Understanding your website (Part three)
Once you’ve mastered the basics of report reading, you quickly find out that they are much more useful than simple tools for just counting how many people came to your website. Today, I want to touch on the “Traffic Sources” metric. There are three types of traffic:
Direct Traffic — This is traffic from users who came from a bookmark or typed in the URL.
Referral Traffic — This is any site that sends traffic to you (i.e. links from any other website, banners ads, links from a blog post etc.)
Search Engine Traffic — While technically this is referral traffic, it is more often broken down into its own section. This tracks visitors who click on a search results link from Yahoo , Google, Bing or any search engine. This can in turn be broken down into organic free traffic and traffic that is from pay per click
What you can do with all this data is compare where your traffic comes from and who is sending you the most visitors. But it’s not always about the number of people, it’s about the quality of that user. A good way is to test that is to check the bounce rate from a referring site (for more info on bounce rates).
The lower the bounce rate the more likely it is the site is sending you qualified visitors.