The Five Important Types of Web Traffic – How Important Is Each?

Web TrafficNobody wants to leave money laying on the table – when you fail to optimize various traffic sources, this is essentially what you are doing. With so many ways to direct people to your website, it can be difficult to decide where you need to focus and what strategies are best for each approach. This can make SEO overwhelming for many newer marketers and bloggers, but even more experienced professionals can have some difficulty with the task. Most people are aware that search engines play a huge role in organic traffic to their websites, but how does it relate to other sources of traffic? We’ll discuss the five major types of web traffic and explain the significance of each, based on its size of market share.

Direct Traffic

The second largest share of web traffic for many websites, direct traffic is the type of traffic you’ll earn from repeat visitors who know your brand or those who have seen/heard about you in a different medium. We’ve all looked up hundreds of brands online after catching a television spot or seeing a billboard; base impressions such as these are responsible for pinging websites with direct traffic. In the end, direct traffic on average will only account for around one quarter of your traffic.

Referral Traffic

Ah, we live for the backlinks. With referral traffic, you receive visitors and readers from other sites who have linked to you. In some cases, people count social media with this – we will separate the two for this occasion. You won’t have a lot of referral traffic in most cases unless you create excellent content (or are linking to said site from another one of your own sites that is high-caliber). Your referral traffic on average will be around fifteen percent of your overall visits and views.

Social Media

Believe it or not, social media posts and shares that redirect users to a website have still yet to capture any significant share of overall traffic. You will be lucky if more than five percent of your traffic originates through these hosts, but it is likely to be closer to half of that. Nevertheless, the right scoop or story at the right time on social media can bring you a whirlwind of traffic if viral potential is there, so always take advantage of social media for this reason.

Paid Search

Those who are pinging websites by targeting search engines with paid campaigns will have wildly different levels in terms of percentage of overall traffic originating through these sources. A new website that wants to begin instantly selling products will be likely to have a very high rate of paid search as its traffic. A well-established website that uses intelligent SEO tactics, incorporates social media, obtains plenty of backlinks and has brand recognition will probably need to only drive traffic via paid sources equivalent to five percent of organic traffic.

Organic Search

And of course, the big mother of them all! Organic search is what SEO is all about, and the internet overwhelmingly still drives traffic through this method. You can expect anywhere from half to sixty percent of your traffic to originate through organic search when you are properly optimized with search engines, using social media and known throughout your niche.

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