Website Traffic Sources

Where is Your Traffic Coming From?

traffic sourcesIf you are running a successful Internet marketing campaign, you should be getting traffic from several different sources.

Let’s take a look at the different traffic sources so you will understand how to interpret your website analytics.

Paid Advertising Traffic

First, you can get traffic from paid advertising campaigns. If you run a pay-per-click campaign, people who click on your ad will go to your website. You will pay for the click, which means you will basically be paying for the traffic.

Organic Search Traffic

Organic traffic is free and it comes directly from the search engines. In order to get free traffic, you have to show up in search results. That means your site needs to be indexed with the search engines, and it also needs to be optimized so it will show up in the results.

It’s important to understand that people will use specific keywords to find your site through organic search, and you can benefit from finding out what those keywords are. For instance, if you sell guitars and you find out that a lot of people are finding your site by searching “buy guitars in Boston,” you will know that you need to use that key phrase in your blog posts and your link building campaign. Unfortunately, though, some keywords are encrypted, so you can’t get the data that was once available. Basically, if someone is signed into Google and conducts a search, the search engine encrypts the data. However, you can still get a lot of keyword data, since most people aren’t signed in to Google when they use the web.

Email Marketing Traffic

If you’re running an email marketing campaign, you should be including links inside of the emails. These links can take people to your blog or to your main website. You need to track how many people go from your emails to your website. You also need to pay attention to what content you provided when they decided to visit your site. Did you give a free offer with a call-to-action? Maybe you gave away a coupon, or sent out a blog post with some compelling information. Take note of what converts.

Referral Traffic

Link building is an important aspect of Internet marketing. Search engines analyze the links that point to your website. If they come from high ranked authority sites, they will actually help you in the search engine rankings. On top of that, the inbound links can help you get some traffic. When people click on these links and go to your site, you get referral traffic.

It’s a good idea to get some inbound links from .gov and .edu sites if possible. Also, try to guest blog on authority sites so you can get some quality inbound links and lots of referral traffic.

Social Network Traffic

You can also get traffic from social networks. This is growing in popularity, so be sure to get your links out there on the social networks.

Direct Linking Traffic

Direct linking occurs when sometime types your URL into the search bar and goes directly to your website. It’s important to note that you need a URL that is easy to remember for this to work. If your URL contains a lot of hyphens and numbers, or if it is hosted on a subdomain, people will have a hard time remembering it.

A solid campaign will have a good mixture of all of the above mentioned traffic sources, with the possible exception of direct linking. If you aren’t getting a lot of traffic from direct linking, you don’t need to be alarmed, since your repeat customers are likely accessing your site from your email links or social networks.

By Kelli Wilkinson

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