Traffic Source

A traffic source is an origin by which users can find your website. Traffic sources can help you understand the sources that are attracting most or least users to your web page and give you a layout of the traffic flow to your website. But perhaps to understand the meaning of a traffic source, it is better to define the word traffic first. 

What Is the Definition of Traffic?

We are all familiar with the word traffic. You probably think of it as the number of vehicles that are moving on a highway. But what does the word traffic mean for web developers? Traffic is known as the number of users that usually visit your web page. Traffic numbers can give you an idea about your targeted audience and their needs. Analyzing your web page’s traffic can tell you a lot of information about the content provided to your users on your website and whether it satisfies your users’ needs. 

traffic source

What Is the Difference Between Organic vs Paid Traffic?

There are several types of traffic, but first, you should learn about the difference between organic vs paid traffic. Money is the most significant difference between organic and paid traffic. Organic traffic includes those users who visit your website from unpaid sources. The number of users who visit your website by typing a query into the Google search engine will define your organic traffic. These unpaid sources are mostly the results of organic searches. Organic searches are unpaid searches that are not affected by advertisements. On the other hand, paid traffic is mostly controlled by advertisements. Advertising companies pay money for the number of users they can attract to your web page through their ad. But perhaps to better understand the difference between organic and paid traffic you should learn a little more about the difference between organic search results and paid ads. 

Organic Search Results vs Paid Ads

Organic search results include most of the content that usually appears on a web page and they are mostly located after the paid ads on a web page. On the other hand, paid ads occupy a very small portion of the page and they mostly appear on the top (sometimes at the bottom) of the page. SEO strategies are those that improve organic search results by making the keywords related to the content of the web page, the mobile-friendliness of the web page, using enough internal and external links, etc. PPC strategies are those that improve social media traffic, display traffic, and so on.

Why Is Organic Traffic Important?

Organic Traffic Demonstrates Targeted Users

Since organic traffic is the result of the traffic that is generated by users that search a query in a search engine with a specific intent, it shows the number of users who share the same goal and intent as your web page. It is more likely to attract a potential customer in organic search compared to other types of traffic. 

Organic Traffic is Free

Organic traffic has a significant role in SEO since ranking high in organic search can attract more users to your website without any cost. Unlike paid traffic which can be very expensive, organic traffic can serve you in many ways without costing you a penny. Every time a user visits your website as the result of typing a query into Google’s search engine, it will have a positive effect on your organic traffic. 

definition of traffic

It Helps You Understand Your Customers Better

Driving more organic traffic to your website will gradually attract more attention to your web page as higher organic traffic from SEO strategies will guarantee that more users are going to visit your website. Moreover, learning more about organic search would help you better understand the needs of your users who are also your potential customers. Subsequently, you can learn about the keywords that will attract more potential customers. 

Working on Your Organic Traffic Has a Long-Term Effect 

Additionally, working on your website’s organic traffic will have a long effect on your business. This long-lasting effect is difficult when you invest in your paid traffic. Once you use SEO to improve your website visibility, the effect will linger for a longer period of time. Such a long-lasting effect will help you to save even more money. 

Attracting more Engaged Customers and Improving Your Credibility

By ranking higher in organic search, you can also attract more engaged visitors whose needs are very close to your products or the content that your website provides. It will also enhance the trustworthiness of your website which is a very important factor.

Why Is Paid Traffic Important?

Results Are Instant and Easier to Track Down

Unlike organic traffic, paid traffic can be beneficial more quickly in a short-term period. For SEO or content marketing, Google usually takes a lot of time to evaluate your page and rank it. Also, you need to wait for a while if you want to increase your traffic. SEO strategies boost organic search results and usually take time, but by launching paid ad campaigns on your web page you can see the benefits as soon as you apply the strategies. This is because PPC marketing strategies can be tracked and measured very easily by every click. On the other hand, it is difficult to determine whether organic search results lead to more reads or not. Subsequently, they are more difficult to track down.

Retargeting or Remarketing Ads

PPC marketing for paid traffic gives you the opportunity to retarget a user who has already visited your web page. The result is remarketing. Remarketing provides you the chance to target the users that previously have shown interest in your product or service. Those users are more likely to become your potential customers.

Paid Traffic Is Simpler

Running a paid traffic campaign can be easier with fewer people involved. This is because you can very easily track and monitor every click from this type of traffic.

Paid Ads Are Predictable

The budget for paid ads can easily be determined ahead of time. This predictability gives you a lot of options to evaluate and choose from them.

what is direct traffic

What Is Direct Traffic?

There is also another type of traffic known as direct traffic that is defined according to the way that users find your website in a query. Direct traffic includes the users that access your site by using your domain or website address directly. For example, a user visits your website by typing your website address in a browser for a query. 

Other Types of Traffic

There are several other types of traffic. The most significant one is referral traffic. 

Referral Traffic

Referral Traffic includes the users that access your website by clicking on a link or searching another website that refers to your site by a link. 

Social Media Traffic

Social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. attract traffic to your website. Such traffic is social media traffic. 

Display Traffic

By advertising on Google ads, you can display your ads on other web pages. The number of visits that you gain from users by clicking on your ads is count for display traffic. Display traffic comes from paid ads on other websites.

Email Traffic

You can gain email traffic by using email marketing software and emailing your subscribers. You generate email traffic whenever someone clicks on your emails. 

organic vs paid traffic

What Is the Best Strategy?

Strategies that can improve organic and paid strategies are different. SEO includes strategies to boost organic traffic while PPC strategies improve paid traffic. Since paid traffic is simpler and quicker than organic traffic, web developers can first focus on boosting paid traffic in order to enhance their organic traffic in the longer term. However, it is also possible to combine both strategies that are needed to boost both organic and paid traffic. 

Difference Between SEO and PPC

As it was mentioned before, the most important difference between organic and paid traffic is the cost and money. This is the same for the strategies that boost these two types of traffic. Since SEO strategies focus on organic search, they are free of charge. However, PPC strategies cost you money because they are related to paid traffic. Since SEO strategies work in the longer term, it will take more time to improve organic traffic compared to paid traffic. Also, results of organic search usually contain a wider range of content (compared to paid ads) that is provided by an organic search.

Although paid ads can boost your paid traffic very quickly, the results are effective as long as you pay for those ads. This means that working on your organic traffic can be more beneficial to you as time passes. Subsequently, in order to boost your traffic on both a long and short-term basis, it would be beneficial for you to focus on both SEO and PPC marketing strategies.


  • What is a traffic source?
  • What are the types of traffic source?
  • Why is organic traffic important?
  • How are PPC and SEO different?
  • Why is paid traffic important?

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