If you are a veteran to SEO and digital marketing, you probably already know the ins and outs of search engines, internal linking, and any way a client might be able to get to your page. If you’re not a veteran, all these terms might be a bit overwhelming. This is a list of the six basic types of traffic your website might get, and this is for you.
1. Organic traffic
Often considered the best type of traffic, organic traffic describes when a client searches something related to your business and ultimately find their way to your page. You don’t have to pay to get them there, they find you on their own. It’s the romantic meet-cute of web-traffic.
The best way to increase your organic traffic is to improve your website SEO. Work with Google’s algorithms to increase your page rankings, and make sure to have content the client both wants and trusts.
2. Paid Traffic
Paid traffic is made up of clients who got to your page by clicking through an advertisement. There’s some overlap between paid and social traffic, but for the sake of this article let’s say that paid traffic is any advertisement on any web-platform.
Advertising will only increase your customer base if the page they land on is well built. If a client clicks on an advertisement and finds a slow page with bad content, they’re likely to bounce (leave the page in less than 10 seconds without interacting with any aspect of the page). Advertising costs money, so make sure you make it worth it for the people who click-through.
3. Social Traffic
Social media is a huge opportunity for growing your brand presence, and if you don’t have a solid presence on whatever platforms are popular in your country you’re neglecting a huge portion of your market. Not only will a presence on social media open you up to a much larger client base, but it will also help to build your brand identity. At the very least, it will be an easy access point for customers to find information about you. Even if you never post anything make sure to put all your information on your social media platforms. Business location, hours, contact info, all this will make your business feel more trustworthy and accessible.
4. Local Traffic
Local traffic is only really relevant if your business has a physical location that customers can visit. If this is your business, its vital that you set up your business information on the main Location Citation Sources. This will help build your local customer base and increase the trustworthiness.
Local traffic is the more palpable version of social traffic: set it up well and people will find you without knowing who you are; just set it up and people who know who you are will be able to find you.
5. Referred Traffic
Referral traffic comes from clients following links from other webpages. Maybe they found their way to the website of your furniture business through a link you put on a Smithsonian article about antique chairs. Maybe they found their way to a legal blog through a random link to a 2017 post about the State of New York banning child marriage. Referral traffic is a significant percentage of web traffic, and link-building is a task that shouldn’t be neglected. The number of links referring to your website helps to build your page rankings in search engines like Google.
6. Direct Traffic
Direct traffic comes from people typing your URL into their browser or clicking on a bookmarked link. Direct traffic can be hard to analyze, as there’s no real information on why or from where the client decided to visit your website. This isn’t ideal for tracking client behaviors or knowing what changes to make to optimize your online presence, but it is traffic.
There is overlap within these subsections of web traffic: Facebook Ads blending from paid into social, links in Twitter posts sitting on the intersection of referral and social, a local news article linking your local law firm bridging the gap between local and referral. The best way to increase your traffic from all origins is to make sure your website follows SEO best practices and is prepared for optimal user experience.