Website Traffic is something anyone with a website knows about. But with all the different types of traffic sources and how they may affect your overall picture and what to do to make them work better for your individual business, it encompasses more than just knowing you have traffic. It needs to be understood on a very individual basis.
It’s important to have an overall picture of your website traffic, but breaking it down helps you understand which avenues are working most optimally for you and which ones you might need to put more thought and time into. Your web traffic always needs to be diverse. With changing algorithms and buying behaviors, putting all of your eggs in one basket will never produce the results you need.
Having and holding on to engaged traffic, understanding how your visitors use your site, where they come from and even where they exit from are all highly imperative elements to your overall strategy.
Here’s a quick guide on the 5 main sources of traffic:
Direct traffic can get a little fuzzy, and could take up an entire blog on its own. But for now, the simple form of direct traffic is traffic coming directly to your website through your URL (or bookmark), no via any type of search or link. Direct traffic is very valuable because the visitor is coming to you! It can speak volumes to your brand awareness and brand recognition. Visitors could also have heard or seen advertising elsewhere and made a mental note to visit your site.
This type of traffic is smaller in quality but tends to be higher converting because the visitor has already made the decision that you are of interest to them.
Organic traffic is derived from search engine lookups. Basically from users who came to your site from keyword searches from search engines such as Google or Bing for a particular product, service or brand. The majority of Organic traffic is derived freely, meaning typically at little to no cost to you. An excellent way of increasing your Organic traffic is through regular blog posts. The biggest point of improvement though is SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Optimizing your strategy is one of the most effective ways to improve your organic traffic and the most cost-effective.
Referral traffic is traffic that has been brought (referred) to your website through direct links from another site or source via hyperlinks. There are two kinds of referral traffic: Intentional and Unintentional.
Intentional traffic comes from back links from sources such as news stories, other blog stories, or industry guides, for example. Within that content is a link to content on your site that is being referenced and added as extra value. Unintentional traffic is traffic coming from links being added in places such as comments on blog posts or forums, link networks, or other places where you (or someone else) might add a link to something of value to those readers.
Referral traffic is important for many reasons. It helps increase your page rank and ultimately Google search results, it provides a source of traffic OUTSIDE of search engine results, and it can be a more valuable source of targeted traffic which has higher conversion rates.
Paid traffic arrives at your website from ad networks where you have paid for advertising and promotions. This traffic is very important to truly understand because you are paying for it! Understanding the conversion of your paid traffic is imperative to your ROI. So fully tracking whether your paid traffic is high with low conversions, or low with high conversions can make the difference between hitting it out of the park, or being on a sinking budget ship! The good news is that you have total control over your budget for paid traffic. And through optimization of your keywords, this type of traffic will not only improve over time, but it can also become very profitable.
A negative to remember though is that paid traffic is driving traffic to your website…but doesn’t necessarily mean that when the visitor gets here they find what they’re looking for. Poor keyword selection, poor landing pages, and overall poor web design can become quite costly in your paid traffic realm if not monitored and understood.
Social traffic is traffic coming to your website from social networks and platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, to name a few. It can be either organic or paid traffic based on whether it’s derived from a paid marketing campaign or just from the social media platform itself. Social traffic is one of the easiest to generate when you have a following and can help build on your following even further. Social sharing is one of the greatest ways to bring traffic to your website.
Monitoring and measuring your social traffic is an excellent gauge on what platforms work the best for your business. Not every platform works in every industry. Knowing what one’s produce the highest traffic and even the highest conversion rate for you will be key to focusing budget allocation and resources to each.
As part of any marketing campaign, measuring your traffic sources regularly is a simple process to ensuring the success of your website. Traffic is the main vein of your business and you need to always understand what your options and possibilities are in order to apply the best optimization for your site.