The online landscape is becoming increasingly competitive. To truly succeed, you need to harness the power of organic traffic, which is the most effective and sustainable way to grow your website.
Did you know there are more than 1.13 billion websites and more than 50 billion pages globally? With such a stunning number of sites vying for the attention of potential visitors, the competition is fierce. In fact, a staggering 54.4% of all clicks go to the top 3 Google search results, which makes it imperative to create an outstanding SEO strategy boosting organic traffic.
In this article, you’ll learn more about the benefits of organic traffic. We’ll also walk you through seven effective strategies to attract more visitors to your website and increase your search engine rankings.
Let’s start by discussing the concept of organic traffic.
Organic Traffic Explained
Driving organic traffic to your website is the cornerstone of long-term success for your online presence. It's well established that organic traffic, achieved through SEO efforts, consistently outperforms paid advertising and many other digital marketing strategies.
Here’s a more detailed explanation of the concept and meaning of organic traffic – first things first…
What is Organic Traffic?
Organic traffic is the flow of users visiting a website by clicking on the organic search results in search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Unlike paid advertisements or sponsored listings, these organic search results are unpaid, natural listings generated by the search engine's algorithms.
Organic vs. Paid Traffic
Paid search traffic is when visitors click on pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements on the search engine results page. Paid traffic is a way for businesses to quickly gain visibility and drive targeted website visitors, often in conjunction with organic search strategies.
As opposed to organic traffic, which is free, with the paid option, the advertisers typically pay a fee each time their ad is clicked, hence the term "pay-per-click." Also, unlike organic traffic, which brings in sustainable and consistent visitor flow, the effect of PPC option can be temporary and fade away when the paid ad campaign ends.
How Organic Works
The process of organic traffic is quite easy and straightforward. There are five steps:
- Content publication: You create and publish content on your website, such as blog posts, articles, or product pages. This content should be relevant, informative, and optimized for search engines using keywords and SEO techniques properly.
- Indexing by search engines: Google, and other search engines, crawl and index the content on your website making it searchable and discoverable for users.
- User search query: When a user makes a search query related to your content, your website may appear in the organic search results. The search engine's algorithm determines these results, considering relevance, keyword usage, and website authority.
- Click on an organic search result: The user clicks on your website's organic search result (non-paid) to visit your website.
- Organic traffic categorization: The user's session on your website is then categorized as organic traffic, indicating that the visitor arrived on your site through an organic search result rather than through paid advertisements or other referral sources.
Benefits of Organic Traffic
What will you gain as a result of developing and executing a highly-effective organic traffic strategy? Here are the most prominent advantages organic traffic brings.
- Cost-effectiveness: Organic traffic is completely free, and it can save you money on advertising expenses.
- Targeted and adjustable reach: Organic traffic enables you to target and scale your reach in line with your SEO strategy.
- Enhanced visibility and brand awareness: Organic traffic allows you to reach potential customers who might not have heard of your brand before, building brand awareness.
- High-quality leads and improved conversion: This type of traffic brings in visitors who have relevant intent and are more likely to engage with your content, leading to higher conversion rates.
- Global reach: It can reach people worldwide, which can help your business expand its customer base across different regions.
- Improves customer trust and loyalty: Consistently generating organic traffic can build your credibility with potential customers, as it shows that your website is a valuable source of information or solution for their needs.
- Sustainable user flow: Unlike the paid option, organic traffic brings traffic that lasts, preventing you from abrupt drops in traffic once the paid ad expires.
- Ever-increasing potential: The search engine market is continuously growing, which means that organic traffic will remain an effective strategy for driving business growth.
Having learned the What and the Why of organic traffic, you’re probably wondering how to drive traffic to your website. Let’s dive into the secrets of SEO success and unlock the full potential of your online presence.
How SEO Drives Organic Traffic
One of the principal goals of SEO is to help websites drive more organic traffic. This is how the process works:
- You publish content: The very first step in driving organic traffic is publishing content on your website. High-quality, relevant, and valuable content forms the foundation of a successful SEO approach.
- Google bots crawl and review web pages: Google and other search engines rely on automated bots or "spiders" to crawl the internet and discover web pages. These spiders follow links on your website, which gives them access to your content and allows them to evaluate its relevance and quality.
- The indexing process: Once Google bots have crawled your site, the indexing process begins. A crucial factor in driving organic traffic is having your page appear on search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant queries. Google adds your web pages to its vast database, making them available when users search for them.
- Appearing on SERPs for relevant queries: If your content successfully addresses a user's question or provides valuable information related to their search, it is more likely to rank highly on SERPs.
Note that to achieve visibility and attract organic traffic to your website, it is essential to outperform existing websites already ranking on search engines. And here comes applying SEO best practices.
Let’s explore these SEO best practices in the next section.
How to Drive Organic Traffic
Visitors perceive websites that rank higher on search engine results pages (SERP) as more relevant and trustworthy. According to Google Organic CTR History based on CTR averages taken from millions of keywords on a monthly basis, organic results are still the third most popular ones with a CTR of 99.49%.
What's more, the first website shown on the first SERP gets almost 42% of all clicks for the given search.
Therefore, ensuring your website is optimized for search engines is essential for driving traffic. Let’s look at some best practices to help you enhance your website's ranking on SERPs and increase its visibility.
Target Current and Trending Topics
Hot current topics offer an excellent opportunity for driving organic traffic, as users actively seek out information, opinions, and updates on these subjects.
What Topics Are Trending?
Trending topics are subjects or themes that have gained significant popularity and attention in a given time. These topics often emerge from current events, popular culture, or social media discussions, becoming the focus of online conversations, searches, and shares. For example, navigating the twin transition towards digital and green sustainability, ensuring cybersecurity in the increasingly digital environment, and enhancing competitiveness through promoting innovation are popular tech topics for 2023.
How to Identify and Address Trending Topics
To identify trending topics, you can use tools like Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer and focus on keywords with High Traffic Potential (TP) and low keyword difficulty (KD).
A topic with high traffic potential is considered trending as it has a larger audience actively searching for it. And a lower keyword difficulty means less competition and a higher chance of ranking higher on search engines, making it a trending topic to target.
Create High-Quality Content
Having well-written, informative, and engaging content on your website is likely to rank higher in search results as search engines prioritize websites with high-quality content.
What is High-Quality Content?
According to the Content Marketing Institute, there are about 35 definitions of high-quality content. In short, it’s anything that provides value to the audience. This value can be useful information, insights, or perspective that benefits the reader with enhanced knowledge of a topic, better comprehension of a concept, or positive experiences.
Therefore, the content that is promoted and preferred by search engines is specific to a particular field or area of interest, tailored to the needs of the target audience, and free of redundancy, meaningless clichés, and fluff.
How to Create High-Quality Content?
Here are some steps to help you succeed in writing for SEO and crafting content that is valued by both visitors and search engines:
- Understand your target audience before creating any content. Make sure you know their needs, preferences, and interests.
- Conduct thorough research to ensure your content is accurate and informative. Use reputable sources and cite your references.
- Provide value to your audience by answering their questions and delivering helpful information.
- Use a clear and concise writing style to make your content easy to read and understand. Avoid using jargon or technical terms that your audience may not be familiar with.
- Incorporate visuals such as images, videos, or infographics to enhance the readability and engagement of your content.
- Edit and proofread before publishing your content so that it's free of errors.
Remember that the main purpose of your content is to help your audience find the information they need and solve their pain points.
Consider the “People Also Ask” Section
The “People Also Ask” section provides an accurate indication of the questions people have and the information they need. It makes a great addition to keyword research and helps you gain a deeper understanding of the needs of your target audience.
What/Where are People Also Ask Sections?
The “People Also Ask” section is a feature in Google's search results that appear as answer boxes under the first result. These boxes contain questions related to the initial search query, and each question has a brief answer taken from a website, along with a link to that page.
Optimizing your content to provide concise answers to the questions users are asking can help increase your chances of appearing in this section and ultimately drive organic traffic to your blog.
How to Use People Also Ask Sections
To find the right questions to target, type your keywords in Google and look at related “People Also Ask” questions. Additionally, there are tools available that can help you generate questions related to your topic of interest.
For example, AnswerThePublic and AnswerSocrates are tools that allow you to enter a keyword or phrase and create a list of questions people are likely to ask about that topic. These tools can be handy if you need help with specific questions to target in your research.
Use subheadings for the questions and include concise answers below them to help search engines target the information more effectively. Also, adding a “Frequently Asked Questions” section to your pages is an effective way to provide the answers users seek, thus improving your chances of appearing in the “People Also Ask section.”
Fill “Missing” Content Gaps
Filling content gaps is an essential part of SEO and content marketing strategy. It can help increase your website's visibility, attract more traffic, generate leads, and ultimately drive business growth.
What Is a Content Gap
A content gap is a term used in SEO to refer to the areas where a website's content falls short in covering specific subtopics or keywords related to a particular topic or theme. In other words, a content gap is the missing content that prevents a website from ranking high on SERPs for specific keywords.
Think of the content gap as the difference between the keywords your competitors are targeting in their content and those you are targeting in yours. It represents a missed opportunity to attract potential customers searching for those keywords and finding your competitors' content instead of yours.
How to Identify and Eliminate Content Gaps
Identifying and eliminating content gaps involves analyzing search queries and the content currently ranking for those queries, conducting a website content audit, and researching your competitors' keywords and rankings. This process helps generate topic ideas and keyword variations for your SEO campaign.
Determine which keywords your competitors rank for but you don't. You can use tools like the SEMrush Organic Competitors Report to determine who your top competitors are and how many keywords you share in common. You can then see the keywords your competitors rank highly for that you may want to target.
Next, use the SEMrush Keywords Gap tool or the Ahrefs Site Content Gap tool to quickly see the shared keywords the websites rank for on SERP one. You can then create new content or optimize existing content to cover those subtopics and improve your rankings.
Remember, regularly monitoring your rankings and adjusting your content strategy can help you stay ahead of the competition.
Refresh Outdated Content
When content becomes outdated, it can cause a decline in traffic and engagement. Visitors may lose interest in information that is no longer useful or accurate. Thus, it is crucial to periodically review and update your content to ensure that it remains relevant and reliable.
Why Does Content Become Outdated?
Content needs to be updated for several reasons. As time passes, new information, technology, or conditions can impair the accuracy or relevance of the content.
For instance, recommendations in a blog post may become obsolete if new products or services are released. Similarly, advice or opinions that were once valid may no longer be applicable due to changes in laws, regulations, or industry standards.
How to Keep Your Content Fresh and Current
To keep your content fresh and current, you should:
- Regularly review your old blog posts and articles to identify outdated pieces. Articles with time-sensitive titles and details generally fall into this category.
- Create a list of articles that need updating. This will help avoid missing any content that needs to be refreshed.
- Focus on updating the content that generates the most traffic first. This step will ensure that your most popular content remains up-to-date and relevant.
- Review each post and check that the information is still accurate and relevant. Identify the sections and points you need to revise. These may include factual details (like dates, fees, offerings, product and service availability, etc.), outdated sources, broken links, and more.
- Once you've identified the necessary changes, update your content. Remove any out-of-date information and replace it with the current updates, where necessary. This could involve editing images, changing links, or rewriting sections of the article.
- Promote the updated content. Use your social media platforms, email newsletters, or other channels to inform your audience about the updates.
- Update your posts’ titles, title tags, and meta descriptions. Track their performance and make sure to adjust them to the keywords you wish to rank for. Keep in mind that coming up with catchy titles and meta descriptions can go a long way in attracting more visitors to your site. Note that your titles and meta descriptions shouldn’t exceed 59 and 159 characters, respectively.
Following these steps will help you retain your audience, increase engagement, and drive traffic to your website.
Acquire High-Quality Backlinks
To improve your website rankings and drive organic traffic, it’s essential to develop a robust linking strategy embracing internal, outbound, and inbound linking. Inbound linking actually refers to acquiring relevant and quality backlinks.
What Are High-Quality Backlinks?
High-quality backlinks are links from websites with high domain authority and a strong reputation of trustworthiness that lead to your site. To bring in more value and enhance the search engine rankings of your website, these backlinks should come from relevant sources and should be meaningful and natural.
How to Get More High-Quality Backlinks?
There are many ways to get high-quality backlinks. The most popular method is guest blogging. Contribute articles to other websites in your industry that accept guest posts. Doing so allows you to naturally include links to your resources, studies, and relevant content within the guest post.
Focus on websites related to your industry, products, or services to ensure that the backlinks you acquire are contextually relevant and valuable. Also, prioritize websites with higher domain authority, as backlinks from these sites carry more weight and can positively impact your search engine rankings.
Another way to get high-quality backlinks is by crafting visual content. Did you know that 41% of marketers found that original graphics help them achieve their marketing goals? And 52% consider visual content essential in their marketing strategy. Visual content is often more engaging and easier to comprehend than text-heavy content. So, make sure to craft visuals, such as original graphics, infographics, and illustrations, which other content creators can readily incorporate into their content.
Also, use your expertise and experience to carry out original research and studies within your niche. Such unique, data-driven content is more likely to be cited and shared by others, resulting in more backlinks. By consistently offering valuable and original research results, you can establish yourself as a trusted source of information. In this way, you’ll encourage others to share your content, mention your research, and link to your website.
Regular and consistent blogging is an effective way to improve SEO rankings and drive more organic traffic.
Why Should You Post Regularly?
Adding new, tailored to the audience content to your site means including more relevant keywords, which helps search engines associate more keywords with your site, increasing organic traffic. Also, take into account that there’s a two-three-month lag between new content and seeing the resultant organic traffic increase. Note that skipping a month or two causes a decrease in organic traffic, which you’ll experience two-three months later.
How to Post Regularly
When talking about regular posting, there are three aspects to consider – relevance, consistency, and frequency. How often should you add new content? It depends on the type and the size of your business, but in general, two-four blog posts per month work well for most businesses. Ideally, you’ll be able to post twice a week.
A good rule of thumb is to plan your content generation in advance. Note that a detailed plan contains the topic, the keywords, and the approximate date to get the piece of content ready and published.
It’s Your Turn to Drive Increased Organic Traffic
Now that you’ve acquired a better understanding of what organic traffic is and how it works, you have an excellent opportunity to apply the tips above and make it work for you, too.
It takes a well-thought-over strategy and consistent and regular efforts to boost organic traffic. And most of all, it takes relevant, fresh, and valuable content. Remember that organic traffic is about bringing visitors to your site by offering them value. So, focus on your reader and craft the content they need, seek, and love.
Should you find generating considerable amounts of content on a regular basis challenging and overwhelming, opt for the professional help of a creative digital agency. It can make the perfect addition to your in-house team, tuning content generation to your requirements and audiences.