Basic Guide To Understanding Website Traffic And Why It Matters

By Ashutosh Jha → Last Updated on Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Website traffic constitutes visits and clicks by users, which determines its success. Details of website traffic are, suffice it to say, essential information to any internet-based company.

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A site’s server notes each request for a web page. In turn, the web hosts find out what pages are the most visited. They would then analyze web traffic data using a website traffic checker to get actual, reliable figures to help their clients.

Hits, Sessions, Pageviews

A web page is composed of many separate files. These files are then sent to your browser, which collates them into a finished format, complete with texts and images. Each file sent is equal to a ‘hit,’ with one viewed page representing several hits. The more visits a website has, the more hits and sessions a site’s servers handle. A ‘hit,’ however, is a very technical measurement. It has little value to the website operators, marketing team, or managers.

Meanwhile, sessions refer to interactions by users on a website. It begins when the user was bought there by the search engine or typing its web address. It includes filling out forms, scrolling, adding items to a shopping cart, researching hotel room costs, etc.

Pageviews are, to put it simply, views on a web page by users. Thus, pageviews measure a human’s (user’s) interaction with your site and are, therefore, a much more preferable measurement of a site’s activity.

Data Analysis

File requests are handled each time by a web server, which is noted by a computer in a server log located on the dedicated file of a server’s hard drive. This file request’s entry has the user’s IP address that requested the file. The entry also includes the time and date of the request and the file name.

web traffic
The log is extensive and includes errors, like when a user requests a page that no longer exists. The data collected by the log would eventually number to thousands of entries, which would be a treasure trove of information for the web operators. The web hosts would then analyze the collected logs of web traffic using a website traffic checker.

The data provided by the analysis reveals the site’s most visited pages. The analysis would also show the hours and the days when visitors are busiest, as well as their geographical locations from anywhere in the world.

Traffic Surges

A single server computer can host an ordinary site on an inexpensive network connection. However, a busy website would require numerous computers, plus a robust network that can handle the load of requests. Web traffic would need a hefty capacity to handle bursts of user activities. The site’s hosts are always on the lookout for these traffic surges; they use this data to decide when to increase a site’s capacity to handle the traffic.

If the hosts are inattentive to the site’s capacity, traffic surges would overload it and make it unresponsive. Users would avoid the website, which means lost clients and unrealized income.

Strategy Through Analysis

Analyzing web traffic is crucial for shaping successful business strategies. For example, if your website offers discounts on some products, you, as the site operator, can determine the resulting traffic that the sale created. You would know whether your pricing is effective or not, or if customers shifted their focus on other products listed on your site.

The amount of web traffic information lets companies attempt different marketing strategies and quickly and efficiently assess them.

Types Of Web Traffic

Website traffic is vital to a business because visitors mean opportunities to increase the number of customers. In the long run, busy website traffic allows your business to grow, expand product lines, bring in more workers, and develop and open more opportunities.

While it’s critical to observe your overall website traffic from online sources, assessing them would let you understand which marketing approach works and which needs to improve.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic refers to visitors on your site after typing a particular keyword search for a topic, service, or product on search engines. Organic traffic happens, as the name suggests, ‘organically,’ and not through paid traffic. Visitors who are considered organic found your website using a search engine (e.g., Google or Firefox). They are not ‘referred to’ by other websites.

A simple way of increasing your traffic is to publish relevant and quality content consistently. This is just one way of increasing traffic, though; there is an online marketing area that emphasizes improving organic traffic called ‘search engine optimization’ (SEO).

Organic traffic is free; it is triggered with your site appearing in the search result of a user’s action. This kind of traffic is what site operators prefer.

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is from users who, without searching, have directly landed on your website. Either they’ve bookmarked you, or they are already familiar with your brand and have typed out your address directly.

This traffic is valuable because it indicates brand awareness, although this may represent only a smaller number of traffic compared to other traffic types. If users are landing on your site through direct traffic, this typically means a higher conversion rate—that is, users who complete the desired goal.

Referral Traffic

Referral traffic is, as the name implies, traffic created by a referral from another site. The referral is either intentional or unintentional. An intentional referral can be the backlinks, which are hyperlinks on another website linking back to your site.

Google and other search engines interpret these links as an indication of how well your site is regarded in terms of quality and authority. Your site will rank higher if your backlinks come from other reputable websites. Building links is vital for SEO and requires a thorough understanding of your current links and data about your competitor’s links. A backlink checker could give you all of this data.

Users on an online forum discussing your brand create unintentional links. Beware, though. A few of these links could cause trouble as some are spam.

Pay-Per-Click Traffic

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a type of online advertising where advertisers pay when users click their ad. There is a nominal fee for each click on an ad that brought the user to the website. You’ll often see this ad format on search result pages of browsers like Google, Bing, or Firefox. Marketers have the chance to place their ads conspicuously, with an ad that aims at a particular keyword or behavior.

Social Media Traffic

Social media traffic refers to traffic from various social media platforms, like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. Usually, a business that establishes this kind of marketing set up its Google Analytics platform to track visitors from social media, which can be complicated to work with, but it can be profitable if done right.
Ashutosh Jha

Ashutosh Jha is a professional blogger, Blog and IT Consultant. He writes about Blogging, SEO, Making Money, Internet Marketing and Web Design.
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