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4 Types Of Links That Drive Real Referral Traffic

05 April 2017 | 0 comments | Posted by Che Kohler in nichemarket Advice

If you know a little bit about SEO you would know that a large emphasis is placed on getting links pointing to your site and building quality links but not a lot is about actually building links that get you real traffic from them. High-quality referral links can not only boost your SEO in the long term if done correctly but it can be an endless source of traffic and leads as you leverage of other sites heavy lifting for streams of visitors.

If you take the time to source high-quality referral links it can provide you with an instant and constant stream of traffic, a potential working relationship or partnership with other sites and joint ventures that could lead to even greater traffic drivers.

What's great about referral links is as Google decides on which links to follow and credit and improve your rankings, referrals remain unaffected and will still provide you with direct visitors regardless of how your website ranks. They are also great for reaching new audiences and great for exposure, branding and general trustworthiness if you're being referred to by a reputable website.

Why is refferal traffic not a popular choice?

Referral traffic is like the middle child of marketing it's often ignored because well, paid channels are easier to manage and well blind faith in Google organic listings to bring traffic is common practice. If you ask any marketer they'll give you some speech about ROI or CAC but really it's only to mask the real excuses you hear around the water cooler, for starters.

  • It's hard work sourcing the right sites
  • Time-consuming
  • Many roadblocks
  • Your site is not worthy of a quality link
  • You're just not great at building relationships
  • It's a popular spam channel for fake traffic in analytics

An example of referrals power

To illustrate the power of referral traffic, if we take the nichemarket site for example. 5% of our total traffic comes from referrals. 69% of those were new users who spent an average of 2.22 mins on our site, this is the second longest time spent on our site, only social media was higher. This is a key indicator that referrals can send higher quality first-time visitor traffic than most of your push channels. Also, our referral traffic grows month on month and we literally have to do nothing since we gained that link, pretty neat don't you think?

What types of referral links should you be targeting?

What’s so great about referral traffic? Do you really have to ask?! Referral traffic is great because it gets your content in front of new audiences, creating new opportunities for audience engagement and conversions.

But do most links naturally lead to referral traffic? The answer is a resounding no, not all links are created equal and you have to play the field a bit, looking for distinct telltale signs of a juicy target ready to burst with quality referrals you would love to get your hands on. So what are the signs I need to look out for? Here are the top 4 referral sites you should be looking at.

Referral Traffic Source #1: Links from news aggregators

News aggregators are hubs were fanatical users get their dose of information from. Sites like Reddit, Hacker News, Inbound.org, Growth Hackers etc. These sites usually, use a submission and upvoting system where users can submit cool links and vote on their favourites. Other times, a single editor or editorial board is making the call on what's worth sharing. When a link makes its way to the top of the front page, it has high visibility and attention, since the assumption is that it’s already been vetted as high-quality by other users in the community or by a trusted source.

Why these links drive referral traffic

The aggregators just aggregate links, they don’t reproduce the content. So you have to actually visit the site to get the value and see what all the fuss is about. Hence, the incentive to click through is extremely high. Aggregators also provide a knock on viral environment as users upvote content and friends see it, they also tend to upvote the same piece content.

How to get referral traffic from news aggregator links

Create awesome content and then promote it for all its worth. It’s helpful if you’re already active on some of these communities because then it’s more likely that other users are already reading and interested in your stuff.

Referral Traffic Source #2: Links to lists of resources

Getting a link on popular lists is a major win for an SEO; you’ll feel that link buzz all day. But it’s potentially even more valuable to your business to score a link in a list of resources. That’s because the incentive to click through to your site is equally strong – and you have the added bonus of evergreen value. This type of link can provide more pf consistent way to increase traffic to your website as opposed to aggregators.

Why these links drive referral traffic

Let’s say a user googles “best noodle bars in cape town” and finds a list from a reputable site, ranking near the top of the SERP. They are obviously looking for a place to chow down some noodles, so intent is really high. They don’t just want the list, they want to check out the places themselves. If your place is on that list, they’re highly likely to click through. And “best noodle bars” is an evergreen keyword with steady traffic month over month, so as long as that list maintains its ranking, it’s going to keep sending clicks your way.

How to get traffic from resource list links

Create link-worthy resources, of course, is one way to do it or approach the site that created the list and asks if you can be added, maybe even have them review your site for maximum exposure and linking back to the list as well.

Referral Traffic Source #3: Links from third-party reviews

This is a pretty similar scenario to the one above, but if you’re lucky, instead of a spot on a list, you’ve got a whole article dedicated to a review of your offering alone.

Why these links drive referral traffic

Again, the process works like this:

  • Step 1: Person who is curious about products like yours searches for more information
  • Step 2: Person finds a positive review and clicks through to your site to try it or learn more

Once again intent is high, and a third-party endorsement increases trust, so they’re all the more likely to click to your site and hopefully take the next step (i.e. buying your stuff or signing up for a free trial).

How to get referral traffic from review links

First, you need something reviewable, but if you’re a business you should already have this (duh). If the reviews aren’t coming naturally, look for sites that review similar products or services, then create a pitch list. Offer free demos or a free extended trial (if it’s a software product) or send out samples if it’s a physical product – if you get a review and it sends referral traffic, the giveaway should pay for itself. But make sure you wait until you have a stellar product before you do outreach. Be careful of negative reviews, they aren't going to help you much so make sure your product meets expectations.

Referral Traffic Source #4: Links from bloggers

Bloggers are a dime a dozen and more some industries than others. Blogs about food, gaming, travel and fashion are easy to find while other general blogs or niche blogs may take some digging. Bloggers live and die by the quality of their content. If you find a bloggers site review it with moz and similiarweb to see if they are viable traffic driver and create a list of priority bloggers you'd like to contact

Why these links drive referral traffic

Bloggers carve our niche audiences and do all the SEO work for you, ranking for long tail keywords as well as question phrases, they are active with their audience and even to an extent cult following. A good blogger normally has an active social following on multiple platforms too so there is a content stream of highly targetted traffic coming to their sites.

How to get referral traffic from bloggers

You will have to stroke their egos, offer them incentives or put down some cold hard cash in exchange which I don't normally recommend. Getting bloggers to review your product or service in a way that helps their everyday living, struggles or something that wowed them is the best kind of content piece, it seems sincere, relatable and most importantly shareable. Bloggers audiences tend to be active sharers content they post tends to have a viral reach.

Getting that sweet link

With so many sites and marketers ignoring this traffic avenue others can use this missing opportunity to their advantage. The referral traffic ecosystem is a level playing ground and is there for the taking if anyone wants to dominate in it. If you have any interesting stories or ways you've to build links or referral traffic, share it with us in the comments section below.

Contact us

If you want to know more about link building don’t be shy we’re happy to assist. Simply contact us here

Tags: How to, Link Building, SEO

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