A website is an important asset for any business, no matter whether you own an eCommerce company or a law firm. Top Traffic Sources to Fuel Your Website but no website is useful without visitors. That’s why the greatest ambition of every marketer is not only to design a mesmerizing web page but also to drive traffic that will convert.

Are you planning to bank on paid ads or devote your time to SEO? There are numerous ways to get visitors, and each has some pros and cons. In this blog post, we’ll learn how to leverage your traffic sources and blend a winning marketing mix.

What are the traffic sources?

Simply put, traffic sources are the ways that people choose to come to your website. The origin from which people found your product or brand advertisement and clicked through. This can be via a banner ad, search result, email, or directly typing in your URL.

The traffic sources marked in blue are unpaid, but this doesn’t mean they don’t have hidden costs. They demand lots of effort and free hands to execute effectively. So, there is nothing free unless you are lucky enough to be featured by a famous blogger. But this is an exception.

Another point to consider is that every traffic source has a different potential for generating new leads. For example, email campaigns usually target people who have already visited the website, they nurture leads or upsell existing consumers.

Let’s take a closer look at channels and website traffic sources, so you can choose the ones that will work for you.

Free traffic sources: direct

ROI: unpredictable.
Pros: people come to your website on purpose and are potentially ready to buy.
Cons: this source cannot be measured; you can only guess where all these people came from.

When people type www.yourwebsitename.com into the browser and hit “Enter,” they are considered a direct traffic source. But how did they know the name of the site? Here are the most probable ways:

  1. They saw your ads on TV, radio, or outdoor advertising.
  2. They came from offline events or via sales representatives.
  3. They visit your website regularly and have added the address to their bookmarks.
  4. They actually belong to another traffic source, but due to attribution limitations were labeled as direct traffic.

The last point is hardly manageable. The only thing to do here is to accept that web analytics is not perfect; there may be some small gaps in your statistics. The first three points suggest that you should make the most of your offline marketing activities: host events, use print advertising like coupons and brochures, launch radio or TV commercials. These tactics will drive brand awareness and lead to direct traffic growth in the long run.

Marketers don’t usually consider direct as one of the potential traffic sources that they can optimize because it is hard to predict and segment. But if you perform well in the rest of the website channels and your brand becomes well-known, you’ll immediately see growth in the direct channel too. It’s a good indicator to track and compare with your competitors.

Free traffic sources: organic search or SEO

ROI: The first results come in half a year.
Pros: SEO brings visitors who are motivated to buy and will keep bringing traffic for a long time.
Cons: Hard to launch, maintain, and forecast.

SEO stands for search engine optimization and defines the process of attracting free traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. This is one of the best free traffic sources because people who make a search already have a need or a task to complete and are ready to purchase a product or service to achieve their goal.

Ideally, SEO works like this. Let’s say you have an online pet food store and your website is well-optimized for search engines. Your potential consumer makes an inquiry, searching for a specific brand or “dog food Lisbon,” and tada! Your website appears on the first page of the search results.

The best part about this source is that search engines will feature your website for free if it proves to be relevant i.e. gives visitors the information they are looking for and has good search karma.

This is not a random process that happens by chance, you will have to map out some SEO strategies. All websites get evaluated and scored against a long list of requirements. The best-ranking websites go to the top results and attract most of the traffic.

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