In some ways, increasing traffic generated by referral sites is harder than ranking on Google’s search results page. Throughout history, referral refers to a person telling another person to “buy from that store” and “check out this site.” The principle stays the same, though the method is more indirect than pulling a friend and persuading him to check out a local store.
But in the modern world, the referral that you should focus on is the one that comes from other websites. If you want your website to generate new leads, you should harness the power of referral traffic. But how can you create content that people will click on? How are you going to convince your target traffic to trust a referral?
The right content is the key to attracting referral traffic. If you do not have the right content, no matter how well-placed your guest post is, it will not attract the market that you seek. It all boils down to what is written on that page—will it encourage a web visitor to click the link and visit your site? That’s the question you should ask.
One of the most important things you can do is to publish valuable content on an authority site. It’s the most effective way to score points on search engines. However, it is important to note that you should guest blog on the right site. Meaning, you can’t guest blog on some obscure and irrelevant blogging site that doesn’t even rank on search engines.
You have to find a website that’s highly valued in your industry. Guest blogging on industry blogs shows your expertise. It defines your role in the industry and helps your target market see you as an authority in the subject. If you are not too keen about finding the right website or writing the content your audience wants, look for content marketing services for small businesses. These kinds of services should help you come up with a good strategy.
The way to lead referral traffic to your site is not just about what you do online. It’s also about your role in the community. How present are you in community events? Do locals know you? Do they recognize you as an authority? Being recognized is priceless and valuable, but it is easier said than done.
Contribute to your community. Attend local events. Sponsor events. Make public appearances. Write an expert piece in the local newspaper. If you can, create a blog that will feature your business and community. Get yourself out there.
Find blogs and social media posts that talk about your specific industry. Were there complaints from your market? Comment on the post or blog. Discuss how your business can help solve the problems they face. Be a credible source of relevant information that’s practical. Don’t hard-sell on the comments, though. Blog commenting is about credibility and not about making a sale.
This is also why social media listening is important. You have to know what people are saying not only about your business but about the industry in general. This is where you can find your target market. Remember that when you comment on blogs or social media posts, include a link to your website. If that is not possible, make sure your username is the name of your company.
When leading referral traffic to your website, don’t just lead them to your homepage. Make sure there’s a specific landing page where they can find the information that they need. A high-converting landing page has several elements: strong headlines and subheads, call-to-action, concise and well-written content, trust indicators, images, and links.
The landing page is your hub. It connects you to people who are going to click on your link on another authority site. Many people make the mistake of linking only to their homepage, but that doesn’t do anything for a casual web visitor. They are not there to navigate your site. They want the information to be clear, concise, and immediate.
When people don’t know which brand to choose, they usually check out review sites. These are great sources of referral traffic. The customers are already aware of your brand. They know what you do. They are seeking, instead, for information that your company is the right choice. Review sites are the best way to drive the hammer home.
You have to focus on three major review sites: HomeAdvisor, BBB, and Angie’s List. You can reach out to any of these websites, so they can add your company to their directories. Your company will then start receiving reviews from people who had interactions with your business.
These are not going to bring overnight results. It will take time and a lot of work to generate the referral traffic your site badly needs. Be patient. Creating high-quality content takes time, so you have to stay on track and stick with the plan.