Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.
Traffic. You may work vigorously to avoid it on the roads, but online? If you have a blog or website, you want more of it.
Accumulating more online views doesn’t happen by accident. There are dozens of ways you can help more readers can land on your blog or website. But if you struggle to master all those twists and turns that help readers find you — well, I’ve got good news for you. They boil down to three types of web traffic.
If you understand these three main kinds of web traffic, then you can build your readership. I’m all about making content writing simple, so I’ve created this tutorial to explain those three buckets.
You’ll see definitions of each of those 3 types of web traffic so you can understand how they’re different from each other. And you’ll find practical tips that can help you build those roads and byways that lead readers to your site.
What is organic traffic?
Organic traffic is the number of visitors who land on your site as the result of an online search. The process goes like this:
It’s this scenario that you, as a writer, want to replicate over and over. Organic traffic is free, which makes it attractive to most of us.
Yet don’t think visitors simply “stumble” upon your site. You can build organic traffic by following basic search engine optimization (SEO) strategies as you create your content. The keywords you choose for each page or post on your site drive readers to your website or blog platform over and over. You can see why choosing and properly placing keywords is a golden ticket to building free organic traffic.
Ways to build organic traffic
What is referral traffic?
Referral traffic is the number of visitors who arrive at your site through another online source. These users can find you through both paid and unpaid referrers.
The reader sees a hyperlink to your site online — whether on another site, in a blog, in an email, on a social media post, or in an ad — and is interested in learning more. He clicks on the hyperlink and lands on your site. Referral traffic is sometimes called “inbound traffic.”
Not all referral traffic is free. You can buy ads, remember? And while targeted ads routinely pull in traffic in your specific niche, free links can give your traffic an immediate boost, too — plus live online for a long time and build your site views steadily over time. All kinds of referral traffic can add up to give you plenty of views.
Ways to build referral traffic
What is direct traffic?
Direct traffic is the number of visitors who come to your site by typing your URL into their browser bar. It’s the simplest way to get traffic to a website, although it may not build significant volume all at once.
Ways to build direct traffic
What’s the best way to build traffic? Each online publisher is different. Here’s how to find the best way to build traffic for you and your site.
Readers can find you online in a myriad of ways. Don’t get overwhelmed by the possibilities. Just get started with one or two — then add another — and you’ll start getting noticed.
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