Referral marketing is an effective method for getting traffic to your website. But it is often seen as an option or add-on. They think that implementing it will help them but it is not something that they must do right away. But this is a great mistake. By doing this, business owners are leaving money on the table. Referral marketing can help a business get more traffic and sales. And it can ultimately help in search engine optimization. In this article, you’ll learn 10 reasons why you should incorporate referral marketing if you want to improve your website’s search engine rankings.
What is Referral Marketing
Before we proceed to the reasons, let us first look into the definition of referral marketing. Referral marketing is a system where you allow your website visitors and customers to refer people to your website. They can do this by sending the contact information of their family and friends to an online form. This online form captures the information of these new prospects. If you look at it this way, it seems simple. But the power of referral marketing lies not on the mechanism but on the quality of referrals. You see, the people referred by customers and website visitors are people who are close to them. These are people within their inner circle. Because of this, the referral is twice as likely to convert into a sale. Think about it. Would you respond to a promotion from a complete stranger or from a friend? I am sure that you will choose the latter.
Now that you know how powerful referral marketing is, you are probably wondering how it helps in terms of search engine optimization. Here are some reasons why referral marketing is valuable even if you are looking to increase your search engine rankings.
Customer Promotion Can Generate Valuable Links
If you have been doing SEO for some time, you’ll realize that it is all about building backlinks. In fact, the old way of SEO is all about that. It is all about building as many backlinks to as many websites as possible. However, as time passes, the algorithm of search engines have changed. It is no longer enough to submit your links to as many websites as possible. In fact, doing that can be considered spamming. Today, the quality of the website matters more than the quantity. And this is where referral marketing can help you.
You see, referral marketing can generate lots of targeted backlinks for you. How can that happen? It happens through customer reviews. With each review your product and service gets, you get a new backlink to your website. The great thing about this is that it is more than just a backlink. You get backlinks from real websites and real people. This is important in the new world of SEO for it is all about high quality backlinks. You tend to get higher rankings if you have high quality links from a variety of websites.
Links from Real Websites Count More
As mentioned, the links from real websites count more. You can set up as many profiles as you want in social media websites and you can submit as many links as you want in directory websites but they hardly count anymore. Also, buying links is not recommended. So what can a business owner do? It’s simple. You can encourage your customers to give you some customer reviews and encourage them to post on their website.
A referral program can further encourage them to promote your products or service. It is all in the reward. Because your customers can get a reward when they promote your business, they will be far more likely to create reviews for your business. When they do this, they will create backlinks from their own websites and this counts more in SEO.
Positive Reviews Can Help SEO
Did you know that positive reviews help SEO? Alternatively, negative reviews can also lower your search engine rankings. You’ll see it when a certain product or service suddenly get an influx of negative reviews. When this happens, the website will suddenly go down in the search engine rankings. This goes to show that reviews really have an effect on SEO. So it is important to get as much positive reviews as possible.
The good news is that referral programs actually encourage positive reviews. After all, the reward can only be gotten when someone signs up or buys from a website. Because of this, referrers strive to create some positive reviews to encourage people to sign up and buy. Ultimately, their goal is to get as many people to the website in order to get access to the reward.
It Can Help Link You With Other Businesses
You’ll soon discover the importance of linkages. If you are a new business owner, you’ll find that it is really hard to promote a brand new website. It has no testimonials and no social proof. This makes it hard for customers to trust the brand. But one way to counter this is to work with other businesses.
However, asking other businesses to promote you may not work so well. You have to give them a reason to promote you. A referral program is a wonderful way to convince them. With it, you can give them a reason to promote your business on their website. This works extremely well for complementing products and services. While it may not work well with similar or competing products or services. It can work if it is complementing. ‘Complementing’ businesses are those that have a similar target market but doesn’t have competing products. A wedding invitation supplier may welcome a flower shop because it is a complementing market. Once you find a complementing business, you can ask them to promote your business by promoting your referral program. You can show the rewards that you are giving away and state how your business can help their business and website audience.
It Can Help Link You With Influencers
In the same way, having a referral program can help you get influencer exposure. As with businesses, you can also use your referral program as a reason for promotion for influencers. Influencers also need a reason to promote a certain product or service. If you will just approach them and ask them to promote you, that will not work. Instead, you should show your referral program and show them the rewards that you will give them if they promote your website.
PRO TIP: You may need to go the extra mile with influencers. Simply inviting them to your referral program may not work. You will need to give them something special. You can do this by setting up a referral program just for them. This means that you give them a different reward compared to your regular referral program.
ANOTHER PRO TIP: It also helps if you can give the influencer an exclusive discount code. This is a code that has their brand name on it. When you do this, they will be far more likely to promote your products to their followers. This is because it can also promote their own brand.
It Can Give You More Traffic
One of the reasons the big brands use referral marketing is because it can drive traffic. You can think of a referral program in incremental terms. When one person refers another to your website. The other person also has the power to refer more people to your site. This power spreads to many people until your website explodes in traffic and sales.
Also, traffic seems to play a role in SEO. When someone searches for a keyword on the search engines, they will click on the most relevant result. This in turn gives the website traffic. I have tested this and I found that websites that gets more clicks on the search engine results tend to rank higher. Maybe it is because it is the most relevant. This shows how traffic plays a role in search engine rankings. The more traffic a website has, the higher its search engine rankings.
It is Better Than Adwords Because It is Free
One of the quickest ways to reach the front page of the search engines is to use Google Adwords. In exchange for a bid, your ad can get displayed on top of the front page of the search engines. However, it can get quite costly if you don’t know the keywords to bid on and you don’t know how to tweak your campaigns based on results. The good thing with referral marketing is that it is free. This means that you can get traffic and search engine rankings even if you don’t spend a dime. Referral marketing allows you to get high quality natural backlinks and this allows you to get higher rankings and traffic.
How can referral marketing be so effective and still be free? As mentioned, the power lies in the strength of the network. Referral marketing enlists your website visitors and competitors as marketers for your business. Each of them has the power to promote your products and services to their inner circle. This can be their family and friends. Since they have close relationships with their referrals, these referrals are far more likely to convert into a sale. In this sense, it generates tons of traffic. This is because every referral also has the power to refer more people to the website. It has this incremental effect and it is all free.
CASE STUDY: Did you know that PayPal grew its brand new website through referral marketing? They gave a cash reward for every referral. Soon, the information spread and many signed up to the site for the reward. This is the secret behind the billions of subscribers that PayPal has today. It all starts with one referral. It is that powerful.
More Exposure Leads to Better Domain Authority
Many marketers think of promotion as something massive. It acts more like an announcement where the marketer is broadcasting the website to a crowd. But marketing is not like that. It is far better implemented on a per person basis. This is the reason why referral marketing is so effective. When a referral promotes your website, they encourage a few people to join or buy from your website. Sometimes, they only refer one. But when they do this, they refer to the person who is more likely to convert. This is because they can only get the reward if the referral converts. So this is when they look at their friends list to find a person that they can convince. Since the likelihood is already high, you can be assured that you will get exposure.
Here’s the thing. More exposure actually translates to better brand authority. When someone knows and mentions your brand, you tend to get search engine points in the process. As your brand gains more exposure, your domain also gets more authority. With this, your search engine rankings also soars.
Your Website Get Better Rankings
Ultimately, referral marketing boosts your site’s rankings. It increases brand awareness and exposure. It grants you tons of natural links and reviews. This in turn are added to your search engine optimization points and you get higher rankings.
So if you are looking for a way to increase your rankings, you should consider having a referral program. Fortunately, it is easy to create. You just need a referral software. And if you are operating on Shopify, a Shopify affiliate app will do. Brands like Best Hunting Bow Labs have done this with great success.
You Get Higher Converting Leads
If you have been studying ecommerce podcasts, you’ll know that the goal of a business should be more than the search engine ranking. It should be the sale. After all, how can a business thrive if it cannot make sales? Often, marketers can get obsessed with search engine rankings forgetting why they are doing SEO to begin with. So it is also important to track leads. Fortunately referral marketing is quite helpful in generating highly targeted leads. So you can expect higher sales as well.
Having a referral program is one of the best things your can do for your business. Start today and you’ll be sure to reap the SEO benefits.