20 Mar 2020 17:15 IST

Referral traffic is goldmine, brands should use it

Creating actionable content and focusing on user experience are at the heart of increasing leads

What is referral traffic and how do you increase it for your website?

It is well-known that attracting greater traffic to the website is one of the primary objectives of a digital marketing strategy for any business. There are different ways to achieve this — organically, through search engine optimisation (SEO), advertisements, direct search, and referral traffic. Referral traffic is one of the most important sources for a business to generate leads.

It refers to all the visitors who land on your website through all sources other than search engines like Google. All clicks from links on social media and other websites that lead to your website are tracked by Google as referral traffic.

Benefits of referral traffic

When a visitor clicks on a link to your website from a trusted source, they discover your website and content, leading to them becoming prospective customers. It presents a huge opportunity to showcase your content to new audiences.

From an SEO perspective, it is relevant as people are clicking on a link from a trusted website. Search engined consider such back-links and social signals to be a strong endorsement that your website is credible.

It also improves networking opportunities and helps boost brand awareness and recognition.

Let us now explore the different ways you can increase referral traffic to your website.

1. Write guest blogs for authoritative websites

Guest blogging is a powerful way to showcase your expertise and increase brand awareness. You can add external links, calls to action, an author bio and other interactive elements like images, infographics and calculators to engage your audience and increase the traffic to your blog and website. Reaching out to and getting articles published on authoritative websites in your niche and complementary to your niche generally pays off well in the long run.

Here are a few points to keep in mind for the guest-post outreach process:

1. Find authoritative websites in your niche that have a good link profile.

2. Draft a personalised outreach email with a subject line that grabs their attention

3. Write a well-researched article using a mix of high-intent, long-tail keywords.

4. Keep your audience’s interests in mind.

2. Submit your website on business directories

Online directories are websites where people come to look for contact information about all types of businesses. This is one of the simplest ways to get referral traffic to your website. It is important to focus on directories that are relevant to your industry and those that have high domain authority. Businesses, especially with brick and mortar stores, stand to benefit from getting listed in these directories. These listings help improve brand awareness, legitimacy and lead generation.

Some of the popular business directories in India include Yellow Pages, JustDial, Sulekha and Indiamart.

3. Create visual assets like infographics and use them for link-building

Visual content like images, infographics, videos, and interactive quizzes help make a piece of content more engaging and help absorb information better. In fact, a study conducted by Social Media Examiner revealed that 37 per cent of marketers said that visuals are an important form of content.

For example, if you are in the medical business, you could create an infographic about, say, an important medical condition, covering symptoms to watch out for, forms of treatment available and preventive measures to follow. You could then reach out to websites that have published articles related to it and enquire about adding the infographic in the article with a link back to your blog or website. It helps complement the content of the article and aligns with their audience’s interests.

4. Leverage social media platforms

Without a doubt, social media is a powerful tool for your business. It helps improve referral traffic and build a community of followers. According to Google, social interactions act as an important ranking signal. Be it brand awareness, lead generation or traffic, you can choose to share content organically or on a budget.

Ensure that you create an engaging landing page that users are directed to after they come across your post. It’s also important to post consistently and at the right times in order to reach your audience. Tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite help you schedule your posts and analyse engagement.

5. Build a profile on social bookmarking websites and forums

Websites like Reddit, Quora and Tumblr are forums that help you build a credible profile by sharing useful content and interacting with the community. Although they have specific policies on the type of content that can be shared, once you figure it out, they bring in a great deal of referral traffic and leads.

Focusing on groups related to your niche on Reddit and Tumblr and sharing relevant content with external links to resources other than your website are important.

6. Comment on blogs

Comments on blogs can be used strategically to be a part of conversations on topics in your niche, to boost SEO and generate referral traffic. However, it’s important to ensure that you are not spamming and provide value by asking a question or sharing an insight. For example, if you are an online lender, you could add a comment on a blog around the top laptops of the year with information on how using no-cost EMI can be an effective way to purchase those laptops in an affordable manner.

Generally, any links added in blog comments are nofollow but there are many blogs in every niche that add dofollow links too and you should focus on those. Another important thing to keep in mind is to comment on blogs soon after they are published. This helps your comment appear among the top few if approved and increase clicks.

7. Wrapping Up

Referral traffic is a goldmine that your brand should leverage if you are not doing yet. Creating actionable content and focusing on user experience are at the heart of increasing leads. Now that you’ve got an idea of the various sources of improving referral traffic to your website, it’s time to try refining your marketing strategy accordingly.