Direct traffic is traffic generated by users who type the URL into the browser bar.
Technically (and we need to look at this technology as it’s algorithmic) ‘direct’ traffic is merely traffic that doesn’t include an Http referrer, which could also include traffic from sources such as;
Non-tagged EDMs (Very common)
HTTPS to HTTP referral traffic (the referrer is stripped)
Social Media platforms
Shared links on devices
I’m skeptical that direct traffic has a causal impact on SEO, however, I’ve absolutely no doubt that there is a strong correlation that higher ranked sites happen to also have more direct traffic. Why?
Because they have good marketing. And is good marketing a ranking factor? Absolutely!
Good marketing generates brand awareness. Brand awareness results in increased brand searches.
Could the brand search volume be a ranking factor? Maybe. It certainly makes more sense as it’s both a consistent and complete data source. Brand searches combined with a keyword? Now we’re talking relevancy. E.g. ‘ANZ home loans’.
Good marketing is also likely to generate more links. Better links. Links that competitors can’t copy. And links are undeniably a proven ranking factor.
And guess what? All of this combined would also likely lead to more direct traffic.
Direct traffic is a signal.
It’s an outcome of good marketing and sites that rank higher tend to be better marketed.
In the end, direct traffic is something all website owners need to deal with. But even though people think all direct traffic data is a bad thing, the truth is, it’s not all bad. In fact, it can actually be really useful when it comes to making data-driven decisions for your business.
If you’re looking for ways to boost your traffic and target a wider audience than check out this high-quality tool named Babylon. With it, you will increase your monthly traffic and overall business visibility.