We live in an era where a practically infinite amount of content can be easily discovered through search engines. No matter what you’re looking for, you’re only a quick Google search away from finding information.
But savvy marketers and business owners know but there’s another side to this equation. If you can somehow make it more likely for people to discover your website through Google and other popular search engines, you can generate far more visibility and traffic for your site.
This is known as organic traffic. Driving organic traffic is an excellent way to generate new leads and customers, but what steps can you take to increase organic traffic to your website?
Well, we’ll get into just that here.
Why Is Organic Traffic Important?
Organic traffic represents about 14% of all internet traffic. While that may not seem like much, considering that 76% of online traffic is direct traffic, organic traffic is in a comfortable second place. Many business owners place organic traffic as their top priority, since organic traffic is “free” to generate and it can potentially target both new and existing customers.
It also happens to be incredibly versatile, since your organic traffic flows are contingent upon your selection of target keywords and phrases, as well as your approach to content marketing, link building, and other strategies.
How To Increase Website Traffic Organically
So, how do you boost organic traffic to your website?
The short answer is search engine optimization (SEO). Through various SEO tactics, you can gradually optimize your website to be more authoritative in the eyes of search engines and more relevant for your target audience. The higher your authority is, and the more relevant content you have, the more pages of your website will be ranked highly for keywords and phrases you’ve selected. With higher rankings and greater visibility, higher volumes of organic traffic is a natural result.
The question is, how do you optimize your website for search engines?
SEO is a complex field, and its many strategies and tactics can’t be summarized in a simple paragraph. Throughout the rest of this blog, we’ll go over some of the most important tips for optimizing your website and improving organic search results. But for now, let’s just focus on the basics.
Ultimately, search engines decide how a page of your website ranks based on its relevance and authority. Since search engines like Google and Bing are also businesses themselves, they want to provide their users (or customers) with the best experience possible. This is what makes SEO an important part of your digital marketing strategy because it enables search engines to easily identify your content as useful and resourceful for what users are looking for.
In this equation, relevance refers to how appropriate this content is for the search user’s needs. For example, if a search user is looking for pumpkin pie recipes, and you have an excellent pumpkin pie recipe on your website, that page of your website will be considered highly relevant for the search query.
Of course, there are probably thousands, if not millions of pumpkin pie recipes on the web. So how do you Google and other search engines sort the wheat from the chaff? The answer is by evaluating authority. The more trustworthy and authoritative a source is, the higher it’s going to rank in search engine results pages (SERPs). You can build this trustworthiness and authoritativeness by writing better content, building more links, and making your website better optimized.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the more specific ways you can increase organic traffic to your website.
Find and Use More Relevant and Specific Keywords
On the relevance side of the equation, it’s important for you to find and use more relevant and specific keywords. If you can target keywords that are relevant to your target audience, highly searched, and relatively easy to rank for, you’ll have a short and easy path to making your web pages visible for your target audiences.
Ideally, as part of your overall SEO campaign, you’ll have a list of target keywords for which you want to optimize. You can create a dedicated page of your website for each of these keywords, making sure at least one page of your website ranks highly for this query. While it’s perfectly fine to have primary and secondary keywords and phrases in a single page of your website, it’s inadvisable to have many different pages of your website competing for the same primary keyword; this can lead to keyword “cannibalization,” which negatively impacts how your pages rank on search engines.
When companies suffer from low levels of organic traffic, it’s often attributed to picking “bad” or low-value keywords. So what makes a keyword valuable?
With the help of a marketing agency, or a combination of keyword research tools, you can generate a list of keyword targeting ideas and reasonably estimate how valuable they are based on three main priorities:
- Audience relevance. First, you need to think about how relevant these keywords are for your target audience and for your business. If you sell umbrellas exclusively, there’s no use targeting keywords for teddy bears.
- Search volume. Next, you should consider the search volume. This is a measure of how many people search for a given keyword or phrase on a (typically) monthly basis; higher numbers here mean more people are searching for it.
- Competition. Finally, you need to analyze the competition level. Highly relevant, highly searched keyword terms often attract tough competitors that make it much harder and more expensive for you to rank.
The best target keywords are ones that are highly relevant, high in search volume, and low in competition. Choose these, optimize for them, and you’ll instantly be on a better track for raising your organic search traffic.
Compare Your Website SEO Ranking to Competitors
If you didn’t have competitors, ranking for target keywords and attracting organic traffic would be ridiculously easy. But because you have competitors, and those competitors are working against you, it’s important to understand where you fit in this competitive landscape.
Ideally, you’d want to work with a marketing agency to analyze your current search engine rankings and see how you stack up against your top competitors. You can see how you rank for target keywords, examine the keywords that competitors are targeting, analyze the competitive gap, and ultimately come up with a strategy to avoid or overcome your competition.
There are several possibilities here. If you have the budget and the ambition for it, you can use brute force to overtake your competitor in the rankings. You could also choose alternative target keywords to avoid direct confrontation, or even optimize for a different audience or target niche.
Explore What Organic Pages Aren’t Performing Well
If you’re already in the search engine optimization game, it’s important to analyze and understand what isn’t currently working about your strategy. To drive more traffic, you first need to explore which organic pages aren’t performing well.
Here are some metrics to consider when analyzing page performance:
- Existing organic traffic. How much traffic are these pages getting compared to the other pages of your website? If it’s lacking, it may be worth adding more internal links to this page throughout the website.
- Session time. When visitors do arrive on this page, how long do they stay on it? Longer session times mean higher user engagement, and are often correlated with higher ranks.
- Bounce rate. How often do users leave immediately after visiting this page? You’ll need to lower your bounce rate if you want to rank higher and generate more organic traffic for your website.
As you consider what pages aren’t performing well, it’s important to take a look at keyword cannibalization and see if low ranking keywords are split with another page. Once you identify organic pages that aren’t generating as much organic traffic as they should, you essentially have three options:
- Delete them. In some cases, the best move is to simply delete these pages and start from scratch. But in most cases, there’s at least something salvageable there.
- Optimize them. You can also optimize your weak pages by rewriting them and making them laser focused on a new target keyword or phrase.
Combine them. If that doesn’t work, consider combining different pages together if they have a similar intent. It’s usually better to have a single, comprehensive and high-ranking page than to have several different incomplete, low-ranking pages. Don’t be afraid to consolidate and create something better than the sum of its parts.
Share Web Pages and Blogs Through Other Channels
After producing a new piece of content, or if you’re interested in promoting your older content, it’s important to share that work across all the other channels available to you, including email and social media. This method of distribution will boost referral traffic to your website, and it could also increase your visibility and help you attract more links.
More links to your onsite content will lead to a higher domain authority, which in turn should lead you to higher rankings across the board. Best of all, sharing your web pages and blogs through other channels is usually free or inexpensive.
Meta data are snippets of written content in the back end of your website that provide information to Google and other search engines about each individual page. For example, the meta title explains the main purpose of the page, while the meta description provides a more detailed summary of the content of the page. Meta tags, alt tags, and other forms of metadata also exist.
It’s especially important to optimize your meta titles and descriptions if you want to increase organic traffic, since these are visible to users in SERPs.
As you write your metas, remember to focus on:
- Audience relevance. Your meta titles and descriptions should be highly relevant to the audiences viewing them; speak directly to your target demographics, rather than general audiences.
- Uniqueness. Don’t make a near-identical copy of someone else’s meta titles and descriptions. Instead, come up with something more original to stand out from the crowd.
- Stimulation of intrigue. Lure organic visitors by stimulating their intrigue. Provide them with hints of the value they’ll get by visiting your page directly. However, it’s important that the title isn’t clickbaity, which can negatively affect your website’s authority. Make it relevant and ensure it follows the same content that’s already existing on the page.
- Accuracy. Finally, make sure your meta page titles and descriptions accurately reflect the type of content that readers will find on this page. You’ll see a high bounce rate if you mislead your audience, negatively impacting your SEO value.
Create New Blogs and Rewrite Outdated Content
Google preferentially ranks websites that create new content on a consistent basis. Additionally, each new post you generate is a new opportunity to target a keyword or reinforce your entire website’s relevance for an existing target keyword. It’s important for you to create new blogs and rewrite outdated content on a regular basis.
As you write and rewrite content for your website, it’s important to consider the following:
- Targeting. Who is this piece of content for? And what keywords and phrases are you targeting? It’s important to have strategic objectives behind each new piece of content you produce or rewrite, rather than choosing topics on a whim. There should be a concrete goal for each piece of content in your arsenal.
- Length. There’s no minimum length for an optimized blog post, but longer posts generally perform better than shorter ones since there’s more insight for the reader, providing them with a greater user experience. Aim to create content of at least a few thousand words.
- Depth. Of course, it’s unwise to create longer blog posts for the sake of creating longer blog posts; you also need sufficient depth in your material. Each topic you cover should be covered comprehensively, with concrete facts and objective data to back your claims. It’s not only good for your domain authority—it’s also good for your reputation with readers.
- Accuracy. Always verify that what you’re saying is accurate. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time, but if your website is labeled as misinformation or if you consistently have accuracy issues, it could damage your reputation.
Use Internal and External Links to Boost Authority
Finally, make use of both internal and external links to boost the authority of your webpage and your website overall. Internal links (links to other pages of your website) are excellent for increasing time spent on the site and they add contextual relevance to the linked pages. External links serve as citations, lending more power to the claims you make. If you use both in your work, you should see measurably higher authority, higher rankings, and higher organic traffic to your website.
There’s no need to go overboard here. Stuffing your content full of internal and external links could be a red flag in the eyes of Google. Instead, use these links sparingly and make them count.
Boosting organic traffic to your website isn’t exactly easy, but there are some relatively straightforward strategies and tactics that can help you do it. Once you understand the fundamentals of SEO, you will be in a much better position to research target keywords, analyze your competition, and ultimately drive more organic traffic with better content, more links, and more paths to visibility.
If you want to increase organic traffic to your website, or if you’ve reached a dead end in your own search optimization strategies, Abstrakt Marketing Group can help. We have all the knowledge and resources you need to master the art of organic web traffic, so contact us to start improving your organic search results!