Many businesses want their website to rank highly on search results and that’s why they need to know whether website traffic will affect an SEO strategy. Studies show a correlation between high website traffic and high Google ranking. Google considers website traffic, among other factors, when ranking websites on search results.

Search engine ranking results from website optimization that involves technical configuration, link building, and content relevance. This means it is essential to optimize your website for search. The process of optimizing websites for search engines is known as SEO (Search-Engine Optimization). It involves internet users who visit your website. These visitors are known as website traffic.

Internet users can visit your website through direct traffic or organic traffic. It’s important to understand these two types of traffic and know how they can improve your SEO.

Different Types Of Traffic

Distinguishing the different types of website traffic will help you understand how traffic can play a role in improving SEO and online rankings. There are two different types of traffic that can affect SEO, direct and organic traffic.

Direct Traffic

Google Analytics and other analytic platforms use tracking tools and algorithms to determine your website’s traffic. One of the sources of traffic can be direct traffic. These are visitors who access your website without a referring website. It means the visitors manually typed the URL of your website or clicked a bookmark to access your website. This is a sign to Google that your domain has high authority and value. Google prioritizes high authority domains and high-value websites when ranking sites.

When users access a website directly, it is a good sign. This shows Google that internet users are familiar with your brand and company. To get more direct traffic, it is best practice to promote and market your brand in general. Direct traffic from social media accounts and associated websites show Google your site is relevant. These factors, along with people who search and find your website directly, can help improve your website rankings.

Organic Traffic

Visitors can sometimes access your website through trustworthy search engines like Google and Bing. For example, internet users hope they can find answers to what they are searching for and will perform a search. When the users consistently find your website through this type of organic search, it qualifies as organic traffic.

Note that although advertising and paid search can affect organic traffic, it is not considered part of organic traffic. Advertising and paid search are not part of organic traffic and will also not play a role in affecting your SEO strategy.

How Website Traffic Affects SEO

As a digital marketing strategy, most websites strive to rank on the first page of search results. When your site ranks on the first page, users can easily access your website. This increases your brand visibility, and your visitors are likely to take a specific action like buying items or using a service you offer.

Website traffic can determine the position of your site in search engine results. More popular sites tend to rank highly compared to less popular ones. Here are a few factors to consider:

Visitors’ Activities on Your Website

It is imperative to have more traffic on your website, but high quality traffic is even better. High-quality traffic means visitors access your website and perform specific actions and gain more information. This suggests to Google that your website is addressing the needs of users. Website users’ activities also mean visitors are finding your website useful and taking specific actions.

The Time Web Users Spend on a Site

The more time website visitors spend on your site, it factors into the authority and trust of the website. When more time is spent on your website, this typically means they find value in your content. This is an indication to Google that you provide highly valuable content that fulfills your visitors’ needs and solves their problems.

Visitors are likely to stay longer on your site if they find what they are looking for. Ensure you optimize your website for relevant keywords with relevant and engaging content. Use pictures, videos, and other elements that will help improve the amount of time users spend on your site.

Pages Visitors Check Per Session

Google checks to see how many pages visitors click on your site. A visitor who navigates your website and looks at different content finds your information helpful and engaging. It also means that you are providing a clear user navigation path for your visitors.

Sites that rank highly on search results have more visitors accessing more pages per session on the same website. Google also checks on time per session. Low time on each page per session could mean your website is not providing your visitors with the information they require.

It can also mean that it is not easy for visitors to find relevant content on your website, or your website navigation is confusing. These factors can lower your ranking on search results.

Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate is when many site visitors leave your website as soon as they view one page. Pages that rank highly have a lower bounce rate. This is an indication to Google that you provide helpful and relevant content that makes visitors stay on your web pages for longer periods of time.

Ideally, website visitors should not leave your site as soon as they click into it. If the majority of the visitors exit after the initial visit, then this can hurt your rankings.

Number of Referring Domains

The number of referring domains can influence the ranking of that domain. It is possible to get referral links from a variety of different sources. For example, you can get these types of links from guest blogging and connecting with content creators.

Other times you can get referral links from partner sites or directories. Referring domains are connected to the number of referring IP addresses. That means referring to IP addresses can also influence the ranking of your website.

Sharing your content widely online can help grow your referral links and improve your sites ranking. When you have more referring domains, you are likely to rank higher on the search results.

Number of Backlinks

Backlinks are the links that drive traffic to your website. These links can be found on different websites or social media platforms. When you have more high quality backlinks on your site, it will improve your overall domain and web authority.

Backlinks mean you offer valuable content that other audiences from different websites or platforms refer to and benefit from your content. The total number of quality backlinks influences your position on the result pages. Quality backlinks should be “follow” rather than “no follow” links.

Site Traffic Improves SEO

Does more traffic improve SEO? More traffic to your website is key to improving your SEO. When more direct and organic traffic visits your website, it shows Google that your domain has high authority. In turn, Google will tend to rank it higher in the SERP (search engine result page).

It is crucial to ensure the traffic coming to your website is high quality. This can be achieved by providing relevant and valuable content that attracts the right audience. When people access your website with optimized content, it will help improve the bounce rate as they will stick around and engage with your content.

If your business struggles to drive website traffic, our team of SEO experts can help! Boostability also offers top quality white label SEO services if you are looking for an agency to partner with. Visit our partner page today to learn more about how our team can help your customers get found online.


Maja is the former SEO Manager for the marketing team at Boostability. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in Marketing, her focus has been on expanding her knowledge and skill set in SEO. Prior to joining the corporate marketing team at Boostability, Maja gained experience working at several digital marketing agencies in Salt Lake City, focusing on SEO strategy development and fulfillment, as well as client account management. Working closely with clients ranging from small businesses to enterprise organizations, she has managed and executed SEO strategies for over 20 different company websites. Outside of work, Maja loves to go on hikes with her husband and dog, play volleyball, bake and cook, and try new restaurants throughout the city (she considers herself a fry-connoisseur).