Google+ is quickly proving its worth as a social traffic driver, and a look at our data suggests the network is especially worth marketers' time because of the quality of the traffic it delivers.

Google+ product manager Christian Oestlein has said that the company is accelerating the process of developing Google+ business pages, but this doesn’t mean you’ll have to wait to see the benefits of Google+ in driving traffic to your site.

The amount of social traffic the new social network drives to Brafton.com has grown steadily – and even better, our metrics suggest the network is driving high volumes of quality traffic to our site.

The Numbers Are In!

We gathered our social traffic data from Google Analytics. In the week ending July 28, Google+ surpassed Facebook in terms of the amount of traffic it delivers to our site. It drives 20.3 percent of our social traffic, ranking third – up from fourth last week. (During the seven-day period ending July 21, Google+ accounted for just 15.5 percent of our social traffic.)

Here’s a look at  Brafton.com’s social traffic breakdown for the seven-day period ending yesterday (July 28):

We, of course, recognize that our site’s individual results aren’t enough to speak to the overall social traffic-driving potential of Google+. But there are a lot of marketers presenting correlating case studies of how much traffic Google+ is driving to their sites. Earlier this week, Larry Kim of the WordStream Internet Marketing Blog shared some compelling data in his “social media showdown.” He indicated that Google+ surpassed LinkedIn as a social traffic driver to his blog during what he called “an unusually high traffic week.”

Similarly, a reporter for SecaucusNewJersey.org reports that VentureWeb.com saw 67 percent of its referral traffic fueled by Google+ in a single one day. AND a case study presented by the founder of technology blog LAUNCH via his Google+ account (of course!) indicates that his site saw 67 percent of its referral traffic come from Google+ on July 25.

It seems safe to say a lot of sites are seeing traffic from Google+, and we’ll have to wait and see whether these traffic volumes continue to grow once the “new-ness” of the social network wears off – or, conversely, whether they skyrocket once Google+ gains more mainstream adoption. (The site currently has more than 20 million users.) Perhaps the more important question marketers might be asking is whether Google+ drives relevant traffic…

Quantity… But What About Quality?

Traffic is nice, but we really want relevant visitors and to continue reaching new, engaged audiences.

In the past week, 93 percent of our Google+ visitors were first-time visitors to Brafton.com. The percentage of newcomers to our site from Google+ may level out once the social network builds its own consistent following, but at the moment, it’s helping us reach new audiences.

The Google+ visitors are also showing high levels of engagement. Google+ traffic currently boasts the lowest bounce rate among all social traffic to our site. Not only are we glad that our Google+ visitors seem especially satisfied with the content they find, but low bounce rates may be a boon for SEO. (Check out Brafton’s related blog from SMX Advanced Seattle, where experts weigh in on how interaction metrics – like bounce rates – might be an SEO ranking signal…)

We saw a slight week-over-week drop in the pages per visit from Google+ traffic (LinkedIn visitors took the lead in terms of pages per visit during the same seven-day period – thanks, LinkedIn readers!). But the week prior, Google+ had the highest number of pages per visit.

Again, these figures speak to our Brafton-specific social traffic, but the data certainly makes a strong case for us investing in Google+ and fostering a community on the space as soon as we’re able to create a business page. In the meantime, it seems like it’s worth businesses’ while to add the +1 button to their sites to encourage as much organic Google+ sharing as possible. Brafton has reported that Google CEO Larry Page says 1 billion items are shared and received on Google+ in a single day.

What kind of results are you seeing in terms of the traffic that comes to your site from Google+? Is the social network delivering quality visitors to your site?

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.