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Here’s How People Are Finding your Website (The 6 Types of Traffic Channels To Your Website)

Hey again?

You’ve built your website, it looks awesome.  You notice it needs to actively work for you by attracting new business and driving it forward. And now you are wondering the different traffic channels to drive visitors to your website? Hmm, this is nothing special but requires a lot of dedicated time and work. Today, we are going to find out the different types of traffic channels to your website.

Over the months, creating and running this website has been a very informative experience for me. From the design, creating the content, and promoting it. Whatever I have learned and still learning seems to brighten me up each day.

Furthermore, I have noticed with the web, the challenge for many businesses is to make sure that when people look for a product or service, they should strive to make sure it is them they should find and not a competitor thus explains the reason for deciding on today’s topic.

In marketing it’s not enough to only know how many people are visiting your website – you also have to know where they come from.

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First and foremost, let us realize the difference between website traffic and website traffic channels. Website traffic simply refers to the number of visitors a particular website receives whereas web traffic channels can be defined as the source through which people find your site. Then there are several ways you can get traffic to a website. Below are some common website traffic channels with ways you can drive traffic and bring more business to your brand;

Traffic Source 1. Organic Traffic/Free

If anyone tries to tell you building organic traffic is easy, don’t listen to them. This channel of traffic to your website is the hardest work you’ll ever put into your website. With that being said, it’s also the greatest investment of time and effort you can make.

The term “organic traffic” refers to the visitors that land on your website organically through search results. In other words, organic visitors find your website by entering specific keywords in search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and more, and land directly on a site.

It is important because it helps the site to function correctly and can increase the popularity of the site. Organic traffic means the content you put on your website today will drive traffic tomorrow, next month, next year, and probably even several years from now. That’s why it’s worth the effort and time. 

Although it doesn’t directly cost anything to do, for the most part, though, organic traffic is driven by SEO.  One of the easiest and most convenient ways to increase a website’s organic traffic is by publishing high-quality, relevant content regularly as blogs, case studies, white papers, video content even guest posting, creating backlinks, on-page SEO, and a whole lot more. 

Source 2. Paid Traffic

If carefully planned and executed, paying for traffic can have an extremely positive impact on your website. 

Paid traffic is any customer that visits your website after you have paid for advertising promotions. Many platforms offer paid traffic services including search engines, social media platforms, and media networks. One of the most common forms of paid traffic is Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising which utilizes Google Ad Words. Other types include Pay Per Acquisition (PPA) advertising, Cost per Thousand (CPM) impressions, and banner advertisements.

While using paid media always bear in mind, the goal of paid traffic is to acquire customers at break-even or better. Also, when it comes to paid search, the company that is willing to spend the most money to acquire a customer will usually win.

One of the many benefits of paid traffic is the fact that it’s practically instantaneous. You can set up a PPC or paid ad campaign in a matter of minutes and have it running instantly. This means you can start to receive traffic to your website on the same day. Unlike other forms of advertising out there, paid traffic offers much faster turnarounds and results.

“Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ – it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic.’”

– Adam Audette

Another benefit of paid traffic is that it allows you to target users that you never thought you’d be able to. Not only does this massively increase your exposure, but it also attracts users other advertising methods would struggle to reach. You need social media traffic. And acquisition costs are generally justifiable if you set up your campaigns correctly. Creating highly targeted ads helps you do it.

Source 3. Referral Traffic

Referral traffic refers to visitors that come to your site from sources outside of Google. It is one of three statistics tracked by Google Analytics.

Not only does referral traffic comes from backlinks but also when businesses get the right backlinks, they also deliver consistent sources of additional traffic to the website. Take for example, when a visitor clicks on a hyperlink to go to a new page on a different website, google analytics track the click as a referral click to the second website. The originating site is called a “referrer site” because it refers to traffic from one site to the next.

Besides, this website traffic channel can take the form of tracking code placed on other websites, including banner ads such as AdWords, to include a referral code linked to a specific marketing campaign. Marketing analysts can easily check the list of referrals and can better identify the interests of the customers coming from those sites. You can also analyze what they are usually reading and accordingly optimize your content for their consumption. This way, you can easily convert those visitors into customers.

Referral traffic is important for your website because it directs possible buyers to your website from other sites that might have the same target group. Helping you get your content in front of new people. Visitors trust recommendations of the other site already; hence they are comfortable getting redirected to your website.

Another benefit of referral traffic is also relevant for SEO. For instance, when someone visits a website from another site, they’re typically clicking a link or completing a specific social activity. The Google algorithm sees these links as positive ranking factors since they signal users’ confidence in the authority and relevance of the information. This allows your website to rank better on search engine pages.

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Source 4. Social Traffic

Facts! You need social media traffic. and Why? Everyone is spending time on social media. 🤗

It’s the hangout spot for people to chat with their friends and get the latest updates on their favorite TV shows. It’s also a place for you to attract new customers to your brand.

Basically, social traffic refers to the amount of traffic coming to your site through social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc. For instance, if a person clicks on a tweet or a Facebook post and then arrives on your brand’s website, it is counted as social traffic. This type of traffic may be either paid or organic traffic, depending on if it comes from your marketing campaigns on social media platforms.

It is also good to understand online content can be shared in two ways: a reader can either use a share button provided or copy and paste a link to their content onto their social media platform. From this, you can differentiate three types of social sharing: open social, closed social, and dark social platforms.

  1. Open Social is the most basic type of sharing and it’s the easiest one to measure. Open social sharing means a user sharing a post in their open social platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook (but do remember, Facebook Messenger is a closed social platform).
  2. Closed Social sharing happens in closed social platforms like  Email and WhatsApp. The way it differs from dark social is that the sharing has occurred via a Share-button, preserving the metadata. This enables a website to track visitors from these social sources.
  3. Dark Social sharing happens when someone copies a link and pastes it into a closed social channel like WhatsApp or email. During this process, the metadata within the link is lost and when the next person clicks the link, it will look like direct traffic in your analytics processor. This is when things get tricky, then, because that traffic is far from direct, as not only was it shared to a social platform, it was shared directly to the person or people receiving the link.

Social media is all the craze, but you need visitors to come to your site. Create inspiring visuals and shareable content to increase the traffic to your website from your social pages. From profile optimization to direct engagement, there’s an opportunity for your brand to get more traffic. So, invest in hiring (or outsourcing) a part-time social media manager to craft direct responses to your followers. Whether it’s a potential customer looking for a quick answer or a long-time customer needing assistance, you want someone to provide a unique reply in a timely manner.

Source 5. Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is most often the outcome of a user entering a URL into their browser’s search bar or using a bookmark to directly access the website.

Furthermore, this website traffic channel also includes users who have clicked on a site’s link through the “Favourites” categories of a browser. Also, when we talk about direct traffic, we count users clicking on links from non-indexed documents.

Direct sessions happen any time and Google Analytics cannot determine another referring source or channel. This factor differentiates direct traffic from other default channel groupings like Organic, Referrals, Social, and Paid, etc. However, direct traffic may also consist of visitors who reached the website in other ways. Some of the common instances of direct traffic include:

  1. Accessing an untagged link from an email 
  2. Clicking a link from a Microsoft Office or PDF document
  3. Accessing the site from a shortened URL
  4. Accessing a link from a mobile social media app like Facebook or Twitter as Mobile apps may not pass referrer information.
  5. A case of a user reaching a non-secure (HTTP) site from a link on a secure (HTTPS) site. This is because the secure site won’t pass a referrer to the non-secure site. For example, if a user clicks a link on “test1.com” to go to “test2.com”, the analytics for example2.com will show the session as direct.
  6. Accessing a website from an organic search may end up being shown as direct traffic due to browser issues. An experiment conducted by Groupon reported that as high as 60% of direct traffic may be from organic search. 

In a way, direct traffic is the most targeted traffic you can get. This source brings you visitors who are already familiar with what you have to offer and they choose to come back for more. Usually, people come back to your website to find something specific. Or, maybe to see some new, interesting posts you have.

These people are already familiar with your website. They like you. As people keep coming back, it increases their loyalty to you. You can develop this type of traffic channel by becoming the master of your niche, relentlessly provide value, pick a great domain name, and build a community along with your brand.

Addon Source 6. Miscellaneous Traffic

Lastly, this category among the website traffic channels includes any source not classified as the above list. This could be a result of any marketing campaign you have run on any other platform to acquire traffic. Any unclassified web traffic can be termed as miscellaneous traffic. Marketing analysts can further look into this undefined source of traffic and classify it into any of the above-listed categories. 

Wrapping Up

The Google Analytics Channel Groupings reveal the specific sources of your traffic, showing you the number of visitors that came from each source as well as the percentage of visitors from each source. Each web traffic source is an indicator of the health of your website. A high volume of referral traffic depicts that your brand website is being frequently talked about by 3rd party websites or on social networking sites.

Furthermore, measuring website traffic helps unlock a goldmine of insights about your visitors, therefore helping you figure out what works and what doesn’t to build a highly-engaging website that ultimately drives better conversions. For example, you can see a list of the top websites that are sending traffic to your website. Also, see the types of search queries that visitors are searching on before clicking through to your website. What specific pages are they looking at? Which of your social channels is drawing the largest number of visitors each month? and many more.

Understanding the customer journey is extremely varied, so remember that in reality, a mix of organic and paid traffic is usually the most effective way to grow a business. Moreover, the most effective method depends on your brand and your customers — and you’ll only learn this through trial and error (plus a bit of optimization).

Understanding the traffic channels to your website and keeping an eye on the volume of traffic each sends to your website will be very beneficial as you build and analyze your marketing efforts for each source.

Hopefully, this is useful to you and your website and I managed to bring some light. Use this info. Optimize your social media channels and website to maximize traffic and then conversions. Build your future marketing strategy by looking at the behavior of your channels, and trends of where you are having the most success. Do more of what is working, and re-evaluate efforts that are not. 👍😉

“Take a risk and keep testing, because what works today won’t work tomorrow, but what worked yesterday may work again.”

 

Do you know any traffic channels to a website I have left out? Kindly share your comments and subscribe with us below.

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