Direct traffic happens when someone types the URL of a page on your site directly into the address bar in their browser.
It’s common for people to do this with sites they visit regularly. It seems that most instances of direct traffic are when people type in the homepage to their favorite websites.
There are a few other forms of direct traffic. When you have bookmarks on your browser for your favorite sites and pages that is also a form of direct traffic.
It’s also possible that some direct traffic is actually from another source. So if you look in your analytics program and follow your direct traffic there may be a few sources including some that might be more social like people chatting in Gmail or with a similar chat application.
The point of this article, however, is to give you some ways to increase your direct traffic.
Why would you want to increase your direct website traffic?
Think about those sites you visit all the time…
They are probably your favorite sites or ones that you need to visit often.
For me, the sites I visit directly are my favorite sources of news and entertainment. They also include bank and bill links. I also go to my personal and business websites through bookmarks and direct URLs.
If your site becomes something that is part of your followers’ regular routines then you stand to gain more business from existing customers, but also new customers.
For example, a plumber that has a few clients could start a blog (we’ll talk about this more later). That would get his current customers interested in coming back to the site regularly whether that’s weekly or monthly. They can read up on the new topics and maybe get interested in more services such as new bathrooms or kitchen work.
In addition to that the followers are more likely to share the information with people they know increasing the chance for new customers.
It all starts with more direct traffic to your site or traffic from the people that really need and want what you have on your site.
The biggest trick is obviously figuring out what to put on your site.
Tip #1 – Create Regular Content
If your business naturally has reason for people to visit (like checking daily bank statements and balances) you don’t really have to do much to increase your direct traffic. You’re probably getting more than others already.
But you can still increase your traffic in other ways…
The first tip to get people to come back directly to your website is to create the type of content they crave.
The example with the plumber is something nearly every business or organization can do. You can create a series of tips, stories and entertainment that gets people interested an attached to your brand.
Think of your favorite news website. We all have our favorite sources for things we want to read for entertainment. One of mine is checking in on information about the Green Bay Packers. I have a few sites I check out directly each morning.
The reason I go back is because I know there will always been new content.
It’s like your favorite TV show. You go back regularly to the same place to watch the new content. And you probably watch the reruns too when you know they’re on.
That’s a good point to make. You don’t have to create content every day. Regularly means doing it on a regular schedule so your followers can get in a habit.
It might be daily, weekly or monthly.
The idea is to get people in the habit of consuming your content so they do it automatically on a schedule by accessing your site directly.
The content can be text, image-based or video.
Video is the one to really pay attention to in the coming years. People are really craving online video.
Tip #2 – Community Interaction
Social media sites get a ton of direct traffic. You might check Facebook and Twitter fairly often.
You’re looking for the regular content your friends are sharing, which is what we talked about above, but there is a different aspect going on as well in the case of social media.
There is community interaction. You’re not only looking for new content. You’re also looking for interaction with people.
Community interaction is a part of social interaction that people crave. That’s the reason people love social networking sites. They get updated content, but there’s also a community aspect of it where you can “like” things, retweet items and share comments.
To do this on your site will take some time and some trial and error. You’ll have to figure out a way for your customers to interact with each other.
People want to interact, but they need to see some proof of interaction and value before they commit. It’s not easy to start.
Most forums start out with their owners creating several accounts and talking to themselves for months.
But once you start getting people interested they’ll come back all the time to check for the latest comments.
That’s more direct traffic, which leads to sales.
Bonus Thought – Direct Traffic > SEO & Social Media
Direct traffic is one of the best things you can do for your website.
You never know when you’re going to run out of traffic from search engines and social media. You can’t control what those sites are doing so it’s always best to work on the sources of traffic you control like direct traffic and email subscriptions.
Hopefully these tips will get you started in the right direction.