Referral trafficReferral traffic occurs when someone reaches your website through another source that is not a search engine. For example, if someone clicks on a link to your website through Facebook, that would be referral traffic. It's important to build up referral traffic in order to reach a wider audience and to continuously drive new visitors to your website.
Types of referral trafficReferral traffic is a broad category, and it comes in many different forms. Here are some common places that referrals come from:
Advertising: Advertisements such as banners ads on other websites, contribute to a website's referral traffic.
Social media: Sharing links to your website on social media services like Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest is a great way to increase referral traffic to your website. By including social sharing capabilities on your website, your visitors are able to share content as well that can generate traffic back to your website. Learn more about integrating social media into your website.
Partner/sponsor websites: Businesses often include links to the websites of their partners or sponsors, which are good sources of referral traffic. If you are a sponsor or partner with another business, see if this is an option.
Media coverage: Online publications, such as newspaper or magazine websites, can be sources of referral traffic if there is any press coverage of your company. Publishing press releases is another possible way to easily increase referral traffic through editorial content.
Email marketing: If you send out email promotions or newsletters, these can be considered referral traffic if you use a service like Google Analytics where you can set up link tracking. Read more on how to drive traffic to your website using email marketing.
Blog/guest blogging: If you run a blog separate from your website, it can be used to generate referral traffic by linking back to your website. Writing guest posts on other blogs run by related businesses is another way to generate referral traffic by including a link back to your website. Find out more about how to run a successful company blog.
(Pictured: Kermans Flooring blog)
Reviews/online listings: Review sites or online listings such as Yelp or Yellow Pages can help generate referral traffic to your website as well. Generally, these sites don't generate as much traffic as other sources, but it's still important to make sure any links you have on these types of sites are up-to-date.
Referral traffic considerationsThere are some key things to consider when developing a strategy for referral traffic:
Search engines will reward your efforts: A high amount of referral traffic often results in Google and other search engines looking more favorably on your website and therefore increasing your website's search ranking. This is why referral traffic should be an important consideration when developing an online marketing strategy.
Promote in the right places: Essentially, the more highly trafficked a website is, and the more relevant it is to your industry, the better results you will get from promoting your site there. For example, if your website advertises gardening services, getting your website linked to from other gardening websites would help to ensure that it's being exposed to people who are already interested in gardening.
to its subject matter and therefore relevant to its audience.
Generate relevant content: When creating content for social media, blogs, or other content marketing efforts, make sure it's relevant to your industry and product/service. Interesting, relevant content is more likely to not only attract visitors to your website, but convert them to potential customers.
Analyze: Consistently analyze your website's referral statistics. This will help to you to pinpoint what types of referral traffic are working for you and what areas might need improvement.