If you were to ask someone what the difference is between direct and organic website traffic, they would probably be able to warrant a good guess, purely based on the terms’ wording. They might tell you that direct traffic comes from going straight into a website by entering its URL into a browser or clicking a bookmark, while organic traffic comes from finding the site somewhere else, like through a search engine.

Once you’ve attracted your customers to your site, whether to a piece of content via social or a conversion page via SEO, they’ll often leave your site and come back a few times before they actually convert. Sometimes they’re doing research, sometimes they get distracted by other sites, and sometimes they’re just not ready to buy or give you the information you so badly need from them to drive your business forward.
You probably already have a budget for a lot of these activities, so you may just need to reallocate some of your spending. For instance, maybe you already have an in-house writer who handles your company’s blog and social media. She has a basic understanding of SEO, but she’s not looking at search data to shape the editorial calendar. You saw a spike in organic traffic a few years ago when you launched the blog, but now it seems to have reached a plateau. To make up for the slow growth there, you’ve been investing a lot more in Google Ads. The ads help with visibility, but they’re not getting the conversions you want. You also want to create some professional looking videos, but the extent of your staff’s experience is using their iPhones to capture their dogs’ new tricks. 
You can increase traffic from YouTube by creating YouTube ads, adding links to your description, adding annotation links to your video, or by getting other YouTubers to share your links on their videos. By creating a new video at least once a week, consistently and over the long haul, you’ll be able to drive more traffic back to your website. If you don’t have an audience yet, you can reach out to YouTubers with sizable audiences and ask them to become affiliates or pay their fee. This could work well in the short-term but it’s always a good idea to try to build out your own channels to lower your acquisition costs.
To give you an example, our domain authority is currently a mediocre 41 due to not putting a lot of emphasis on it in the past. For that reason, we want to (almost) automatically scratch off any keyword with a difficulty higher than 70%—we just can’t rank today. Even the 60% range as a starting point is gutsy, but it’s achievable if the content is good enough.
Great post Ross but I have a question on scaling the work that goes into producing the Kob score: how do you recommend you go about getting the MOZ difficulty score – do you do it manually then VLOOKUP everything or some other way? My current membership at MOZ allows 750 searches a day for KW difficulty so this can be a limiting factor in this research. Would you agree?

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I feel I have great content…but most of it is within my email marketing campaign instead of my blogs. I’ve used my blogs to include links to my email marketing campaigns to lead to my product. In your opinion, should my blog content be the priority? I find my marketing emails sound more like a blog than just a “tip” or a reason to grab people to my list.
Great post Ross but I have a question on scaling the work that goes into producing the Kob score: how do you recommend you go about getting the MOZ difficulty score – do you do it manually then VLOOKUP everything or some other way? My current membership at MOZ allows 750 searches a day for KW difficulty so this can be a limiting factor in this research. Would you agree?
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
Great article as always. My wife is about to start a business about teaching (mainly) Mums how to film and edit little movies of their loved ones for posterity (www.lovethelittlethings.com launching soon). We have always struggled with thinking of and targeting relevant keywords because keywords like ‘videography’ and ‘family movies’ don’t really some up what she is about. Your article ties in with other learnings we have come across where we obviously need to reach out to right people and get them to share to get her product out there because purely focusing on keywords I don’t think will get us anywhere.
Or, you could make up a fun game where the first person posts a picture illustrating their pet’s name. The next person has to guess their pet’s name based on the picture. So, if I had a dog named Spot, I might post a picture of a spot. (I did say to keep it simple!) Of course, it’s easy to guess, but it’s also fun and all you have left to do is sit back and watch the comments roll in.
Tyler is an award-winning digital marketer, SEO veteran, successful start-up founder, and well-known publishing industry speaker. Tyler also serves as the host of Pubtelligence, a publishers-only event hosted at Google offices around the globe. Tyler describes his core competency as learning. He has composed content for some of the world’s top publications and has over a decade of experience building businesses in the digital space. Tyler is currently the Head of Marketing at Ezoic and serves as an SEO and marketing expert for start-up competitions across the U.S. 

This way, when you do drive traffic, you know where that traffic is coming from. Otherwise, you're left in the dark. For example, if you do some content marketing on Quora.com or Medium.com, you could use the campaign source as simply Quora or Medium and the campaign medium as content_marketing and the term as the term you're working to rank for. Get the picture? Then, you'll see all the beautiful results directly in Google Analytics and you'll know specifically where your traffic came from.
He is the co-founder of Neil Patel Digital. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. Neil is a New York Times bestselling author and was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
Search engine optimisation or SEO, has become a huge priority for marketers over the last few years. It’s easy to see why—higher search engine rankings result in more traffic, more leads, and higher sales and conversions. But how, exactly, does it work? How does adding keywords to various site elements improve your chances of ranking well in search engines?
At the end of the day, webmasters just need to know their sites: chances are your analytics tool is more like a person than a software package, and will classify traffic in irrational ways. I’ve stumbled across website traffic originating from diverse and confusing sources being classed as direct — often requiring a considerable amount of thought and exploration to work out what is happening.
Another way to increase traffic to your website is to get listed in free online directories and review sites. For most of these sites, your profile will have a link to your website, so actively updating these listings and getting positive reviews is likely to result in more website traffic. In addition, many directories like Yelp have strong domain authority on Google. There’s a chance that your business’s free Yelp page could rank high for relevant searches.

So just how much of the traffic that finds itself labeled as direct is actually organic? Groupon conducted an experiment to try to find out, according to Search Engine Land. They de-indexed their site for the better part of a day and looked at direct and organic traffic, by hour and by browser, to pages with long URLs, knowing that pages with shorter URLs actually do get a large amount of direct traffic, as they can be typed quickly and easily into a browser. The results showed a 50% drop in direct traffic, clearly demonstrating how all of these other factors come into play during the analytics process.
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