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How to See Where Your Website’s Traffic Comes From

You’ve heard it before:

Time is money.

And that’s why growth is so important.

The faster you grow your site, the more profit you’ll generate, and the faster you can reach your goals.

But how do you grow your website faster?

There are thousands of tutorials online that can teach you the best traffic tactics, but nothing is better than your own data. If you know what’s working and what’s not, you’ll have a roadmap for growing your site faster.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to find your website’s traffic sources and use this data to grow faster.

Let’s get started!

How to find your traffic sources

If you’re using WordPress, you’ve got a lot of options.

To find your website’s traffic sources, you can add a free analytics plugin. While there are many to choose from, we think Independent Analytics works best.

Independent Analytics plugin

It’s completely free to use, and installing it only takes a moment.

Install Independent Analytics

To install Independent Analytics, you can download it from our site or install it via the Plugins menu in your WP dashboard.

To install through your dashboard, start by visiting the Plugins > Add New menu. Then use the search bar at the top-right to search for “Independent Analytics.”

Search for Independent Analytics

Lastly, click the Install Now button, wait a few seconds, and click Activate.

Install Independent Analytics

Once installed, Independent Analytics starts tracking visitors immediately without any configuration required.

You’ll find a new Analytics menu item added to the top of your sidebar.

Analytics menu item

In this menu is a robust analytics dashboard where you can see how your site is performing.

Independent Analytics dashboard

Now that you know how to add analytics to WordPress let’s talk about finding those traffic sources.

Finding traffic sources in the Referrers report

In the analytics world, a website that sends you a visitor is called a referrer because it refers visitors to you.

Inside Independent Analytics, you’ll find a Referrers menu that lists all of these websites.

Referrers menu item

And below the chart is a table that lists every site that sent you a visitor.

Referrers table example

This makes it extremely easy to see where your traffic is coming from.

You can sort the referrers by those sending you the most/least views and use the filters to drill down into your data. The filters let you see things like search traffic over time and your social media performance.

Now that you know how to collect and discover your website’s traffic sources let’s talk about how to use this data.

Tracking doesn’t start until you install the plugin, so it’s best to get started sooner rather than later.

How to use this data

This isn’t “nice to know” data; you can make valuable changes to your business when you know where your visitors come from.

Here are three ways you can grow your site by analyzing your top traffic sources.

1. Discover new channels

You may find sites sending you traffic that you don’t recognize. For example, you might be getting visitors from a forum in your niche despite never posting there yourself.

If you find a site like this, it could be a good idea to join the community and start participating yourself.

Check your site’s traffic sources to uncover hidden gems. If they’re working without your input, they should scale quickly with it.Click to Tweet

Similarly, you might find you get a lot of traffic from Facebook or LinkedIn, even though you don’t have an account there. These are good signs that you should join and work proactively on getting more visitors from these platforms.

2. Double down on what’s working

Imagine you created a Twitter account and started posting occasionally, but you have no idea how many people reach your site.

Once you start tracking, you might discover that it’s working really well to drive traffic to your website. Then instead of Tweeting occassionally, you might try Tweeting multiple times per day to grow your site even faster.

3. Drop failing tactics

Let’s say you wrote and published ten guest posts to promote your site.

Now that you have your analytics set up, you realize that they’re only sending you five visitors per month. You can save yourself a lot of time by abandoning tactics that are under-performing.

Grow your website’s traffic faster with these 3 tips:

1. Discover new sites already sending you traffic
2. Double down on tactics that are working
3. Drop the tactics that aren’t working
Click to Tweet

Start tracking ASAP

You can’t grow your site without knowing what’s working.

That’s why finding your traffic sources is so important.

With a free tool like Independent Analytics, you can find exactly which sites are sending you visitors so you can find new channels, invest in the ones that are working, and drop those that aren’t.

If you’re ready to get started, you can click here to download a copy of Independent Analytics:

Download Independent Analytics

Thanks for reading this guide on finding website traffic sources, and feel free to post any comments or questions you have below.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks Ben, I was looking for this for my new blog. I wanted to stay away from Google products. I can’t wait to download and try it out on the new blog! I had another one that showed the amount of traffic but not where from. I believe the name of it is Burst.

  2. Hi Ben,
    It’s really good to know more about this plugin, will surely try this on my site.
    Looks like a wonderful and secure plugin, as Lisa said, I too wanted to be away from Gooo
    Thanks for the share, will come back to you soon with my results.
    Best
    Philip

    • Thanks, Philip! Looking forward to your feedback.

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