Understanding Website Traffic

‘Website traffic’ is a term that is often bounced around when talking about digital marketing, but this is a broad term that comprises a handful of different traffic types. It’s important to understand the difference between these sources as they should be measured individually. Here’s a quick guide.

Whilst it’s important to look at your overall traffic to your site from online sources, breaking this down enables you to understand which digital marketing avenues are performing the best and which ones need work.

Organic Traffic

Arguably one of your most important traffic types. Organic traffic represents visits from search engines – basically from users who have visited your site having conducted a keyword search for a particular product, service or brand. SEO is one of the most cost effective marketing avenues. Aside time and resources, the vast majority of activity is free and involves optimising pages, to appear as high up in the search engines results pages (SERPs). Organic traffic very often counts as your highest traffic source.

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is traffic from users who have directly visited your site, without conducting a search. This could be because they know your brand and have typed out your web address, or they have bookmarked you. Direct traffic may represent a reasonably small portion of traffic in comparison to everything else, but it’s incredibly valuable because it demonstrates brand awareness. If a user is heading straight to your site for a service, thus cutting out a search, this is a shortcut way to your services and often carries a higher conversion rate.

Referral Traffic

This is exactly as it says – traffic that has been referred from other sites. This can be intentional or unintentional. Intentional referral traffic could mean the backlinks you have grown – where you have a link back to one of your sites key pages, from a reputable source, such as a news site, an industry guide or a partner. Unintentional traffic could be links that have been created on forums or link networks where people are discussing your brand. Just be careful as some of these links can do more harm than good if they are considered ‘spammy’. Always worth checking so you can nofollow them.

PPC Traffic

This counts for any traffic from ad networks you have set up. It could be Google ads or other pay per click ads on search engines or other websites. Visitor stats are important for this source, because you are paying a fee every time someone lands on your site. Ideally you want to maximise conversion of this traffic to get a good ROI. If your conversion is low, then you need to look at making the ads and keywords more relevant to the page you are driving traffic to. And of course make sure the offer is attractive enough for people to convert.

Social Media Traffic

This is simply traffic that has come from networks like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. If you do any kind of social media marketing, then make sure you set up your Google Analytics platform to track the traffic that lands on your site from social media. This can include social media ads as well as specific promotions and general posts. Social media is a tricky medium to work, but it’s extremely cost effective when done correctly.

Stats for website traffic can be found in Google Analytics under the Behaviour >> Site Content Menu. You can further split this down by traffic type and compare different periods to see how this has changed over time.

Digital Marketing Services

Need some advice on your digital marketing? Whitefish Marketing are masters in helping clients in Kent and the south-east to grow their online presence, offering a range of online marketing services from SEO, PPCwebsite development and social media management. Give our friendly team a call on 01303 720 288.

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