An integrated marketing strategy is important to online success. Businesses can’t solely rely on one or two channels to send unlimited  traffic.

There are many ways to drive traffic: organic and pay per click (PPC), but the one I have focused on in this blog is referral traffic.  This is traffic that is coming from other websites and social accounts, helping to improve your exposure on the big wide web.

So Barrie, where do we get referral traffic from?

The web is your oyster when it comes to finding places to drive traffic to your website.  Here’s a list of 5 places I often go to to send targeted traffic and ultimately “buying” customers to my clients’ businesses:

1. The Media

“No news is bad news” as they say.  Getting your business mentioned in the media often works wonders for branding and exposure.  It’s no fluke that the big businesses frequently get a mention in the paper or on the television – whether that’s via a news story or straight forward advertising.  The audience is (usually) massive which gives you a large potential customer base.

Getting a mention in the media is not as easy as it sounds.  You’ll need to be clever to get in front of a journalist, providing them with something of substance and worthy of being published.  This could be research, a quote on a recent news story; something along those lines – something their audience is going to engage with.

The image below exemplifies savvy marketers turning their hands to ingenious methods to garner exposure and boost sales:

clever marketing boosts internet sales

It doesn’t have to cost (much) to get a mention either.  And the end result most of the time is worth the chase – your feature has the potential to reach thousands of eyeballs!

Stacey Cavanagh’s speech at Brighton SEO in September this year discusses low cost link building using “juicy, juicy data”. It was one of my favourite talks I’ve ever heard at the conference.  Unfortunately I never did find the video recording of it, but here is the slide share – well worth flicking through: http://www.tecmark.co.uk/brighton-seo-september-2013/

2. Affiliates

Affiliate scheme can be amazing for referral traffic, sales and branding.

I do get miffed when some companies setup really poor affiliate schemes.  By that I mean weak incentives for the person/company with the affiliate site.

Google appear to be doing their best to kick out affiliate sites and even comparison sites of late (with their own car insurance search for example), but affiliate income is still thriving in 2013.

Set up a scheme that really benefits the affiliate – ie money, because at the end of the day an affiliate marketer is solely doing it for the money.  Aiming for big websites which have millions of viewers can be huge for a company to strike an affiliate deal with.  Whereas it may not be so profitable with smaller sites these days who struggle to send traffic to their websites, and all those dreamers who set up a site thinking it’s easy (I’ve seen many a site like that in the gambling industry!).

Be sure to send your big affiliates a Christmas card and hamper around this time of year too. At the end of a day an affiliate is someone doing your promotional work for you!

3. Newsletters

If you’re producing regular blog posts, articles or resource guides, promoting your content via a newsletter is a great way to build up your readership. Also, building up a list of subscribers to your email newsletter means you’ll have an audience for your content.

You should make it easy for new visitors who reach your blog for the first time, or even the second or third, to sign up to your newsletter. Make sure the sign up button is on the same page as the content they are reading. More to the point: sign up to our newsletter to the right of this blog post, for more great articles from Receptional.

sign up to the newsletter

Sending out a newsletter on a daily or weekly basis is a great way for sending traffic to your website that you wouldn’t otherwise get.  And this is traffic who signed up – therefore are interested in your blog, products or services! So don’t neglect this audience. Be sure to send out a newsletter on a consistent basis.

4. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging has got a little out of hand.  Nowadays it’s mainly used as a link building tactic – people producing content (or getting a third party to produce content on their behalf) with the sole intention of building a link on an external website.  Some even pay for their work to be published.  The benefit of an anchor text link can certainly have its impact in Google though, I won’t deny that.

If we continue to abuse this I imagine it’s only a matter of time before Google acts on this and limits the benefits of links from guest posting.

So have a better intention in mind when you’re guest posting on external websites.  Do it to increase your traffic.  Do it to increase your exposure.  Do it to build your brand.  Do it for the good of mankind.  Don’t do it just because you think it will boost your position in Google – it’s not 2011 anymore.

If you want your content to have an impact and send traffic your way, write for big sites with a large audience.

5. Banner Advertising

Struggling to send traffic to your website but have money to spend?  How about the old school approach of banner advertising?  You know, this stuff still works.  Placing a banner on someone else’s website that has relevant traffic to send across.

seo banner ad

If you’re purchasing a banner on an external site, be sure to follow Google’s guidelines so you don’t get penalised.  Otherwise, you can use Google’s Display Network and Remarketing tools to shove your banner in the face of relevant users.

If you want to generate more qualified referral traffic to your website, get in touch with us today.