Traffic sources

Chances are one of your main goals for your website is to generate traffic that will lead to customers. Therefore, you need to understand where your traffic is from and how to optimize each channel. Here's everything you need to know about the different sources of traffic


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What are the different traffic sources?

The web traffic sources metric measures which traffic sources are driving visitors to your website. There are a few types of traffic, such as direct, referral, organic, paid, email, and social media. Google Analytics also has an "other" channel.

  • Direct traffic: Visitors that visit your site by typing your website directly into their browser
  • Referral traffic: Visitors that visit your website from another website
  • Organic Search traffic: Visitors that click on your website by searching a keyword in a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.)
  • Paid search traffic: Visitors that visit your website through a dedicated marketing campaign like Google Adwords or click on a link with tracking parameters (UTM or tracking code).
  • Email traffic: Visitors that visit your website by clicking on an email marketing campaigns
  • Social traffic: Visitors that visit your website from social media sites
Track your traffic sources today

How to track your website traffic sources

In order to track your traffic sources for your website, you will need a Google Analytics account and navigate to Acquisition » Channels. From there you can view all of your traffic sources and get more in-depth information about each. 

Traffic sources KPI examples & templates

You should definitely add site traffic sources in your web analytics report in order to analyze them and make better decisions. Here are some templates : 

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Google analytics report template Google analytics report template

An awesome report with important metrics for your SEO strategy. Track your marketing efforts with KPIs like organic searches (Google search), single-page data, and audience demographics.

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Digital marketing report template Digital marketing report template

From SEO to social media platforms and PPC, this report gives you a good view of all your online marketing strategy metrics and overall online performance. 

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SEO report template SEO report template

Gather all your favorite SEO tools, from Google Analytics to SEMrush, Ahrefs, and way more into a single, awesome SEO report! With this report template, you can track all your SEO performance and keyword rankings in seconds.

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Traffic sources best practices

Website traffic is a factor of how successful your website will be at lead generation. Here are some best practices for 3 of the main channels:

Traffic sources best practices

step 1 icon Paid search traffic

For your display ads to be successful and get visitors to your website, you need to optimize your paid advertising. Improve copy, do a/b testing, measure the CPC and click-through rate, and add high-quality CTA's to invite potential customers to click on your banner ads. Don't forget to also optimize your landing page to convert your visitors. 

step 2 icon Organic traffic

This is where you get your SEO (Search engine optimization) efforts back! Perform extensive keyword research, focus on content marketing and try to appear on those results pages. Before starting from scratch, a quick win would be to go back and improve older content you may have on your site.

step 3 icon Referral channel

For this channel to be successful, you need different referral sources to point back to your website. For example, you could submit your site to relevant directories or try guest blogging, which is to guest post on other relevant blogs. You can also think about backlinks, forums, partner pages, or co-marketing opportunities. These do not include links from social networks like Facebook or Linkedin, or email campaigns. 

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Traffic Sources Synonyms

Although traffic sources is widely used, there are multiple synonyms that can be used. Here are a few: 

Traffic channel, Acquisition source, Acquisition channel, Website traffic source, Site traffic source, Web traffic source

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