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Traffic: every Los Angeles commuters’ worst nightmare, but every brand’s dream. There are dozens of ways to generate clicks to a website including social media avenues, referral links from other websites, paid campaigns, and so much more. The chief segment of traffic, which includes the aforementioned sources, is referral traffic.
Referral traffic refers to the sources that come to your website from across the World Wide Web. This traffic can be from anywhere, and if you have an optimized website with quality content, you should see a healthy mixture of social, paid and organic traffic. The key here is that the traffic is actually happening.
Referral traffic is beneficial for several reasons. For one, it’s a co-sign from another online publisher, and if you’re lucky, that publisher is an influencer. Getting a co-sign from another site through a link in a piece of content exposes a brand to a new audience and could result in new followers. Heightening this referral traffic will not only legitimize a brand, but also get a little nod of approval from Google.
In the eyes of Google, referral traffic is beneficial because it adds legitimacy, or trust flow, to a website. Trust flow is a number from 0-100 that shows how trustworthy a site is based on how many other trustworthy sites point back to it. For reference, Mashable has a trust flow of 77 whereas a smaller blog would be closer to the 20’s. As more sites link back, that trust flow will begin to rise along with search engine ranking. More trust equals more legitimacy in Google’s algorithm.
There are many facets to referral traffic, with just as many ways to get ahead. As the proverb goes, content is king, but especially so when it comes to increasing referral traffic.
How To Do It?
Social media is the no brainer venue to generate referrals, but this avenue especially comes down to content. Increase social media referrals by constructing original quality content made for your audience. Your audience’s worthy likes and follows are spent on your brand, so give them the content they are searching for.
Not sure where to start? Interesting content is one of the top three reasons why an audience will follow a brand on social media. Start by thinking creatively to generate referral traffic from already established social platforms. Users love visuals, and content that is both interactive, and out-of-the-box. Pair this with a relevant link, and you will soon see traffic flooding in from Facebook, Pinterest, or your targeted social media channel.
The blogosphere is a world that all brands should make a priority to participate in. After all, brands that create around 15 blog posts per month, receive an average of 1,200 new leads per month. Not convinced yet? Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages. How is that for some increase in referral traffic?
When crafting a high quality blog post, don’t opt of including relevant anchored links. Incorporating these relative links keeps eyes on your blog. A user might have come to your blog from an article about Twitter, but has an interest about incorporating email marketing into their strategy. Thanks to the anchored link you embedded about email marketing, that user stumble upon the article, and will be more inclined to bookmark your blog for reference points, or even better, share that article across their social channels. Hello even more referral traffic!
In conjunction with a business actively contributing to the blogging realm, company influencers should also be interacting on other blogs. In the baby product business? Establish efforts to comment and interact with Mommy bloggers. Additional traffic will be created from the audience of those mummy influencers.
Obtaining referral traffic from a news outlet will boost both that coveted website trust flow, and new visitors to your website. How do you get in front of news outlets? No, don’t make another cat video. Go back to the basics and submit newsworthy press releases.
The purpose of a press release is to get the news out about your brand’s new product, announce a partnership, or anything else newsworthy. If you’ve accurately and seamlessly crafted a worthy press release, you should have writers and bloggers from creditable news sources knocking at your email box for a news story.
This press release should not only welcome further articles, but should be enticing enough for news sources to re-publish it on their website.
Not into writing press releases? Sign up with Help A Reporter Out (HARO), and have writer queries delivered right to your inbox. Answer a few of these and you could get some positive PR for your brand, high quality links, and you guessed it, referral traffic to your website.
Just as real life businesses rely on customers to spread the word, brands should utilize the blogosphere, social media avenues and other online tactics to boost trust flow and increase referral traffic.