We have been exploring all the different types of traffic a website can obtain. This month we will be looking at referral traffic. Both what it is and how it can benefit your site.
Referral Traffic is traffic that comes in from other websites on the Internet. This means that while someone else is visiting another website they may see a text link or image having to do with your website and they click on it. Since there are many different types of websites there are many ways this traffic can be obtained. One major way is from Internet Directories or guides. These are sites that list similar sites together and when someone is trying to find a site about a certain topic or find a certain product online your site is listed along with others. Another common referral source are blogs or site content. When a site writes about a certain topic they may include a page on your site (or a blog post) as a link in their blog. When people click to follow the resource information they end up on your site. You can also provide content or blogs for other people’s websites and when they include those they will often have a link back to your website on them. Another source of referral traffic are images on your site. People make searches on the Internet for images and if an image on your site comes up and they click on it they will end up on your website. You can also use paid banners/image ads on other websites and when someone clicks on that ad they will be sent to your website.
Referral Traffic is often very relevant traffic because the people coming in from other websites are typically following a trusted link from another site. Think of a site like Wikipedia. If it uses a page on your site as a reference then people coming in from Wikipedia will be very likely to be interested in what content is on your site. This is the case for directory and blog links as well. The people who come in from referral traffic are often going to be made up of a high number of new web site visitors because they were not looking to visit your site particularly before a referral link takes them there. So new users will discover your site and possibly come back later remembering your site as a positive resource for the information or products they were looking for.
As a website owner you can take several actions to get more referral traffic. You can create great content on your website either through blogging or resource pages on your site that other webmasters will want to link to. You can make sure that your site is listed in popular directories so that users of those directories are aware that your site exists. You can also be active in requesting to guest blog on other sites or recommending your site as a resource to sites you see blog regularly. The option also exists for you to have paid campaigns on other websites similar to your own to promote your site or products.
Overall Referral traffic offers a wide range of opportunities for established websites as well as new ones. You are able to target specific sites with the knowledge that the potential exists to capture some of the viewers to those sites. With the wide variety of types of websites out there you are likely to find many sites for your niche.