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Use 3 Types of Web Traffic to Build Your Blog or Website

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.

3 types of web traffic that build your blog or website with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WebContentWriting #WritingTips

3 types of web traffic that build your blog or website

1. Organic traffic

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:

  • The user types a search term into her browser.
  • The user sees your site in the search engine results.
  • The user clicks on your link and finds you.

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

  • Choose one primary keyword or phrase (terms or phrases associated with a particular topic) for each post, along with one or two secondary keywords.
  • Choose a primary keyword or phrase that is high demand, low supply.
  • Tag your page or post with the keyword phrase(s).
  • Position your page’s keyword phrase in six crucial places on that post.
  • Write a post that offers quality, helpful, well-organized information centered on that keyword.
  • Write page content that is conversational.
  • Don’t overstuff or overuse the keyword on the post. Search engines downgrade stuffed pages, preferring quality content.
  • Write at least 500 words or more of valuable content per page. Long-form posts (1,5000+ words) rank higher than short-form content.
  • Include your page’s main keyword at least once for every 300 words.

If you’re intimidated by SEO or simply new to it, check out LeAnn Fox’s free, introductory SEO course.

2. Referral 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

  • Post on topic-appropriate forums, message boards, and blogs about your topic, and include your website address or a link to a specific page.
  • Publish online articles on other sites and cite your website address.
  • Use your social media page (on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, for instance) and regularly post appropriate links to your website. You can even use a social media scheduler like Hootsuite to schedule posts in batches.
  • Start a podcast that includes referral links verbally and in the notes.
  • Use your email newsletter to publish teasers to your post with links to your site.
  • Start an RSS feed that sends a link to readers whenever you publish a new page.
  • Exchange links with bloggers in your niche or related niches.
  • Buy online ads on Facebook or Google that target readers in your niche.

3. Direct 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

  • Choose an easy-to-remember domain name.
  • Include your web address on all printed material (letterhead, brochures, newsletters, annual reports).
  • Cite your web address in your voicemail message.
  • List your web address in your email signature.

Use the 3 types of web traffic to multiply your efforts

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.

  • Use a combination of all three types of web traffic tools.
  • Check your website traffic data regularly to see how your site is performing.
  • Use Google Analytics or your website’s statistical application to track how people find you on the web.
  • Work to improve your results. For instance, if only a small percentage find you through referral links, then start posting on topic-related forums or start a Facebook page to drive more of that type of web traffic to 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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