What is a referral source?


Depending on where you've shared your content and how well it's spreading organically, you may have noticed many of your Lickstats campaign clicks originate from a Referral source.


While we endeavour to individually identify the most common traffic sources for all free and paid Lickstats users, it would be an impossible task to do this for everything. Put another way, there is materially no difference between the way that traffic from Facebook is received compared with the more generic Referral, except one is processed and presented by Lickstats at a more specific level.


How to tell what websites generate referral traffic


All pro and enterprise paid Lickstats plans have access to a detailed break-down of their referral traffic, while starter and awesome plans will see a single Referral source in their dashboard. If you are a pro or enterprise Lickstats user, simply click on the Sources pie chart at the bottom of your campaign to view the advanced report. This is a more detailed break-down of the sites referring traffic to your campaign link.


For example, in this advanced report we can see the Hostname (originating page) for Referral traffic from a recent Lickstats marketing campaign. We can see that sharing on Y Combinator's Hacker News performed well. Interestingly, we can also see where Hacker News is syndicated to - following the URLs we discover that hnrss.org, hn.algolia.com and hackernews.io are all closely related to the main news.ycombinator.com site.

Discover which websites drive traffic to your campaign links with Referral tracking on pro and enterprise accounts by signing up for a paid plan.


How to understand referral traffic on starter and awesome plans


If you’re just testing Lickstats out and don’t have a pro or enterprise paid Lickstats plan yet, there is still a handy way to track Referral traffic from the sources that you publish on.

To do this, we recommend using the campaign segments function to create specific links for each traffic source you’re posting to. For example, you could create a hn segment for sharing to Hacker News and this would isolate the resulting traffic for analysis.

You can read more about how to use Lickstats campaign segments tactically here.

Zane Pocock