There are exactly three ways that a visitor can reach your website. First is through a search engine. Second is through direct type-in via a web browser. And third is a referral through any 3rd party website. Beneath these three core categories are many sources of web traffic.
Traffic Category #1: Search Engines
Search engine traffic is perhaps the most popular way for a visitor to find your website. There are 2 types of search engine traffic. One is called organic (or natural) search engine traffic and the other is called paid search engine traffic. Organic search engine traffic is the traffic you get from natural search engine rankings; displayed on the left side of the search results when people run searches. Paid search engine traffic is the result of advertising through a search engine ad platform, such as Google Adwords or Bing Ads. Paid search engine ads appear on the top or right side of the search engine results.
Traffic Category #2: Browser Type-In
Type-in Traffic is the traffic you get when a visitor types in a domain name or URL directly into their Internet browser. Type-in traffic is also known as Direct Navigation Traffic because a person is going directly to the website and bypassing the search engines altogether.
New domains or websites would see little to no type-in traffic because the site is too new and it hasn’t been marketed yet. Established websites with returning users would have type-in traffic because the users already know the web address for the site or they have it bookmarked on their browser.
Traffic Category #3: Website Referral
Website referral traffic is simply traffic that comes from another site. There are 3 basic ways in which traffic can flow in from one site to another: text links, banners, or popup/popunder windows. Links come in many different forms and sizes, ranging from direct static links to redirect and affiliate links. The discussion about the different forms of links can get pretty complicated for a beginner to understand, so this is a topic we can touch on later.