The Truth About Traffic

Website traffic comes from a variety of sources-by going straight to a website without using a search engine (direct), through linking referrals, paid ads, or social media. However, organic search is still king and is responsible for 53% of all traffic coming to a website on average. While organic search traditionally delivers far more traffic to websites than any other channel, tracking organic traffic continues to be difficult. There are 4 core intents when it comes to organic search. Each of these intents tie into different search layouts and results. This helps the searcher accomplish their goal (or intent) as quickly and accurately as possible.

Important Note: Good SEO can help capture zero-click customers! For example, if there is a phone number in the meta title or description of your website, this is easily clickable by searchers using a smartphone or tablet. When SEO is done right, searchers can also click on local listings, maps, and featured snippets without ever going to a website.

How and where you get your organic traffic data can affect what you see and how accurate it is. The most common tools used for website analytics are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Omniture {Adobe Analytics), and SEMRush. Each of these tools collect and measure data in different ways. It is the slight differences in how traffic data is collected that causes discrepancies from one tool to another, affecting data accuracy between +4% to -11% of visits received.

Getting Accurate Data

Even something as simple as a visitor’s default internet browser can affect reported traffic by up to 26%. Because no single tool can provide all the data needed to track a visitor on your website, it’s important to pull data from multiple sources and piece it together to form a more comprehensive data picture. Currently, the best source for keyword data is Google’s Keyword Planner (previously known as Google Adwords). However, this platform no longer provides average search volumes, but instead provides average search volume ranges.

That means we don’t truly know what kind of search volume a keyword has since it falls within the fairly large ranges provided provided by Google and depends on a variety of factors. Missing data, uncategorized traffic, and spam also continue to be consistent and ever-changing issues with organic traffic. These issues have a larger impact on websites with smaller amounts of traffic (generally those with less than 5,000 visitors a month). While these particular concerns can impact any website, it’s often less impactful to sites with higher traffic data.

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