What Is Organic Traffic—and How Can You Increase It?

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If you’ve dipped a toe at all into the world of SEO, you’ve probably heard the term organic traffic. What is it exactly? Why is it so valuable to your business, and how can you increase it? This article covers the basics on organic traffic and how to boost it to help your business grow.

What is organic traffic?

Put simply, there are two ways to generate traffic from search engines: ensure your website ranks highly in search results or set up paid ads that get your site to the top of the paid results. Let’s distinguish between these types of traffic. Organic traffic represents visits to your website that come from a search engine and not paid advertising. (Paid advertising generates paid traffic, which also plays a part in your overall SEO strategy.)

Here’s how organic traffic works. Let’s say you’re a homeowner and you realize it’s time to purchase a new furnace. It’s January in northern Illinois, and it’s cold. You know you need to do some research, so you navigate to your preferred search engine and type in a search term like furnace installation. Your search engine generates a set of results with paid ads (noted by a small symbol that says “ad”) and organically ranked search results. You then click on the top three or four websites as you’re exploring your potential furnace purchase—these are for local HVAC companies. Your site visits are recorded by these businesses’ search analytics as organic traffic.

Why organic traffic is valuable

Organic traffic is the most valuable kind of traffic you can generate. Why? It’s free, it’s targeted, and it reaches your potential customers when they are most engaged.

Think of the furnace example. You certainly don’t want to be left out in the cold, so you’re a motivated buyer. The same is true for the searchers looking for your business. They’re highly engaged and it’s likely that if they find your business via a search engine, and you rank high in the results, you stand to gain a new customer.

The key is to rank in the top positions organically—because this increases website trust. Organic traffic is more likely to convert than traffic from paid search, direct traffic, referral traffic, social media, or other channels. What do these terms mean?

  • Paid search is traffic from your paid search engine ads.
  • Direct traffic results from someone typing your URL directly into their browser.
  • Referral traffic comes from links to your site from other websites.
  • Social media traffic comes from social channels (like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) and can either be paid or organic, too.

How to increase your organic traffic

Now that you know what organic traffic is and why it’s so valuable, it’s important to focus on how to boost it. When you do, you’ll get more visits from search engine results.

First, it’s important to start somewhere productive. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an ongoing process. In addition, changes to SEO strategy and search engine results are constantly evolving, even in early 2021. With this in mind, here are top tips proven to help boost your organic traffic:

  1. Be customer-centric. Understand that people are using search engines for answers to their questions, so you need to cater to your potential customers. You can do this through copy that addresses your customers’ needs or problems and that is clear and easy to read. 
  2. Focus on website usability. A website that loads fast, is mobile-friendly, and is easy to use will help your SEO strategy.
  3. Publish content they will want to read. Give your potential customers what they want most with content they will want to read and that is easy to find and share. This starts with the right search terms, which leads us to…
  4. Do your keyword research. Find out which keywords to target with your content, so that you’re coming up in the right intent-driven searches. Keywords form an important part of your overall SEO and content strategy.
  5. SEO-optimize your page titles. Include relevant keywords and search terms in your page titles. The page title tells the search engine about the content of a page. A good page title will include targeted search terms that users will recognize and will spark their interest in visiting your site.
  6. Include backlinks from other sites. Backlinks from other relevant websites will help to improve website trust and your organic search results.

SEO can be a complicated topic, but it’s critically important to your business and its future—on the web or off. Interested in learning more about boosting your organic traffic and optimizing your SEO strategy? We can help. Reach out to us to discuss.

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