Direct traffic - may include type-ins and bookmarks. Type-in traffic would be when a user types your URL into the address bar and enters your website.
Bookmark traffic is anyone that favors your website that came back through the bookmarks menu of their browser. However, you cannot distinguish whether direct traffic was a result of type-ins or bookmarks.
Direct traffic can be generated by word-of-mouth, offline advertising, and many other sources and is the most difficult traffic source to trace .
Search engine traffic is otherwise referred to as "natural" or "organic" traffic.
Search engine traffic accounts for anywhere from 50-70% of an established website's traffic.
Search traffic only counts if a visitor arrives to your website from a specific search engine (i.e. Google or Yahoo) by clicking your link on the search engine.
It's also possible for PPC (pay-per-click) traffic to be categorized under search traffic with some traffic analysis tools. Whereas search traffic is generally free, PPC traffic is traffic that comes from paid advertisements on a search engine.
Visitors who have heard about your website from a friend or already have been to your website and came back. Instead of going to Google to find what they are looking for, they come to you. Therefore, the value you bring to this type of visitor is enormous. You give them exactly what they want to see! Of course, there is still a range of people, from the ones who just want to “check it out” to a loyal subscriber. In general though, this type of traffic benefits the most from your website.
This is also the type of traffic that exists in community type websites like forums. It’s a place where people of a like mind gather to discuss common things of interest to them. It’s not surprising then that great projects can come out of this group of people.
Somebody has told them about your website, be it a friend or a link from another website. As such, this type of visitor is more targeted than say, search engine traffic.
They were referred by a reliable and trusted source that is already familiar with your website, so they already know there is value to be found here. After taking a look, they are more likely to convert into a loyal subscriber of your website and actively participate in it than other forms of non-direct traffic.
Searchers are looking for specific information. Because the visitors are only searching for a specific bit of information, they generally won’t stay for a very long time and will leave once they’ve found what they’re looking for.
For example, 78% of search engine visitors for this blog click the back button immediately after reading one article. Unless they feel very strongly about something in the article, they are unlikely to participate beyond that.
Probably the least desirable form of traffic in terms of both value and monetization. People see an interesting title that has been voted high up on social bookmarking websites like Digg, and click through to “check it out”.
They aren’t actively searching for the information you provided, so are less interested in your material than any other type of traffic. It’s the difference between someone sitting in front of their TV flipping channels vs. someone eagerly turning on their TV for their favorite 7pm show.
However, Social Media Traffic can provide value over time as you build relationships with this group of visitors – they may become your most loyal customers.
How to determine valuable traffic that you’re not aware of?
look at the Site Referral logs to find traffic that may be valuable to me but I didn’t know about.
When someone visits your website, server software counts and tracks, i.e. "logs", that visit. It also keeps a record of it for a certain period of time. Part of the saved information is called a referrer log.
Referrer logs can help you analyze the traffic to your site. Though each referrer log program provides slightly different data, some of the more common information includes:
* Which pages were accessed the most or the least;
* Who are the visiting spiders;
* User profile by region;
* Average length of time someone remains on your site;
* Average number of user sessions or page views per day;
* Top entry and exit pages;
* Top referring sites;
* Summary of activity by day;
* Server errors;
* Bandwidth, which is the measure (in kilobytes of data transferred) of the traffic on the site; and,
* Type of technology used by your visitors.
Tip: look for unusual patterns in your site referral logs
You’ll want to look for unusual patterns or sites incoming (see http://www.webmetricsguru.com/archives/2009/05/social-media-therapy/ where I look at traffic coming HBO as a result of shows on HBO) – traffic that might reflect a campaign that has just happened related to your business, Retweets, local traffic from a known promotional campaign (when you know about the campaign in advance)
Incoming traffic to Webmetricsguru.com As you can see, for the period of time being examined, besides Google, Twitter is providing more traffic to my site than any other site, but there are many hints in the referral logs for sites that might be worthwhile to forge relationships or outreach.
Unusual Patterns I found in my site referral log You can also classify traffic by weather it’s from Social Media or not http://www.mintblogger.com/2009/05/how-to-track-social-media-traffic-of.html
Creating a Custom Segment for Social Media Traffic in Google Analytics http://www.mintblogger.com/2009/05/how-to-track-social-media-traffic-of.html
Custom Segmentation Traffic to Webmetricsguru.com from Social Media
Learn how to take action on the traffic you get Use Web Analytics to Compare Paid Search Traffic vs. Organic for Customer Acquisition Paid Search Organic Search Paid Search can be evaluated by the percentage of new visits (visitors), time spent on site, Pages per Visit and Bounce Rate. Paid Search appears to be delivering a better experience relative to Organic. But numbers can be deceiving – many more organic search visits vs. paid visits results in more conversions, overall, using Organic Search.
Taking note of Landing Pages look at the landing pages and find out if Advertising is being run well Paid Search Organic Search Paid Search is sending almost all it’s traffic to the homepage of this Art Site – that’s usually not recommended. Meanwhile, the Organic Search sends 74% of it’s traffic to interior pages of the site – that’s normally good. First 4 of 19,011 pages First 4 of 274 pages
Are the right Keywords driving traffic to my site? Keyword Quality – Are we going after the right keywords and is there content answering visitors’ needs (questions)? Most content doesn’t automatically convert but it’s Important to understand there’s two sets of goals and measurements 1 – Your customer/visitors goals 2 – Your goals
Have I harnessed my site to take advantage of The Long Tail? Long Tail Traffic answers visitors questions but there ’ s a lot of long tail traffic. Visitors have a lot of “questions” – queries containing words such as “buy, bought, sold, show (it’s an art site), acquire, etc, will bring up individual visits – but you can’t optimize your Site for every single visitor – or can you? Answer: You can , but you have design your site for it and have the content. CMS Platform being used will be crucial. Also, use HitTail.
Deciding what to do – filter for new subscribers to your site Analytics Rule 1 Best sites for advertising to obtain New Subscribers to Site’s Newsletter (per year): Depending on the sort order your results will be different Note: Need to export to Excel or Access and filter data multiple times Answer: artandauction.com, ltbmedia.com, vanityfair.com, artforum.com, Art.blogging.la, theartlawblog.blogspot.com, uber.com
Deciding what to do – filter on “Engaged Visitors” Analytics Rule 2 Best locations for attracting “Engaged New Visitors” Answer: Coudal.com, painting.about.com, the-artists.org, bowieart.com. Hirshorn.si.edu, Saatchi-gallery.co.uk, etc.
Deciding what to do – filter on finding the right keywords for your site Analytics Rule 3 Best Keywords for attracting “Engaged New Visitors” (Organic and Paid) Answer: artist, artist gallery, gallery listings, artists, new york galleries, artist directory and new york gallery guide.
Deciding what to do – filter on finding the right Paid Keywords for your site Analytics Rule 4 Best Paid Keywords for attracting “Engaged New Visitors” Answer: artist, artist gallery, gallery listings, artists and artist directory .
d. Database and customer data – normally, there events never show up in Analytics without special work – but you may want to have them show up for Attribution purposes. Typically, the best way to merge is data is using a Data Warehouse and mixing the Site Analytics data with other customer data using a unique key.
Another way, less expensive, is to write to an analytics log file and mimic a database event as a web analytics event – however, there’s a lot of custom work involved from both the development side, the analytics site and program management side.
Using Social Media take action and increase quality traffic / revenue / leads
Technorati -Track search results of blogs and blog posts, looking for influencers that are repeatedly top sources of information.
Ask yourself if the blogger is part of the target community, or if this is a random post on the topic: A climate change blogger may mention polar bears in a post, but that doesn’t mean they are active members within the polar bear community.
Further, don’t let the Technorati Authority or ranking play too large of a factor.
A top influencer in the polar bear community may only have an Authority of 50; whereas in a large, broad community – auto enthusiasts – top influencers would expectedly have over 1,000 Authority.
Find Influentials –Google Blogs and Social Mention
Google Blogs : Is particularly useful for finding the volume of conversation occurring on particular search terms. It is also a useful for finding posts within a period of time.
socialmention : socialmention allows searches across blogs, microblogs, bookmarks, comments, events, images, news, video, audio, and Q&A. This social search engine searches for unique posts across Technorati, Google, Yahoo!
Delicious : Search for popular posts regarding the keywords. Track top taggers, and top tags based on the keywords. It is useful to search top tags to better assess a specific keywords popularity compared to the broader conversation.
daylife : Is useful to find topics, photos, and articles by keyword. In particular, daylife provides top quotes on the search term, and it highlights themes of articles that mention the searched keyword. For example, top topics of articles that mention “ polar bears ” include the Environmental Protection Agency, Barack Obama and others.
AllTop , the online magazine rack, is useful to find an assortment of top blogs by category. If there are no categories in AllTop for a particular keyword – polar bears – expand the search to include broader terms that would encompass the original keyword – Green .