We love digital

Call 0845 485 1219

We love digital - Call and say hello - Mon - Fri, 9am - 5pm

15 Instant Ways to Improve Referral Traffic

Mike Essex

by Mike Essex on 29th February 2012

Video Transcript

If you want to deliver really targeted traffic to your website and you want to look outside traditional means of SEO, then you should focus your attentions on referral traffic. This video is going to take a look at 15 ways to do that. What we’ve done is raided the Koozai analytics account and some of our clients to find which 15 are the best, which 15 work frequently from account to account to account. And these are all sites that you can rely on to deliver a good amount of referral traffic to your website.

First of all, we’re going to look at social networks. So we’ve got Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+. These are the core four to look at. And if you don’t do anything else based on this list, please register an account on all of those profiles. Once you’ve registered an account, you can grow that account by sharing content with people, by having discussions on these social networks, and by being a good Samaritan in your community.

If that doesn’t work, you can advertise on these networks, such as LinkedIn and Facebook actually have ads on them that can drive people to your page to become a fan. Once they’ve done that, you can then post regular content on there which people can share with their networks or can view at their leisure as a referral traffic source.

The second way is to find people who’ve got strong profiles already on these sites and to encourage them to share your content. You can also make it really easy for them by putting social sharing buttons on your website, all of these four sites have buttons that take two minutes to install. And with one click, people can share your content with their friends.

Next we’ve got Pinterest, which is technically a social network, but I’ve included it separately because it requires a different treatment. If you’ve got visually interesting content, then Pinterest is perfect. If you don’t have visually interesting content, well, you really should be asking yourself why. Why don’t you have visual content on your site? It takes minutes just to grab a pen and a whiteboard, to sketch something interesting out, to take a picture and put it on your blog.

In fact, they say a picture is worth a thousand words. You can often do content quicker by drawing it and taking a photo than you can by writing a long blog post. So, try that out. If you want to give Pinterest a go and you say that you’ve got no visual content, well I challenge you to take a piece of paper and draw something interesting and see what you can get out of it. If you’ve got more time and money, then create infographics or really more complex diagrams that people will want to share.

And, in fact, our Pinterest account was the highest referring source that we’d had that day on the first day we opened it. And we’re talking hundreds of people in that day came from Pinterest with a brand new account just because we shared lots of interesting content in one go. And also, it’s one of the few sites where a brand new account can do that. It takes a lot longer to build a high profile account on any other site, whereas Pinterest you can go and hit the ground running straight away. So just because everyone is saying you should use Pinterest, that doesn’t mean that you should not use Pinterest. Give it a go.

YouTube, taking a step up from Pinterest. If you can create useful image content, then you should also be able to create video content. Again, just grab a camera off anyone or use your iPhone, set up a board, and record yourself talking about interesting things in your industry. That’s how we got started, and now we do them every week because we find they’re a great way to share content. The good thing about putting content on YouTube is that at the top of your page, if you’ve got a high profile account, then you get links to any content you want and they’re followed links.

At the bottom of every post, even if you don’t have a high profile account, you can add a link to any piece of content you want. So if people read your content and they want to learn more, you can actually put in the description, “To read more about this content click here,” and direct them off to your site on a blog post that explains it in more detail. It’s very effective.

Next, we’ve got social bookmarking sites, which Ollie did a fantastic video on last week, so I won’t cover these in too much depth. But you’ve got Delicious, StumbleUpon, and Reddit. They’re the top three that work for us. And you can submit your content to these in a matter of seconds, really, once you’ve made an account. And you can also add buttons to your website so people can share content.

We don’t do that with every piece of content we have. But if content’s really interesting and has taken a lot of our time or it’s very visual, we will add these buttons on and they can be very effective. Again, we’re talking hundreds of people. In fact, we’ve had thousands of people from Reddit over the last few months. If you can make the front page of Reddit by having quite a lot of shares in a short amount of time, then you’ll be very impressed with the amount of visitors it brings you.

Next, we’ve got Paper.li and there’s also Scoop.it which are both newspapers that get made online with the various tweets people have made that day of interesting content. So, if we go back to Twitter and when we’re saying to get high profile people to share you content, well you should actually seek out high profile people that have got these type of accounts, Paper.li and Scoop.it on the basis that if they share your content, it also appears on these sites and generates more referral traffic for you there. And we are talking a good amount. This is in our top 15 referrers in the last year, which is very surprising. I was surprised when I saw it, and it made me take it a lot more seriously. So there’s a good chance that those people, when they share your content, it will appear on this page.

We’ve got Outbrain next, which if you’ve ever read a news site and you’ve seen at the bottom it’s got recommended stories on other websites, Outbrain is probably how they get that content. They’re everywhere. People pay to appear there for a short time and they pay per click. It’s a very effective way of driving referral traffic. It’s working at about 20p a click for us. From an SEO perspective, it’s not seen as a paid link in a good or bad way because Google can’t index the content at all. So don’t use Outbrain for your SEO strategy because it won’t have an effect, good or bad. But if you want to drive referral traffic, that’s what Outbrain is perfect for.

Google News. If you’re publishing regular news content and it is news focused and not opinion focused, you can get included on Google News. However, if you don’t publish regularly and you do have opinions, then Google News won’t include you. So it’s a very small area of sites that it applies to. But if it does apply to you or if you can take the time to set up a news part of your website that publishes two or three times a day, then you will get included, and that’s where you can get a lot of traffic. And we’re talking hundreds a day from Google News if you are in a very competitive niche. Also Google News has the advantage of appearing in the search results as an independent entity. So it could appear very high in the results one day, allowing you to rank for a competitive term that you may not be able to touch organically.

PRWeb. If you have news, but it’s not every two days or frequent enough for Google News, submit a press release on PRWeb or another free press release website. And in that press release, make sure that you tell the story but that there’s an extra piece of information that people will want to read on your site. Then include a link to read more in the press release that directs people over here and then you get referral traffic. You want to take them away from PRWeb and get them to your site as quick as possible because that’s where they’ll convert.

Technorati. Although it sounds techy, Technorati will convert any blog that’s online. You give them an RSS feed and then they post all your content on their site with links to read more. It’s a very, very effective site and relevant to almost any niche out there.

And finally, we’ve got Meetup. Meetup lets people create meetings and events for free. You can either sponsor an event and get a link that way, or you can talk at an event and be listed as a speaker. Or you can host your own event. Either way, which route you go down, make sure that your link is on there so people can read more. We’ve actually held a Meetup event ourselves and, again, it did really good traffic for our website with people who wanted to know who had organised this event. And it was free for us to do. So try it out.

If you only do one or two, as I say, start at the top. There’s benefits to be had in all of these sites. And at the very least, you should register a profile on all of them because you never know when you might need it, and you want to, obviously, protect your brand name on these sites as well. You don’t want someone else to register a Koozai account on one of these profiles, and the same with your brand name.

I hope you found this guide useful. Be sure to leave a comment to let us know how you get on. I’m sure there’s a ton more really good referral sites that we’d like to know. So please share them with everyone. And for more information on what we do, visit Koozai.com or any of the social profiles below. And best of luck getting some really great referral traffic to your site. Thank you.

Mike Essex

Mike Essex

Mike Essex specialises in digital marketing and everything search. A recent project of Mike’s was featured on BBC News, Radio 5Live and the Times here in the UK, whilst also featuring on USA Today and ABC News in the US. He will be writing throughout the month about digital marketing and much more...

4 Comments

  • Muller 29th February 2012

    I confirm the scoop.it is very effective. More then Paper.li for me. But what about Tumblr?

    Reply to this comment

  • Mike Essex

    Mike 1st March 2012

    Absolutely, simple blogging platforms like Tumblr and Blogger also work great. That’s more “blogger outreach” and could easily fill an entirely seperate video so thats why I left it off, but we’ll definately take a look at those kind of sites in a future video.

    Reply to this comment

  • Anton Koekemoer 2nd March 2012

    Great post – I do agree that getting your website listed on other sites than just Google,Bing or Yahoo! is very important. Thanks for the good read.

    Reply to this comment

  • Mike Essex

    Mike 2nd March 2012

    Thanks Anton. Whilst SEO is fantastic it’s only one piece of potential for online marketing, there’s a ton to be gained by looking at referral sites, and using tactics like outreach, PR and creating easily shareable content. Glad you found it useful.

    Reply to this comment

Subscribe To Koozai TV