How to know the sources that direct traffic to your web

Evaluate what works and what does not make all the sense of the world. How to know but if what you do is fine? However, all analysis has to be done in an organized way. The first thing is to know what you want to analyze, web traffic sources, conversions, impressions, reach, etc.

  • What is a good reference point?
  • How to know where the best visitors from your website come from?
  • Where should most visitors from your website come from?
  • What kind of growth should you be seeing from each source of traffic?
  • How to successfully identify your channels with a lot of traffic?

Many marketing specialists approach the channels/sources with a mindset to control the data. Which means they run campaigns that try to drive growth across all channels instead of focusing on channels that align with their marketing strategy.

It is much easier to do an analysis when you understand what all the things you are measuring mean. The most advisable thing is to start monitoring where all the traffic comes from on your website. But there are times that you do not even know what all those channels mean or what are considered sources of web traffic . That is why it is sometimes difficult to start monitoring. However, with this guide, you will have everything you need to analyze your digital marketing campaigns.

What makes traffic good and valuable?

Traffic is good if:

  • It does not bounce: The traffic that bounces from your site as soon as it arrives is a waste of time and really really bad for SEO. The bounce rate may be related to factors of the website itself, such as design and loading time. But most of the time it is because the origin of the traffic does not match your objectives and results.
  • Perform a basic action:  Always look for the visitor to perform an action when he arrives at the website. If you get it, it’s a sign of a fairly well-planned traffic source.
  • Perform an advanced action:  And the advanced action is what is really sought. This is where the visitor signs up on a mailing list or buys a product that you are promoting. The possibility of conversion is a sign that a good website meets a very good source of traffic.

Web traffic sources and what they really mean

web traffic sources

It is time to analyze what the traffic that has cost you so many costs really means. Depending on the software you are using to measure, you may have a different code. However, the following definitions are quite common and equal in any tool. These are the main sources of web traffic with which you will find:

1.- Organic search

Organic search traffic usually means the amount of traffic that reaches your site through someone who finds you using a search engine. This way you can go deeper in more detail and see what keyword they searched for to get to your website.

It is important to know this because it helps companies understand which keywords generate more traffic, leads and customers so they can develop better-informed keyword and content strategies.

But now, that is changing. Although you can still see all that information when Google introduced SSL encryption things got complicated. What does that mean? Google started encrypting keyword data for anyone who did a Google search while connected to Google. Therefore, if you have logged into, for example, Gmail when you perform a search, the keyword you used to reach a website is now encrypted or hidden.

So now companies have much less visibility on what keywords look for search engines. It is much more difficult to understand which words and terms work and which do not. The truth is that this handicap hinders one of the main sources of web traffic that needs to be analyzed. But, it is important to take into account this ” problem ” when evaluating organic search as a source of traffic and generation of opportunities.

2.- References

References are one of those source names that could mean many things. References are any website that sends traffic to your page through an incoming link . Depending on the software or tool you are using to track traffic sources to your site, what is included in this information may vary.

For example, sometimes this could include social networking websites and other times not. There are brands that do not include the websites of social networks in the reference traffic because they are included in a separate segment called “social networks”. Another instance of variation are the subdomains. It can be included as reference web traffic or not.

Whatever tool or software you use to measure reference web traffic sources, be sure to order exactly what is in this source. Otherwise you will not be able to do your monitoring work well.

3.- Social networks

social networks

Although social networks can be considered reference traffic, it is better to do so in a separate section. These web traffic sources can include someone who tweets a link. Or it could also include someone posting a link to your Facebook page . If you’re doing a post, you can also add a tracking code before posting to follow those links as part of a larger campaign. In order to analyze it later.

Remember that social networks as a source can also include more than Facebook and Twitter. Includes all social networks. Make sure to confirm with your software provider which social networking sites are included as web traffic sources.

4.- Email Marketing

When you run an email marketing campaign, it is most usual to include links in that email that lead recipients to your website. You can do it to offer more information, create conversions, etc. But the normal thing is to include it.

When you take a look at email marketing as a source of traffic to your website, you can see how much traffic is sent to your website from the email marketing campaigns you have made . This will be how you discover which points are important in the emails you send.

You can find out which emails are the most traffic to your website. Make sure you include tracking codes in the links in your email. Otherwise, clicks will not be included correctly in the email marketing source.

5.- Payment searches

When you run a PPC campaign, either through Google or another provider,  you can track the amount of site traffic you have.

Obviously, for proper management of PPC campaigns, you should also check if that traffic really converts. As with email marketing as a source, be sure to include tracking codes with all your SEM campaigns.

6.- Direct traffic


Direct traffic refers to the traffic you receive on your website that does not arrive through any other channel. It is then when the user types the name of your website in its search bar and clicks to enter. This is direct traffic. However, if someone posted a link to ”” on Facebook and you clicked on that link, the visit would be included in social media sources. And not direct traffic.

To summarize, there is no reference URL when someone arrives at your site through direct traffic. Therefore, if your direct traffic increases every month, that means that more and more people know you by name. Which is great news.

Dark Social

There is another small group that could enter as part of the direct traffic. It’s something you might have heard about as ” Dark Social . ” Basically, Dark Social is what some people call traffic sources that analysis programs can not analyze. They are not usually traceable because they lack references. They lack references but come from emails or instant messaging.

Often this unidentifiable traffic, anything without a reference URL, is also included in direct traffic. As BuzzFeed says  ” all dark social traffic is direct traffic, but not all direct traffic is dark .” The amount of Dark Social that comprises the direct traffic of each varies.

7.- Other campaigns

Finally, if you are running some other type of marketing campaign for which you generated a tracking URL, but it does not fit into any of the other categories, you can include it in this section. Just because it does not fit perfectly into another cube does not mean it should not be tracked. So do not forget these web traffic sources.

In Wrotter I work measuring and optimizing according to the obtained performance: clicks, leads, downloads, sales, and much more! We are experts in monitoring and we create exhaustive analyzes of all web traffic sources. Do you want us to help you?

Author: Sandeep Shinde