Referral traffic is one of the most common data analytics systems provide. Understanding it is key to creating a great marketing strategy. It’s like having a really useful compass while navigating the high seas at night. Say you’ve set up an online store and you want to know what kind of marketing strategies or technology you need to invest in.
Generating traffic to your website should be one of your top marketing goals because it’s what helps you generate revenue, most of the time. Without traffic, you’ll have no leads to capture, no prospects to convert, and an empty sales funnel full of sadness and broken dreams. Referral traffic, however, comes in many shapes and sizes so it’s important to know not only what it is but which kind of referral traffic matters most to you.
But first let us understand what referral traffic in basic terms:
Basically, referral traffic is traffic that is driven to your site through a link posted on another site. It’s when a different website is referring their visitors to your website. It’s important because you’ve been vouched for by another source which increases your quality score and authority.
When you make a search for the keyword “prestashop redesign”, for example, google will list down the most links from the most relevant to the least. Anytime someone click on one of these links, google becomes a referral traffic source for your website. In the example below, if one clicks on the shoptech.media link, google will be listed as a referral traffic for shoptech media on this particular page. Check example image below.
However, understanding where these traffic are coming from is a totally different story. This is where analytics comes in handy. Analytics provide you the data to give you the power to create great marketing strategy decisions for your ecommerce business.
The following are important reasons why understanding referral traffic is great for marketing strategy.
#1. The need to know where your visitors came from
Location, location, location! Knowing the geographic location of your customer base can help you as a marketer make smart decisions when placing brand or product offerings across geographies or locales. Once company understands the value of location it can apply the necessary pieces of information and intelligence at the right points within the organization and locales outside the organization to maximize the impact of its marketing efforts and hopefully increase sales.
Understand which Geographical area brings in the most customers is one of the best way analytics provide ecommerce owners with the tool to properly assess what strategy is well suited for them.
In the image above, you can outright tell that the traffic were coming from southeast asia, just by looking at the traffic map.
#2. The need to know what your customers are looking for.
So setting up Analytics will take you down to the grassroots of where your visitor source is from.
In the above image, it list the referrers of these traffic. But determining what were these people were searching for is a much deeper question, which a robust analytics application should readily provide. Check out the image below how this is presented by analytics.
Just by scrolling through the list of referrers, a site manager can easily get an idea as to what strategy is he going to make to further reach his audience and potential customers.
Understanding what your customers were looking for before they arrive in your website pages, is crucial to you developing your marketing strategy.
#2. Is your online store witnessing a lot of mobile traffic? Then investing in an optimized mobile app can help draw in more customers.
There has been an increase in the number of small and medium scale enterprises investing in customized mobile apps. Most businesses now realize that an effective marketing strategy goes above and beyond just a mobile-optimized website. There is unlimited marketing potential for businesses through a customized mobile app as there’s been a shift of online activity to mobile. This is a result of the ever-increasing use of mobile devices and applications.
Analytics has shown – in the last 5 years – that mobile users has grown so rapidly reaching (72.6 percent) referral traffic in 2019. That’s 3 our of 4 users accessing the internet through their smart phones!
Understanding your referral traffic is key to creating a great marketing strategy. Without it, you will have no idea who are the people that your contents are reaching, where these visitors are coming from, and what were they looking for? It’s like navigating through the high seas without a compass!
Additional resource on ecommerce analytics