Before we know about anyone who actually visits your website, it’s important to understand how they arrived at your website.
To see various sources of traffic for a certain period of time, go to the Acquisition tab and click “All traffic” in the dropdown menu. Select the “Channels” button, set the time period at the top of the panel and scroll down to see the results.
Following are the simple details of several different channels:
- Direct: Visitors who come directly to your website. They also directly type your URL into their browser, click on the bookmark or click on the link in the email. Direct traffic is a strong indicator of the strength of your brand.
- Organic Search: You can thank search engines like Google for visitors to this website. An organic visitor is someone who gets to your website by clicking on a link from the search engine results page. A lot of organic traffic is a strong indicator of the value of your content and SEO strategy.
- Paid Search (Ads): You will find each paid search campaign (Google AdWords) in this viewing panel. A lot of paid search traffic means that your Google AdWords works well.
- Referral: This is a visitor who clicks on a link on another site and then lands on your website. Years ago, before social media as it is today, all other traffic (which is not direct or organic) was on the referral tab. In recent years, Google has created a separate tab for social traffic, which makes it easy for marketers to focus only on other websites that direct traffic to their websites. If you use a guest blog, this is the part seen for how much traffic is being driven to your site from your guest blogging. A lot of referral traffic means your website is being discussed by several other websites.
- Social: this is a favorite part of social media marketers in using Google Analytics because it shows which social media channels drive the most traffic to their website. This data can be used to shape your social media marketing strategy.
- Email: The number of visitors coming to your website from an email campaign. If you do a lot of email marketing, you need to dig here to see how effective your email campaign is.
Viewing traffic channels or sources of this traffic will allow you to see which channels direct the biggest traffic to your site.
You will see a list of channels in the order in which the most driving traffic to your website. The top channel is the one that drives the most traffic to your website.
To dig deeper into the data, click on each channel to see more information.
For example, when clicking Social, you can see the entire list of social media sites (listed in the order of the most direct traffic) that drive traffic to your website for the selected time period.
Analyzing the strengths of different channels will help you decide which one you should focus on, and potentially generate ideas for increasing traffic from other channels.
After you use Google Analytics to analyze your website traffic, here are some ideas for increasing traffic on all types of channels:
- Direct: share a link to your website with your friends and family with them. Tell them to type directly into their browser you will get a pretty good direct traffic boost.
- Organic Search: Make sure that you use H1 and H2 tags, meta descriptions and keywords on all pages of your website and when creating content such as articles. The stronger your SEO, chances are someone will find you in a search engine.
- Paid search: Try changing keywords and / or targeting options to make your ad more relevant.
- Referrals: Start reaching out to popular blogs and forums in your industry to see if you can guest blog or might appear on their website. Contributing content to other websites by including your website name and link is a great way to increase referral traffic.
- Social: Increases the frequency of your posts, and the number of links you share on social media can result in increased social traffic. It is also recommended to increase your efforts on one channel at a certain time to see which drives a lot of traffic. For example, making February to focus on Twitter; aim to tweet many links that drive traffic to your website and at the end of the month, analyze website traffic. Then, in March, turned more attention to Facebook and saw which of the two social platforms showed more traffic.
- Email: Start by entering a Call to Action (CTA) and more links in your email campaign. Make sure that your CTA is more prominent in your email template to drive people back to your website.
After you have implemented some of these ideas, take the time to use Google Analytic to review the channels that were mentioned to see the impact of your efforts.
If your attempt to grow traffic from one channel is unknown in your analysis, try a different one!
For example, say you have a lot of referral traffic and very little organic traffic. If your efforts to improve SEO and organic traffic have little effect, it might not be worth it.
For example, you are better off continuing a guest blog, if it really proves to be an important marketing activity that is worth your time and effort.