There are three basic types of traffic coming into your blog every day: Search engine traffic, direct traffic and referral traffic. Each type of traffic is important for different reasons and today we’re going to focus on referral traffic. What is it? Where does it come from? And why is referral traffic important for your blog?
What is Referral Traffic?
Referral traffic is traffic that arrives at your blog via a link that someone shared. You can break referral traffic down even further into two categories: Social sharing traffic and Blog/Website referrals.
Where does Referral Traffic Come From?
That link might appear in a Twitter or Facebook stream, it might be a link that you placed in an article somewhere, or a link that you left in a blog comment or forum post. It might also be a link on another blog, either one you left in your resource box on a guest blog post or one where another blogger is linking out to your blog.
In a nutshell, referral traffic results from your sharing, networking and link building efforts.
Why is Referral Traffic Important for Your Blog?
Let’s take a look at the traffic that comes from the Social Networks, first.
Suppose you blog about vacuum cleaners. Suzy Q. sees one of your blog posts about XYZ vacuum cleaner and she’s so impressed she posts it on her Facebook page and tells all her followers this is the vacuum she wants. Somewhere out there, Jane sees Suzy Q’s Facebook update float by in her stream.
Up to this point Jane has been perfectly happy with her old vacuum cleaner. But because she sees Suzy Q’s message, she’s decided she wants a new one, too. And BAM! She clicks on your link, buys herself a new vacuum and passes that link on to HER friends and followers! All because Suzy Q decided she wanted a new vacuum.
When you’re dealing with trusted friends, relatives and neighbors, the power of suggestion is a great concept! And who would you trust more – some unknown blogger or the people you talk to on Facebook every day?
The referral traffic that comes from other blogs is equally as important. You know yourself you don’t just arbitrarily link out to other blogs and send your readers somewhere until you’ve checked it out yourself. When those other bloggers link to you in their posts their telling their readers that you’re a reliable source of information. You already have their stamp of approval and for their readers, that’s just as good as a recommendation from their Facebook friends. Maybe even better.
Referral traffic that comes via your articles or guest blog posts is also already pre-sold on your blog. They’ve seen your informative content somewhere else and they’ve decided to follow your link to see what else you have to say.
It’s important to remember that this may be the first time most of these people have seen your blog so make sure all those links are landing on your best content. Grab their attention the second they hit your blog and keep them there and those referrals will turn into Direct traffic, which soon becomes Buying traffic!