Web Traffic Sources

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Understand which traffic sources are driving visitors to your website.


Web Traffic Sources Definition

The Web Traffic Sources metric measures which traffic sources are driving visitors to your website and compares each of those sources. The three primary traffic sources are direct, referral, and search, although your website may also have traffic from banner ads or paid search campaigns. In addition to measuring the number of visitors from each traffic source, consider analyzing each source's number of goal completions.


Each traffic source can be analyzed to provide more granular information about your web traffic. Search traffic, for instance, can be interpreted according to the landing page and associated keyword rankings; referral traffic can be broken down into categories such as social referrals, blog mentions, or service listings. Each source is also an indicator of your website's health. For instance, a high volume of referral traffic shows that your brand or website is being talked about frequently by 3rd party websites or social media sites. Add the Web Traffic Sources metric to your SEO performance dashboard to dive deeper into your marketing efforts.


Key Terms

Direct traffic: Visitors that visit your site by typing your URL into their browser, or through an undefined channel.

Referral traffic: Visitors that visit your site by clicking on a URL on another website.

Organic Search traffic: Visitors discover your website by entering a keyword in a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo) and clicking on your listing.

Campaign traffic: Visitors who visit your website through a dedicated campaign or by clicking on a link with certain tracking parameters.


Web Traffic Success Indicators



Organic search is the top source for generating website traffic. But volume alone does not offer much value. In many cases, the quality of both leads and website traffic generates revenue and returns.

An increase in volume from any traffic source while maintaining consistent traffic from other channels.

A high or improving goal conversion rate related to any traffic source.

Web Traffic Sources Challenges

The biggest challenge with social network traffic is that it's challenging to track down a message's source. Inbound links from social networks that sent you visitors may appear in comment threads or brief conversations that you can't link back to and examine because they've expired.


Web Traffic Sources Best Practices

There is no one best traffic source because it depends on the nature of your website. Here is some expert advice to keep in mind:




It's always best to have a variety of traffic sources, and this minimizes the risk of your website being decimated if your primary traffic source dries up.



Justin Bridegan from MarketingSherpa


To increase website traffic, marketers should review their website analytics for search words and phrases you may not have even known your audience was looking for. These long-tail keywords will give you insight into possible new content development topics to improve your SEO.

Produce content that targets topics, not keywords. Build your website with your audience in mind. A good long-term strategy is to explore other possible content resources such as blogs, clients, and vendors.

How to Monitor Web Traffic Sources in Real-time

Once you have established metrics for measuring web traffic by source, you'll want to develop processes to monitor this and other marketing KPIs. Dashboards can be critical in this regard.


Learn more about how to track your Web Traffic Sources on a Digital Marketing Dashboard by Prince on www.metawebbs.com

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