Everyone wants more traffic to their site. Some of the most common channels to target include paid, organic, and social. One that many marketers, and business owners, don’t consider is referral traffic. Referral traffic is when a user comes to your site through another site’s link, which could be anchor text, image, or other hyperlinks. This is registered as a referral visit within analytics and the source of the visit is recorded.
We know referral traffic is an often overlooked source of visitors, but how do we increase referral traffic? Since it’s just a link on an external site, we should just build more links right? Well not exactly. Building back links is time consuming, as many of us know, and depending on where the link ends up it may not be in the most practical place for users to click it. So what can you do?
Blogging on other websites is an excellent way to start creating content on external sites. Here is your chance to add a link to your content or site in multiple locations. One spot could be at the end of the article where a bio of you and the company you work with is added. Readers of the article can click on the link to the site to learn more about your products or services. Linking within the article is also very common. Let’s say you reference a product, service, or blog post in the guest blog. Here you can link to the reference, giving users a way to learn more.
Example of a link on a guest article.
Look for Partner Opportunities
Hypothetically, let’s say you are offering widgets and you find a website that offers widget accessories that pair well with your items. This could be a great opportunity to partner with the accessory site and work with each other to drive in additional traffic. Contact the accessory site and lay out a plan on how you can each refer customers to the other sites. This can be a simple link on a thank you page right after a customer makes a purchase. A link to the opposite offering users a widget or accessory.
There’s lots of options out there to work with partner sites to develop a relationship. The trick is to look in the right areas and be open to working with others. Contact the sites and open up some dialogue, let them know how you each can benefit. Every site is looking for more traffic and conversions.
Comment on Blogs and Social Bookmarking Sites
In the past some SEO companies would use blog commenting and social bookmarking sites to try and build back links, which we know does not work. However, commenting on these types of sites can help drive referral traffic to a website. Usually links within comment sections are no follow, specifically because spammers will try and use this section to build back llinks. Although the links in the comment sections won’t add any SEO value, they still act as links to your website, in other words referral traffic.
The trick with these comments is linking to pages that are relevant to the conversation. If you link to a generic page or homepage that doesn’t provide value the comment will get buried and not seen. Reference a blog post that you have written that readers will find interesting. We left a comment on a Reddit post that managed to bring in an additional 2,400 referral visitors. Don’t just add in generic comments that have no value, provide information that’s useful to the conversation. This will get people to click on your link and search for more details on the topic.
Don’t Forget Social Media
Similar to commenting on social bookmarking sites, it can be just as effective to comment on social media websites as well. Use different search options to find related topics to your industry. For instance, you can search terms and phrases within Twitter to find particular phrases. You can search “how do I ..” then reply with a link to an article that answers that question. Within LinkedIN you should join groups that are associated with your industry. Here users will ask questions and you can jump in and provide answers with links to your pages. Depending on the page this traffic may appear as social traffic in analytics, but with custom UTM URLs you can track which social links users clicked on.
Create Some Awesome Infographics, Images, and Videos
Content is not just limited to words, it can be images, videos, and other graphics. Now if you have some awesome pieces of content like this is can not only bring in some great back links it can boost referral traffic as well. Many marketers have tried to jump on this infographic band wagon and did not have much results. Usually the infographic will be cranked out real quick and won’t be very unique. Take the time to build something that will add value and give users a reason to share it. Additionally, the trick is to syndicate this content and get it in front of the right people. You can create some of the best content, but if you don’t put it in front of the right people it won’t get viewed.
Once the content is created send it out to related blogs and websites. Have the sites share it within one of their blog posts and of course link to it from their site. This will result in a back link, which we know we want, and a way for users to get to your site.