Web traffic is classified into three basic categories, viz. organic, referral (or social) and direct. If someone visits your site through Google, Yahoo Bing or other search engines, it is organic traffic. If you receive visitors from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and other social sites, it is a referral or social traffic. Rest of the traffic is direct traffic. Whether you get traffic from forums, blogs, emails, newsletters, question and answer sites that is direct traffic.
The most valuable traffic is organic traffic. Organic traffic converts better than other traffic. Traffic conversion means your site is generating revenue. The reason why organic traffic converts better is that people are visiting your site because they are interested in your site, since they are interested in your site, they voluntarily engage with your ads.
In order to receive organic traffic, your website and web contents must be highly ranked on search engines.
How to get ranked on the search engine for organic traffic?
Search Engine Optimization is the answer to the search engine ranking. SEO means you use keywords, meta tags and meta description on your site as well as your contents; you develop backlinks for your home page as well as internal pages; you make your site user friendly and easy to navigate; your site loads fast, your site is well designed, your site has useful, informative and original contents, and your site has a lot of social signals.
How do social signals help in search engine ranking?
Social signals can actually help you rank high on search engines. But what is social signals in the first place?
Social signals are likes, shares, favorite,upvote etc you receive on social sites. For example, you share your content on Facebook and receive 10 likes and 2 shares. Your content has received 12 social signals. You share the same content on Twitter and get 5 retweets, and now your social signal score is 17.
Social signals are highly valued by search engines. More social signals your site has, higher the chance of getting ranked higher on the search engine.
When you are sharing your contents son social sites, you are also building backlinks. Backlinks mean a link on a certain site is pointing towards your site. The value of backlinks is more if it comes from authority site, highly ranked site or popular site. Therefore, the backlinks from the social site are highly trusted by search engines.
The backlinks are basically categorized as nofollow and do follow. Dofollow backlinks pass link juice which tells the search engine about the site. Nofollow backlinks do not pass link juice and search engines will not notice these nofollow backlinks. Most of the social sites give you nofollow backlinks.
If social sites are giving nofollow links, how do you actually benefit from social sharing?
Well, social site backlinks are nofollow, however, social sharing gets you social signals and thee social signals tell search engines that your site is very popular across the social sites. This ultimately helps your organic search position.