Traffic Sources

Website traffic is generally categorised into 2 main types:-

  1. Organic traffic is the traffic which a web site will naturally attract through the search engines. If you look at the Google search page, then the organic listings are those down the centre of the page below the top few advertised listings.
  2. Paid Traffic is traffic which is purchased, normally on a pay per click basis. The most common source of paid traffic is Google Adwords and these listing can be seen on the main page and down the right hand side of the search page. There are additional sources of paid traffic through the MSN and Yahoo engines, certain directory style listings and price comparison sites. Some providers use a fixed price pay per click (PPC) charging mechanism for each keyword, but the standard method is to allow the advertiser to offer a maximum cost per click. The provider will then list the adverts with the highest PPC at the top.

Another angle on traffic sources is to look at this breakdown.

  • Direct traffic is traffic from users entering the website name (URL) directly into the browser or through using bookmarks.
  • Affiliate traffic is where there is an arrangement between 2 websites where one, the affiliate, will typically post a banner advert to direct traffic to the other website. A fee is then normally paid to the affiliate if there is a successful eCommerce transaction. There are a number of affiliate brokers who provide website owners the capability to market an affiliate banner, typically with and agreed commission rate on sales say 5%.
  • Email marketing is the process of sending emails to a target audience to either promote the brand or market specific products. A newsletter would typically be used to develop the brand within a community and product promotions to acquire sales. Here it is important to design and develop campaigns taylored to target specific audiences and have good mechanisms for measurement of ‘opens’ and ‘click throughs’.


The tracking and measurement of website activity is key to the management of businesses especially on-line businesses. The standard tool for the measurement of web site statistics is Google analytics. This tool is provided free of charge by Google and facilitates the measurement of traffic, achievement of business goals and eCommerce transactions. It is enabled by adding tracking code to the web pages which require measurement and to the eCommerce checkout pages for transaction tracking. Some of the key statistics are provided below:-

Audience Statistics

  1. Visits ( number of hits to the website)
  2. Unique Visitors (number of unique visitors to the website)
  3. Page Views ( number of pages viewed)
  4. Average Time on Site ( time on site to measure engagement)
  5. Bounce Rate ( % of visits where there is just 1 page view)

Advertising Measurement

  • Adword Campaigns ( measurement of traffic and goal completion.

Traffic Sources

  • Organic, ppc, email ,referrals


  • Analysis of which pages are views, searches, landing and exit pages.


  • eCommerce transaction revenue.
  • Goals ( measurement of goal URL’s reached and funnel visualisation)

The acquisition of quality traffic is a fundamental factor in the success of an on-line business. This needs to be coupled and dynamically managed using analytical tools to optimise traffic levels and conversions.