SEO Marketing

5 Quick Tips to Increase Referral Traffic

By Megan Marrs May 09, 2012 Posted In: SEO Marketing Comments: 19

Generally speaking there are three kinds of website traffic: direct traffic, search engine traffic, and referral traffic. All are valuable and serve different purposes, but this post focuses on the third kind, referral traffic.

Referral traffic is valuable in online marketing because it sends interested readers and qualified potential customers to your site from new domains. It also provides added SEO benefits, since by definition referral traffic is driven either by an inbound link or social activity, both of which send positive signals to the search engines about your site.

Need some of that sweet ol’ referral traffic? We’ve got you covered with five simple referral traffic strategies to help.

referral traffic tips

Guest Posts

Guest posts are a great way to build up referral traffic. Especially in light of the Penguin update, it’s best to focus your guest posting efforts on sites that are related to your business, which means your content will be in front of a relevant audience providing top-notch referral traffic. If you can set up a regular guest posting schedule, all the better, because that allows you to keep your referral traffic from those sources steady over time and increase traffic to your website.

The first step in guest posting is getting a feel for the blogs you’d like to post on: Are the blog posts professional and formal or more relaxed and laid-back? Is their reader base advanced or beginner? Many blogs have strict guidelines for guest posts with specific word counts and a certain number of links you are allowed to embed, so always read the guidelines first and keep those restrictions in mind while writing.  

Pinterest

Pinterest has been all the rage lately and it’s no surprise why – Shareholic recently released a new study showing that Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Twitter. Heck, Pinterest beats Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined for referral traffic.

If you’re not pinning yet, you better get to it! Check out our new Pinterest Guide for Marketers to get started.

Press Releases

Press releases are a quick and easy way to get a wave of fresh referral traffic. It’s a great idea to do a press release for an event you’ll be hosting or to announce milestones like executive changes, earnings releases, acquisitions, and product launches. But to be honest, if you are paying for a press release, you can write about pretty much anything and pretend it’s newsworthy. Some businesses even send out press releases whenever they get a new client.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking sites, or sites that allow you to bookmark and tag various online resources, are another easy fix for your referral traffic cravings. We get a ton of referral traffic from Stumble Upon, which lets you stumble about the internet like a drunken college student out at 2am on a Friday night. Stumble Upon allows visitors to serendipitously discover your awesome content and share it easily with others. 

Reddit is another great social bookmarking site ideal for sharing compelling content. With over 2 billion page views a month, Reddit has incredible social bookmarking potential, but marketers should be warned that only truly unique, interesting content will be welcomed. Posting on Reddit is playing with fire—submit spammy or overtly sales-focused content and your business could get berated by this extremely tech-savvy community.

If you have content you believe the Reddit community (majority is young, geeky, liberal, and internet-obsessed) would enjoy, you could reap tremendous benefits and earn valuable referral traffic. I’d recommend trying funny cat videos—works every time.

Social Networks: Facebook, Linked In, and Google+

Social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ are also natural contenders for bringing in referral traffic. Just remember your platform—Facebook and Google+ tend to promote a more casual, friendly atmosphere while LinkedIn is more professional.

Share your latest blog posts, events, or even favorite blog comments. It’s fine to share a link to a page that simply needs a bump in traffic now and again, but be aware these attempts can sometimes appear spammy – your followers’ tolerance may vary.

Do you have any additional tips for building up referral traffic? We’d love to hear them!

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Comments

Thursday May 10, 2012

Dan T. (not verified) Said:

Excellent, Megan! Yes, submitting press release is a great way to increase your referrals. But I guess you need to invest a little for this.

Monday May 14, 2012

Megan Marrs Said:

Thanks Dan! Yeah, press releases require some money upfront, but a lot of PR sites syndicate to other news sites, so your press releases usually end up on numerous sites, making it worth the extra dollars.

Saturday May 12, 2012

Jim Nariel (not verified) Said:

Thanks. I had heard of Pinterest but I never thought it is more powerful than Google plus LikedIN and Youtube

I will start an account straight away...

Monday May 14, 2012

Megan Marrs Said:

Glad to help Jim. Yes, I was pretty surprised by Pinterest as well - pretty shocking that they beat out the well-known contenders.

Wednesday May 16, 2012

LP University (not verified) Said:

I'm not surprised by the Pinterest thing, but it is a neat insight. Their userbase is just so laser targeted it makes it such a high quality source of traffic.

Tuesday May 22, 2012

Ozio Media (not verified) Said:

Swapping links with other websites is also a good way to drive referral traffic to your website. Every webmaster is in the same boat as far as creating natural links to their pages and so swapping links is a win-win practice that also looks good to the search engines. With the latest changes to Google’s algorithm, this sort of practice will become a bigger contributor to a good page ranking.

Friday June 01, 2012

john Shane (not verified) Said:

Referral traffic serves as a valuable form of traffic which also adds a lot of SEO benefits. All of the above mentioned mediums are syndicated to other traffic sources which add to their power of generation.

Tuesday September 04, 2012

Anonymous (not verified) Said:

Very good guide on web traffic source. Got lots to learn about search engine traffic specifically. I do get traffic to some of my sites via the search engines but I just hate that it converts so badly sometimes…

Tuesday October 02, 2012

John (not verified) Said:

Excellent post, useful tips.

Thanks for sharing it.

Wednesday October 24, 2012

nam viet (not verified) Said:

Thanks for your useful article. Actually, i have tried in many way as you mentioned above and i found that the best way to improve SERP is building a natural link. 

They all come from social network or referral site but remember to make sure that the content is useful with readers as this post.

thank you

 

Thursday November 29, 2012

Tony Nguyen (not verified) Said:

Hi Megan,

This is truly a useful article for increasing website traffic.

I think stumbleupon.com should be listed in your list.

Cheers

Sunday February 03, 2013

Amit Agarwal (not verified) Said:

Excellent compilation of sources to get referall traffic from. I get maximum refferal traffic from facebook but had hard luck with reddit & Stumbleupon.

Friday May 10, 2013

Michael G. Hurston (not verified) Said:

I wonder if Pinterest does better in some industries than others. While we've seen the occassional big spike from Reddit when an article picks up some momentum, we still haven't seen much traffic come from Pinterest. Facebook and Twitter users seem to flock to every post we make, while Pinterest users may repin and like, but don't seem to actually visit our links (at least from what is tracked through GA).

Friday May 17, 2013

Vanessa (not verified) Said:

Referral traffic is so huge for online business. Thank you for the tips, I beleive social signals will become the best way to get targeted trafic.

Thursday November 14, 2013

William (not verified) Said:

I love the Stuble Upon analogy! I would just like to add that I get a lot of referral traffic from YouTube on some of my websites. So don't count out how impactful it can be.

Friday February 07, 2014

Hines@CrunkTraffic (not verified) Said:

Brilliant tips. One additional tips which I want to add is that you can also make use of such website which are actually made to buy traffic for your website.

Saturday March 29, 2014

Harris (not verified) Said:

Great article and referal traffic become a great source, i am getting traffic these days from Pinterest and Stumbleupon.

Saturday May 10, 2014

John Lee (not verified) Said:

On the off chance that you are similar to me, you are continually trying to increase your blog traffic. You may have worn a way into your floor covering pacing over and over again before your machine. Consistently your check you traffic detail once more. Each one time you trust that that minimal blue line has moved higher up on the screen.

Thursday September 18, 2014

David Jones (not verified) Said:

I am kind of lazy and for that reason press release has never been my interest. :P . However, social bookmarking has been so good to me and I used to wonder sometimes why in the world  would Reddit send that much traffic to my links :D . Nowadays, facebook is a very big player and nobody can afford to lose facebook traffic !

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