If you’re looking to attract more leads and generate more business from your online marketing efforts, your primary goal should be to drive more traffic to your website. Low traffic means not enough people are checking out what you have to offer. Higher traffic means more potential customers. One way to boost your traffic relatively quickly is to increase your referral traffic. What is referral traffic, and why is it important?
The traffic that comes to your website can generally be categorized into four main types:
Direct Traffic consists predominantly of visitors who typed your URL directly into their browser or accessed your website from a bookmarked link. Most direct traffic comes from people who are already aware of your brand. So direct traffic can be increased by boosting your brand awareness, which is a long game strategy.
Organic Traffic is when a visitor arrives at your website by searching terms in a search engine, such as Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Organic traffic can be increased through search engine optimization (SEO), a set of strategies that makes your website more visible in search results. Increasing your organic traffic takes time, effort, and patience.
Paid Traffic is driven to your website through advertising, such as pay per click (PPC) campaigns in Google Adwords or banner ads. Paid traffic requires a budget that covers the cost per click or display as well the cost of an expert to ensure you’re optimizing your paid campaigns effectively.
Referral Traffic includes visitors who arrived at your site by clicking a link on another website. If another website links out to your site as a relevant reference or resource, this can drive clicks to your site and it can also enhance your SEO. If the site linking out to your website is considered authoritative on the topic, the link signals to search engines that you must have quality content. So the potential benefits of pursuing more referral traffic are at least twofold: You’re positioning your website as more legitimate both to the people browsing online and to search engines.
How can you generate more referral traffic to your website?
The better your content is, the more likely people will share it and link back to it. If you’re creating mediocre content, you are missing out on one of the most important opportunities to increase referral traffic for your website.
Decent content might be good enough to start showing up in search engines and it may be viewed as helpful by your existing customers and loyal followers. But if you want influencers to link to your content, share it, and drive referral traffic back to your site, it needs to stand out and be a cut above the rest
Build your brand by writing guest posts for an influencer’s blog or a trusted media outlet in your industry. Depending on their guidelines, you’ll be able to include links back to your website within the content of your post, in your author bio, or in both places. By guest posting on high-quality sites, you’re tapping into someone else’s audience and attracting traffic that’s already warmed up to you. You’ve aligned your brand with an authoritative source.
When guest posting, it’s also a good idea to link to other noted people and sites in your field. They’ll notice the linkbacks, you’ll get on their radar, and this practice can potentially lead to reciprocal links, social sharing, and drive even more referral traffic to your site.
Online Directories and Review Websites
Marketers often overlook the simple step of submitting their website to online directories, perhaps because they feel like submitting directories is an outdated tactic. While you should steer clear of low quality directories that are nothing more than spammy link farms, don’t skip the top directories for your type of business or the top directories in your local area.
Search for your company’s product, service, or keywords in your location, and see which directories come up in your search results. Those results are what your target audience will see too, so you should be listed there with a full profile and a hyperlinked URL. Links back to your site from top directories can increase your referral traffic.
When you participate in social media by sharing content on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and other sites, you are creating an opportunity to increase your referral traffic.
Contribute your content, establish your brand voice, genuinely connect with your followers, and invest time into cultivating your image and relationships.
Social media allows you to leverage the “know like and trust” factor on a broader scale. You can use social networking strategically to drive referral traffic back to your website by showing up consistently and engaging with your community.
Comment on Forums and Blogs
You can also increase your referral traffic by participating in forums and commenting on blogs. Start by identifying active public forums and blogs in your industry that allow links in comments and take a strategic approach to commenting.
Avoid spam commenting and always seek to add value–answer questions, provide a different perspective or additional insight, ask thoughtful questions, and contribute to the conversation. Remember that the idea is to drive referral traffic back to your website, so your goal is to present yourself as helpful, interesting, and pique curiosity. On forums, be sure to create a signature with a call to action that links back to your site.
Increasing referral traffic not only drives more potential clients and customers to your website through hyperlinks, it also enhances your website’s SEO to boost organic traffic. When you focus on increasing referral traffic strategically and systematically, you can multiply your number of website visitors quickly and also set yourself up for a steady stream of quality traffic over time.
Want help growing your referral traffic? Give the team at Solamar a shout!