In web analytics, traffic sources are dimensions that are visualized in a report that provides an overview of the sources of traffic to a website.
An example of a traffic source is direct traffic (users typing the URL into the browser or clicking from bookmarks) or traffic from search engines.
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Traffic sources in web analytics
The types of sources that are commonly used in web analytics are:
- Direct traffic:All those people who find a website by typing the URL or through a bookmark.
- Referral Traffic:Other websites that send traffic to a site. These can be as a result of banners, campaigns, blogs, or affiliates linking to the site owner, or news aggregators like menéame.
- Organic traffic:coming from search engines such as Google, Yahoo,Bing, Ask or others.
- Paid traffic:coming from PPC and display media, such as Google Adwords, Bing Ads, Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads…
- Social Media traffic from social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram…
- Other: These include campaigns, email, direct marketing, etc.
What are traffic sources for?
Once we have understood the different traffic sources by which our users access our website we understand why the traffic sources of any web page are so important.
Thanks to an analysis of the traffic sources of a website we can check, for example, which source is the one that gives us poorer results, this will be a signal to try to improve our strategy in that type of source to be able to attract more customers.
On the other hand, knowing the sources of access we can better segment our target audience and thus be able to optimize the quality of traffic and increase sales.