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.
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.
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 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 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 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!