Why Website Traffic Is Important & How To Increase It

A laptop displaying website traffic graphs for the website displayed on the monitor above the laptop.

When you think of your website as the online portal for your goods and services, it’s pretty obvious that website traffic is important. The more people who visit your website, the more potential customers/clients you have.

So, the first thing you want to do is increase the amount of traffic to your website.

How To Increase Website Traffic

There are 7 basic sources of website traffic the:

  1. Direct
  2. Social media
  3. Videos
  4. Email
  5. Referral
  6. Ads
  7. Organic search

You might also know these as channel groups. That’s the term Google uses, but I prefer calling them sources as it’s more easily understood by most. So, let’s look at how you can increase traffic to your website through each.


When someone visits your website by typing your website’s URL or the URL of a page on your website, that’s direct traffic. This type of traffic is great. Direct traffic results from people who already know you or know about you who are choosing to visit your site. (This type of traffic can also be generated by you or your team visiting the website too.)

Some simple ways you can increase direct traffic are networking, speaking at events, and asking your clients to share your URL with their friends, family, and co-workers.

Social media

Social media traffic happens when someone clicks a link to your website on a social media platform. You can gain this traffic through posts (organic social) or ads (paid social).

To increase social media traffic to your site, you need to regularly post interesting content on social media platforms and/or ads. (I don’t recommend social media ads for new small businesses because they typically don’t have the following or brand recognition to generate sales.)


When someone comes to your website from a video, this is video traffic. Again, there is organic video traffic and paid video traffic.

Just as for social media traffic the way to increase the all-important website traffic to your website via videos is by making sure they’re interesting.


Traffic to a website is considered to be from the email source when someone clicks a link in an email that brings them to your website. Emails with links to your website include any emails you send to your list, the link to your website in your signature, or even a client or supplier sending an email containing a link to your website.

Based on these examples, it should be pretty obvious how you can increase traffic to your site through email.


Referral traffic is great! It happens because another website thinks the information you have on your website is worth looking at, so they put a backlink on their site. (A backlink is when another website links to your website.) And when someone clicks the link to visit your site, this is referral traffic.

The key to creating referral traffic is to get more backlinks. And to get more backlinks you need to consistently create and post high-quality content on your website. If you’re well enough known in your field, this can be enough.

However, if your business isn’t already well-known, you’ll want to get more proactive in getting backlinks.

One way to create backlinks is to simply request them. If you choose this route, you want to make sure that your request gives something of value to the owner of the website you’re requesting the backlink from. I can’t tell you how many requests I get for backlinks that basically say, “I write great content, you need to link to it.”

Another way to get backlinks that can increase your referral traffic is to create content for an online magazine or an organization that serves your industry or ideal client.


Google ads, retargeting ads, banner ads, … if it’s an ad not a social media, the website traffic that comes from someone clicking on it is Ads.

Getting people to click on ads is a science in itself. In general, you want to make sure your ads are meaningful and interesting to your ideal client or customer.

In my opinion, if you’re a small business with a limited budget, ads aren’t the first tactic you should try for increasing your website traffic. (Read this: How To Increase Traffic To Your Business Website Without Buying Ads).

This is my favorite way to generate website traffic. Traffic to a website is considered organic when someone does a search on Google or Bing or Yandex or their favorite search engine, scrolls down past the ads, sees a link to something on your site, and then clicks the link to your website. I like this kind of traffic because the people clicking the link may not have ever heard of your website before. So, they are potentially new customers.

The key to increasing organic search traffic to a website is search engine optimization, SEO. In a nutshell, SEO works when you have a strategy that supports your business’s goals and offerings along with consistently creating high-quality content for your website. What I see happen again and again when my clients implement an SEO strategy, we’ve created for them, is they get backlinks. So, when you increase organic search traffic to your website, you’ll often also increase referral traffic too.

Not all website traffic is important

I know. It probably seems weird that I spent so much time telling you how to get website traffic and now I’m telling you not all of it is important. But it’s true.

It’s fairly easy to generate traffic. Heck, you can ask your kids and their friends to visit your website 100 times a day and generate a lot of traffic. (Yes, I know of someone who actually did something like this.)

However, just having traffic to your website isn’t enough. You want the traffic to be interested in what you have to offer. That means you need to be clear about who your ideal customers are, what they’re interested in, and how you can help them. Once you know that, you want to make sure that you keep it in mind and use it as you’re increasing website traffic from any of the sources.

I’d love to know how you’ll be increasing traffic to your website. Send me an email!


Karen Finn, PhD