The word ‘traffic’ is a good example of the dehumanisation of technical terms in digital marketing and SEO. Traffic is a measurement of how many people are visiting your website. Mostly.
When digital marketing folk gather in meetings and talk about traffic they are almost always referring to how many warm bodies (humans) have visited a website. But there are other types of traffic, like search engine crawlers.
The word traffic is often closely followed by ‘source’ or ‘channel’. A source or channel describes how the visitor arrived at your website. Did they arrive after clicking an organic result in SERPs, or by clicking an advert, or a link in a social media post?
Why is traffic important in SEO?
When tracking the number of people who have visited your website high numbers are not the most important consideration. A high number of visitors to your website is useful if those people are not excited and engaged by your content. Google keeps an eye on how long people stick around and to a certain extent they consider a stay of a decent length as a sign of your quality.
When doing keyword research for SEO we consider the motivation, or search intent, behind the words we choose to rank. If you are selling solid gold bidets then ranking highly for ‘paper bidets’ probably won’t help your sales. This is a fairly stupid example, but hey, it’s fun!
In conclusion, success breeds success. Getting more traffic to your site will help your site rank higher up in Google results.
Traffic – explain it to me like I’m five years old, please!
“Traffic” is a term used to refer to the number of visitors coming to your web page.