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Which Is Better, Referral Traffic or Organic Traffic?

Two types of traffic have the power to dictate your online marketing success, but which is better?

There are dozens of strategies and tactics that can help you support your website through online marketing, but many of those strategies are focus on one of two types of traffic:

  • Organic traffic, or the number of people who discover your site via search engine results.
  • Referral traffic, or the number of people who land on your site after clicking on an external link.

Which of these is better to target?

Organic Traffic Pros and Cons

Organic traffic is improved with strategies that optimize your site for search engines (i.e., SEO). This includes onsite content, onsite optimization, and link building (which, incidentally, also increases your referral traffic). Organic traffic is advantageous because it allows people to discover your site in searches that they’re performing naturally. It also has tremendous growth potential, since you can always discover new keywords and phrases to rank for.

However, it takes a long time to increase your rankings to a point where organic traffic starts to matter—sometimes months.

Referral Traffic Pros and Cons

Referral traffic can be tricky to develop, since you’ll need to frame your links in a context that incentivizes people to click them. However, if you can create meaningful content to house your links, and you include that content on high-profile external sites, referral traffic can be extremely rewarding. Publishing a link grants you referral traffic faster than SEO will yield organic traffic, and the traffic you generate should be highly relevant to your brand (assuming you’re creating the right kind of content on the right kind of publisher).

Growth for referral traffic is promising, but it depends on the scale of your strategy; you have to continually target bigger and better publishers to continue increasing your results.

At the end of the day, both organic traffic and referral traffic are valuable, and the best online marketing strategy will attempt to utilize both. If you need help generating more inbound traffic from any direction, contact Quez Media for a free analysis today!

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