Fair understanding of Different types of Web-traffic in General

Traffic Source is how or from where your visitors enter your site or any webpage. This is a simple definition of Traffic Source.

Our aim in this tutorial is to pinpoint each and every Traffic source-type in order to make readers prepared to understand Google Analytics own way avoiding the complication of technical terms and methods as far as possible. It is a part of our efforts to clarify Google Analytics terminology.

But Traffic types or Sources in general and those in Google Analytics are not the same. Particularly the word ‘SOURCE‘ has a specific meaning in GA terminology.

However, In this article, we’re going to use the word ‘source’ in general sense and hence, are focusing on the ‘General web traffic types’ which apply to all traffic-related talk, study, and activities; are used by the Seo hunters or eCommerce and affiliate marketers.

However, all these are defined and chalked-out differently in Google Analytics. It is in the second part of this article that we’re going to highlight the discussed topics in the background of Google Analytics under another title (linked below).

Contextually, we suggest you to read up the starting article regarding Google Analytics which will help you remove vagueness about the present topics-

General types or sources of Web-site Traffics

Different types of Web-traffic

All types of traffics are inter-associated. So, it is difficult to point out each type distinctively. However, we’re going to show the difference and relationship between and among them during presentation.

Direct Traffic

Suppose your website URL is healthtricksandtips.com. In this case, the following users count as Direct Traffic when he/she enter your site-

  • By typing healthtricksandtips.com. in Browser’s address bar.
  • By clicking a saved link from offline document.
  • By clicking a Bookmarked link from online or offline media.

Your Direct traffic must be the users who already know your site URL or saved it or bookmarked it for future use.


Search Engine Traffic

The most common way of reaching a site or webpage is by Search Engine. Visitors input keywords/Keyphrases in Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, StartPage, Yandex, etc. and reach your site by clicking page link from Search Engine Result Page (SERP). They are Search Engine Traffic.

Search Engine traffic are of two types-

  • Organic Traffic
  • Paid Traffic

Organic Traffic

As we mentioned earlier, There are two kinds of Search Engine Traffic- Organic and Paid. Therefore, Organic Traffic is basically Search Engine Traffic. Almost all the traffic by Search Engines is Organic except the few paid ones. But both of the types need to be clarified.

You can pay to Search Engines (e.g.- to Google by Google Adwords program) for a targeted Keyword to rank a URL on top of the Search Result. When anybody clicks such a paid link, he/she will count as Paid Search Engine Traffic, not organic. Organic Traffics are those who click regular non-paid links. Don’t confuse! Paid links are marked with ‘ad’ sign in Google’s SERP.


Referral Traffic

The visitors who reach your site from other websites by clicking a link are called Referral Traffic. Noted, not from Direct link, not from Search Engine but from other websites. How are links to your site or page found on other webpages? Here comes the term Link-building fact in the scenario.

The Referral Traffic source is closely related to Link Building. In course of your SEO campaign, you create Backlinks in different other websites to bring traffic back to your site. When anybody reaches your site by clicking such a link, it is called Referral Traffic.

There are various ways of Link-building on other sites to increase your Referral Traffic. Some of the ways are by-

  • creating links on other websites
  • submitting site on Directories.
  • linking site on Discussion Boards.
  • linking site with Forums.
  • Guest posting
  • sharing content in Social Media
  • sharing URL in Social Media profile
  • linking in Document sharing sites
  • Placing tracking code in form of display ad on other websites as paid campaign
  • Placing Referral code in Email marketing campaign
  • and so on

So we see that Referral Traffic incidentally includes few other types of Traffic. They are-

  • Website traffic
  • Paid Traffic
  • Social Media Traffic
  • Traffic from Email campaign
  • Display Traffic

Social Media Traffic

The name suggests what Social Media Traffic means. Visitors who arrive on your site by clicking links in Social Networking sites or Social Media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, WhatsApp, Messenger and Youtube are Social Media Traffic. To acquire Social Media Traffic, you have to share content Link or Link with Thumbnail on different Social Media platform. There is vast chance that your link is re-shared by others which might result in huge Social Media Traffic to your site.

As we mentioned earlier, Traffic from Social Media is one type of Referral traffic. So by using Social Media platforms, you can increase your Referral Traffic to a great extent.

Social Media traffic may also be of two types-

  • Organic Traffic
  • Paid Traffic

Paying for promotion of products on Social Media is not a new occurrence. You can choose to advertise on Social Media to promote your business by drawing quick-traffic to your site. If any user clicks on that ad, he/she will be considered as Paid Social traffic. Beyond them, all are Organic Social traffic.


Paid Traffic

In my opinion, all the Internet world is divided into two parts- free-hemisphere and pro-hemisphere. To a typical user, all are free in Internet. All Google’s products are free. Millions of users can spend whole of his/her life, even can stand out as a online businessman without paying a single penny. But most don’t know all are free but up to a limited range. There is a pro world above free where nothing is free.

There are numerous ways to track traffic to one’s website free of cost. You can use them all through your life. But for quick-development and to give your business an advanced status, you can adopt paid way of online advertisement.

Those who clicks paid links to enter your site are Paid Traffic. There are many platforms and ways to promote your products by paid media. Most common ones are-

  • Advertise on Search Engine, Youtube etc. from Google Adwords platform in form of Text, Display or Video ads.
  • Advertise on any Search Engine through their respective programs.
  • Advertise on any Social Network e.g. Facebook through their respective programs.
  • Advertise through any PPC, PPA, PPM and others Advertisement platforms.
  • Promote by Email Campaign via renowned Email Marketing Service providers

All online advertisements fall either under CPC/PPC or CPA/PPA or CPM/PPM online advertising models. So, In the light of above discussion, we find the following different types of paid traffic

  • Display Traffic
  • CPC/PPC
  • CPA/PPA Traffic
  • CPM/PPM Traffic
  • Email-based Traffic
Notes:
  • CPC/PPC: Cost Per Click/Pay Per Click
  • CPA/PPA: Cost Per Action or Acquisition/Pay Per Action or Acquisition
  • CPM/PPM: Cost Per Thousand Impression/Pay Per Thousand Impression (Here M means Roman Numeral- 1000)

Traffic from Email campaign

Email Marketing is one of the most popular marketing strategies in the field of online business nowadays. There are a number of Email Marketing Service providers to help you send thousands of promotional email newsletters at a time. Some of them are Mailchimp, GetResponse, AWeber etc. By paying some dollar you can take these services. However Mailchimp has also their free plan for starters by which you can send a limited number of emails free of cost as part of your email campaigns.

When any visitor reach your site by clicking link from sent email, it will be regarded as Email Traffic.


Display Traffic

Display Traffic is closely associated with Display Ad which is simply a banner, image, video or interstitial ads.

The visitors who comes to a webpage by clicking a link on Display ad are counted as Display Traffic.


All these are general conception of web-traffic which is frequently used by the digital marketers community.

By acquiring idea and knowledge of this traffic variety, you’re sure to understand any stat, presentation or report regarding website-traffic. But what about Google? What about Google Analytics? Do they use the conception same way from same perspective?

Obviously not. When you go through Analytics Acquisition Report, you find almost the same traffic type, as we mentioned earlier; but they appear difficult to understand. Why?

Google deals with the same traffics but they have their own definition, terminology and method which are applied to Analytics to produce Report. What are these definition, terminology and method?

In this case, Google use these three terms-

  • Channel
  • Source
  • Medium

Therefore, if you wish to apply all your acquired knowledge in Google Analytics background, you mustn’t learn web-traffic newly but you must get acquainted with these pre-defined terms.

This is the reason why we created our next tutorial on Channel, Source and Medium covering up all the solutions to those problems.

Actually this is the second part of the present tutorial. Just follow the link below and read up within a few minutes and put you one-step ahead to mastering Google Analytics.

Hope you enjoyed this stuff on Website-traffic and have a deeper insight and inspiration to walk towards the path of Google Analytics.

Any question or opinion or expectation will be welcomed!

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