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Referral Traffic

TL;DR

Referral traffic represents the website traffic coming from search engines, ads and other web pages to your own website. Referral traffic is important for SEO as it can improve your website’s ranking and for increasing overall trustworthiness.

About Referral Traffic

Referral Traffic can be described as the web visits coming from referrers such as search engines and websites that include a URL directing to your own web pages. The website that includes a link to your own website is called a referrer.

Sometimes referral traffic can occur organically, while other times it comes from a long term marketing plan. Web analytics tools such as Visitor Analytics can measure this particular kind of traffic and the results can be used to develop an SEO strategy.

In the Visitor Analytics Pages Menu, the Referring Sites tab shows users the list of referring sites, the number of visiting sessions coming from each of those websites and the percentage of referral traffic generated by each.

Why is Referral Traffic important?

Referral traffic is important as it brings potential customers to your website from other sites that might have the same target audience, and therefore the same interests. 

Good referral traffic coming from pages that are trustworthy will also boost a website’s ranking in search engines and increase general reliability. Referral traffic is also important as it is a constant source of supplementary traffic. 

How is Referral Traffic tracked?

When a user clicks on a link redirecting to your website, the browser will send a request to the servers. In this request, there will also be a field with information about the last place that the user has visited. Web analytics tools, such as Visitor Analytics will capture this data to display it as a referral.

Where exactly does referral traffic come from?

In the vast majority of cases referral traffic comes from the following sources:

  • Search engines
  • Links that are built into an app
  • Social media channels
  • Ads
  • Link building
  • Newsletters
  • Affiliate links