Once you get to grips with the basics of understanding your website, visitors and SEO, it’s natural to want to dig a little deeper and understand which traffic source has the best converting visitors.
Lots of website traffic looks great on reports for the board but unless your website traffic is converting, it’s just a bunch of numbers and isn’t helping your business grow.
In this blog, I discuss different traffic sources, conversions, how you can identify top-performing sources, and what you should focus on to generate leads or make sales.
Traffic Sources And Conversion
A traffic source is very simply, how a visitor came to be on your website. What was the trigger that made someone come to your website or landing page? Here are the most common traffic sources:
- Organic Search: traffic that is earned not paid for
- Direct: visitors that have typed in your website URL
- Paid Search: traffic from paid adverts
- Referral: usually link follows from another website
- Social: traffic from a social media network
You can find data for each of the traffic sources shown above in Google Analytics. You must understand where traffic is coming from, but why?
Understanding where your traffic is coming from will give you a better understanding of where your audience is and potentially, where you need to invest more time, or in some cases, understand what just isn’t working for you.
Once you understand where traffic is coming from, it’s time to take a deeper look at which of those traffic sources converts the best on your website.
In non-marketing speak, conversion means a visitor has taken an action you want them to. For eCommerce businesses, this would be a customer purchase. For service businesses, a conversion may be someone completing a contact form or downloading a brochure. Conversions can also be measured in Google Analytics (remember to set them up!)
It’s also worth mentioning here that email will also be a source of traffic if you are running email marketing campaigns. Again, you need to remember to set this up properly to keep tabs on traffic coming from your campaigns.
In summary, keeping a tab on what is going on with your traffic sources and conversions will give you a greater understanding of where your audience is coming from and which of those referral channels are the most likely to deliver visitors that become customers.
The Best Source For Website Traffic That Converts
Now that you understand traffic sources and conversion, you will naturally want to understand which traffic source converts the best?
This is where things get slightly trickier, and I have to say…it depends. Some SEO folks will say organic traffic converts best; others will say direct traffic is the winner.
There are too many variables to tell you or any of our customers which traffic source converts the best. The results depend on what you are selling, the industry you are in, your branding, marketing, visibility etc. That’s why it’s crucial to study your website data and understand where your best source of traffic is.
Although all businesses should work on improving conversions across all channels, identifying channels that perform the best enables you to make decisions on where to direct your focus and invest more of your digital marketing budget.
Direct traffic is often quoted as one of the best sources of converted traffic because direct means that a visitor has typed in your URL and landed on your website. This indicates a strong interest in your business (they’ve heard of you for a starter!) and a motivation to buy a product or service.
Organic traffic is also an extremely important source as visitors arriving on your website through this channel will also have a strong motive to buy.
In complete contrast to these two popular opinions, for some brands, social media could be the source of the best converting traffic. There are numerous brands, usually consumer products, that heavily invest in their social media strategy because they know their customers are just a click away from parting with their cash.
Can you see now why the answer isn’t so simple? Horses for courses!
Organic Traffic And SEO
Now, I’m going to contradict myself slightly and tell you that whilst I think it’s important to identify what works best for your business, you would absolutely be missing a trick if you didn’t pay particular attention to your organic traffic as a major source of lead generation and business growth.
70% of all links clicked by search engine users click on are organic. That alone is a great statistic to ponder.
Not all organic traffic will be relevant but if manage to get your content ranking for the exact keywords your target audience is searching for – bingo! You have a potential customer.
Search engine optimisation should be a large part of your overall marketing strategy, but it deserves a special mention because, in comparison to other methods, organic traffic to your website will generally be cheaper to convert when compared to other methods. Ideal for businesses that are focussed on where to invest their precious marketing budget.
In addition, developing your organic traffic source by ranking for the right keywords is a long-lasting, sustainable way to gain leads that convert. Getting your website to rank does take a little more time and patience than other methods but the results last when compared to paid search, for example. As soon as you switch off your paid adverts the channel becomes dead. The same isn’t necessarily true for organic rankings.
One of the ways we achieve this long-lasting effect for our clients is by creating high-quality content that is designed to rank for a long time. Content marketing is key to any organic search strategy.
As mentioned previously though, each business is unique, and all traffic sources should be closely examined.
If you want to learn more about generating highly convertible website traffic, please feel free to get in touch!