The Basic Elements of Website Traffic

Without traffic, where would a website or blog be? The volume of traffic to your website may ebb and flow, but once you have it you will want to keep people coming back to your site.

An indicator of the breadth of influence of your business’ website is the number of people who visit your site. Visitors to the site are collectively called “traffic.” Designing and hosting a website does not guarantee that anyone will visit your site. Promoting your site to existing customers and potential new customers is a key marketing strategy to increase the numbers of people who visit your website and who, once there, take action or buy from you.

The Lingo of Website Traffic

We know that “website traffic” means the people who visit your website or blog, but what are the other terms?

Page view is the loading of a single page by a visitor to your site. You want to have as many page views as is possible from each visitor to the site. The number of page views depends on many factors, including ease of use of the site, the attractiveness of the pages, and the overall layout of the site. Visitors to a site who find it difficult to navigate from product descriptions to the product sales pages will likely leave the site after several page views. A site that is easy to navigate will encourage a visitor to stay on the site for multiple page views.

Impression is when an online advertisement is displayed. An ad on a search engine that is visible once a page is opened is called an impression. Advertisers will charge a set rate to advertise on a website or search engine.

A visit occurs the second someone clicks on to the site, and ends the second the person leaves a site. The central tenet of a site design should be keeping each visitor on the site for as long as possible. Navigation, attractiveness of design, and brevity of language may contribute to increased length of a visit.

A hit is a request for a file from a web server. Visitors may visit the site by clicking on an advertisement, resulting in a hit.

Analytics is the measurement, collection, and analysis of web traffic. An example of tools to analyze web traffic, and Google Analytics.

Where Do You Find Website Traffic?

There are two types of traffic: organic and paid. Organic traffic is the segment of the population who find your website through searches. If you manufacture daily planners you will want to advertise on business sites, set yourself up as a resource in the organizational product market, and position yourself in search engine searches.

Through active advertising and promotion of your business site as the key resource for daily planners, when someone does a keyword search on a search engine like Google or Bing for “daily planners” or “paper organizational tool” your business will come up in the search. Organic traffic often translates in to a paying customer or a repeat visitor to your site.

The other type of traffic is paid. Paid traffic stems from a business paying a website or search engine to list its site. Paying for traffic via placement of ads can be hit or miss. At times a visitor may come to your site via an ad on a website or search engine, but just as often the ad is ignored.

Paid traffic can be one of two types: pay per view/impression or pay per click. Pay per view or impression signifies that the business pays for ads to be placed on a site. Businesses pay a flat rate to advertise. Since there is no guarantee that ads will be clicked, pay per view ads can be a passive form of advertising solely relying on a visitor to a site being interested enough to click through to the business website.

Small businesses may benefit from the other form of advertising to get traffic. With pay per click advertising, the business pays for only the number of impressions, that is, the number of people who see the ad and click through to the site. While still an expensive way to drive traffic to your site, pay per click advertising is a controlled, budget-conscious method for drawing visitors to your site.

Increasing Website Traffic

Once a site is up and running, the business goal should be to bring traffic to the site. Advertising is only one method for increasing web traffic.

A popular traffic growth method is social media. By creating Twitter and Facebook pages for your business, you will create buzz about your business. If a Facebook friend becomes a fan of a page, chances are good to other friends will fan the page. The same is true of Twitter. Active Twitter users will follow businesses on Twitter both to grow their own follower base and also as a way to keep track of businesses. Today, you may not need a supplier of copier paper, but tomorrow is another day.

Signing up for an internet directory listing in your business market is the 21st century yellow pages. Customers looking for a repairer of widgets will search online to find they want. Paying for a listing in an online directory may drive traffic to your site. As with any business marketing strategy, analyze the value of the directory listing. Perhaps, the directory offers a month’s trial. After the free month, look at who came to your site and where they came from. If significant traffic came from the directory, then paying for a listing is a worthwhile expense.