5 Steps To Build Referral Traffic

Discover just how profitable referral traffic can be and how it compliments organic search.

In the expert guide below  we will demonstrate how referral traffic is responsible for 20% of total revenue for a B2B ecommerce company – we’re talking about weekly revenue. Combined SEO and PR activities were responsible for 60% of total revenue, which consists of $99K generated from organic SEO traffic and $48.5K from referral traffic. We will also show 5 steps you need to follow to align both SEO and referral traffic in the same process and digital marketing strategy. 

5 Steps to build referral traffic - Sitetrail infographic
5 Steps to build referral traffic - Sitetrail infographic

What is SEO referral traffic?

Referral traffic that originates from other news and relevant industry websites, is a constant source of visitors to a website. It is the result of useful, high quality content and written recommendations that send users to a suggested website or online resource. It can be promotional or non-promotional. It is not regulated by an “on / off” button as in the case of pay per click or paid social traffic. It is constant due to the fact that the content is seo optimized and discoverable for months, even years, after it has been produced. 

Why invest in building referral traffic?

Internet referral traffic is a byproduct of SEO and PR. There are three main reasons why it is one of the best revenue channels:

  1. Security: It protects the revenue profile of a business during times when Google experiences “mood swings”. In other words, when SEO traffic goes down, referral traffic remains steadfast. 
  2. Excellent ROI: Referral traffic converts because it is an endorsement of what other sites and businesses think of your brand. It is has one of the highest conversion rates and has elements of social proof and influencer marketing at it’s core. 
  3. Lasting benefits: The benefits of both social and pay per click marketing is temporary. Referral traffic that originates from reliable news sources will last for months, if not years. The cost per click will never change and it will assist your business in reputation management and conversion. 


What is the value of good referral traffic to a business?

This can be very subjective. But below is a case example of a business with a monthly turnover of $250K. Notice how organic search & referral combined provides 60% of it’s total revenue. 


What does the link profile look like for a business that receives referral traffic?

In this particular case, the company has more than 2000 domains linking to it. Some, like the Wikipedia links were completely organic results, whereas many others, like iheart.com, Jpost, Latribune, Techtimes, were all the result of SEO optimized PR. 


5 Steps To Build Great Referral Traffic


1. Enroll in a basic link building support plan:

It is possible to progress at any speed, unless you need to catch up with a specific competitor. In either case maintaining link velocity is key. This link building plan is a great and flexible tool to scale up or down dynamically.

A revenue profile like the above is highly desirable but not everyone has what it takes to build such a safe position for their business. It will require several months to put the right assets in place. It is not a “turnkey” solution like pay per click.

When we compare just how well referral traffic performs compared VS pay per click, it is understandable why the strategic digital marketing plan of any sustainable business will include the aggressive pursuit of both referral and organic SEO traffic. 

So is referral traffic right for your business? Absolutely yes, but let’s establish to what extent you’re ready to pursue it:

The research is clear. DO NOT THINK for a second that anyone can hire an agency for 2 weeks, sit back and decide yes “it worked” or no, “it failed”. It requires a long term mindset and a strategic approach.  A week by week knee-jerk survival mindset will not suffice. The timeframe that 80% of businesses require to build momentum is 3 to 12 months. 

Case Study Fact: To generate $1.2M in annual revenue from referral & SEO traffic, the business in our example has spent $72K over 12 months. They did not spend $1K on a magic bullet. 


2. Scale up with content marketing & link building PR plans:

The reality is, that with a small weekly news and PR / SEO link building package like this it can take up to a year to see good referral results, whereas our accelerated monthly SEO/PR combined plan will probably take at least 3 months before substantial results occur. 

If you are an expert at writing your own content and you need to bulk out the number of DO-Follow links across high domain authority sites, hop onto this bulk SEO guest post package or scale up quite rapidly with this unlimited access pass – both of these access the same sites. 


3. Win with safe non-reciprocal indirect link mastery:

Google really dislikes unsophisticated operators. All those people engaging in reciprocal linking get penalties. Don’t do it. 

Here is what you should do: Enter into a sophisticated strategic approach with a much wider audience of business collaborators who do this safely and certainly indirectly. Suggested tool: Trusted Resource Links platform

With the trusted resource links program, you can get added to a load of resources that will provide you with steady traffic and domain rank / authority growth. 

When you master step 1, 2 and 3 above and do this at scale, the results can blow up to the extent your seo metrics look like this successful example of a client we work for:


4. Start an affiliate program without a network:

It is true that not all business models integrate well with the affiliate model. That’s why some companies create a special E-book or single item they use for affiliate marketing if they find that other areas of their business are not suitable. If there is a match here and an affiliate program can be launched, this is what you need to do to benefit from it the most:

If you bypass networks and have a smart affiliate program that links directly to your site, all the SEO benefits of the affiliate marketers’ work will flow to you. This Affiliate Management System is the perfect solution for it. It is 100% self hosted, provides reliable tracking and automation and will cut out the middleman completely. 

To be clear, at this point you should forget the idea of Shareasale, Clickbank, CJ Affiliate, Impact Radius or any intermediary where the link juice does not go to your site directly. Think about BOTH referral and SEO benefits simultaneously. 


5. Appear on Top 10 Industry Lists

I admit to using this tool to turn struggling businesses around very quickly. These lists are super powerful for many reasons. Most notably, because they draw traffic from other popular brands on the same list when people make purchase decisions, as well as the social proof factor that comes from an independent reviewer. You’ll have to contact us at Sitetrail to learn how to get onto these lists – and most likely, be in a position that deserves putting your business on the list. 


It is clear across the board that this is one of the best channels for any business. The question of whether management is ready to pursue this as a strategic pilar, depends the ability to shift mindsets from “fighting” to “making war”. Pay per click may win a fight, but solid strategic digital marketing will always rely on strong referral and organic results to win the war. If this resonates with you and you’d like one of the most experienced teams in the world, below are the most appropriate solutions to order:


Suggested solutions to build referral traffic:

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Hired to write a linked news article. Top-notch writing, needed absolutely no edits. Delivered super fast, and as promised. Very nice attention to details and understood the goal better than most, top professionals. Highly recommended.

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