Every small business must understand website traffic.
Here’s a simple breakdown of the 4 major types of traffic (and how to get some):
1. Direct Traffic
Direct traffic is the users who visit your site by directly typing in the URL.
This is a good sign because it shows that people are aware of your business and it is becoming popular with web searchers.
How to get direct traffic
Become known either locally or online for a particular service or product. Whatever that is make it your “specific thing” by presenting yourself as an expert and creating content on social media about it.
2. Organic Traffic
Organic traffic comes from visits to your website when people search for your service or product on Google or other search engines.
This is a good sign because it means your website is optimized for the relevant keywords in your niche and industry. These types of visitors are usually more likely to convert leads because they are searching for something specific and your business proved to be a match.
How to get organic traffic
Optimize your website content for search engines, check out what your competition is doing, and make sure you have a Google My Business Profile for your business.
3. Referral & Social Traffic
Referral traffic is when someone visits your website by clicking on a link from another website, social media, or in an email.
This is a good sign because it means other websites are linking to your website which signifies trust in the eyes of Google. This has the side benefit of improving your organic traffic too.
If the traffic is coming from a link on a social platform, it means the content you are posting is creating interest. Double down on that type of content.
How to get referral traffic:
- Find link-building opportunities. Reach out to other businesses in your local area and see if there is an opportunity for them to link to your website. However, make sure there is something in it for them.
- Email newsletter swap: If you send out a regular email newsletter, exchange link mentions with another local business or entity that also puts out a newsletter.
- Local business websites and directories. Create a profile for your business on various small business directories.
- Social Media. Create better content on social media that inspires curiosity and interest in your business. Post regularly and engage on one platform and then repurpose to other platforms. Avoid simply link-dropping in posts.
4. Paid Traffic
Paid traffic is when visitors come to your website after clicking on an ad that you paid for.
The upside to paid ads is that it is a fast and easy way to get traffic. Plus, the audience targeting on many platforms is tremendous. The thing to caution about is you need to know what you are doing to get the most value for your money. In most cases, you need an ads specialist who understands audience targeting and can create a compelling ad campaign.
How to get paid traffic:
- Run ads on Meta, Instagram, or LinkedIn
- Find a direct marketing agency to create a mailed postcard that advertises your services and features a QR code that takes people to your business.
- Research local websites that offer advertising on their site
Here’s my recommendation: Don’t try to master getting traffic for all four channels at once. Instead, start with social media (referral traffic). This is what creates awareness of your business, establishes your expertise, and builds trust within the community. By consistently creating high-value content on social media, in time you’ll increase both your direct and organic traffic a bit.
As you gain more traction on social and start to build your network, you can then consider investing in a long-term organic (SEO) strategy.
As far as running paid ads goes, from my experience it’s much harder to find success with them when your business lacks awareness. My suggestion is to use ads as a way to create leverage in your industry after you established authority and trust and now you can reinvest back into growing your business.
And as always, if you need help, let’s hop on a free call, and I will tell you exactly what you need to do—whether you’re just getting started with your website or want to take it to the next level.
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