Different Types of Website Traffic and Why They Matter for Your Business

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Grow your online existence and gain lots of targeted website traffic with these tips

Did you know that as of January 2020 there were over 1.74 billion websites on the internet? This means your website (if you already have one) is one of them, and the competition is inevitable. Today, we will be explaining the different types of website traffic, and how important they are to building and growing your online existence.

Types Of Website Traffic

In recent years, entrepreneurs have been investing in online marketing more and more. And when we mention online marketing, it is not only social media such as Instagram or Facebook. Online marketing has a lot of fields and these include SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), email marketing, digital PR, analytics, user experience, content marketing and many more. All of these online marketing activities are so important to assist you in reaching your business goals.

Let’s see the types of website traffic to understand this concept even better. There are 5 main types of website traffic. These are organic traffic, direct traffic, referral traffic, paid traffic and social media traffic.

1- Organic Traffic

Website Traffic that You create via Search Engines

Organic traffic comes from different search engines like Google, YahooBing, and Yandex. But first, let’s see how search engine optimisation works.

A website that shows up on the first page of Google results brings in lots of visitors to your website. If these visitors can find what they look for and navigate through your pages easily, great news! They will return back or fill in your contact form to enquire about your services. They might even make a purchase on your e-commerce website after a few minutes of entering your website.

There are many factors for someone to revisit or stay on your website. These could be branding, easiness to navigate through pages, interesting content and incentives. The most difficult part here is to appear on the first page of Google (or another search engine website). This is where the competition comes into play. SEO can help you be visible with a very low cost and no marketing efforts. When your website is searchable, you can get visitors to your website even when you are sleeping.

2- Direct Traffic

Website Traffic that You Get through Brand Awareness

Direct traffic is traffic from users who have visited your site by typing your domain name. They haven’t found your business website via an ad on a social media channel. Or they haven’t done a search on Google as they already knew about you. This is very valuable traffic as it generally comes as a result of your brand awareness campaigns. Your direct traffic has the potential to buy or enquire your products and services.

You can increase your brand awareness by creating content such as podcasts and videos. Or you could sponsor an event if you have a budget. The most important factor here is to connect with your audience authentically (and stay in their minds)! You can build trust by educating, informing, entertaining, or advising your audience. Don’t worry about giving away so much information. Your audience will think: “If this person provides so much valuable information, imagine how much help I can get from him/her.”

3- Referral Traffic

Website Traffic that is generated through Other Websites

As you may understand from the name, this type of traffic comes from other websites. You can also consider referral traffic as recommendations. It is very important to build links that bring visitors to your website from other websites.

The first and the easiest way to bring more referral traffic is to register your website on online directories. Some of these are Best of the WebAboutUsSpoke and Google My Business for local businesses.

Being active on forums like Quora and placing your links in your answers are also helpful in acquiring referral traffic.

Another way to increase your referral traffic is to comment on blog posts or guest blogging. When you guest blog, make sure to write content about your industry and place it under your name. See the below image to find out how you can find guest blogging opportunities on Google.

Sponsoring and speaking at local events is another way to build referral traffic. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your business website.

Lastly, digital PR plays a huge role in acquiring referral traffic. You can use Linking News or  HARO (Help a Reporter Out) to earn valuable mentions. These are free PR platforms where you can reach out to media companies and distribute your news. It’s not only great for referral traffic but also for brand awareness opportunities.

guest blogging

4- Paid Traffic

Website Traffic generated with Online Advertising

Paid traffic includes traffic generated through Google AdWords and social media ads. It can have a positive impact on your website if the ads are well planned and executed. Here, you need to understand that just because someone clicked on your ad doesn’t mean they will buy from you.

When you invest in paid advertising, you have to make sure that your website is professional. If your visitors leave your website immediately, this increases your bounce rate. A higher bounce rate results in a lower Google ranking. And the advertising platform would still charge you for the advertising. So you may want to invest in a professional landing page and copywriting before running ads.

If your website is great and engaging, you then need to consider your campaign goal and decide on the platforms. Targeting plays a huge role in advertising campaigns so it is crucial to define that as well. When preparing your copy and images, always think from the customer’s point of view.


In paid ads, you can select to get charged when you receive a click (PPC – Pay per click) or based on the number of impressions. When you want impressions, the ad spend is calculated by CPM (Cost per mile). In the CPM advertising method, there is no guarantee of receiving traffic to your website. You are usually charged per one thousand impressions, whether people click on your ad or not. However, when you go for a PPC (cost per click) ad type, you only get charged when people click on your ad. It may sound perfect but there are of course some disadvantages of PPC ads as well. Did you know that there are also bots that view and click on your ads?

CPM = Cost per “mille,” or 1,000 impressions. A €2 CPM means you pay €2 for every 1,000 impressions your ad receives. This increases brand awareness.

CPC = Cost per click. If your campaign generated 500 clicks at a €2 CPC, you would pay $1,000.

If you’re looking for conversions or acquisitions, a CPC pricing model is your best bet. Make sure to test your ads, optimise on the go and don’t end up spending a fortune. The more relevant the ad, the more clicks you get for a lower price.

5- Social Media Traffic

Website Traffic generated via Social Media

As you may already know, social media traffic is the traffic you receive via social media channels. Social media is great, your potential customers are all on social media. Plus people tend to do business with brands that their social connections approve of. So we cannot ignore the importance of social traffic.

As an entrepreneur, you can create a need, provide value and connect with others on social media. This may help you get traffic and turn your visitors into clients. But don’t people turn to search engines when they look for a service when they are already aware of their needs? This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t rely only on social media.


If you want to grow your online existence and gain lots of targeted website traffic, you need to have a professionally built website, lots of targeted content and optimised web pages. All traffic types go hand-in-hand so you should give equal importance to each of the traffic types we mentioned above. You should constantly think of ways to drive online traffic to your website through search engines, social media, paid ads, creating referral links and brand awareness.

Google Analytics is a great tool to analyse how your website visitors found your website. When you access Google Analytics, you can find detailed information about your traffic sources under the Acquisition tab.

As Social Influence.Co, we know the value of SEO and include basic SEO in our web design & development packages. If you are ready to build and grow your online existence, contact us today!

Social Influence

Damla is the founder of Social Influence. She has spent over a decade working and leading digital marketing positions for some of the world’s most exciting and forward-thinking brands. She writes about digital marketing, websites, entrepreneurship and more.

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