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As Adam Audette, veteran digital marketer remarked, today it isn't about getting the traffic, but getting the relevant and targeted traffic. Is your website getting enough targeted traffic?

Managing the website of your new start-up or SME is one of the most rudimental yet intricate tasks that you need to take care of. More traffic to your website means more brand awareness and better conversions.

But where do you get all the traffic from and how do you maintain the flow?

Here's your GPS to get a better understanding of the web traffic map, how it works for your website and how you can effectively leverage the same for your business.


Before learning how to leverage the website traffic effectively, you need to understand the types of traffic that pour into your website, their sources and impact. Here are the five primary categories of online traffic:


Any traffic that comes to your website from directly typing your website URL or name is considered direct traffic. Such traffic primarily consists of people who know your website or brand. Direct traffic could also come from clicks on PDF document links or text messages. Direct traffic is stronger when your brand or business is already established or has passed the threshold of brand awareness.

"Direct navigation traffic is by far the most highly targeted form of web traffic available."

Where does direct traffic come from?

  • Through search engines or social media posts

  • Second-time visitors who return to your site

  • From offline marketing or advertising strategies like business cards, promotional pamphlets, direct mail, etc.

Why is direct traffic important?

You can count direct visitors to be the life and blood of your website; they'll send others your way, often return to your site, purchase your products, sign up for almost everything you have to offer, and spread the word about your business.

To begin with, you may receive very little direct traffic to your website. Don't worry, over time, with wise and adequate content marketing strategies, you will experience progress.

How do you measure direct traffic?

Browsers do not always record the source of a visit when the visitor arrives at a website. Direct traffic is assumed if your analytics tool is unable to determine the source of the traffic to your webpage. Your statistics don't know where this visitor came from, so they automatically place them in the direct traffic bucket.


When people find your website from a search engine's unpaid ("organic" or natural) search results (or SERPs), you've received your share of organic traffic. Such visitors find your website in response to their search queries or typed keywords.

Where does organic traffic come from?

  • Search engine results on enquiries related to the products or services you offer

  • Search queries that contain industry-relevant keywords

  • Search queries related to similar products, services, or solutions as yours

Why is organic traffic important?

This is the most sought-after traffic as it depends on direct search results and relevant keywords. The fundamental goal of SEO is to increase organic traffic to your website - the reason why SEO emphasizes keywords, and relevant and quality content.

"Succesful SEO is not about tricking Google, but partnering with Google to provide the best search engine results for Google's users."

Also, organic traffic is highly scalable: the more you invest, the greater your returns.

In terms of lead generation and on-page behavior, organic traffic consistently outperforms all others as it considers issues directly related to your website, services, and expertise.

How do you measure organic traffic?

For starters, organic traffic is generated by genuine enquiries by "real" people who come to your website seeking a solution to a problem they may be experiencing.

A significant percentage of clicks and visits to your website may come from uninvited sources, such as robots and machines. In PPC (pay-per-click advertising), some organizations utilize software to boost the number of clicks to learn more in the long run. As this isn't human traffic, there will be no conversion rate and has no effect on website metrics and growth. Hence, to increase your site's organic or natural traffic, you must adopt effective SEO strategies.

Having a steady stream of organic visitors also helps your website maintain higher search engine rankings (SERPs). You may see a drop in organic traffic if your promos and adverts don't stay on-brand for an extended period. On the other hand, natural and organic methods can help you build a solid online reputation.


Google uses the term "referral traffic" to describe the number of visitors that came to your website from sources other than Google search. Referral visits are tracked in Google Analytics when someone clicks on an external link like a social media page, another website, or blog and land on a different website.

Thus referral traffic is in fact traffic that is referred to your site from other sources. It directs traffic from one location to another and the starting site is referred to as a "referrer." Google Analytics tracks three metrics, including referral traffic. Search traffic (visitors from a search engine) and direct traffic (direct search for a website) are the other two.

Where does referral traffic come from?

Referral traffic comes from backlinks. It include:

  • Blogs

  • News sites

  • Directories

  • External search engines.

Why is referral traffic important?

"A trusted referral influences people more than the best broadcast message. A trusted referral is the Holy Grail of advertising."

Referral traffic plays an important role in inbound marketing. It sends you potential visitors from credible domains and also ensures better and wider reach for your content. With the help of UTM tracking, you may also find out the sites or social profiles that generate the most traffic for your website.

Referral traffic also influences SEO. When someone visits your website from another site by clicking a link, the Google algorithm interprets it as a sign of relevant and authoritative content on your website and rate the link as a positive ranking factor.

Referral traffic influences brand awareness and future leads ensure better SEO through backlinks and help reach a new and diverse audience.

How do you measure referral traffic?

Using customer/lead surveys, analysis of current referral traffic connections, reverse engineering of competition traffic sources (using a tool like SimilarWeb), and research of industry resources (such as online magazines or content sharing platforms) are the most successful methods to measure referral traffic.


Social traffic is those visits you get from various social media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter etc. When someone clicks on a post on your social media and it leads to your website, it is counted as social traffic.

Where does social traffic come from?

  • Your social media posts and ads

  • Organic posts from other social media profiles

Why is social traffic important?

"Good conversations always drive traffic"

Social traffic is very scalable, much like organic traffic. If one of your posts goes viral on social media, you're likely to experience a massive increase in traffic to your website as a result. Your social popularity, content value, follower engagement, and overall social media strategy may all be gauged by the number of social traffic you get.

Social traffic and SEO go hand-in-hand as the content on your social media not only fuels your social media presence but also creates landing pages in the SERPs. Your website will gain better links that further boost your brand's online presence.

How do you measure social traffic?

Google Analytics tracks the impact of social traffic on your website taking into consideration retweets and such vanity metrics.


Digital marketers use the term "email traffic" to describe the traffic originating from email campaigns. It’s the number of people who visit your website after clicking a link you’ve provided within the email. Because it is created from existing leads and customers, it's one of the most beneficial traffic sources to your website.

Where does email traffic come from?

  • Email newsletters

Why is email traffic important?

"Email has an ability many channels don't creating valuable, personal touches - at scale."

A high volume of email traffic indicates how successfully your list (or subscribers) has been cultivated and how well you are remarketing your company to potential customers.

People aren't going to give away their email addresses without much thought or consideration (anymore). They're well aware that this might lead to a deluge of pointless emails piling up in their inbox. If you don't nurture and care for your email list, they won't open or click on anything you give them. This is why it's so crucial to draft target-centric, personalized and attractive email content. A large volume of email traffic indicates that you have a highly targeted list of customers interested in your brand.

How do you measure email traffic?

By assessing the traffic that's sent to your website due to your email marketing campaigns, you can measure email traffic. Email traffic may be increased by building a list of engaged subscribers and nurturing those subscribers.


Always keep in mind that no matter what kind of traffic you're trying to boost, every single person who visits your site is an opportunity. Make it a goal to keep them engaged with high-quality informative content after their initial visit, and entice them to spread the word about your brand. Leverage all types of web traffic possible through well-planned and effective content marketing strategies.

To borrow the words of Marc Ostrofsky, the American entrepreneur and venture capitalist, good web practice and optimizing your website for greater conversions impact the SEO factor. All these work hand in hand to drive better traffic to your web pages and in turn, influence your business and brand awareness.


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