image of tausif akram By: Amby
6 Feb 2015

Improving your Referral Traffic through Social Sharing

If you’ve ever approached your Google Analytics and suddenly noticed a huge spike in traffic, the chances are that social media is one of the biggest culprits. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are an amazing source of generating success through online marketing. All it takes a single share on a social media platform from someone with a significant amount of influence and your referral traffic will go through the roof.

It’s fair to say that referrals have always been a crucial source of great marketing, and companies that build relationships with their customers are more likely to expand their business and improve their brand exposure with little effort. Social media is a free and fantastic way to spread the word about your products, content, and company.

Why Referral Traffic is Important

In an ideal world, every user who ends up on your website will be there to read your content, engage with your brand, and eventually purchase your services. However, this is not always the case. Some users will approach your website accidentally, and others will only view a page for a couple of seconds before bouncing. This is why the number of visitors that end up on your website can be quite deceiving as a statistic.

Referral traffic, on the other hand, is a different statistic entirely, because the users who visit your site through referral are more likely to be interested in what it is you have to offer. Because of this, referral traffic can act as a pseudo-lead qualifier, making it essential to your brand’s success. With Google making changes regularly to search algorithms, it’s rarely a good idea to rely completely on organic traffic. If your website becomes impacted by algorithm updates, it could lead to problems with your search ranking. On the other hand, regardless of Google’s actions, referral traffic remains consistent.

Use Social Buttons to Drive your Traffic

If you want to increase your referrals and drive extra traffic, then using social share buttons could be a great step forward. Remember, your social sharing buttons should be as easy for your users to access as possible, and there are four optimum locations when you’re placing these buttons on your website:

  1. At the left side of your content, ensuring it moves when your content is scrolled.
  2. To the top of the page, near the title of your post.
  3. At the bottom of your content page.
  4. Embedded directly into the content itself.

Get the Most out of Social Sharing

Some of the most important things to remember in optimizing your social sharing experience are:

  • Buttons should be prominently displayed. They should be visible from the moment that your user clicks on a page, throughout the entire time that they spend on that page.
  • Ask users to share your content through a call to action. At the end of your content, always ask your users to share content, or direct them towards a button to help your brand.
  • Learn the difference between the follow and share buttons. Follow buttons promote the presence of your business, and share buttons make it easier for visitors to share your content through social networks.
  • Refrain from using too many buttons, this could lead your page towards having a cluttered appearance, as well as negatively impacting the load time of your pages.

When it comes to choosing the social media that you should be focusing on, it’s usually a good idea to stick to the big players, such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn if you want to maximize the return on your investment. Although niche platforms for social media can be useful for some companies, they are unlikely to be beneficial to most. The key part of any social media engagement is discovering where your traffic is most likely to come from, and focusing your social referral strategy accordingly.

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