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Does Website Traffic Improve SEO?
Is SEO magic? This is a question that experts have pondered since search engines first graced us with their services. The answer, thankfully, is that most aspects of Search Engine Optimization are actually quite measurable and can be understood without an advanced degree from Hogwarts. One of the components of SEO that is very measurable and at least a little bit straightforward is the effect that website traffic has on search engine results.
There are a variety of ways that SEO can be affected by website traffic, and it is important to understand the different sources of website traffic and how each one can influence SEO in order to put together a solid marketing plan. At FirstPage Marketing, we always tailor our search engine optimization services to the website and company in order to get the best results possible.
Can Website Traffic Affect SEO?
Not all kinds of traffic will have a direct impact on the SEO value of a website. In order to understand the effect that website traffic has on SEO, it is important to distinguish between the different website traffic sources and the kind of activity that can take place on a website. The main types of website traffic sources include:
The main type of traffic source that can positively affect SEO performance is direct. Direct traffic most commonly comes from a person typing the website URL into their browser, clicking on a bookmark or email signature, or links from apps or other software. The number of direct traffic visits to a website is one of the main positive influencers of that website’s SEO. When a high number of website visitors access a website through direct methods, it shows search engines that the website has value.
Organic Search Traffic
Organic search traffic is the direct result of good SEO. Ideally, organic traffic will typically come from searches related to a website’s keywords. While traffic from organic searches does not have a major effect on a website’s SEO rankings, the actions that visitors can take after accessing a website through an organic search can be extremely helpful, and good organic searches are more likely to lead to qualified website visitors than many other types of traffic.
Paid Search Traffic
Visitors from this source come from services like Google Search Ads or Bing Search Ads. Like organic search traffic, the majority of paid search sessions do not have a huge effect on SEO; however, the actions a visitor might take on the website after getting there through a paid search campaign can be beneficial for SEO rankings.
When traffic comes from a different website, it is categorized as being referral-based. The value of traffic coming from referrals has more to do with the source of the domain than it does with the visit itself. A high number of high-quality backlinks and referring domains is a major influencer of SEO. Visits coming from referral sources are not as important as the links themselves.
Social Media Traffic
Any traffic from a recognized social media platform like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, or countless others would be categorized as social media traffic. Social media traffic is similar to referral traffic in that it is a link coming from a different website, but good social media tends to bring in more website visitors (depending on the industry) than most other referral sources. Once a visitor accesses a website through a social media link, the actions that they take on that website can do wonders for its SEO.
How Does Website Traffic Improve SEO?
Although direct traffic is the only kind of traffic that has a major effect on SEO as a standalone factor, the other types of traffic can still make a difference in a website’s SEO based on the interactions that visitors have once they enter the website. Some of the top determining factors of positive SEO include the amount of time visitors spend on the site, the number of pages viewed per session, and the website’s bounce rate (people who leave the website right after arriving). Since these metrics all play into where a website appears in search results, it is very worthwhile to set up an excellent, engaging website and try to bring in as many qualified visitors as possible by targeting a variety of traffic sources.
Whether you think SEO is voodoo and simply want somebody to take care of it for you or you are somebody who takes an active interest in how your website gains visibility online, the team at FirstPage Marketing is always ready to put our SEO experience towards getting better results for your website. Drop us a line and we can help you get started on the road to digital success.