Marketing & SEO

Referral Traffic Generation – Sources & Life-Hacks for Website Owners

Faiza Farooqi 16 September, 2019

A website is like growing one’s craft, watering it daily, showering it with love and care and watching it bloom. One should remember that flowers don’t grow immediately and similar is the case with websites. Quality content is not of any importance unless you have people who view it. Generating referral traffic is similar to watching your plant grow into a field. You can’t gain it with the flick of a wand as it requires patience, persistence, hard work, and dire commitment.

website referral traffic

What Is Referral Traffic?

It’s traffic coming from inbound links or links to one’s website on sources outside of the search engines. It can also be noted as visitors coming to your website through direct links on other websites instead of coming directly or through searching your website.

In layman’s term, it refers to visitors visiting a specific website without typing the URL directly. When an individual hook on the right links, a series or continual traffic can result in contributing greatly to the website.

why do you need referral traffic

Why Do You Need Referral Traffic?

Who wouldn’t want the roots to be planted and to continue the plant’s growth with minimal effort? Mostly all of us!

Referral traffic does just that. Once there are sources of the traffic established then all one has to do is to let them do their work. Still, the constant check and balance of the content is the site owner’s task. It’s possible to use referral traffic to increase sales and visitors, but it’s not an easy task to do. However, once achieved, it can increase the ‘page rank’ of the blog and lead towards more views. This traffic can also bring the audience towards the user’s website increasing revenues, as interested people are likely to subscribe or purchase the product.

All in all, referral traffic is as vital as the regular traffic on a website and that’s why one shouldn’t just let it happen, but instead make sure that it is beneficial for the user and the website itself.

Benefits of Referral Traffic

  • Referral traffic is a chance to score a diverse audience from other sites.
  • It aids to the ranking and authority of your website.
  • It highlights your contributions and your material.
  • Referral traffic provides a chance to connect with other people in the industry and a chance for collaboration.
  • It is also a way to get to know each other better since the similarity of content can be a bonding factor.
  • Referral traffic is a way to boost one’s reputation amongst the stream of site owners.

Ways to Generate Referral Traffic

There are several easy ways that will help you to generate referral traffic.

influencer website links

1. Look for Guest Posting Opportunities

Guest posting is when the owners of a particular website offer to write content for another site that has similar domains. This is a great way for the bloggers or owners to make a name for them by posting their materials on a well-known website that has a number of pre-existing followers.

The fact that you get the chance to publish your own article, the opportunity to highlight your strengths, and grab the audience there and then can totally prove to be a game-changer. These blogs will usually contain the guest’s bio including their name and a link that leads to their website. In some scenarios, guest posters also get paid while posting their content. That’s an additional benefit considering the possible traffic about to gain access to the site already.

Moreover, guest posting can also be solely aimed for building up portfolios for future references or as the article dictates, to increase the referral traffic to the original website. It will also aid in free publicity within the variety of viewers who are already interested in the domain you’re working on, therefore subsiding the risk factor of getting your hands on something new.

Possible Ways to Find Guest Post Opportunities

  • Look for blogs that have similar content and work towards getting your content published on their site. Usually, most blogs have a ‘Write for us’ option which you can use in order to write for them.

However, in order to have quality traffic, the profile the user chooses to write for must be prolific.

  • Be active on social networking sites so that whenever there’s an opportunity, you have a chance to grab it before anyone else does.

2. Comment on Blogs and Websites

A commenting system is one of the basic blog design elements. The traditional way to identify and measure a website or blog popularity is by the number of comments it receives. You can use this popularity right at advantage by commenting on them.

Commenting can be taken as an insight into the writer’s style of writing so one must be vigilant of the material that they choose to leave on other sites.

The popularity of famous and established sites can bear fruit in your site once the viewers notice you and like what you post.

posting blog comments for traffic

Few Tips for Commenting

  • Adequate Comments. Normal comments will make the viewers scroll past them but only good comments will make them pause and actually read what has been written. So investing time in using the correct words to get the message across while attracting the right type of audience should be the goal.
  • Demonstrating expertise. Illustrating the correct knowledge will mirror the expertise of the writer, hence the focus should not just be commenting everywhere for the sake of traffic, but to gain the correct type of audience that understands the writer. Sharing precise knowledge will help gain credibility and in turn the increase followers too.
  • Staying up to date. In order to get ahead of all the bloggers that cover the comment section, one must always stay aware of the circumstances related to the field. It’s a dynamic place where day to day changes can lead to initiation or expulsion of a variety of things, making it a competitive world to be in.

What to Avoid

  • One liner comment. Such comments are not accurate in order to generate traffic because it’s a brief statement and in order to get added viewership, the comments should be comprehensive and thoughtful but to the point as well.
  • Commenting on every blog. In order to really have the soundness, one must first shortlist the criteria for commenting before blindly commenting on every blog to increase the traffic to their own.

Such useless commenting can also lead to spam and in turn, will have an adverse effect, ruining all the hard work due to this mistake. Bloggers or site owners don’t tolerate spam and will pay no heed to useless comments so this should be avoided.

3. Asking Influencers to Link the Blog Post

blog posts for referral traffic

Every domain has a handpicked range of site owners who happen to have an edge over their competitors because of the grip of their subject matter. While working on your own website, getting a shout out from an already established blog/ site owner would not just boost the referral traffic but also alleviate your risk factor of losing on the increasing number of the viewer.

Before anything is done, you should decide which influencer to approach. However, these things shouldn’t be decided in a haze, as it requires proper assessment as to which influencer follows a similar mindset as yours, someone who doesn’t violate any of your personal or moral codes. And someone who happens to have the viewership of a sort that is likely to benefit you and your content.

Usually, when an influencer or a site owner is looked for, they are found amongst your list of competitors because as obvious as it may sound, they cater the same niche as yours. So the key is to keep an eye on the competitor, where they do their guest posting, commenting and publicity and in turn, you’ll get a list of sources to keep in check in order to have an advantage over your competitor meanwhile maintaining a good relationship with them as well.

However, you cannot attain success only by easy tasks. Sometimes it demands a little more. Now, in order to get a link on an influencer’s blog post, one must opt for ways to make them agree over posting the link. Obviously, hardly anyone would ever agree to post your content on their blog without knowing you.

Due to this, there are different ways that you can undertake to achieve the goal.

Building a Healthy Relationship

  • Submission of the guest post. With the usual submission of a guest post, there is at least some sort of contact with the site owner. If you maintain this contact, you can use it to make site owners post your blog link on their website.

The influencers get innumerable requests for link posting on their site and they usually dismiss it because no one entertains unknown and uninvited traffic coming up and offering no good and instead of demanding something in return.

The maintenance of contact can be used at an advantage since the influencer is already aware of the credibility of your source and may most likely post your link.

  • Sharing the influencer’s content on your blog. Like any other site, posting other people’s material on your site does lead to verbal or non-verbal praise from them because the promotion of work is appreciated by everybody.

By sharing the work, you are in turn contributing to the influencer’s viewers list and this can make your stay on the influencer’s radar for good.

  • Insightful comment. In order to be right in the eyes of the influencer, one must reside to commenting but it shouldn’t be excessive. The site owners do check the reviews over their posts and they also highlight the good and thoughtful ones. It’s extremely important to only drop a comment when you’re completely sure that it is necessary and it’s contributing to the post.

4. Get Social Media Button

social media buttons

Social media is like an entire village that connects people from all around the world. Having the entrance to any corner of the world by just pressing a button should definitely be availed for all its pros.

The research states that social media drives about one-third of the referral traffic and knowing how people are literally living off social media these days, it’s not hard to believe this.

Social sites are the most adequate way to get a variety of newcomers, from all walks of life, and provide them the chance to follow the links.

The idea is to make your content shareable so that it can be shared with ease. Since the majority of the world’s population has access to sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc, there’s a high chance to get increased traffic.

Share buttons are indeed a golden chance to get referral traffic to your site and one mustn’t let such an opportunity go to waste. Make sure that your site has the option for the viewers to share your content, this way your content will get across a vast variety of people and more people will get to know of you, after all, this era is all about things going viral. In short, to get referral traffic, you need to optimize social media content sharing.

Few Facts about Social Media

  • Facebook’s traffic share increased by about 277% (from 6.5% to 24%).

Reports state that the amount of time people spend on Facebook has increased from 14 to 40 minutes per day and this ensures the widespread possibility of getting the right audience for a specific site.

  • Pinterest’s traffic share increased from 0.65 % to 5%

People use this site to share each other’s content. Additionally, one can specify their niche and make use of the viewership there.

However, its traffic is not that great and it can only overcome it by covering the mass market audience and to not isolate it’s viewership to a specific audience base.

  • YouTube, however, has decreasing shares of traffic from 0.24% to 0.01%

You can rightly blame Facebook for taking over the YouTube shares due to Facebook’s auto video options and several more advancements. From the above-mentioned data, it’s evident how Facebook has its shares booming. You can also learn to understand Facebook referral traffic in Google Analytics. Therefore, in order to stimulate your own traffic, one must opt for Facebook.

Not to forget, Twitter and LinkedIn also have stable traffic, so all these sites can prove to be fruitful for your venture. You can undertake the prior mentioned facts to strategize and plan out a proper way to move through the social buttons options. In fact, it’s crucial to use the right resources on the right thing in order to get the desired result.

An advantage for CMS users is that they can use the ‘ShareThis Share button for plugin’. This plugin will help the user to add a share button for 24 channels and it’s all in one roof. You can download and install this plugin within 5 minutes, and it also contains customization options.

5. Being Active on Q&A Sites

questions and answers sites for referral traffic

The goal behind blog commenting and being active on Q&A sites is more or less the same, to captivate viewers and gain traffic. The best way one can aim to do it is to express knowledge through words, to mirror the expertise in order to fascinate and engage the audience. Thus, people will appreciate you and, in return, favor your site.

You can start by getting free traffic from Quora. You can use the search bar to find the questions that highlight your expertise. Moreover, you can use phrases in order to look for them. Once found, the ball is in your court and you can choose however you want to reply.

However, the key is to stick to recent questions because that will have high current viewership, unlike old posts. If you come across an adequate old post, make sure it’s worth your time and resources.

Another strategy you can apply here is to avoid being all over the place or too large scale. Sticking to your niche will have a higher probability to encircle a specific variety of audience leading to a high chance for more traffic as well.  The more generalized your reach is, the bigger number of viewers will not be able to understand where your priorities lie.

Apart from that, giving your insight can have a lasting impact because you can connect with people just through your knowledge. As you are adding value to a certain post, this makes you get the attention of both the possible incoming traffic and the blogger of that site.

6. Participating in Local Events to Get Featured on Local Websites

local business marketing main image

A more self-dependent way to get traffic is by participating in events held locally, by taking part in conferences and booths, or just by sponsoring events. It’s easy to apply local business marketing strategies. These ways can get you in the spotlight, and that’s all you need.

Once you’re on the ground, there’ll be interaction with people. Furthermore, there are local coverage reporters who are on a lookout to hit the news with their highlights. Similarly, there will be enthusiasts and locals attending the event who will post about it on their respective sites.

When there is reporting, either professional or unprofessional, there is a win-win situation for both parties. Reporters can post about the brand you’ve just exhibited or the brand that sponsored a certain event. So, they’ll be providing the viewers with details and links which may drive the interested traffic towards your blog.

In order to actively participate in events and to get benefit out of it, you should always continue an active lookout for such events in order to choose to go to one.

7. Focusing on the Quality of Your Website

You can religiously follow all the points mentioned above. However, if the content on the website where the viewers get is of poor quality, there’s a very high chance of low viewer retention. It’s extremely important to build up your website in order to attract the right audience with the right tools.

Ways to Improve the Quality of Your Website

  • Make it seem polished.  A polished website is a signal to the viewer about how serious you are with what you do. A poorly maintained site is unlikely to have viewership let alone referral traffic. Plugins prove to be a lifesaver because they have unlimited installations to make your website look like a piece of art.
  • Aim to personalize your website. As the saying goes, the first impression is the last impression. In order to have a grip on your viewer right from the start, one must make the website appealing to the eyes of the target viewer. Think of creating a focal point in web design. Personal bloggers use their space to entertain the viewers in a warm manner. Usually, they post their picture on the website at the very start. Indeed, visual cues have a lasting impact on individuals.
  • Provide the right information in the right place. It’s imperative to have the correct content under the correct heading. Also, the information mustn’t be all over the place. The easiness of access to the required information is necessary for the viewers. A viewer may instantly lose interest if the content isn’t specified or is too confusing.

To concise, there are several ways to generate referral traffic to your website. Furthermore, it’s not mandatory to use all of them. Choosing and prioritizing a few of these ways will benefit you more as compared to all of them combined.

Summing It Up

Once you have the correct referral traffic strategy, there’s a huge chance for you to finally reap what you had sown. If you use these above-mentioned strategies correctly, they will surely bring traffic right at your doorstep.

These strategies are indeed the building blocks of a complete and successful website. It must be stressed, however, that it’s not the quantity of the strategies applied, it’s their quality.

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Tags: marketing strategies SEO seo guide social media web traffic
Author: Faiza Farooqi
Faiza Farooqi is an Ecommerce Manager at Codup who accepts challenging strategies and puts amazing ideas on the table! She is an active community manager and also blogs at Codup Readers.