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How Much Traffic Should Your Small Business Expect From Search, Referrals & Paid Search?

Do you know where your website visits come from?

Here are three options: organic searchpaid search, and referral sites.

Which source draws the most traffic to most small- and medium-sized businesses?

To answer this question, we looked at data from 2,100 HubSpot customers (mostly small- to medium-sized businesses). The chart below summarizes our finding: organic search avearges 67.2% more traffic than referral sites, which in turn draw 156% more traffic than does paid search.

A more in-depth industry analysis reveals similar trends. Despite the diversity of the types of industries included in the study, the mathematical inequality holds - organic search > referral sites > paid search.

A closer examination of the second chart shows that organic search traffic is significantly higher than that generated from the other two sources in manufacturing, medicine/health services, and retail. On the flip side, referral sites play an important role in technologically advanced industries such as technology, software, and online marketing as well as more customer-service-oriented industries such as consulting and financial services.

Given the empirical significance of referrals in increasing site traffic, we compiled a list of top referral sites for reference. Businesses that have paid little attention to referrals should consider new marketing strategies that utilize referrals more actively.

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