There are probably more places to get traffic from (or types of traffic) than you think. I should say that by ‘traffic’, I mean people visiting your website.

When I ask people where they get their traffic from, they often say to me ‘search engines’ and ‘Facebook’, or perhaps ‘Twitter’ or ‘social media’. But I’ve made a list of nine sources I’ve focused on, and I’m not sure I haven’t forgotten some.

Although, I’m sure someone will point out what I’ve left out.

  1. Search engines
  2. Paid search
  3. Social media
  4. Direct URL entry
  5. Offline sources
  6. Referrals
  7. E-mail list
  8. RSS feeds
  9. Viral content

Search engine traffic

Many small businesses and bloggers think about ‘search engine traffic’ as one thing. In fact, there are two types – natural and paid. On Google, natural results are the biggest part of the page, while the little advertisements at the top and right hand side are paid-for via Google AdWords – paid search.

Bing and Yahoo! are both similar.

SEO Copy can help you with natural search engine traffic – often called organic search. For most sites, natural search is the biggest source of traffic, and SEO Copy a cost- and time-efficient way of driving people to your website.

Make sure you devote sufficient resources to your content.

Social networking

Do you link back from your social networks to your blog posts or other important content?

You should make posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

They’ll help channel traffic to your site as well as, in many cases, helping your search engine performance.

Referrals

Build up trust through publishing great content and behaving responsibly on social networks and people will start writing about your site. They can hardly do this without putting a link in place.

Like links from social networks, you’ll benefit from traffic and leverage for your search engine performance.

Direct URL and offline sources

This means people who type in your URL into their browser. They could be people who know you well.

Alternatively, you can get direct URL traffic by including your website (URL) address on your business cards, brochures, advertising, delivery labels and anything else that bears your business’ name.

E-mail

You do have your web address in your e-mail signature, don’t you?

But don’t forget to build an e-mail list. You can drive interested people to your sales pages from newsletters or special offer e-mails.

RSS feeds

Don’t forget to remind your visitors that you have an RSS feed (WordPress has posts and comments feeds set up out of the box, for example). Your feed will link back to your site, and even if a feed subscriber doesn’t click through, they will be reading and engaging with your content.

Viral content

The idea is to create something so great, interesting or funny that people will do your work for you and pass around your website’s address to their friends and associates.

It’s notoriously difficult to get right, but can be a great source of interested visitors.

How many of these traffic sources are you getting visitors from?

Thanks to John Liu for making his image available.