Here’s a quick pop quiz. True or false: All website traffic is basically the same, so quantity matters more than quality. If you guessed false, you got it right. Not all website traffic is equal. It is better to have fewer hits from people who actually care about your business than scads of traffic from people that will never purchase your product or service. When building website traffic, you need to find the right audience for what you have to offer. One way to do this is by looking at similar websites.

There are several web traffic referral sources. Organic traffic comes from search engines. Referral traffic comes from other websites. Display traffic comes from ads for your business on other sites. Paid traffic comes from promotions via sites like AdWords. Social traffic comes from social media sites. Each type of traffic can be further divided into individual traffic sources. For example, organic traffic can come from Google, Bing, or other search engines. And social traffic can come from a variety of sites.


Many small businesses credit SEM for attracting new customers. Depending on the competition in your business, relying on unpaid, organic Web traffic via SEO may leave your business far back in the rankings. By paying for SEM, you have more control over the specific keywords that will promote you, as well as where you will appear on the search results page.
Websites produce traffic rankings and statistics based on those people who access the sites while using their toolbars and other means of online measurements. The difficulty with this is that it does not look at the complete traffic picture for a site. Large sites usually hire the services of companies such as the Nielsen NetRatings or Quantcast, but their reports are available only by subscription.
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