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The difference between direct and organic website traffic sources

Direct Vs Organic Website Traffic Sources

For a long time, Digital Marketing specialists summarized the properties of direct and organic traffic quite simply. For most, organic traffic consists of search engine visits, while direct traffic consists of visits from people who enter their company’s URL in their browser. However, this explanation is too simple and leaves most digital marketing specialists with little attention when it comes to fully understanding and obtaining information from web traffic, especially organic and direct sources.

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Traffic sources

Beyond organic and direct traffic, you must understand the difference between all your traffic sources and how traffic is classified. Most web analytics platforms, such as Google Analytics, use an algorithm and a flowchart based on the reference website or the URL parameters that determine the source of the traffic. Here is a breakdown of all sources:

Direct: Any traffic where the reference or source is unknown.

Email:  Email marketing traffic that has been properly tagged with an email parameter.

Organic: Traffic from search engine results is obtained, not paid.

Search pays: Traffic from search engine results that is the result of paid advertising through Google AdWords or other paid search platform.

Reference: traffic that occurs when a user finds it through a site that is not a primary search engine.

Social: Traffic from a social network, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram.

Other: if the traffic does not fit in another source or has been labeled “Other” through a URL parameter, it will be grouped in the “Other” traffic.

Now that we have a general basis for all web traffic sources, let’s dig into the details of two very important sources: direct and organic traffic.

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Direct traffic

Direct traffic is defined as visits without a reference website. When a visitor follows a link from one website to another, the source site is considered the reference. These sites can be search engines, social networks, blogs or other websites that have links to other websites. Direct traffic classifies visits that do not come from a referral URL.

Traditionally, we have attributed this traffic to visitors who manually enter the website URL or click on a marked link. Today, however, the story behind direct traffic is a bit more complex, and the number of direct traffic visits seems to be growing for many websites, especially sites with growing organic traffic.

To fully assess direct traffic, in 2014, a well-known company conducted a test in which it de-indexed its site for six hours. When a well-known company did this, it could conclude that 60 percent of direct traffic was really organic because the de-indexing of its site and the stopping of organic traffic also reduced its direct traffic.

Why are there more sites that see direct traffic growth and what should you do about it?

Let’s analyze the common causes of direct traffic to find the answer: Internal employees: your employees usually visit your site and do not have your IP filtered from web analysis. As a general rule, filter all IP addresses of the company from the web analysis.

Customers: Do your customers log in to a customer portal on your site? This is often a culprit in direct traffic. In this case, you do not want to completely filter the traffic, but to configure different views within Google Analytics to view web analysis without this traffic.

Real direct traffic: they are the people who enter their URL in their browser or find it through a bookmark. There is nothing I can do to deepen this: just accept the fact that users really know your brand.

Emails from individual email clients: It is quite common that email clicks from Outlook or Thunderbird do not convey referral information. You can usually identify if an email caused an increase in direct traffic by analyzing traffic at the time a particular email was sent.

Mobile traffic: In the well-known experiment of the company mentioned above, the well-known company discovered that both the browser and the device are important for the ability of web analytics to track organic traffic. Although desktop computers using common browsers saw a minor impact of the test (10-20 percent), mobile devices saw a 50 percent drop in direct traffic when the site was de-indexed. In summary, as mobile users grow, we are likely to see a direct increase in direct traffic from organic search traffic.

Clicks on mobile applications or desktop software’s: programs such as Skype or news applications often do not transmit reference information and, therefore, generate direct traffic. The best way to capture and analyze this is to understand where your site’s links, including applications, can be used or access Digital Marketing Services in Blacktown Sydney

SSL certificate

Secure sites (https) to unsecured (http): Since Google began to emphasize the importance of having a secure site, more websites are hosted securely, as indicated by the “https” in their URLs. However, according to the security protocol, any traffic that goes from a secure site to an unsecured site will not pass reference information. You can correct this problem by updating your site to be secure through a third-party SSL certificate.

When you look at the overall traffic of your website, a healthy amount of direct traffic is approximately 20 percent, according to web analyst Avinash Kaushik. However, with the important changes on the web that prevent sellers from tracking the true source of traffic, we are likely to see this percentage increase. Now, what about organic traffic?

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic is the main channel that inbound marketing strives to increase. This traffic is defined as visitors coming from a search engine, such as Google or Bing. To get results you have to approach SEO Services In Western Sydney This does not include paid search ads, but that does not mean that organic traffic is not affected by paid search or graphic advertising, either positively or negatively. In general, people trust search engines, and sayings like “simply Google” reinforce that humans are linked to the search engine. Therefore, paid search, display or even offline campaigns can generate searches, which can increase organic traffic while those campaigns are running.

That said, we also know that organic search traffic as a whole has been negatively affected by design changes that Google made in search results last year, which caused some websites lost to paid search results.

To summarize all this information, even organic traffic, such as direct traffic, has some gray areas. However, for the most part, organic traffic is driven by SEO. The better you qualify for competitive keywords, the greater the organic traffic. Websites that constantly create search-optimized content will see a steady increase in organic search traffic and better positioning in search results. As a marketer, it is important to look at your keywords and high ranking pages to identify new SEO opportunities every month.

Traffic data is an excellent way to take the temperature of your website and marketing initiatives. When you write and promote blog content on a regular basis, you can use traffic data to track the results and correlate these efforts with the real ROI. Be sure to look at website traffic numbers during long-term intervals to see trends and report improvements over time.

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