How to understand the main sources of traffic to your website

traffic to your website

Learn how to interpret and understand all traffic sources on the website. Optimize and increase your results from all channels for your website!

When someone comes to your site, it certainly came from somewhere on the web. Your Web Analytics tools will indicate that visitors may have found you through a search engine such as Google, may already know your site and enter directly or may come from a multitude of other possibilities.

The point is that each of these types of visitors have a certain image in mind and, almost always, the reasons for visiting are different. In this post we will explore these reasons through a psychological perspective to understand what actions to expect from a person coming from each of these traffic sources.

Search engine traffic

When people come to your site through a search engine such as Google, Bing or Yahoo, they are usually looking for answers to a specific question or information on a certain subject.

Consider this as the real nature of search engines: you type what you want and wait for the answer to come up. This means that visitors coming from search engines tend to stay and read your content to find the answers they are looking for. If they can’t find the answer in your content, they can look in something you advertise, whether it’s a regular advertisement or an eBook, for example. So, in general, search engine visitors tend to generate a higher click-through rate on what you advertise.

More and more people associate the number one in search results for a certain keyword as an authority on the subject and this affects the behavior on your website. People trust your brand more and tend to do things like subscribe to your newsletter or your blog.

Direct traffic

Direct traffic is traffic in which visitors directly type your website address into the address bar. It’s a good source of traffic. If people already know your address, it’s because past experience was good enough for them to remember it.

Since this audience is almost always past visitors, they’re likely to come to your site to see what the latest updates are. What they probably do, if they haven’t already, is get more involved with their blog by subscribing to feeds and interacting on social media. They are also the most likely to leave comments on your blog. It’s always worth responding and providing content, so they keep coming back.

Social media traffic

The psychology behind social media always seems to focus on the user’s desire to be noticed and have their personal space online.

The main point here is that either people want to be social with their friends or they want to be entertained. This ends up generating high bounce rates for this type of visitor, since once they entered your blog and quickly saw what they wanted, they are ready to move on to the next site. On Twitter, for example, where there are several tweets with suggestions to be read, this behavior is even more pronounced.

What’s really good about social media, however, is the ability to viralize content. Since there is this tendency to go from one site to the next, if someone actually finds interesting content, they will share it to indicate that this one is worth more than the others. Once you get someone talking about your content, product or anything else, they’ll spread it for you if it’s entertaining or particularly useful.

Traffic by reference

There are some similarities between referral traffic and social media, but it’s worth making the distinction because there’s a difference between hearing about something on social media and on a website.

When a friend points to something on social media, you usually check it out. Your intent is to see how useful or fun the link is and not necessarily because you really trust your friend’s advice. If it’s a site you trust saying the same thing, you’ll check it out with a different eye, knowing the advice comes from a referral. It’s a bit like hearing health advice from a friend who has read about it and from a doctor: you may believe both, but in a way you follow the doctor’s advice more.

However, this analogy doesn’t work for every kind of reference. There is a distinction between different incoming links.

One possibility is to receive a blogroll-style link where someone lists your site as a favorite. In this case the bounce rate tends to be higher and there should be less interaction with your site. All the site did was say it likes your blog, but without specifically indicating what or why – and leaving it up to the user to find out doesn’t usually help that much.

However, when you receive the reference through a link in the content or through a guest post to another site, in cases where the user already knows what to find on your blog, there is a much greater interest in knowing what you have. to say. In addition, you “inherit” the credibility of the person who referred you.

For those cases, they’ll likely read a little to see if you’re interesting and then subscribe to your blog or follow you on Twitter. The big point here is to show that you do indeed offer good content on the subject you were referred to.

Paid links

This type of referral is very close to search engine traffic. The difference is, if you’re paying, you can choose exactly which page you want to take the user to.

Thus, it is interesting to create a conversion page that clearly shows the user the answer to the problem he is looking for and encourages him to become a customer or business opportunity.

What is the best for you?

We have already seen that, for each type of traffic, a different type of user is attracted. Hence the importance of thinking about your blog’s goals. Depending on the action you want the user to take, you can prioritize optimizing a specific type of traffic source.

If your intention is to spread the content more and make more “noise”, you can focus on social media. If you want to attract more subscribers, you can write more guest posts and so on.

So, which one works best for you?