Somehow, almost one-third of all small businesses are operating without websites at the moment. That’s a staggering number when you really sit back and think about it.
If your small business falls into this category right now, you should set out to change that ASAP. You should not be trying to run a small business in 2022 without a website.
But you should also take things a step further. Outside of just creating a website for your small business, you should have a good understanding of the different website traffic sources.
It’s imperative that you know where your website traffic can come from. By identifying your web traffic sources, you can improve your website rankings over time.
Today, we’re going to talk about the different website traffic sources so that you know what they are. We’re also going to touch on how each of these web traffic sources will benefit your business. And while we’re at it, we’ll sprinkle in some business SEO tips, too.
Here is everything you need to know about website traffic sources.
What Are the Main Website Traffic Sources?
Before we begin discussing each of the specific website traffic sources, we want to list them for you so that you know what they all are. The main web traffic sources that we’re going to break down today are:
- Direct traffic
- Referral traffic
- Organic traffic
- Social traffic
It’s going to be essential for you to monitor each of these website traffic sources over time to see which one is bringing the most people to your site. But to do that, you’ll need to know more about each specific one. So, let’s get down to business…
What Is Direct Traffic?
Direct traffic is the type of traffic that your website will get when people pull up their web browsers and type your URL in. If your company is called, say, Cooper’s Delicious Cupcakes and your website is coopersdeliciouscupcakes.com, direct traffic is going to come from those who type that all out to visit your site.
Generally speaking, direct traffic is going to come from those who are already familiar with your brand. These people are often going to be some of your most loyal customers.
But it’s worth noting that direct traffic might also come from:
- Those who heard an advertisement for your company on the radio or on TV
- Those who saw your print ad in a magazine or newspaper
- Those who spotted your website on a business card, flyer, etc.
It’s usually safe to say that most of your direct traffic can be traced back to those who wanted to find out more about your business by visiting your specific site.
How Can Direct Traffic Benefit Your Business?
Direct traffic can benefit your business in a big way. More specifically, it can prove to you that a marketing campaign is working or that people are beginning to become more familiar with your brand as a whole.
You should feel good about any direct traffic that you’re able to get. It’ll indicate that you’re doing something right when it comes to running your business.
But at the same time, you’re not always going to learn a whole lot from direct traffic. For instance, you aren’t going to know why those who are visiting your site are doing it. They might be coming to your site because of an ad they’ve heard, but they might also be doing it because a friend told them about your business.
You should still take a ton of pride in any direct traffic that your website gets. But it’s not going to be one of the most useful website traffic sources for your business.
What Is Referral Traffic?
Referral traffic can also be very beneficial to your business. It refers to any website traffic that originates from other places that are found on the internet.
For example, you might get some referral traffic to your website when links to it are posted on:
- News sites
- Search engines
In some cases, you might go out and actively try to convince other sites to cover your site to increase your referral traffic. But in other instances, you might get referral traffic in a more organic way (such as a blogger seeing your site and thinking enough of it to link to it in a post!).
Additionally, you can often generate your own referral traffic by leaving comments on news articles, blogs, etc. with links back to your site. If enough people come across your comments, it could lead to a spike in your website traffic numbers.
How Can Referral Traffic Benefit Your Business?
Just like with direct traffic, referral traffic can benefit your business in any number of ways. First and foremost, it’ll give you some sense of what your company’s reach is. You’ll be able to see which news writers, bloggers, etc. are talking about your brand online.
Referral traffic will also give you an opportunity to force the issue at times as far as increasing your traffic numbers is concerned. You can work hard to beef up these numbers by connecting with those who run other sites.
The only real downside to utilizing this website traffic source is that you’ll have to roll up your sleeves in many cases to reap the rewards of it. It’s going to take some extra effort on your part to convince others to post links to your site on their sites.
What Is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic has turned into a key component of the digital marketing strategies set up by many companies. It consists of all those who visit your company’s website after seeing it appear on search engine results pages.
Google and the other search engines have created algorithms that are designed to provide people with links to the most knowledgeable sites possible when they search for different things. So if your site is able to get organic traffic, it usually means that it’s filled with what the search engines consider to be useful content.
You can give your site a big boost in terms of website rankings by using search engine optimization, or SEO, to your advantage. SEO strategies call for companies to add certain keywords, links, etc. to the content on their sites.
You can come up with SEO strategies on your own if you want. But you can also enlist a company like Direction to provide you with the SEO services that you need. Either way, it’ll be important to make a big push to bring in as much organic traffic as you can to your site.
How Can Organic Traffic Benefit Your Business?
You really can’t overstate how beneficial organic traffic can be to your company’s website. If you aren’t getting enough organic traffic, it could cause some huge problems for your business as a whole.
There are almost 7 billion Google searches that are done on a daily basis. And while a large percentage of those aren’t going to redirect people to your website, a tiny fraction of them could. If you’re able to get organic traffic through a sliver of these searches, it’ll mean the world to your business.
The more organic traffic that your website is able to bring in, the better off your business is going to be in the long run. You shouldn’t be shy about trying anything and everything to increase your organic traffic numbers.
What Is Social Traffic?
For a long time, direct traffic, referral traffic, and organic traffic were really the only website traffic sources. But in more recent years, social traffic has also started to take off.
As you might imagine, social traffic refers to any website traffic that you get through social media sites like:
Some of your social traffic can come about thanks to social media posts that you put up. All it takes is a single viral post to spark a whole lot of interest in your business.
But you should also find ways to get other people to either share your social media posts or, better yet, put up social media posts about your website themselves. These things will also drive your social traffic numbers up.
Some social media sites are going to bring in more social traffic than others. Facebook, for example, is usually going to be the biggest social traffic contributor for most businesses.
But you should try using all the social media sites that we just mentioned (and others!) to see which ones work best for you. You might be surprised to see which ones spark the biggest reactions and generate the most social traffic.
How Can Social Traffic Benefit Your Business?
Studies have suggested that nearly 100% of Fortune 500 companies rely on social media to build up their brands in some way. With this in mind, you would think that almost all small businesses would jump on the bandwagon and try to put social media to good use.
But these same studies have also found that a large number of small businesses don’t believe in social media enough to set up accounts. These small businesses are, therefore, missing out on the chance to bring in social traffic.
It would be silly for you not to at least try to see how social traffic could benefit your business. It should be able to improve your web traffic numbers while also helping your SEO at the same time.
Which Website Traffic Sources Should You Focus on Most?
At the end of the day, you should focus on all four of these website traffic sources to some degree. If you’re not doing this already, you should start doing it so that you’re generating more web traffic than ever before.
But you might want to focus on some website traffic sources more than others. Organic traffic is the one that seems to stand out the most.
You aren’t going to have a ton of control over your direct traffic. You’ll need to cross your fingers and hope that your marketing campaigns are making a big enough impact to send your direct traffic numbers skyrocketing. But there aren’t any guarantees.
You also aren’t going to be able to assume too much control over your referral traffic. You’ll just need to hope that other people see the value in your business and want to link to your site because of it.
But with organic traffic, you’ll be in the driver’s seat. You’ll get the chance to optimize your SEO efforts so that more people start to see your site pop up when they use search engines. And as long as you play your cards right, you should see noticeable changes when you aim to improve your SEO.
You should also devote at least some time to your social traffic. It’s almost as valuable to your brand as organic traffic is.
But if you don’t do anything else, make it your mission to get your organic traffic numbers up. That alone will make your business more successful.
Take Full Advantage of All the Different Website Traffic Sources
As you can see here, there are several different website traffic sources that you should be aware of. Each of them is going to play a role in how much traffic your site brings in over the years.
Your goal should be to get to know these website traffic sources as well as you can. They might make or break your business in the end, which is why you need to familiarize yourself with them and take advantage of them as you move forward.
Want more tips on helping your business to succeed? Get them by reading through some of the other business-minded articles posted on our blog.