemic levels and the stock market is roaring. Unfortunately, all that pandemic-era government spending drove up inflation, and though the overall economy is healthy (for now), worries about a potential recession are keeping business executives cautious.

Overall B2B Web Traffic Trends: More Visits, But Less Social

Total web traffic among the companies studied fell by about 10% during the pandemic, but has rebounded strongly since reopening. Overall, B2B website visits were up 42% in the most recent 10-month period compared the months before COVID.

Trends all B2B website traffic by source

However, the sources of that traffic have shifted considerably. Organic search traffic plunged during the pandemic, rebounded strongly when the economy reopened, and ended up essentially flat over the past 10 months compared to the pre-COVID period. Total social media visits fell by nearly half (down 43%).

But traffic increased from “all other” sources (direct, email, paid, and referral visits).

Share of total B2B website traffic by source over time

The bottom line is that over the past five years, the share of total B2B site traffic from organic search has fallen from 39% to 27%, and from social media from 3% to 1%, while the share from “all other” sources has grown from 58% to 72%.

Overall B2B Social Media Traffic Trends: LinkedIn Getting More Dominant

Over the six 10-month periods in this study, traffic from all social networks has steadily declined (other than a spike in LinkedIn visits as the marketplace opened up immediately post-COVID).

B2B social media traffic trends

Again though, the relative shares of traffic from different social networks tells a more actionable story.

All B2B share of social media traffic by network trends

Over these six time periods covering the past five years:

  • The share of B2B social media traffic from Twitter has fallen from 14% to 9%.
  • The share from “other” social networks (primarily Facebook, but also Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Reddit) has declined from 32% to 19%.
  • But the share driven by LinkedIn has increased from just over half (54%) to nearly three-quarters (72%).

The guidance indicated for B2B marketers in general is: don’t over-allocate time to organic social media, as it just doesn’t drive that much traffic. But of the time you do spend, focus primarily on LinkedIn (of course) while maintaining some level of effort on X/Twitter.

The next three sections will take a closer look at website traffic trends in specific B2B segments: enterprise software, professional services, and healthcare.

B2B Enterprise Software Web Traffic Trends: Search, LinkedIn Dominate

Looking specifically at the enterprise software vendors in this sample, a few differences from the overall numbers stood out.

First, total web traffic (with some bumps along the way) was flat; the software companies in this group collectively had essentially the same number of visits over the last 10 months as during the 10 months preceding the pandemic.

Organic search visits were 10% higher, while traffic from social media was up 7%.

Taking a look at the share of traffic from different sources, the proportion coming from organic search increased from 35% pre-COVID to 39% over the past 10 months, while the share driven by social networks was flat at about 3%.

B2B enterprise software website traffic by source trends

Within social media traffic, two shifts jumped out. The share of total media visits coming from LinkedIn jumped from 63% to 87%, while the proportion coming from X/Twitter plunged from 12% to just 4%.

LinkedIn dominates social media traffic share for B2B enterprise software

Again, your mileage may vary. And there’s a good argument to be made that software companies should maintain a presence on X/Twitter at least for customer service reasons. But LinkedIn is even more dominant in this market than in other B2B sectors.

B2B Professional Services Web Traffic Trends: Search and Social Are Down, but X/Twitter Surprises

Diving into the B2B services segment, total web traffic—as with the enterprise software companies—was virtual identical over the past 10 months as in the period just before the pandemic.

However, the sources of that traffic shifted dramatically over the past five years. Visits from organic search fell 40%, while social media traffic plunged 73%.

Consequently, in terms of share of website traffic driven, the share of all visits driven by organic search declined from nearly half (48%) to just 29% in five years. The proportion coming from social networks dropped from 4% to 1%.

Share of total B2B professional services website traffic by source trends

Looking into the detail behind social media traffic, it’s interesting how LinkedIn plays a much smaller role in services than in software. LinkedIn generally accounts for no more than half of all social media visits. The share of social media traffic provided by X/Twitter, on the other hand, has actually increased over the past five years, from 15% to 18%.

Trends in share of social media website traffic for B2B professional services sites by network

The takeaways for B2B services providers? Don’t give up on X/Twitter, but…the biggest bang for the buck may be in reversing the slide in search traffic.

B2B Healthcare Web Traffic Trends: Strong Growth, But Not Social

Over the past five years, total traffic to the healthcare companies in this sample set more than tripled, search traffic nearly tripled, and overall social media visits rose 81%.

Diving into the data reveals some interesting differences from the B2B enterprise software and professional services segments looked at above. First, the share by source of traffic has remained amazingly consistent:

  • Organic search has consistently provided between 20% and 24% of all visits.
  • Social media has consistently accounted for less than 1% of total traffic.
  • Which means…”all other” (again: direct, email, paid, and referral) sources provided 74% to 79% of all visits in each time period.

Traffic trends to B2B healthcare websites by source

Among social networks, the share of traffic from LinkedIn has grown steadily over the past five years (other than the strange drop during the early days of COVID) from 43% to 60%. The proportion from X/Twitter has gradually declined from 14% to 8%.

Traffic share trends of B2B healthcare websites by social network

The biggest takeaway here is that the primary opportunities for B2B healthcare companies to grow website traffic are outside of search and social. Social media overall drives less than 1% of all traffic, and X/Twitter accounts for less than 10% of that, so…healthcare companies may not want to spend a lot of time and resources there.

The Bottom Line on B2B Web Traffic Trends by Source

Again, your mileage may vary, but it’s clear from these numbers that while organic search remains one of the top sources of traffic, it’s getting more challenging. B2B digital marketers will need to stay on top of evolving SEO best practices to address the impact of AI.

Social media represents a much smaller by engaged and important source of B2B website traffic. LinkedIn is becoming even more dominant, while X/Twitter remains, for now, the second-most valuable social network in B2B—but is at risk of losing that spot.

Final note on chart re-use: As long as you retain the image credit to Webbiquity LLC, feel free to re-use any of these charts in blog posts, presentations, tattoos (hmm…maybe not) or wherever. A backlink isn’t required but would certainly be appreciated.



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