Marketing analytics monitor organic search vs. direct. Learn about the benefits of both forms of inbound marketing to improve how you generate leads.

53% of website traffic comes from organic search. This leaves a lot of room for other sources.

In addition to organic search traffic, much of a website’s traffic will come from direct sources. Although both of these sources can be beneficial for a website, it can be hard to understand the differences between them if you’re new to running a website and using digital marketing techniques.

In this guide, we’ll help you understand the differences and benefits between organic search vs direct traffic.

Main Types of Website Traffic

There are many more sources of website traffic than you may think. Here’s a short overview of the main types of website traffic:

  • Direct: traffic that comes from an unknown source, such as a visitor typing in your web address
  • Organic: non-paid traffic that comes from a search engine such as Google or Bing
  • Social: traffic that comes from a social media platform such as Facebook or Instagram
  • Email: traffic that results from a visitor clicking on a link in an email message
  • Paid Search: traffic that comes from a paid online ad
  • Referral: traffic that comes from a website other than a major search engine or one of the other sources listed above

There are a lot of different sources of website traffic, and all of them can be beneficial. Ideally, aim to get traffic from a combination of various sources to build a strong website and ensure that you’re not putting all of your eggs in one basket.

What Is a Direct Search?

Direct traffic is website traffic that comes from an unknown source. Direct traffic is the result of someone visiting your site without getting referred to it from another web page.

Commonly, direct traffic comes from a visitor typing your website directly into the address bar at the top of a web browser. It might also come from a bookmark that a user has saved.

Direct traffic may come from other sources as well. It could be from clicking on a link in a text message, a mobile app, or an email that doesn’t have link UTM parameters.

What Is an Organic Search?

Organic traffic is website traffic that comes from search engine results pages (SERPs). This excludes traffic that results from a paid search engine ad.

Whenever someone clicks on a link to one of your website’s pages from a search engine such as Google, Bing, or DuckDuckGo, it will count as organic search traffic.

When you see traffic that comes from organic searches in Google Analytics or in another website stats tool, it will refer to this search traffic that seemed to come about naturally. Although you may have worked on your SEO to get your website to rank in search results pages, these clicks are considered natural or “organic”.

Benefits of Direct Traffic

If you’ve checked Google Analytics or another website stats tool and found that you’re getting a lot of direct search traffic, it could be a good sign. It may be because your business has great word-of-mouth and has a lot of value to offer customers.

Direct traffic often comes from visitors who type your website into the address bar themselves. If you’re getting a lot of direct traffic to your website, it’s a pretty good sign that your business is doing a great job of building its reputation.

When many people are coming to your site by typing in your web address, it means that they learned about your business’ website in some way. They may have seen your website URL on business cards, brochures, or other print marketing materials.

On top of this, many direct visitors to your site will arrive by clicking on a bookmark that they created. If many people have added bookmarks to your website’s pages, it means that your business is likely seen as valuable to them. This is a great sign that you have value in your industry and have built a positive reputation.

Although there are some positives of getting a lot of direct traffic to your website, take note if you see only direct traffic or a very high proportion of it. If your site is relying on direct traffic alone to get visitors, it’s a sign that your website isn’t getting enough visibility online or ranking well in search engines.

In this case, you may only be getting visitors to your site through traditional marketing methods and printed materials. You likely need to work more on your digital marketing strategy.

Benefits of Organic Traffic

Organic search traffic can be directly correlated to your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. If you have done a great job of optimizing your site and using various SEO techniques, then it’s likely that your website will rank better on Google, Bing, and other search engines.

If you get a lot of organic traffic, then it’s likely that you’re doing well in your SEO efforts. You may even be using a great Freelance SEO expert.

Of course, also remember that you should be paying attention to exactly what pages are ranking the most in search engine results. If there are particular pages or blog posts that are ranking well, you may want to study those pages to get an idea of what led to those results. This can help influence your SEO strategy going forward and can give you an idea of what to put on your upcoming content calendar.

Understanding Organic Search vs Direct Traffic

If you want to grow your website activity, be sure to understand the differences between organic search vs direct traffic. Although direct traffic can be a sign that you have a great business reputation, organic search shows that you’re doing well on your SEO strategy. Both direct and organic sources of traffic can be beneficial, so keep on trying to increase each of them as much as you can.

Are you looking for ways to improve your website and build a winning SEO strategy? Find more helpful online marketing tips by reading through our blog now.


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