What is a traffic source? It can be described as the source of visits to your website. It is similar to store traffic, which is how store managers and marketers measure customers coming to their store in a certain period of time. Website traffic also refers to the number of users visiting your site. The difference is that the source of website traffic can be measured. A traffic source is a term that describes where your website is getting visitors. It is the origin of the concept of store traffic, which was how managers and marketers measured the number of people who visited their store in a certain period of time. Website traffic is similarly the total number of people who visit your website in a certain period of time, but it can be measured! The term ‘traffic source’ is often used as a synonym for the source of website traffic. The origins of this term as it relates to “store traffic” refer to the sum total of customers that visited a store in a given amount of time. Traffic to a website can be measured similarly. However, unlike store traffic, the source of website traffic can be narrowed down to a specific source. An Odyssey channel is a multi-touch attributed traffic source.
Websites use traffic sources to understand the reason why they are getting visitors. Understanding the source of traffic gives marketers insight into what activities, third-parties, and strategies are bringing them, visitors. The traffic source communicates something about the intention of the visitor. It might not be the most exciting part of marketing but understanding the origins of traffic is important. For example, when you know that your website visitors are coming from a specific promoted Facebook post or an SEO campaign, you can use this information to better target your marketing efforts. This is extremely important when applying revenue attribution in order to avoid misconceptions and get the best out of your data.
A misconception about Google Analytics is that it only tracks traffic coming from the browser. In truth, Google Analytics doesn’t know what isn’t on the Internet. Other traffic sources you can track with your basic Google Analytics account are email, social media, display ads, and search (organic or paid).