The Most Popular Types of Website Traffic

The Most Popular Types of Website Traffic

You’re looking at your sales numbers and they’re not quite where you’d like them to be. You’re wondering why. You have an online presence; so why aren’t those numbers climbing? Well, there’s another number you should be looking at first… your website traffic, aka the number of people visiting your online location. You need to increase your traffic before looking at changing your offers again. 

Here is a list of the most popular types of website traffic.

Direct Traffic

This category includes the people who arrived on your website by inputting your URL (link) directly in the browser. That means they already knew about you beforehand. They may be return clients, prospects who had saved your website under your browser’s bookmarks to check it later, or a first-time visitor who just heard about you. Regardless, this is a good sign because it means you are starting to create some brand awareness.

Direct traffic is hard to establish when you first get started. You will need to do lots of offsite marketing. The other issue with it is the fact that many of the visitors may not be interested in buying from you but just curious about your offers. Still, their traffic is just as important because they can generate informed word of mouth (WoM), especially if you also get them to spend some time on there. 

Some other ways you can increase direct traffic include:

  • Traditional marketing (distributing printed flyers, hanging tear-off posters, getting a spot in a newspaper or a magazine)
  • Cold outreach (calls, emails, or text messages to your target audience)
  • Networking (business cards, presenting at online/offline events or setting up a booth in a highly populated area)

You will need to be strategic about your marketing and try to be present where most of your target audience hangs out. Otherwise, you would just be wasting your resources.

Organic Traffic

We’ve touched upon this one a few times before. These are the people who searched for you or your services/products using a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. This is one of the most popular ways of getting found online but it requires a lot of effort.

One of the ways to get organic traffic is by getting your SEO (search engine optimization) in check.  This means optimizing your website content, meta title, meta descriptions, alt text, and URL’s to include relevant, frequently used keywords (short and long-form), as well as improving your upload speed, creating the best user experience, and submitting your URL and sitemap to the search engine console. A newer trend for generating organic traffic is voice marketing, which basically translates to spoken SEO for audio content like podcasts and videos.

Paid Traffic

If you have specific details about your target market and a budget then this is an effective method that will get you in front of qualified leads faster. However, you can wind up spending a lot of money while gambling on results if you don't have your target information correct. And, sometimes there's a lot of trial and error involved with ensuring you have the right information and finding your target audience. 

You would be paying for the advertisements, whether offline or online. Online ads are more effective, however, because you can usually target them to specific audiences based on variables like demographics and psychographics. Another reason they are more effective is because people can click on them to get to your website without having to remember your URL.

A few examples of paid advertisement techniques are SEM (search engine marketing), Google Ads, social media ads, TV/radio ads, podcast mentions, native ads or demos (when your product or service is highlighted as the main topic of a show), banners, stealth marketing (having celebrities use/advocate for your products/services or placing them within a movie setting), and many more. Advertisements can be a bit pricy; so if you’re planning to use them, you definitely need to set a separate budget for that.

Email-generated Traffic

This one refers to email campaigns and newsletter/subscriptions. These are the people who have interacted with your business or somehow got on your email list. They may have attended one of your free workshops or signed up for your newsletter in exchange for a downloadable freebie.

Regular email newsletters or short-term email campaigns are great for giving leads a taste of what it’s like to work with you, or a teaser of all they could learn by visiting your site. They are also quite convenient since you can insert clickable hyperlinks directly in there. Even if a subscriber does not read more than the subject line of your email, you still have the advantage of being at the forefront of their minds if or when they decide to make a purchase.

Referral Traffic

This one is quite self-explanatory; the visitor arrived on your website because someone they trusted referred them to it. These are extremely effective because of two reasons: they were looking for a service or product like yours, and they have now transferred part of that trust onto you.

You’ll find many variations of referral systems, such as Ambassador Programs, Influencer Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, or Collaborations/Partnerships. The person or institution referring you (aka your ambassador) might get a discount on your services, a prize, a regular lump sum of money, or some other benefit. They may do a one-time shout-out for you or engage in frequent promotional services. 

Influencers, affiliates, and partners have more of an exclusive relationship with your services or products. You would be the only provider that they recommend in that niche and, oftentimes, your offers would be in some way complementary to theirs. For example, a website development company could partner with a hosting provider. Each would advertise only the other one’s services (within that niche) and offer some benefits to both to their own customers and to each other.

Understanding the different types of traffic that can land on your website is a great step towards getting more exposure and visibility. If you are still having challenges getting traffic or if you could use some assistance, I am always happy to help you out.

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