Unlike when you’re driving, traffic is something you want when you’re starting a blog. Traffic measures the number of people who are visiting your site and where they are coming from. Today’s connected world allows people to access your site from a wide variety of avenues. They won’t always type it directly into the search bar. Sometimes they’ll come from social media or from Google, or from another site entirely.
5 Main Types of Blog Traffic (And How to Improve Them)
If your blog is a beating heart, then traffic is the blood that flows through its veins. This is how you bring people into your brand, convert them into paying customers, and engage with them as well. Traffic is everything, but not all traffic is created equal.
Let’s take a look at the five main types of traffic you can expect to get to your site, and how you can improve upon and harness them.
1. Direct Traffic
This first type of traffic is about as simple as it gets. This is the type of traffic that occurs when someone types your URL into their web browser and comes directly to your site. You won’t have a lot of this at the beginning, but if you promote your blog everywhere, you’ll soon find that people come directly to you.
This type of traffic can be improved upon with the right promotions and brand building. It comes with time as people get to know your brand and it appears at the top of their mind when they are searching for similar products or services. Most likely, these will be visitors who have been to your site before and who had a great experience.
2. Organic Search
Organic search is the currency of search engine optimization (SEO). This is the traffic you watch to see how your optimization efforts are going and measure progress against. Improving your organic search is something you can easily do with the proper strategies in place.
Here are some of my top strategies for improving your SEO (and your organic search traffic) quickly:
- Install Yoast SEO if you’re using WordPress (it’s free!)
- Use tools like io to find and target long-tail keywords (more than 2 words in the phrase).
- Approach your content with the goal of providing in-depth information and value. Write for people, not search engines.
- Look to your competition for topic ideas and focus on things your audience is talking about.
- Build backlinks from other sites by guest posting and partnering with influencers
These are just some of the ways you can increase your organic traffic. Google has literally hundreds of factors they take into account when ranking websites, so every little bit counts.
3. Social Media
Our next type of traffic comes from social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. People may have clicked an ad, or they could have followed one of your posts to your site. Either way, if you’re seeing this then you’re doing something right with your social media marketing.
Improving this type of traffic comes from exercising control. Don’t try to be everywhere all the time on social media platforms. Choose the ones that your audience is most active on and focus your efforts there.
Another way to improve this traffic is to boost or promote posts that tend to perform well. Facebook, for example, offers this at a starting price of just $5.
4. Referral Traffic
Referral traffic is what happens when someone clicks a link on another website that leads to your own. Known as backlinks, these are a huge SEO strategy and a clear sign to Google that people see you as an authority.
Referral traffic is improved upon by earning new backlinks for your site. The best way to do this, beyond creating great content, is to write guest posts on other sites. Many other blogs in your niche most likely accept guest posts and will offer you a link back to your site within it.
This will help you build avenues back to your site, which will in turn generate referral traffic.
5. Paid Traffic
Finally, there’s always the option to make an investment. Whether this is in the form of ads on social media or a PPC (pay-per-click) campaign, there are ways to leverage capital in the interest of bring people to your site.
A great example would be to run a sweepstakes or contest on your site. This would generate huge amounts of buzz around your brand and give you the opportunity to welcome countless new people to your online community.
Improving this type of traffic is done through research and targeted campaigns that utilize data about your audience to make the best decisions and reach the right people.
Traffic is incredibly important, but it’s arguably more important that you understand and leverage the various types of traffic that come into your site. This will help you target the right kinds of people and ultimately get more from each visitor.
How do you prioritize and improve your traffic? Let us know in the comments!
This article was originally written by Amy Winer for the Votigo blog.