About 5 to 10 percent of traffic to Facebook pages comes from external sources rather than from within Facebook, according to data from PageLever.
The Facebook analytics company looked at 500 Facebook pages each with more than 100,000 fans and found that the average of 7.56 percent of traffic to pages came from external referrals between March 2011 and February 2012.
This information can help page owners understand that a relatively small percentage of their audience is arriving from other sites besides Facebook. It also gives page owners a benchmark for their own performance and some perspective if they are actively trying to optimize their page’s search engine rankings.
If a page is getting a greater amount of traffic from external referrals, PageLever cofounder Jeff Widman recommends that pages tailor their cover photo and pinned posts toward these new visitors. Many of these people could be visitors from a company website or users who found the page via a search engine, so Widman says this is an opportunity for a brand to convince a potential new customer that it is actively engaging with fans and other consumers.
Facebook no longer provides page owners with a breakdown their traffic from within Facebook.com, but admins can view their top external referrers from the insights dashboard, under the tab called “Reach.” This referral data can also be exported so that page owners can track which sites are bringing the most users to their Facebook page over time. However, it’s unclear whether this is a complete list of traffic sources or just a sample of the top referrers.
Regarding the few large spikes in external traffic in the graph above, Widman says these were anomalies in the data and did not appear to be trends across all pages.