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What is traffic?

Traffic is the number of visitors or visits a website receives.

Traffic is technically measured by amounts of data sent and received by a website, but is most simply understood as the number of visitors to a website and the number of pages they view. Companies often monitor their web traffic to understand what parts of their website—and the content thereof—is popular. Web traffic is one measurement that, along with many others, composes web analytics. Other metrics include:

  • Average number of pages per visitor
  • Average visit duration
  • Average page duration
  • Sequences of pages viewed
  • Busy times
  • General geographic location of visitors
  • Desired actions completed

Together, these metrics can inform a company’s website strategy—what’s working, what to improve, and what to test. Traffic and other metrics can be obtained with a web analytics tool.

Companies can help increase their web traffic with strategies like Search Engine Optimization, online advertising, and email marketing. However, suddenly receiving unprecedented traffic volume may cause a website to slow down or prevent all access, so technological considerations should accompany any new marketing activities.