5 Types of Web Traffic

Digital marketing

An improvement of site traffic is a cornerstone of any successful online business. A steady and growing flow of visitors to a website is key to ensuring a business’s prosperous development, winning the market, and leaving competitors well behind.

In this video “Usability Testing: Website Tips and Examples” you will learn:

  • What report shows which web pages get the most traffic and highest engagement?
  • What are the two main methods for encrypting network traffic?
  • What command will capture web-based traffic?
  • What is the microsoft server solution for malware filtering of network traffic?
  • How does web trends tool work?

Such and similar questions can be seen in Google queries.

Maybe not all of our readers understand some specific terminology, so let’s first clarify what is “traffic” and what do people mean by the word. To make a long story short, it’s about visitors who come to the website from various sources such as Google Search, Facebook, any other social network, mailout, etc. Consequently, different types of site traffic will be discussed in our article as its title announces.

A website is a kind of a point of contact between potential customers and businesses. For example, a part of visitors who come to the page buys some products and order service. So it is absolutely logical that if you find a way to increase web traffic volume, you will enjoy an increase in profit.

Regardless of how well-thought-out and visually appealing the website is, metaphorically speaking, it is more dead than alive with no traffic. Even for online marketing professionals, the increase of web traffic in commercial topics may be a real challenge. So what can we say about entrepreneurs that actually have to care about the development of their business instead of dealing with technical issues and penetrating online marketing?

Nevertheless, when you understand what types of traffic exist and what traffic channel can potentially attract visitors, this helps you see the work direction and makes a campaign for business promotion clearer and more organized. And another important thing. Usually, the most successful marketing strategies simultaneously combine several ways of attracting customers.

The Main Types of Web Traffic

All channels are equally important as they may have an additional positive impact on the development of a business.

Organic (search) traffic

These are people that have found websites using a specific query in a search engine. For example, a user can type in a search bar “leather cases for iPhone,” see a link to the online store’s website in the list of results and click on it to visit the page. Generally, Google Search is the most popular globally, but people widely use other search engines in some regions.

search traffic

Organic traffic can greatly scale up business, which is proven by Lemarbet’s case studies. This means that the more effort you put into attracting visitors, the better return you will get. Of course, the results won’t arrive fast, but they can have an exponential character.

The number of visitors that come to the website from search depends on its ranking in search engines for different keywords. Therefore, to improve its visibility for target queries, you have to search engine optimization of separate pages and the whole website. Therefore, it would help if you regularly worked on external factors that influence web traffic rankings.

The visibility of a website in search results is of crucial importance for organic traffic growth. To improve site traffic, you have to do keywords research, optimize the existing pages and create new ones, add high-quality and unique articles, and make other websites and users of social networks link to a page. It’s tireless work that takes a lot of time but is fully rewarded.

Now SEO is already a full-fledged study, a complex of difficult tasks. However, these tasks ensure better site compliance with the quality criteria of search engines, which are constantly upgraded. To achieve success in respect, it’s better to ask for professional help. You will save time and avoid possible negative consequences.

But some issues cover on own. If you are interested, take a look at our articles “Ecommerce SEO – Formula for Success” and “27 DIY Ways to Promote Site”.

Paid Web Traffic

The category includes visitors that come to the website from and online ads. Google AdWords, ads on Facebook, display advertising, and other similar channels. Google AdWords, a contextual advertising network, is one of the world’s main paid traffic providers.

The main advantage of attracting visitors through paid traffic is that you can fully control flow by various parameters. For example, decide how many conversions the website gets and when to use geographic and other types of targeting.

A disadvantage is obviously the need to pay for conversions and displays. For websites working on commercial topics, driving traffic may be pretty costly. And when you run out of money, conversions to the website (and customers) will also disappear.

google ad

In Facebook news feed:

facebook ad

And during a video playback on YouTube:

youtube ad

Advertisers’ ads can be displayed in different formats, placed in search, various areas of pages, text, and other types of content.

Direct Web Traffic

When a user types the URL of the website in the address bar of a browser, he clicks on a previously saved bookmark.

direct traffic

Direct traffic can comprise a relatively small part of the total conversions, but it is extremely important for projects. It is a kind of indicator of users’ loyalty and brand awareness.

For informational projects, the main share of such conversions consists of returning readers. For example, customers return to view arrivals in a catalog, make a repeat purchase.


It’s necessary to be more active in both online and offline marketing. For example, use display ads for brand promotion, organize special offers and contests, print and distribute flyers or brochures.

Referral Web Traffic

Referral traffic mainly comprises people who come to the website through different links on other resources (including crowd marketing). If you published a press release with a link to a website on a third-party resource, and somebody clicked on it and came to the page, this will be a referral conversion. In Google Analytics, you see such conversions in Acquisition -> All Traffic -> Channels.

Backlinks can be added in articles and comments, thematic discussions, active users’ signatures, emails, forums, and other places. If the topic plays a crucial role, the readers of a culinary website are not likely to get really interested in the link to a page about construction.

Backlinks are originally the foundation of the Internet, and users will trust companies often mentioned on reputable websites. This is similar to the situation with reviews in online stores that we discussed before.

When you try to increase the number of backlinks to a website, the main thing is to benefit the page instead of accidentally harming it. We are talking about possible punishment from search engines for attempts to manipulate search results. That’s why you’d better contact professionals on the matter.

Social Web Traffic

By creating a strong community with highly involved and active subscribers, get a “piece of traffic pie” from platforms with millions of users. It’s a different matter that task is not an easy one, and most probably, you will have to use the assistance of third-party contractors.

When you start implementing marketing strategy and actively work with social networks, most probably you will soon notice that some social platforms bring more traffic than others. To check information, go to Google Analytics, under Acquisition -> Social -> Network Referrals:

network refferals

The moment you get to the assessment of site traffic, it would be a reasonable solution to reorganize marketing strategy keeping in mind information. Redistribute efforts and budget towards those social networks that bring you the most traffic.

Note These Several Recommendations

Understanding the peculiarities of a certain type of traffic simplifies developing a marketing strategy for business promotion online. However, we cannot say that only one traffic source can become a single and best channel to attract customers.

Potential buyers can come to website from an absolute variety of places. By increasing traffic in all directions, you will be able to cover the broadest audience. How assisted conversions in Google Analytics look like:


multi-channel conversion

We deal with the two main types of traffic: traffic management and the one which completely depends on a third party. So an absolutely logical conclusion is that you should focus on what control and not pay attention to everything else.

Such an approach will be only partially correct. The best option is to consider the work with traffic in terms of strategies. And from the long-term perspective, SEO promotion – the increase of uncontrolled but free website traffic – will certainly be the best strategic choice. Whereas paid traffic still should be viewed as a great tool to attract visitors fast and short-term.

Article by:
CEO Andrew Chornyy

CEO Plerdy — expert in SEO&CRO with over 11 years of experience.

3 replies on “5 Types of Web Traffic”

Andrew, you’ve shared an outstanding article about driving traffic to a blog.

I am also a beginner and this article has given answers to my many questions.

Keep working like this.

All the best!

thank you very much for guiding me about traffic ..

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