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Understanding the Different Traffic Sources To Your Manufacturing Website

Shared from ThomasNet.com

A manufacturer's website is a 24/7 salesperson for a business — and it's the place where buyers go to see if a supplier is a fit for the products and services they need.

When looking at analytics and data of website traffic, know that each and every website visit could be a prospect evaluating you as a potential supplier — whether they're early on in their vetting process or looking to reach out with a request for quote.

And as you continue to grow your online marketing efforts and bring in more business, it's important to understand more about where these buyers are coming from — and how to expand your reach to get more potential customers to your website.

In this article, we'll break down what each traffic source is and discuss the next steps you should take.

What Are The Different Traffic Sources for Website Visitors?

There is a range of website traffic sources, from organic to email to paid search traffic.

Organic Search (aka Search Engine Traffic)

Organic traffic happens when a visitor clicks on a link from the results in a search engine.

When combined with strategic Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short), organic search can help rank your website at the top of search results.

To increase website traffic from search engines, improve your high-traffic pages or blog posts with additional content, keywords, and multimedia. Write detailed pages using targeted keyword phrases that answer common questions your audience is searching to encourage visitors to click on your website — in most cases, long-form, detailed content is better for SEO than shorter copy.

Also, be sure to include your location in relevant pages and key parts of your website like your title tag, footer, headings, and meta description so local buyers in your area can find you.

Referral Traffic

Referral traffic happens when a visitor comes to your website from another website — such as news outlets, business directories, and other websites that do not fall into the social media bucket.

In today's digital-driven supply chain, buyers perform a lot of their sourcing activity online, and if you want to increase traffic from referral sources, submit your website to all relevant business directories such as Google My Business, YP, and Thomasnet.com.

In fact, our data shows referral traffic from Thomasnet.com vs. organic search gets visitors who are twice as engaged. Compared to visitors from search engines, visitors from industry's top supplier sourcing platform who see your company profile and click on your website link:

  • Bounce from your website 40% less often

  • Spend 65% more time on your website

  • Convert into sales leads 210% more often

Email Traffic

Email traffic occurs when a visitor comes to your website by clicking a link in an email — this is typically tagged from your own efforts, but it can also include if you've been mentioned in industry newsletters or other email types with specific tracking code on it.

To increase your web traffic from this source, align your content marketing with your email marketing strategy. Set up automated email marketing campaigns to nurture your segmented prospect and customer lists through regular sends. Send each list personalized content that addresses their needs, challenges, and their position in the buying journey.

You may also want to consider promoted content in an industry-specific email newsletter to drive traffic and brand awareness.

Direct Traffic

Direct traffic occurs when a visitor comes to your website by typing your website URL directly into their browser.

It's a common occurrence if your website is the same as your company name, as some browsers will autocomplete and direct a user to their destination without taking them to a search engine.

But we do want to clarify that direct traffic is also classified as any visit that isn’t trackable — meaning that it could technically come from, say, a LinkedIn direct message or even an email between colleagues. Essentially, if there's no tracking code that carries over, it's registered as direct traffic.

And if you're looking to increase this bucket, focus on brand-building efforts and make sure any offline marketing collateral — such as business cards, printed brochures, local ads, etc. — includes the URL for your website.

Paid Traffic

Paid traffic is when a visitor comes to your website by clicking a digital advertisement

This could be from networks such as Google, Bing, or any ad network/exchange that you are paying for to show up other places online.

We recommend you experiment with your ad schedules and use various paid advertising types to see what's a fit for your audience. Spend time building a list of keywords for your search ads that are extremely specific and targeted toward your business to improve the quality of traffic and attract users that are more likely to convert. And because these individuals are already searching for a related item, there is a much higher likelihood that you’ll be able to convert these leads into actual sales.

Similarly, display ads on the Thomas Network are targeted to B2B buyers, procurement managers, and engineers searching for industrial products and services suppliers. Depending on your goals, display ads can increase brand awareness, traffic to your website, and ultimately generate more qualified leads.

Social Traffic

Social media traffic is when a visitor comes to your website by clicking on one of your social media posts.

Social media posts and social ads are great for industrial products and services because you can create visually appealing posts that are very specific to an audience. Keep a content calendar to schedule links to your blogs, articles, eBooks, etc.

Create short videos (like these!) to promote your company — studies show that 89% of viewers are more likely to purchase a product after watching a product video.

Social media can sometimes be unpredictable, so you may see dips in traffic patterns, but consistent activity will help attract visitors and drive traffic. Use a marketing automation platform to manage your posts and track activity.


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