Referral traffic in Google Analytics: what it is and why it matters

Closely monitoring the performance of a website is very important for any Digital Marketing strategy. After all, the website is your company’s virtual presence and must always be available, in addition to being at the top of search engines and offering a great user experience.

In this post, we’ll talk about one of the metrics that measure your site’s performance: referral traffic, its importance, how it’s measured and how to improve. Follow us in the next few minutes to learn in detail everything related to this important metric.

Why pay attention to this?

Referral traffic is basically what a link does when taking a person from one site to another. In other words, it is the visitors who access your site through other pages or links, and not exactly through a Google search for a keyword found on your site.

This metric will help you assess how relevant the content you have on your site is to other people or companies. This is because nobody wants to have links on their sites that do not add value to the visitor or do not bring a positive experience for the user. Therefore, this metric is used to verify that the content you have on your site is interesting and valuable, not only for those who recommend your page, but for those who will visit it after clicking on a referral link.

How to measure?

Within Google Analytics you will find the ‘All Traffic’ menu. Within it, you must choose the “referral” option. If in one week you have received 100 visitors to your site and of those 100, 10 come from referral links from other sites, your referral rate for that week will be 10%.

The higher the number, the better. After all, more people and companies will refer to your page as a valuable address and recommend it. To better understand, think about academic work, as Google works the same way. If you make a reference to a specific author, it means that you consider his/her work to be a good reference. The more an author is referenced, the more he is considered an expert on the subject. The more a website is referenced, the more it will appear in the first places in the Google ranking. Of course, this is just one of the factors, but it is an important one.

How to optimize this metric?

After identifying your numbers for this metric in Google Analytics, you can start to identify the sites where people came from and think about “cross-marketing” campaigns. If you are a lawyer, for example, and you notice that many visitors came to your page through a link on a website of a law school in your area, you can contact the company to think about joint actions.

And here the sky is the limit – the partnership can involve a series of actions that make sense for both parties. Like exchanging links, articles or even offline events. In summary: referral traffic is a metric that can help you think about future actions and also increase the number of visitors and customers on your site.

If you have questions or need help with your content, website and SEO, contact us. We can help you out with the optimization.