Types of traffic sources

Traffic sources are the places where the visits on your website originate from. In order to easily analyse these traffic sources, we grouped them in 6 main categories, which we generically call marketing channels:

  1. Paid traffic
  2. Direct
  3. Social
  4. Organic search
  5. Emails
  6. Referrers

The last 5 categories are Non-paid marketing channels. 

1. Paid Traffic 

Paid traffic refers to any visit on your website that was generated by an ad campaign you paid for, be it display ads (banners) integrated on various websites, ads via advertising platforms such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads, or sponsored content on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc). 

In InnerTrends if the traffic source contains one of the following values it is considered to belong to the “paid traffic” category: “adwords”, “cpc”, “cpl”, “cpa”, “ppc”, “display”, “marketing”, “paid”, “banner”, “rmk”, “brand”, “advertising”, “cpm” and “ads”.

Non-paid Traffic

Non-paid Traffic refers to all the traffic sources that are not paid. 

InnerTrends includes in this category the following traffic sources: direct, social, organic, email and referrer. 

2. Direct traffic

Traffic is considered to be ‘direct’ when visitors access your site directly, either by entering the URL into their browser or by clicking on a bookmark. There are also cases when the traffic source is not known. These cases are included in the ‘direct traffic sources’.

In InnerTrends if the traffic source contains the value “(direct)” it is considered to belong to the ‘direct traffic’ marketing channel.

3. Social traffic

Any visit on your site that is the result of someone clicking on a post from a social platform is considered to be ‘social traffic’. Social networks may refer to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram etc. Sponsored content on social media is not included in the social traffic category; it will be included in the paid traffic category. 

In InnerTrends if the traffic source contains one of the following values it is considered to belong to the ‘social traffic’ marketing channel: “facebook”, “linkedin”, “twitter”, “pinterest”, “youtube” or “instagram”.

4. Organic Traffic

Organic traffic consists of visits from people looking for information on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. In other words, every time someone types a question in a search engine, they receive a set of results which include both ads and websites on the topic they are looking for. If they click on an ad, they will fall under the category of ‘paid traffic’. If they click on an ‘organic result’, that will count as ‘organic traffic’.

In InnerTrends, if the traffic source contains one of the following values and doesn’t have a ‘paid source’ label, it is considered to belong to the ‘organic traffic’ marketing channel: “google”, “yahoo” and “bing”.

5. Email Traffic

Email traffic is the term used to describe visits to a website coming from email marketing campaigns. In the traffic sources report we only take into account the email campaigns generated until the sign-up moment, be they cold emailing, newsletters etc. 

In InnerTrends, if the traffic source contains one of the following values it is considered to belong to the ‘email traffic’ marketing channel: “gmail.com”, “outlook.com”, “mail.yahoo.com”, “hotmail.com”, “email”, “newsletter” and “drip”.

6. Referrer Traffic

Referrer traffic refers to visitors finding links to your website on other pages or platforms, but not through a search engine. 

In InnerTrends, if the traffic source does not belong to any of the categories above, it will be considered as ‘referrer traffic’.

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