In a nutshell, ‘Referral traffic’ is what Google determines as traffic that comes from other websites excluding search engines.

Perhaps your website is listed on a business directory site, a supplier’s website, or an external blog post. Any traffic that comes from these sources directly to your website is known as referral traffic.

The link from these external websites to your website is known as ‘backlinks’.

Referral traffic is an important traffic source to monitor as these backlinks are highly ranked by Google as they convey authority and relevance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I see my website’s referral traffic?

Head to your website’s Google Analytics account.

Within GA4 all types of traffic can be found under ‘Acquisitions’ > ‘All Traffic’  > ‘Channels’.

You can focus purely on the paid traffic your site receives by clicking on ‘Referral’.

I can’t see any ‘Referral Traffic’ in my GA4 account

If you can’t see any referral traffic in your GA4 account then you don’t currently have any referral traffic.

Don’t forget to amend the calendar range to ensure you are looking at the right dates.

How do I improve my referral traffic metrics?

You can improve your referral traffic metrics by...

  • Featuring your business in relevant business directories
  • Reaching out to the suppliers of your products and asking to be listed as a stocklist on their website
  • Working with relevant bloggers to create relevant content that is linked to your website
  • Get featured in relevant newspapers, journals, and magazines with a link to your website

Should I pay for Backlinks?


Check out our ‘Backlink’ post to learn more.


If you are looking to improve your referral traffic then get in touch with the team here at Digital Nachos. We can work with you to review your current traffic, review your marketing efforts, and put you back on track for future gains.

Published: 7th Feb 2024

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