Web traffic is an important tool for measuring your business’s brand visibility and understanding your core audience. It’s not enough to simply have a website these days. To be competitive, you must continuously review your website analytics and use web traffic data to inform your business decisions. Before you can track your web traffic, you must first add tracking code from a website analytics tool like Google Analytics to your site header. Most analytics tools provide similar information: where are visitors coming from, what types of devices are they using, how many pages they visit, and more. No matter which analytics platform you use, it’s important to understand the various types of commercial web traffic and how you can use them.
Understand types of commercial web traffic
Direct web traffic
Direct traffic consists of visitors who type your URL directly into their web browser’s address bar. These people already know about your brand; otherwise, they wouldn’t know your site exists. Direct traffic also includes visitors who come from sources that your web analytics tool doesn’t recognize, like PDF documents or text messages. For most established businesses, direct commercial web traffic is a result of long-term brand familiarity or repeat visits. Visitors who initially came to your site through a search engine or social media post may return as direct traffic. Alternatively, direct traffic can come from traditional, offline advertising strategies or printed marketing materials like business cards and direct mail. As long as these items include your website, they’re likely to encourage direct traffic.
Referral traffic consists of visitors who come to your site from other places on the internet. Common referral traffic sources include news sites, directories, blogs, and external search engines. For example, if your local newspaper publishes a story that mentions your business and links to your website in the article, everyone who clicks that link would be considered a referral visitor. You can increase your referral commercial web traffic by reaching out to bloggers or reporters to see if they would be interested in featuring your business in a story. If the source is popular or reputable, there’s a good chance someone will click the link to your site. You can also create your own backlinks by commenting on articles or forums and including a link to your site when it makes sense.
Organic traffic consists of visitors who come to your site through the search engine’s results pages, also known as SERPs. Increasing organic traffic is the primary goal of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO strategies seek to make your site more authoritative so pages that match relevant search terms appear higher in search results. Organic commercial web traffic is highly scalable, meaning the more effort you put into it, the greater returns you’ll see. One of the biggest factors that determine an individual page’s search rank is the quality of its content. If it answers a visitor’s questions quickly and thoroughly, there’s a better chance that it will perform well.
Social traffic consists of visitors who come to your site from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Reedit. This includes visitors who click on your social media posts, your social media ads, and organic posts from other users. Like organic traffic, social commercial web traffic is highly scalable. Social media performance directly benefits social traffic volume, so you’ll likely see a huge influx of site visitors if one of your posts goes viral on social media. The key is to post updates consistently and to engage your followers as often as possible. Your goal should be to build and engage a community, not just to have a token social presence.
How to use commercial web traffic?
Ultimately, understanding your web traffic is worthless if you don’t put it to good use. Consider adopting commercial web traffic data and analytics tools like Hub Spot, Marketo, or Adobe Analytics to make the biggest impact with your web traffic. Then, make a habit of running regular reports to keep track of how your web traffic is performing and make adjustments accordingly. Not only will this grow your customer base, but it will also drive your overall revenue goals.
How is commercial website traffic actually recorded?
When someone visits commercial web traffic data and analytics their computer or other web-connected device communicates with the website’s server. Each page on the web is made up of dozens of distinct files. The site’s server transmits each file to user browsers. Where they are assemble and form into a cumulative piece with graphics and text. Every file sent represents a single hit so a single page viewing can result in numerous hits. It is not only the traffic on the website’s homepage that is monitored. Rather, all segments of the website are constantly monitor by the server to determine exactly how many hits each receives. In web vernacular, a single visit is know as a session. The minutia of each session varies, yet each has a beginning and an endpoint.