traffic in a city, symbolizing the seven different traffic sources onlineWhat traffic sources does your website attract? If you aren’t familiar with the different traffic sources that exist online, then you aren’t alone. Most people aren’t familiar with the six different ones. From organic free traffic, direct traffic, over referral traffic to paid and email traffic, you want them all. Nobody should throw all their eggs in one basket. Often it takes time to build up one traffic source. Then it’s good when you have five other traffic sources you can rely on. Read below what traffic sources are available online and how you can attract each of them.

The Top Six Traffic Sources You Want To Have On Your Site (A Mixture Would Be Perfect)

Traffic Source #1: Organic/Natural Traffic

What is organic traffic?

When SEO experts speak about natural or organic search traffic, they refer to the online traffic that comes to your website after a searcher clicks on a search result on one of the search result pages (SERPs) in any search engine. Organic or natural search traffic is one of the traffic sources you don’t pay for. The searcher doesn’t look for you nor knows you exist. They type a search term into the search bar and click on a search result that fits their intent the most.

How they come to your site

  • Google,
  • Yahoo,
  • Bing,
  • Ask,
  • industry related search engines,
  • topic related search engines,
  • local search engines,
  • other search engines.
  • traffic types like
    • universal search,
    • image search,
    • video search,
    • book search,
    • shopping search,
    • maps search (local search),
    • news search,
    • flights search, or
    • apps search.

Why you want them

Natural or organic traffic is free. Organic traffic consists of 75% researchers coming to your site, not ready to buy but are interested to sign up for your newsletter compared to 10-15% of product/price shoppers or buyers. You have the power to attract more or less traffic depending on continually posting fresh content on your website. When you show an ongoing activity, the search engines come, index, tag and add your content to their huge archives online. The more relevant and keyword focused content you provide, the more rankings you can gain for your site and with this more targeted traffic.

Traffic Source #2: Direct Traffic

What is direct traffic?

Direct traffic is when people show up on your website after they typed in the URL of your website, homepage, page, or post into the browser bar. Direct traffic is also when somebody follows a bookmark and comes to your website.

How they come to your site

  • type your website’s URL in the browser bar

Why you want them

People who know you well enough to type your website’s URL into the browser bar are not anonymous anymore. They often know you personally. Not, not in real life but they saw your video, heard your podcast, or read one of your reports. They have a good impression of what you stand for, how you can help them, and what they expect from you. Converting them into subscribers or buyers is much easier as organic traffic that was looking for an answer and found your website without knowing you.

Traffic Source #3: Referral Traffic

What is referral traffic?

Referral traffic is when other websites send traffic over to your site. They can do this through banner ads linked to your site, advertising campaigns, blogs, or affiliate marketing that link to your website.

How they come to your site

  • embedded website link through text, image, audio, or video on a third party website used for advertising
  • link in an online press release
  • link in white papers or downloads
  • link in webinars
  • link on document sharing sites
  • link on Q&A sites
  • link in author bio on guest blog
  • link in a blog comment box on third party website
  • link in blog post body content
  • link in forums
  • affiliate links
  • and more

Why you want them

This type of traffic source often sees you already as expert or authority before they arrive on your website. They are much easier to convert as the anonymous organic traffic. The price for the referral traffic is depending on if you gained it for free through recommendations or guest blogging, or advertising. These backlinks help to push your website’s rankings.

Traffic Source #4: Social Media Traffic

What is social media traffic?

Social media traffic is traffic coming from social media accounts, yours and the ones who share your posts or website within their social media accounts. When you do a social media post and add the link to your website, your fans can click on it and come to your site, or they share your postings and their fans and followers click on their reshared link and come to your website.

How they come to your site

  • through postings, including links to the website in social media accounts like Facebook
  • through images, infographics, or slide shows with embedded links to the website
  • through call to actions, video cards, or call to action overlays in videos with embedded links to the website
  • through podcasts with embedded links to the website

Why you want them

This type of traffic source already has a connection with you or with somebody who trusts you. They like your content and your social media postings. And they are hungry for more. Great online traffic source to build your tribe, fan base or followership.

Traffic Source #5:  Email Traffic

What is email traffic?

Email traffic is traffic coming to your website by following a link in an email you sent out to your list. Email traffic is referred to when you use an email managing provider and system like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, iContact, or any other service on the market to send out your email campaigns and automated emails through their system.

How they come to your site

  • following links in email campaigns and automated email responders.

Why you want them

This type of traffic source is familiar with your work or was referred by a friend to you (in case the friend shared their email send-out with them). Perhaps you shared a snippet of your blog post and referred to “read more” on the blog of your website or you promoted your products or services in your email send-out. No matter how you used your email send-out to bring your followers to your website, they are hungry and eager to hear or do more with you.

Traffic Source #6: Paid Traffic

What is paid traffic?

Paid traffic is pay-per-click traffic, pay-per-impression, remarketing, or retargeting advertising campaigns. You or a service

How they come to your site

  • ads in search engines like Google and Bing (first three results on a search engine results page (SERP) or results in a search engine’s sidebar)
  • ads on search engine partner’s websites like magazines, forums, authority sites, niche websites, and others
  • ads on websites that have integrated Google Adsense or Bing PubCenter
  • ads on websites that offer advertising to businesses

Why you want them

Paid traffic is the traffic you can control the most.

  • You can decide how much traffic you want (depending on what budget you set),
  • what type of traffic you want (depending on your keyword), and
  • your ranking positions (if you want to be on the first, second, third or tenth position).

Paid traffic is the fastest traffic you can attract. It’s good to test out first what ad text, keywords and landing page bring you the best results before you set your final budget.

How Can You Attract More Of The Traffic Sources That Bring You Conversions?

If you want to find out what traffic sources come to your site, and which ones bring you the most conversions, check out our SEO review & intro session offer to give you clues.


AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE: Some links in the blog post are affiliate links and in full disclosure I will receive a compensation from the service providers when you purchase using these links.

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