Web Site Statistics: Traffic Sources

Understand where your web site traffic is coming from is key to learning what is working and what is not, get to grips with the basics here

Digital Marketing
Analytics Data

Where does your website traffic come from?

In trying to figure out what is going on at your website, its very important to understand where your traffic is coming from; this is the first step to achieving what is a fairly common goal: more traffic!

traffic sources: from google analytics

Most web site statistics software will show you some level of information on your traffic sources.

We use and love Google Analytics, it works incredibly well with WordPress, one simple plugin and your up and running.

At the most basic level you should be able to distinguish between these three types:

  • Direct traffic – this is people typing your domain name directly into their browser, or using a bookmark
  • Search traffic – traffic that comes from a search engine (Google, Yahoo or Bing)
  • Referred traffic – traffic that comes from a link on another web site

You should be able to either see some basic numbers or perhaps a graph that charts each one of these as a subset of the whole amount of traffic that you are receiving. Then use it to gain an insight into what is happening.

If you have large billboard ads all around the city or country you would expect your direct traffic to be large; people are seeing your ads then typing your domain name to view your site.

Perhaps you have spent some money on having banner ads on a portal like Yahoo or NineMSN then you would be expecting a lot of referred traffic, from those specific sources.

Alternatively you have been paying a search engine optimisation specialist to help your web site get ranked, in which case you would expect a lot of search traffic.

Understanding your traffic source can help you understand if your current strategies are working, or even which ones are working best. It’s another marketing cliche but finding something that works and then doing more of that is exactly what you want to be doing with your web site and your website traffic sources is absolutely part of that puzzle.

If you’re already a Google Analytics user and you use WordPress, read about our hot plugin that allows you to track analytics data through your web forms.

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