Most of you remember one of the most famous baseball movies of all time: “Field of Dreams.” Surely you remember one of its all-time famous lines, which says, “If you build it, they will come.”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t actually work that way in the digital marketing space; it’s more like, “Just because you built it doesn’t mean they’ll come.”

Traffic is the obvious key to effective digital marketing, and not just a lot of traffic, either. The holy grail of digital marketing is found in lots of high quality (high intent) traffic.

So, how do we get that type of traffic? That’ll be the topic of our next few conversations.

But first, let’s talk about the different types of traffic.

When we talk generally about generating traffic through digital marketing, there’s three basic divisions: direct, referral and organic. (Many of you are saying, “What about paid search (PPC)?” Believe me, we’ll get to that down the road.)

Direct traffic is probably the easiest to understand. It is traffic that comes to you directly as a result of someone typing your url into the address bar of a browser, like Google, or by bookmarking your site. As an example, for my company, when a homeowner talks to a dealer-partner who mentions that they sell our brand, they’ll often do some follow up research by coming to our site. That’s direct traffic.

For window and door businesses, direct traffic can be an indication of the strength of your brand within your specific market. For example, returning visitors who are familiar with you and your website, may have done business with you before.

Direct traffic can also be the result of someone being referred by word of mouth to your website. Also, effective digital marketing efforts are often supported by the things that you do offline, driving those prospects to your website.

Referral traffic is traffic that happens as a result of someone clicking a link to your site from another source that isn’t a search engine. This traffic source can be tremendously important from an overall SEO standpoint, as we’ll discuss in a future post.

Many of you are active on social media. Anyone who clicks on a link in a Facebook post, for example, that takes them to your site can be considered referral traffic from that site.

Finally, there’s organic (or often called search) traffic. Simply put, when someone goes onto a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.), searches for a term, or a series of terms, and ends up on your website, that’s organic traffic.

Organic search traffic is one of the areas that you can use to really grow your business with those potential customers that might not yet know who you are, but might be in the market for your products or services.

Next time we’ll begin to unpack each type of traffic, some pitfalls to watch for, and ways to grow each, as we work to feed the digital marketing machine.

Stay tuned!

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