Google Analytics: The Importance of Referrals in SEO

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Google Analytics: The Importance of Referrals in SEO


Websites are like the representatives of any business and first point of contact on the internet between a business and its existing as well as potential customers. Like our traditional shops we would like people to talk about our websites or online businesses and refer their friends, family and other people to our site. Referrals can play quite an important role for internet marketing and help us improve our SEO strategy.

Therefore, it’s crucial to know who’s talking about your website, where are they talking about and why are they talking about – that’s where referrals help you out. There are various tools to get analytics for your site, but Google Analytics being a product of the Search Engine Giant – Google itself is quite an effective and comprehensive one. Not to mention the fact that it is free of cost.

How to Find Your Referral Traffic with Google Analytics?

We suppose that you have already linked your website with Google Analytics, if you haven’t it is recommended to do it right away and wait for a few days or weeks to let the data gather up.

  1. Login to your Google Analytics account and select the site you want data for (in-case you have linked multiple sites).
  2. Next, navigate to the left hand-side and look for “Acquisition” – now click on it. This will open a few other options for you.
  3. Select and click on “All Referrals” and it will show you data regarding the traffic (people) landing on your site through referrals.

It is quite a simple job, if you have already linked your site to Analytics and takes merely 2 minutes to view the data but the next job will require some efforts and time.

Viewed the Referrals – What Next?

You must be wondering what to do next now that you know where your referrals are coming from. In simple words, if people are already talking then make them talk more and spread the word about your site. For instance, if you are seeing referrals from Facebook then you may want to visit the site and engage with people regarding your site by discussing different aspects. So, if someone liked what you are selling even if it’s information and shared it on Facebook then you can also register under your site’s name and start participating in different ways with the users to make them aware about your business, answer their questions and take their suggestions seriously.

This will obviously bring in great results and more traffic as people would see a business that is genuinely working hard to get better for its customers. Referrals from reputable source like Facebook is very good for SEO. Moreover, it’s just one site we are talking about here – think about a dozen or more sites and the improvements it can bring. Therefore, referrals should not be ignored and given proper importance in order to make your SEO strategy effective.

It’s important to know how to read and analyze the data. For instance, a site with 10 referrals and a site with 60 referrals are both bringing different number of people to your site and the one with more referrals should be given high priority but the one with lowest can also be used to your advantage if you work on it.