Website Traffic: Types, Definition and Explanation!

Last Updated on 27th November 2022 by Ajmer Singh

Understand Website Traffic!

Every website owner wishes for only one thing, i.e. more traffic.

We all know how important is traffic for a business. It is a source of revenue for website owners.

If you have enough traffic on your website, you can easily convert the traffic into sales.

But to do this, you need to know from which source the traffic is being generated.

There are different types of website traffic.

You can use Google Analytics to check the traffic as well as the type of traffic.

With this information, you can take adequate steps to generate more traffic. The source of traffic is the key.

For example, if there is more direct traffic and less social traffic on your website, you can undertake measures to increase the social traffic as well.

It will give you added benefits in the form of increased conversion rate and revenue.

In this post, we are going to discuss different types of website traffic.

You can use this information to increase your website traffic from different sources and use appropriate traffic-generating strategies.

Different Types of Website Traffic:

There are four main types of traffic on websites. They are as follows.

  • Direct Traffic
  • Organic Traffic
  • Referral Traffic 
  • Social Traffic

We are going to discuss these four main types of website traffic in this post.

1. Direct Traffic:

different types of website traffic

It is one of the most common types of website traffic. You can generate this traffic using simple techniques.

If any visitor visits your website directly, it is known as direct traffic.

Direct traffic is when people type in your website URL while looking for something else or use a bookmark to access your site.

Direct traffic is not tied to any keywords and therefore it’s very hard to determine how your site got this traffic.

You don’t have to use any channels or mediums for this traffic; people will directly visit your website.

If someone visits your website by using your URL instead of any other links, it will be considered direct traffic.

If you use Google search or any other way to reach the website, it will not be considered as a direct website.

Direct marketing can be very useful for your business.

It clearly indicates that people are aware of your website. Loyal customers often comprise direct traffic.

It will show that people are loyal to your website.

It also helps you to know that offline marketing works for your business. 

If you’re looking at reports of your website’s traffic on sites like Google Analytics,

you might notice that some website visitors are counted as “direct” rather than having their source tracked.

This means they’ve either bookmarked your site, entered the URL manually in their web browser or come to your site directly by typing it into their address bar.

Visitors who have come through a search engine result will usually show up as direct traffic.

This is because these searches are assumed to be navigational (for example, someone searching for Facebook may have bookmarked it).

Direct traffic doesn’t contribute to your total website traffic figures but can still represent active users.

If you have popup advertisements or links that are generating click-throughs then all of those clicks will show as direct visits.

This means that you have to take direct traffic with a pinch of salt.

It doesn’t necessarily mean your website is unpopular or not being found by search engines!

If you’re looking for an increase in traffic, it’s likely to be worth checking the direct statistics to see if they’ve increased along with other sources.

So you can rule out the possibility that someone might have bookmarked your site through one source but is visiting indirectly through another.

However, if this number has decreased alongside your other sources then it could indicate that people are actively avoiding clicking on links from non-reputable websites.

Another scenario where this may occur is if you’ve changed something about your link structure and Google has decided to label some referrers as direct instead – this will usually resolve itself in time.

People visiting your site directly may or may not mean that it’s not popular.

It can be a useful statistic to look at along with your other sources, however.

what is direct traffic

Types of Direct Traffic:

Here are some types of direct traffic.

  • Customers who return to your site again and again.
  • Regular visitors who visit your site daily.
  • Visitors form offline marketing.
  • The visitors who are referred by others.
  • Visitors who visit your site on the basis on word of mouth publicity.
Ways to Increase Direct Traffic:

You can use these ways to increase direct traffic to your website.

Brand Awareness:

Make your brand known to the visitors so that they can easily visit your website directly.

Simple URLs: 

Choose a simple URL for your website. This way, people can easily remember the address of your site.

Offline marketing: 

Invest more time in offline marketing as direct traffic is mostly generated by word of mouth and referrals. 

Focus on Visitors who return:

You need to design your website in such a manner that people keep returning to your site.

You can post daily blogs, quotes, poems, or stories.

2. Organic Traffic:

different types of website traffic

When people visit your website by clicking on the search results generated by Google or any other search engine, it is known as organic traffic.

It is also known as search traffic because here people use search engines to visit your website.

Organic traffic helps you to know that people are interested in your website.

It also helps you to know where the traffic is coming from.

If you have higher organic traffic, it means you have potential customers.

You can easily implement various strategies to convert them.

Organic traffic is the result of people searching for your website on search engines such as Google, Bing or Yahoo!

It is a type of web traffic that comes from search engine users who actively use a search engine to find websites.

It does not include any paid or sponsored links, unlike ads or paid marketing where you pay for traffic.

It simply refers to the process in which people use natural systems such as Google and Bing Search to find information online.

Search engines have bots (computer programs) crawl through internet pages and add these pages to their indexes.

So when someone searches for something related to your website, they will see your site listed in the search results next to other sites relevant to what they are searching for.

The amount of organic traffic a website gets will depend on a variety of factors including how well it ranks in terms of search engine results.

How relevant the content on your site is to what people are searching for and how many other websites link to it?

There is no such thing as 100% organic traffic due to fluctuations in natural Google rankings.

However, your website can aim to get as much traffic from search engine users as possible by paying attention to factors such as content relevance and keyword density.

One of the most important factors in terms of achieving organic traffic is having a high-quality website with good user engagement,

and clear navigation and design that helps visitors find information easily without needing to rely on search engines.

What makes a perfect website,

  1. Fast loading speed (Change your host from shared to cloud Hosting)
  2. SEO optimized theme
  3. landing page

This means that if your website achieves a high ranking status on Google for certain keywords you will receive more organic traffic than usual, even if you don’t actively advertise your site.

Finally, achieving a high-ranking status for keywords is one of the main ways to get more organic search engine traffic.

Organic traffic is the best way for long-term goals. To achieve this kind of traffic you need to work on SEO.

what is organic traffic

Types of Organic Traffic:

Here are two types of organic traffic.

Organic Search:

This traffic comes from organic searches on the internet.

When someone searches for something on Google and clicks on your website that appears in the results, it is organic traffic.

You can mostly increase this traffic by using SEO.

Paid Search: You need to pay in order to purchase ads. It will help you to rank your website on the tip of search results.

Ways to increase Organic traffic:

You can use all these ways to increase organic traffic on your website.

SEO Strategy: 

By using Search Engine Optimization, you can rank your website on top of the search results.

Certain keywords are a great help to improve the ranking of your site on various search engines.

Keyword search:

You need to search for the keyword used by the visitors to search on Google.

Then you have to add these keywords to your content to improve the ranking.

Content Marketing

You can also use content to improve the visibility of your site in online search results.

It is one of the cheapest ways to increase organic traffic.

Website loading speed:

According to Google’s algorithm, loading speed is one of the most important ranking factors in the google search engine.

That’s why I recommend using a good host and a well-optimized theme.

3. Referral Traffic:

different types of website traffic

As the name goes, referral traffic is referred.

When someone visits your site indirectly through some other site, it is known as referral traffic.

The other site is not supposed to be a search engine.

For example, if you have posted a link on any other site and some click on it to reach your site, it is called referral traffic.

With referral traffic, you can reach new visitors and customers.

It is a clear indication that people from other sites are interested in your website.

Thereby, you can focus more on referral traffic.

Referrals come from links on other sites directing traffic to your website.

These links could be in an article, in a blog post, in a forum or even in someone’s signature.

These links can show up as referral traffic depending on what site they are coming from.

For example, if you write an article about how to make pancakes and post it in a forum then your referral links would show up in the search engines.

There are many ways for people to find your website and today was about referral traffic – how visitors find you.

To give a better idea of the massive amounts that websites get on a daily basis, we will keep an example shorter than we could.

We will not go into the details of Google Analytics and just say that,

the most popular sources of referral traffic are search engines, social media networks and direct downloads.  

Let’s give some examples.  Twitter can send you a lot of traffic if you have something interesting to offer to its users.

Tons of tweets with links from interesting articles can drive thousands of people to your site in a very short time span.

Another good example is Reddit – your content is topical enough or unique and you get a lot of people going to your website looking for more information on the subject.

There are also smaller sites that may not drive a lot of traffic, but can be very targeted.

If you have a blog about making money with Google Adsense, it will be easy to get referrals from forums where people talk about this topic.

The most important part is that all these referrals look alike: they come from websites or social media that have something to do with what your site is about.

Twitter users tweet interesting stuff, Reddit users post interesting articles and so on.

What we did introduce here is SEO traffic – when someone does a Google search and clicks on one of the results to go to the website being searched.

According to Ahrefs, the best sources of traffic are organic search – usually referred to as SEO, or organic in short.

Organic traffic can be further divided into keywords and referrals.

Keywords refer to the specific words that people type into Google Search Box.  

For example, someone looking for financial records may type “financial record” into Google Search Box and click on one of the results.

Referral refers to all other websites which send visitors directly to your website: like email marketing campaigns, banner ads and so on.

referral traffic

Types of referral traffic:

Here are the two types of referral traffic.

Advertising:

You advertise your website on other websites to increase traffic.

Many people use this technique to increase the number of visitors to their site.

Social Media: 

You can also share the links of your site on different social media platforms.

Social media users can click on the link to reach your site.

Ways to increase referral traffic:

You can use these ways to increase referral traffic on your website.

Sponsor Website: 

You can post your ads or links on your partner’s website. You can also do this on your sponsor’s website.

It will help you generate traffic from their site.

Media Coverage:

You can use editorial content to market your website.

You can use different types of media platforms like magazines and newspapers to refer to your website.

Email marketing:

You can also use an email list to send emails with your website’s link to promote it.

Guest Blogging:

You can post your blogs on other guest sites as well as ask other people to post your blogs on their sites to increase referral traffic for your site.

Online listing: 

You can souse online listings to generate more referral traffic. It will not generate much traffic, but it is good to try.

4. Social Traffic: 

different types of website traffic

When people visit your site from social media, it is known as social traffic.

As we all know, social media has become a huge platform for marketing as well.

You can post about your sites or maintain a page with your link attached to get as much attention as you can.

People will use the link to visit your website, thereby increasing traffic.

This kind of traffic has huge potential. You can easily use this technique. It is very cost-effective.

You can use different types of social media platforms to get traffic.

People normally use Facebook to get traffic as people spend most of their time on Facebook.

But nowadays, Instagram, Quora, and Pinterest are also good options too.

You can easily post ads on these platforms to attract social traffic to your site.

Social traffic comes from people clicking on a social media link pointing to your website. This can be a Facebook or a Twitter link.

People also share links to your website by embedding the URL in their social media profiles and pages.

Social sharing counts as social traffic because it’s the social media site that is driving people to your site and not a word they use when searching.

To get the most out of it, you need to know what social traffic actually is and how it can benefit you.

Social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Quora and Pinterest have taken the world by storm in recent years.

People from all over the world spend their days chatting with friends on these sites,

or scrolling through their news feeds looking at status updates from people they don’t even know personally.

Social media seems harmless enough when viewed this way but using these sites for marketing purposes has changed everything.

It provides marketers with a great platform to reach a wide variety of people in one shot and make them aware of their products and services.

The great thing about social media sites is that they are free to join.

However, it’s worth mentioning that not every site is beneficial for marketing purposes.

Social traffic can be beneficial in multiple ways, for example, you might have an existing customer base that will increase your profits with just one click or post.

How to know if your traffic is social?

Can you tell the difference between social media traffic and regular website traffic?

They both look similar to search engine bots, so what makes them different?

If you use Google Analytics, it will be easy to find out.

You can either log into your account or just go to www.google.com/analytics/, search for your website, and look at your traffic sources.

You’ll notice that one of the options is social media.

It will be easy to see which sites are sending you traffic.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that some sources may have sent you both types of visitors since social media bots are not the only bots out there.

what is social traffic

Ways to increase social traffic:

You can use these ways to increase social traffic on your website.

Viral Content:

You can create viral content and post it on social media. People love viral content.

You can easily generate more social traffic in a short span of time.

Monitor:

Monitor the trends and activities of people on social media so that you can post related content to gain attention.

Experiment:

You can experiment with posting content on social media at different intervals of time.

You can also experiment with the type of content to gain more visitors.

Tease the people:

You can post only a post of content with a cliffhanger so that people are intrigued by your post. It will help you to gain many visitors.

Use relevant content:

Post relevant and useful content so that people can read it. If they like your content, they will keep vesting your website for more.

Wrapping Up

types of traffic conclusion

These are the four main types of website traffic. Each type of traffic has its own advantages and disadvantages.

If you know which type of traffic is more suitable for your website, you use proper strategies.

But first, you need to know where the traffic is coming from. 

Google Analytics report will help you to check that.

Once you know which type of traffic you need to focus on, you can use various ways to increase it.

A website cannot function without traffic. Traffic brings life to a website.

It is very easy to start a website but to maintain it; you need steady traffic. 

If you want to increase the traffic on your website, the first step you need to take is to check the type of traffic on your website.

This post will help you to distinguish between different types of website traffic and focus on ways to increase it.