Referral Traffic VS Search Engine Traffic: Why you should Increase Referral Traffic

Why you should increase referral traffic? - Google Panda and Google Penguin has no doubt hurt a lot of webmasters and bloggers to say the least. Whilst it’s not time for a traffic report I can tell you that Magnet4Marketing is 30% down on search engine traffic from the previous month. As disheartening as this is, the show must go on, and I’m working my butt off to try and win back traffic as no doubt you are too.

Search engine optimization will always be the number one preferred method of generating traffic, if done right, it can reward you well. But I’ve also been leaning towards paying a lot more attention to finding other methods of increasing traffic without Google. One in particular is referral and direct traffic.

Increase referral traffic

I have now made it my goal for the rest of 2012 to increase referral traffic dramatically to my blog. I’m not casting aside SEO at all; I’m just looking for new ways to level the playing field with Google.

Here’s why I think you should consider doing the same and looking at ways to increase referral traffic also –

1. 100% targeted

If you analyze your referral traffic stats you might notice that your referral sources will have a relatively lower bounce rate, more page views per user and more time spent on site than your search engine traffic. If you’re engaging on social sites, guest posting on the right blog’s and participating on forums and blog networks etc, you’ll be targeting the right kind of audience. Your referral traffic will be 100% laser targeted. That’s one good reason to increase referral traffic right?

2. Increase conversions

Targeting the right kind of audience through referral traffic marketing also means that your conversion rate will increase. That means more clicks and therefore more sales…

3. Don’t have to worry about any future Google Algo updates (Panda, Penguin, Alligator or what ever else…)

The biggest factor for increasing referral and direct traffic to your blog is that you won’t ever have to worry about another Google ago update again. If you can match your search engine traffic with referral and direct traffic, wouldn’t that be awesome?

How to Increase Referral Traffic to your Blog

Increasing referral traffic to your blog isn’t hard but it’s not as simple as doing SEO either. Look at your analytics to find your top 10 or 20 referral sources and focus all your efforts on trying to get more traffic from these sources. Look at mine below for the last 30 days…

As you will see in the last 30 days Facebook has been my top referral source; So I’ll now look at ways to increase fans, and ways to engage a lot more with the fans directly and on the page. is a Twitter marketing service site and blog which also provides me with good referral traffic. So I can also look at ways to increase this traffic by increasing my use of the service, commenting on the blog posts, and even consider guest posting there.

I think you see the simple pattern I’m making; I’m looking for ways to increase traffic from these existing sources by doing more things with them, simple. Do the same for yours, check out your top 10 or so sources and see how you can squeeze more traffic from them.

Here are some methods of increasing referral and direct traffic to your blog –

  • Guest post on 2 or 3 top authority, top traffic source, niche related blogs
  • Use social sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Digg, Pinterest and StumbleUpon
  • Take video marketing to the next level, use YouTube and Vimeo
  • Join the forums and participate regularly in conversations.
  • Comment on blogs that are already giving you the best referral traffic.
  • Build an email list
  • Increase RSS subscribers
  • Use content curation sites like to curate your and other related content to share on the social web

OK I’ll leave you to think about your referral traffic and ways on how you can increase it. One thing to remember is that referral traffic can be a powerful alternative, don’t sit there any longer whimpering at your lost search engine traffic, Don’t let Google win… Look for ways to improve your SEO and above all look at increasing your referral traffic.

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  • Michael Aulia

    It is sad to see my search traffic going down as well, thanks to Panda and Penguin, no matter how many quality articles I’ve put up.

    My only good source of referral traffic is Facebook. Somehow I can’t seem to get anymore StumbleUpon traffic

    • Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hi Michael thanks for stopping by my friend :) Welcome to the blog too. It feels as if the battle is endless with Google and I know that there are ways in which to recover from Panda and Penguin but when does it all end? Keep working on your sources if Facebook is getting you good traffic, build more targeted fans and engage with them on all possible levels. As for StumpleUpon do you use the service? It’s a great way to get more traffic from Stumble :) Have a great day mate.

  • Samantha Wright

    Hey Fabzy, wow 30% traffic loss is some number. I’m positive you’ll find a way to recover. However you are 100% right about increasing referral traffic, it is something that everyone will be doing a lot more of now I think, something has to give. Thanks for the post Fabzy and sharing your goals with us, best of luck :)

    • Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hey Sammy, I know it’s a bummer really but Google knows best it would seem. I’ll still be working to get my traffic back to the way it was soon I hope :)

  • Ikenna

    Nice tips Fabrizio.
    I’m especially working to improve my facebook traffic. Relying less on Google for traffic is the beginning of wisdom for bloggers and web property owners. Google analytics tool has also been useful for identifying potential traffic sources.

    • Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hi Ikenna, thanks for the visit mate and welcome to the blog. Glad to see you paying more attention to generating more traffic from the social sites, noteably Facebook. YouTube can also be a great traffic source. Best of luck,

  • Enstine Muk

    Hi Fabrizio,
    We are understanding that completely depending on Google and SEO is suicidal. 30% loss is enough to make you rethink and scratch your hair. However, while referral traffic is so important and encouraged, it also positively affects SEO based on the recent Google updates. So while commenting, guest posting and doing the rest of the things you mentioned, you will also be gaining more attention from search engines.

    • Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Thanks Enstine, you’re absolutely right mate, whilst I’m working towards increasing referral traffic doing all those things, I’ll hopefully be improving search engine rankings as well. Yeah the 30% traffic loss has got me doing more than scratching my head, it’s got me pulling my hair out lol :)

  • Simmeon

    100% agree.
    Google the “BEAST” I like to call it can be very unpredictable, it can turn on you at any moment. The more I’m not reliant on Google for traffic the better, you want to spread your traffic sources around, as when one goes down its not the future of your blog.

    • Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hey Simmeon, yep Google is the beast, owner of the internet and can feel all invincible as they want whilst monopolizing the web. Traffic sources is the way forward for me from now on and I’m pretty excited about finding ways to increase it.

  • TrafficColeman

    YO Fabrizio,

    Traffic is not the same old traffic we use to get back in the day. So the traffic we do get needs to convert to people coming back for more..because hey..this is how we survive as blogs.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Aditi

    Hey Fabrizio, I really like reading the tips for increasing referral traffic. Really very informative. Yes, I do feel the same that referral traffic is more acceptable than search engine traffic and we should try steps in order to increase that. Increasing referral links in our blog would be helpful. Thanks for the share!!

  • Jame

    Hi Fabrizio,

    Thank for sharing your experience. My traffic drop by Google update too. But now it comes back again. I also use these useful referral site like use. But the most effective way to don’t get hit by Google is keeping the content clean and unique. Your content is great so I’m sure your traffic will increase soon.

  • Aditya

    Referral traffic will surely add some difference Fab,I hope the 30% down in your search links will get back to the track soon.Reference from the Good PR sites always works for a business to expand.

  • Jenni

    To me Search engine traffic is best for driving Traffic to our site / blog

  • Steve

    Referral traffic helps you in branding and then helps you to generate leads, which is the ultimate goal.

  • Puneet

    in the age of panda and penguine we should increase our referral traffic to stay on safer side . thanks for sharing the article. Stumbleupon is always the best source of referral traffic.

  • Ashish

    Hi Fabrizio
    I agree with you that we should not totally depend on google,I would like to ask a question that “can you tell me some ways to get good traffic from twitter ?I have heard people saying that it provide good traffic but it didn’t work for me.I follow many people and some people also follow me but i am getting the traffic,I hope you will reveal some ways to get it.

  • Lisa

    What is the service for Stumble Upon ? I used to see a lot more traffic from there prior to their changes. Noticing more traffic from Bing and Yahoo recently. Are people using them more now with the Google changes?

    • Fabrizio Van Marciano

      Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment. is a great link shortening service and social sharing site for your stumbled paged. Yes I use to get quite a pleasing level of traffic from stumbleupon through, in three figures, but lately it has been somewhat low. I’d love to think more people are moving over to bing and yahoo for their search services lol.

  • ravi patel

    Hey Fabrizio,
    thanks for your valuable article and this article is really very motivational. All of us are facing Google Algorithm updates Panda and Penguin. But social media is really very nice medium to increase traffic on your blog. My Facebook And other referral traffic is very low and i will try to raise it.

  • sintu kumar

    Thanks for the wounderful tips but i think that search engine is the best way to drive traffic to your blog but the traffic comes from social media is a plus point to get readers.