Relevance, relevance, relevance
The recipe for getting consistent referral traffic from a backlink looks something like this:
1. A visitor has to land on a webpage (usually millions of competing pages)
2. A visitor has to commit to reading the page instead of bouncing
3. A visitor needs to find the section that your link is placed in
4. A visitor needs to be compelled enough by the section to click the link
5. A visitor who clicks the link needs to care enough about your website to fall into your funnel
That sort of traffic funnel ends with a very narrow nozzle!
How many visitors will mozy their way all the way to step 5? Very few unless you have a super prominent, above-the-fold link.
Maybe you’ll get a mention in their newsletter blast? A mention on social? Ok, you’ll get some good traffic for sure, but of course that is all short-term.
The post might end up ranking in Google. Then you’ll get consistent traffic, right?
Well, the article would have to be amazing and it would need some backlinks to start ranking which would take a few months.
It’s a huge amount of work for any blogger who was kind enough to toss you a link in the first place.
You might get a backlink that produces referral traffic by happenstance, but to aim for it consistently requires an operational process that isn’t worth the investment.
Instead focus on this formula:
Quality links + Volume + Time
All you need is for your own page to rank in Google and you’ll end up with much more traffic than what any referral traffic strategy could get you.
Trying to get the best of all worlds will usually end up getting you nothing.
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