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Google Analytics 101: How do I know where my site’s traffic comes from?

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Google Analytics 101: How do I know where my site’s traffic comes from?

Google Analytics is a tool many webmasters use to record and report on traffic that comes through to a website.

By inserting a piece of code onto a site’s pages, Google will track the number of people who visit that specific page, collecting a vast amount of data that will help the user to get a better idea of who is visiting their website, where they are visiting from, what device they are using and, most importantly, how they are finding the website.

How do I find where the traffic to my site is coming from?

In Google Analytics, to find where your traffic is coming from, you will need to find the Source/Medium report. This tells you the source of your traffic, which is the origin of the traffic (e.g. Google or abc.com), and the medium, which is the traffic category.

To find this report within Google Analytics, in the menu on the left of the screen, click ‘Acquisition’, ‘All Traffic’ and ‘Source/Medium’. This will then report where your traffic has come from based on the source and medium.

What are the different types of traffic?

There are primarily four different types of traffic reported within Google Analytics. These are highlighted below:

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is sometimes referred to as (none) in Google Analytics. This type of traffic is people who enter your site by typing in your site’s URL into the search bar of their browser. These people have not Googled your business, nor have they clicked a link they found on Facebook or anywhere else.

These people are already aware of who you are and what your brand is. This can be a result of long-term custom.

Organic Traffic

Someone who visits your website organically has entered a search term into a search engine and found your website through the results. For most companies that use online marketing, this will be one of the most common ways for people to find your business, if not the most common.

To increase the number of organic visitors to your site, you will need to do some SEO or content marketing, giving people a reason to visit your site. The more effort you put into this, the greater the return should be.

Paid Traffic

This is traffic that has come to your site after clicking a paid advert link. This is primarily done through a PPC campaign, where you will target specific keyword searches to have an advert appear in the search engine results as an ad. While it is similar to organic traffic, you have paid for your site to appear in these results, and thus is categorised as paid traffic.


Visitors that come to your site via a referral have arrived through an external link on another site. For example, someone could share an article you have written on Facebook, and should someone click this link and come through to your website, then the visit is a referral from Facebook.

To gain more referral traffic, then you need to have some links displayed on other sites. This is known as a link building strategy and can be done through guest posting on other sites, or sharing links on social media.

If you are looking for ways to increase the traffic coming to your site, and in turn, the number of enquiries you receive, then get in touch with Engage Web.

Alan Littler

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